Doordarshan to me is what Pogo and Nick is to my kids. It was my connection to the world of glamour, entertainment and knowledge. Watching a few limited serials, Krishi Darshan and ‘Chitrahaar‘ formed such an important part of our simple lives. The creative houses had just started churning impressive ads, which set our grey cells tingling.
I remember begging my folks to allow me to go watch television at my neighbor’s place. Dinner time and gossip was scheduled according to the timings of the limited programs. Watching the same songs every week, with the sprinkle of commercials was such a delight. Some of the ads were so simple in their message and yet so powerful in their impression that they left an unforgettable mark in my head. I can still hum the song and the change in beat, or the unusual last line in it.
Here is a list of ads that caught my fantasy and became my all time favorites-
This classic 1976 ad had an intriguing quality to it. I am a big fan of Smita Patil and even after the ad went off air, I remembered the mysterious look in her eyes. She looked so convincing in the part and oozed of women power. Since, I was a kid at that time. The last message of women walking in with liters of milk to get empowered to the tune of crores was very fascinating to me.
7. Nescafe Classic:
This ad got me hooked to coffee for life. The music by Ranjit Barot and the beats were so catchy, that it became a classic like the brand. Till today, the ads are based around this basic rhythm. The model with the long unruly hair caught everybody’s attention and so did the last shot with the sadhu. In all it was a high quality ad that lived up to its expectations.
6. Bajaj Bulbs:
The ‘chota bacha’ in the first line was what made me sit up and notice the ad. I liked the way the ad was divided into three stages of life and the jingle was very simple and catchy. The message came across loud and clear. The boy reading his comics under a quilt with the torch was the funniest part in it.
Now that I think of it, I wonder why I could relate to Lalitaji in the Surf ad. She looked like a stubborn woman whose only purpose in life was to wear white washed clothes. So, if she was dictating that, Surf helped her achieve her goal, who was I to dispute that. She stuck to her guns and ended up selling an expensive washing soap to me.
4. Ek Anek:
This is one of my most favorite Doordarshan ads. It was such a simple message and delivered in such a classy manner. I think I loved the animation and the overall presentation. The voice over’s were so honey sweet. The voice of the sister was so lovable that I would follow her like Pied Piper. The sun with the triangular nose and the smiling moon, gave a happy feeling. And the story with the moral was so easy to understand and follow. I will surely show this one to my girls.
I belong to that generation of women for whom there was no bigger quotient in being handsome and good looks than, the Shekhar Kapur ( younger version ). He was like the ultimate man and couldn’t get better than that. I wonder who saw what he was wearing, suit or shorts till the time it was him on screen. This ad sky rocketed his rankings in the good looks department and to top that he was the man next door. It doesn’t get better than that.
This is one of the pioneer ads that had a harmonious combination of every strata of society. Anybody and everybody could relate to it. The word ‘buland’ caught my attention, and made me see it closely. I like the shot of the old grandmother, the Parsi gentleman cleaning his scooter and the happy people everywhere. But what got imprinted in my mind was the message on the back of the scooter, that set a trend- ‘Chunnu Mummu de papa di Gaddi‘.
1. Jalebee – Dhara Cooking Oil:
This is one of the cutest and innocent ads made for television. The child artist in this ad has not been forgotten by many like me. His expressions and the genuine outburst made this ad memorable. I still remember ‘Ramu Kaka’ tempting him to come home to eat hot ‘jalebis’. Come to think of it, could have been the jalebi that got stuck in my head.