Ads of the nation: From Hamara Bajaj to Desh ka Namak; here are some advertisements that left a mark on populace’s collective memory

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Published: August 15, 2017 12:16:16 AM

Patriotism or a feeling of national pride is one of the important emotions around which brands over the years have based their communication. BrandWagon revisits some of them that left a mark on the populace’s collective memory.

Independence Day, Hamara Bajaj ad, Desh ka Namak ad, advertisements, ads in india, indian ads, famous indian ads, Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda, Idea Cellular, Amul, Tata Salt, Desh ka Namak ad, GCMMFSome popular Indian ads that left a mark on populace’s collective memory. (Image: Youtube)

Patriotism or a feeling of national pride is one of the important emotions around which brands over the years have based their communication. BrandWagon revisits some of them that left a mark on the populace’s collective memory.

Bajaj Auto: Hamara Bajaj
Bajaj Auto’s immensely popular 1989 Hamara Bajaj ad, now a masterpiece in the halls of advertising fame, had become an anthem for the Indian middle class. With scooters at the core, the ad reflected the average Indian family. Various vignettes translated to screen moments from the life of the consumer, whom the brand was attempting to migrate from the value for money proposition to the more progressive and unifying Hamara Bajaj jingle. The campaign went on to be a major mile-marker not only in the life of the brand but also in the history of Indian TV advertising.

Hero Honda: Dhak Dhak
Hero Honda’s Dhak Dhak ad, the first one from the Desh ki Dhadkan positioning, gave a glimpse into the brand’s TG. It had shots of people from all walks of life united in their experiences of owning a Hero Honda motorcycle. It featured everyone from the working man in the city to the small town businessman, the army personnel to the young couple out on a drive-in movie date. It was aspirational and a symbol of nationalistic pride all at the same time, and unified the national emotion as suggested by its positioning, Desh ki Dhadkan.

Idea Cellular: Language Barrier
Idea Cellular, with actor Abhishek Bachchan as the brand’s face, rolled out the Language commercial — a story of four friends that are relocating in cities where they won’t have the advantage of their native tongue. A Maharashtrian is moving to Kolkata, the Bengali girl is moving to Kerala, the Malayalam-speaking man is moving base to Haryana and the Haryana-born man is moving to Mumbai. The four of them guide each other over calls helping the other gain advantage in a new city whose local dialect they are not familiar with. The film, part of the What an Idea, Sirjee! positioning, was a light-hearted attempt looking to bridge the language barrier in a country that has around 22 official languages, and having fun while
doing it.

The Amul Story Manthan
In 2001, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) spoke about women empowerment before it became a mainstream ‘cool’ social media discussion. The Amul Story Manthan, which had a rural folk song running in the background, summarised the brand’s journey with a focus on women that made the Amul system work on a daily basis. The film displayed the story of the rural women that were part of the co-operative, and the process from collection of milk at the centres right up to delivery. Apart from that, the film also provided a glimpse of benefits the women drew from being a part of this which was in the form of being able to counter economic hardships, earn and hence help contribute to the family’s income which would then give them a share of voice in their children’s education and day-to-day decision making on the home front. This was reflective of a progressive India, one that aims to empower both genders.

Tata Salt: Desh ka Namak
Tata Salt’s Maine Desh ka Namak Khaya Hai showcased the duty each individual can exercise as a citizen of the country. One policeman refuses a bribe, a workman fixes railway tracks in pouring rain, a cabbie returns a mobile phone to its owner… all this while the background score reminds the viewer that duty is something we owe the nation and needs to be performed with heart. The thought Desh ka Namak was carried on by the brand in the future too, with ads featuring mothers imparting their children qualities such as honesty. Making the campaign about one’s duty towards the country gave it a causal platform to tie advertising to an emotion that could be felt similarly by the mass audience.

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