Just the other day I surprised myself by randomly humming the tune of a long forgotten ad. Not only was I humming it, I actually managed to remember the entire jingle.
Ad jingles were my favourite kind of music growing. Catchy and easy to remember. And short of course, for a child who could not sit still for too long, this quality was of paramount importance.
I think I have spent more time watching advertisements in my childhood than I have watching the actual show. Credit partly goes to having a choice of two channels and lack of remote controls.
Below are 10 of my most cherished ad jingles. Feel free to list your own in the comments below.
1. Nirma washing powder: iconic to the core, the revolving girl has won many a hearts and the detergent has ruined many a hands.
2. Amul ice cream: having been brought up in Kuwait, my heart would ache everytime the family in the ad sang “let’s go out of an Amul icecream”. Emotional connection with KDD (Kuwait Danish Dairy) were yet to be formed.
3. Bajaj scooter: this one wasn’t just about the ad. When my grandfather bought his very own Bajaj scooter and installed a tiny seat for me in the front, every time I rode with him, I could see us starring in that ad with the jingle playing in the background, riding away to glory.
4. Lijjat papad: way before I discovered the Muppet and Sesame Street, the only furry friend I knew was the bunny in the Lijjat papad ad going “kharrum…Khurram”. Every time I saw mom roast these poppadums in the kitchen, my feat would start tapping on their own.
5. MDH masala: this is not a jingle, this is an entire generation packed in a tune. No one and I mean no one who grew up in the India of 90s and 2000s could have missed this jingle. If they did miss it, I will go so far as to question their Indianness. Here’s an ode to the TV grandfather who is eternally old.
6. Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic cream: no no no …this isn’t your regular run off the mill face cream; it treated pimples, rashes, burns, cuts, bruises… basically this potent yellow potion was my mom’s abracadabra. Did I mention that it actually makes you look slightly yellow?
7. Zandu balm: Much like its comrade Vicco, Zandu balm has multiple uses too. It was good for cold, headaches, body aches and according to some Bollywood songs, heartaches!
8. Uncle chips: Lays and Pringles got nothing on these chips. This packet belonged to an era where crunchy meant u could never hide and eat these, they were too noisy to chew and actually had more chips than air in the packet.
9. Nerolac paints: This advertisement made me want to paint my own house. Even today a bucket of Nerolac paint wakes my inner Picasso.
10. Mango fruity: much much much before Katrina Kaif started making love to the mango and Shah Rukh Khan enticed a bunch of kids on the playground, Frooti not only taught India the meaning of fresh and juicy, but did so rapping!
While I go on and hunt for more nostalgic advertisements, here’s leaving you with AIB’s ode to Indian ad jingles. Listen, or better still hum along ….
Love always, Z