Sylvester daCunha: Tributes for creator of India’s iconic Amul girl ad

Amul ad man
Image caption,Sylvester daCunha designed the ‘Amul Girl’ campaign in the 1960s

Tributes are pouring in for Indian advertising guru Sylvester daCunha who created the iconic Amul girl advert.

He died on Tuesday night in the western Indian city of Mumbai but Amul announced his death on Wednesday.

He is credited with designing the Amul girl campaign in 1960s – a popular mascot that has since become the face of the dairy brand.

Amul, a dairy co-operative based in the western state of Gujarat, is one of the largest milk producers in the world.

On Wednesday, Jayen Mehta, Amul’s managing director tweeted about daCunha’s death, saying “the Amul family joins in mourning this sad loss”.

Amul ad man
Image caption,Sylvester daCunha died on Tuesday

Pavan Singh, the brand’s general marketing manager, called daCunha a “legend of Indian advertising world” and credited him with designing “one of longest continuously running advertising campaigns in the world”.

“This campaign scaled new heights, moved seamlessly from OOH (Out-of-home advertising) to print, TV and then digital and social media, enhancing its reach and popularity across multiple generations,” he said.

Several politicians, businessmen and advertising professionals have taken to Twitter to express their grief over daCunha’s death.

Congress lawmaker Sashi Tharoor said that he was saddened by the news. “An era has passed. RIP,” he tweeted.

Trinamool Congress politician and ex-quiz master, Derek O’Brien shared a favourite Amul ad of his and said that he had “much respect and admiration” for daCunha.

Amul ad man
Image caption,Amul girl ads offer a witty commentary on social events

The ad guru is reported to have designed the “Amul Girl” ad campaign in 1966, after his advertising agency was given the account of Amul butter.

The mascot – a mischievous girl with blue hair and a polka-dotted dress – first appeared on a few billboards in Mumbai and has since become an important part of the brand’s history.

Over the years, the Amul girl has also played the role of a social commentator. The brand’s ads featuring her have offered a tongue-in-cheek take on almost every significant event in India – be it a political scam or a sporting achievement.

Amul’s milk products are ubiquitous in India, making the brand a leader in the dairy category and one of India’s largest milk producers.

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