Four advertisements that changed the way we think

Advertisements can change the way we think – everyone knows that. Though, in the recent years, the advertising industry has had to go through quite a lot of finger pointing. Excessive sexual connotations, nudity and promotion of popular but unhealthy habits have had watchdogs alert and agitated.

But, once in a while, there comes along an ad that makes such a lasting impression on its viewers that years go by but the ad, the message, the actors and even the jingles remain fresh in the memory.

Here are five such ads that made a lasting impression and changed the way we think about some things.

 1. Surf Excel – Daag acche hain (Stains are good) advertisement

While other detergents were redefining the color ‘white’ and clamoring to prove who can give the whitest results, Surf Excel did just the opposite. One of the ads showed a little boy who is a big brother beat up a puddle because it made his sister fall and cry. He is completely drenched in the dirty water demanding the puddle to apologize to his sister – after which she smiles.

This ad and similar ones touched a chord with children and adults alike. Suddenly, stains were not so bad; in fact, as the ad pointed out – they were good.


 2. Whisper ultra – Have a happy period advertisement

In an era where sanitary napkin ads were rife with sad teenage girls afraid of staining themselves and  sombre music, Whisper Ultra flew in and wished women a “happy period”. It was not ‘chums’ anymore – it was bold and confident ‘periods’!

One of their older ads, showed boys passing a slim, indiscernible sanitary napkin to their in-need girl classmate; it was one of its kind. Whisper’s candidness about a hush-hush topic in the Indian context was truly revolutionary.


3. Doodh doodh wonderful doodh advertisement

In a nation where the cow is revered, how much so is the milk. But, that was the whole problem – there was reverence and respect, but milk was not a cool thing. It is what children drank, or convalescing adults.

Enter the National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) genius to change that perception of milk. With a catchy, sing-along jingle (Doodh doodh wonderful doodh – milk milk, wonderful milk) showing children, young adults, beautiful girls, an endearing older couple – this ad had everyone grooving to its tune. A glassful of the erstwhile boring milk was now sunshades-wearing cool.

Milk had now grabbed the attention of the urban populace and since then there’s been no looking back.


4. Mile sur mera tumhara advertisement

Mile sur mera tumhara toh sur bane hamara (when my tune and your tune merges, it becomes our tune) was a national integration song developed by the Lok Seva Sanchar Parishad and broadcast on 15th August, 1988 after the Prime Minister’s speech.

This was one of those songs that so accurately and aptly portrayed India as a melting pot of the most divers groups of people. The song became a huge success, with everyone learning a new language of their country (albeit, just one line of it) through this song.

This song was so popular – and still remains so today, that the remake of it did not make as many waves of it as expected.

Any message that brings about a social change is good. Advertisements have been helping do that and will continue doing so.