June 28, 2017 by aliya
Iconic Indian Ads: Amul Girl and Polkas
The girl with short hair, doe eyes and red cheeks strutting in a red polka dotted skirt appears fortnightly in newspapers and hoardings, commenting sometimes to others’ dismay whilst getting away with – “She is only a child.”
If there had to be a poster girl for advertising in India, it has to be the Amul Girl. She is more than a 50 years young; created by Eustace Fernandes in 1966 when approached by Amul with a meager advertising budget. The girl has graced hoardings and print ads for more than half a century; commenting wittily on every relevant social, political and popular scenario.
Using a cheeky tone, the Amul girl comments on local and international affairs with classic one-liners and innuendo-laden phrases. These ads provide a Pan-India comic comment on almost every situation of national and global importance.
When we set out to recreate fashion inspired looks from Iconic Indian Advertisement Series, surprisingly Amul was not our list. As the Ads we considered “fashion-worthy” were of eras gone by. With the eras gone by, the mascots and their looks have also become a thing of the past. Whereas, here was Amul Girl still making sense since the last 50 years and not turning a day older rather only younger.
However, when the look finally became a part of our series, everything fell into place. From finding a terracotta fabric with aptly sized red polka dots to political graffiti in a University space, much like the Amul Ad – the chapter was able to do justice to not only the look of Amul girl but also her intellectual nuances.
When we moved a bit away from the poster-like look of the Amul girl and 200 meters from the graffiti to look at how these Polkas would look on a girl, who isn’t inspired by the Amul girl but loves Polkas to bits, we discovered it’s no sin to wear Polkas on a regular day when you’re a girl going about her day. You might want to get rid of the bow and wear studs that let you get that typical Delhi look of mixing the ethnic with the western without being an exhibitionist about it, and carry a tan tote that could contain the world easily and that book you read in the Delhi Metro whether or not you get space to sit that bum down.
In Pictures : Rashika Sood