Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Amul girl creator Sylvestor daCunha was a very courageous man.
  • He was the one who made the Amul campaigns creative and interesting.

Sylvester daCunha, the “utterly butterly” Amul girl creator breathed his last late Tuesday in Mumbai. The head of the daCunha Associates made the Amul girl a household character with great inputs from India’s milkman Dr. Verghese Kurian.

However, very few people know how daCunha was in real life. Here's a sneak peek into the life of Sylvester daCunha:

daCunha was a hard taskmaster

Sharing about his experience of working with daCunha. Prabhakar Mundkur, the famous advertiser said that Sylvie was a hard taskmaster and even recalled an incident when in a rage he pierced a pencil through the artwork because of a small typo mistake. He even once took a media test of Mundkur in the car when the former’s scooter broke down.

Hailed as one of the original and the last advertising man with courage, daCunha started his career as a writer at an ASP agency that had some of the best names in the advertising world like Pralhad Kakkar, Shyam Benegal, and Usha Katrak on its team.

When daCunha left ASP, he took along a few clients of ASP and Amul Butter was one such elite account. While he never compromised on work quality when it came to his employees, he also made sure that his team members are given the respect that they deserve.

Once when a senior employee at Britannia, threw the layouts of advertising designs on the floor in rage, Sylvie simply told the chairman of Britannia that 'he wants to leave the account because his account executive was insulted by his brand manager'.

Controversies with Amul Girl ad

Since daCunha was both creative and courageous, many times he had to tackle controversies due to his ad campaigns. When Indian Airlines was on strike in 2001, Amul ran an ad campaign but the campaign backfired because the former threatened that they will stop offering Amul butter to their passengers on board.

Advertisements during Ganesh Chaturthi were always creative. Once when Amul played a campaign that said, “Ganpati Bappa More Ghya (take more Ganpati Bappa), Shiv Sena party got aggressive and forced the company to remove the ad. Ads like criticism diverted towards Suresh Kalmadi to making fun of Mamata Banerjee landed both Amul and daCunha in trouble many times.

There was even a funny controversy involving Satyam Computer Services Ltd. When the company’s chairman Ramalinga Raju was charged with involvement in a scandal Amul’s ad, “Satyam Sharam Scandalum” garnered a lot of appreciation and attention. On the other hand, the Satyam Board was very much angry with it and wrote a formal letter to the ad agency stating that their employees would stop eating Amul butter if the ad is not pulled off.