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At 50, Amul girl captured in charming book

New Delhi: Over the past four decades she provided a running commentary on the state of affairs of India and on her 50th anniversary, the cheeky, impish `Amul` girl, has got a birthday present!

The likes of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid, veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, novelist Shobhaa De among other prominent public figures have chronicled the story of the `little girl in polka dots` in a book now.

Titled "Amul`s India" the book captures a selection of iconic wisecracks lampooning personalites as well as popular social and political events that have been part of the diary giant`s running advertising campaign over the last four decades.

Be it a scam or a blockbuster film, the endearing moppet fleshed out in 1966 by cartoonist Eustace Fernandes as part of an ad campaign for Amul`s butter brand, told the stories of India, using tongue-in-cheek humour with clever wordplay, one hoarding at a time.

At the launch of the book , Rahul daCunha, managing director and creative head of daCunha Communications, attributed the success of the book to Amul which has never interfered with the creatives of the advertisement campaign.

"With India`s vast diversity most of our campaigns are  specifically targeted to the regions it influences and impacts the most. So, the South has Rajnikanth and other actors, IPL team Chennai Super Kings and its politicos as the stars. Northern belt has flair of leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mayawati among others…" he said.

The internet and the world of Facebook has opened up a totally new segment of audience, he points out. "There are special campaigns which are made specially forthe online audience, like when Hollywood`s Ashton Kutcher potrayed as a Bollywood producer which I believe wasn`t well known outside the net world."

"There is an instant reaction on the net, with comments and "likes" which helps us in knowing the pulse of the audience," said Rahul daCunha.

At a time when cartoons in textbooks have kicked up urore, the "utterly butterly delicious" mascot of the butter brand manages to get away with her childlike humour. "Amul has no-axe to grind, the campaign doesn`t come from any fixed vantage point and that is the beauty of it," said Swapan Dasgupta, senior journalist who was participating in a discussion after the book launch here.

"It`s the freshness which we bring in, which is kept simple through minimum, or no, research into the topic, said Rahul on being asked the reason behind the rich creativity.

Product-specific campaigns run mostly in print and radio also began to appear on billboards with the first in 1966 – the Amul moppet kneeling in prayer, with one eye closed and another on the pack of butter with the words, "Give us this day our daily bread with Amul Butter.

Amul`s campaigns and brand continue to outlive expectations with close to 6,000 billboards across India being produced till now. The paperback priced at Rs 299 has been published by Harper Collins.

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