Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jingles that live on....

What’s with Indian jingles from the 80’s that make them so memorable?

Is it the lovely tune that stays in your head? “Jab ghar ki raunak badani ho...deewaron ko jab sajana ho....Nerolac, Nerolac”. Or is it the heart-tugging lyrics of “Yeh zameen, yeh asamaan, yeh zameen, yeh asamaan, humara kal, humara aaj, humara kal, humara aaj, buland Bharat ki buland tasveer...humara Bajaj, humara Bajaj”.

Over 2 decades later, these jingles are still fresh in mind (and heart) and they come back to me at the most obscure and unusual times. And sometimes at the most appropriate ones. Like this morning when I was contemplating painting a wall in my living room in a different colour and almost instantly I found myself humming “Jab ghar ki raunak badani ho.” Now that’s a powerful association between a consumer need and product advertising. Though I do need to admit until I sang the full jingle I remembered it as an Asians Paint ad! That depicts another key association- seasonality and product advertising. Asian Paints like all other paint companies in India, have their peak advertising period pre-Diwali which is now.

Another of my favourite jingle from that era is “Jab mein chota bachcha tha, badi shararat karta tha, meri chori pakdi jaati...toh roshan hota Bajaj”. The story line of that ad as was so adorable and the images are still vivid in my mind.

And then there was the all famous “Happy days are here again with Thums Up” and “Fresh and Juicy, Mango Fruity”. The extension of the Fruity jingle in today’s day and age with its new commercial is pretty cool too.

Of course there were the tremendously annoying jingles as well (but I still remember them!) like, “Tata ka OK, dhulayi ka saboon, OK OK ha Tata ka OK” or “Antiseptic, nahin cosmetic, Vicco Vajadanti Aryuvedic cream”- which incidentally, I saw recently on TV- non-expiring usage rights?

And the ever-so-irritating “Bhool na jana, ECE bulb lana” with the cliché use Bengali, Punjabi and Parsi talents. And who can forget (at least I can’t for obvious reasons) “Cema bulbs aur tubes” with Sridevi in an electric blue dress and thunder thighs. (Gawd I was incessantly teased in school about that one. And it did not help that Sridevi’s character in Mr. India was called Seema*).

The 90’s decade also saw some hummable jingles. The most notable amongst them was “Kya swaad hai zindagi ka” from Cadburys. And fantastic the use of Mozart’s 25th Symphony in Titan commercials. Not really a jingle of course, but the use of that music piece over various Titan commercials created very memorable ads.

A salute to all these ad makers (for their sheer brilliance), the media buyers (for the endless 60 second buys so we saw the commercials more than the Doordarshan programmes), the lyricists (for the beautiful words) and the musicians (for the lingering music).

Thank you! Thank you for creating commercials that I can still remember from my childhood. Now if that’s not compelling advertising, I don’t know what is?

*Nearly 75% of my brain is filled with needless and little known Hindi movie and song trivia. One example related to advertising- Aamir and Aishwarya have shared screen space only once (they have never starred in a movie together). They came together for the 90’s Pepsi “Hi, I am Sanjana. Got another Pepsi?” commercial. Pepsi was then called Lehar Pepsi. The other girl in the commercial was actress Mahima "Pardes" Choudhary, then a lesser known model called Ritu. Yehi hai right choice Baby a-ha!

1 comment:

  1. Well... Amir and Aish appeared in a coke ad in the early 00's...