Towards the fag end of the 1980s, the advertising in India ceased to be limited to urban, English-speaking, city-bred copywriters. With the raging success of the ‘Hamara Bajaj’ campaign by Lintas, one thing was established – advertising belonged to whoever connected to the mass. No amount of English vocabulary, posh upbringing or business degrees was enough if one didn’t have the ability to grab the pulse of the audience. We celebrate a few of these incredible ad campaigns that had paved the way for the future of local advertising in India. While we zoom in on some of the individual brains behind these ideas, some creative geniuses prefer to share the credit with their agencies. Nevertheless, here’s a big shout for the agencies where the individual brain couldn’t be pinpointed. Here we go.

1. Daag Acche Hain

While all other detergent brands were talking about product features and cleaning abilities, Surf Excel was insisting people to celebrate stains because they’re so easy to clean – A killer of a tagline by Lowe Lintas & Partners.

2. Taste The Thunder

Already an advertising stalwart, Ramesh Chauhan teamed up with Ashok Kurien to build bigger brand value for Thumbs Up. Interestingly, the tagline ‘Taste The Thunder’ was received with apprehension. The argument against it was that thunder is a sound. How could one taste sound? Thankfully, Chauhan put his foot down. Soon after, you couldn’t walk five minutes on Indian streets without looking at a banner advertising with the caption on it.

3. What An idea Sirji

Before the cringe-worthy IIN campaign, IDEA had an effective and viral marketing campaign penned by the then Chairman of Lowe Lintas Group, R. Balakrishnan, popularly known as Balki.

4. Men Will Be Men

A tagline that has traversed a journey of 20 years and still counting, Seagram’s Imperial Blue couldn’t have asked for a better campaign. The jingle ‘Pyaar Ki Raah Mein’ that accompanied the tagline for so many years was thought to be an excerpt from an original Ghazal by many fans that had searched far and wide in vain for the full song. The main man behind the incredible campaign, Ajay Gahlaut of Ogilvy finally promised to release the full version last year.

5. Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar

Taking the cue from the 1998 and 2004 campaigns with the tagline ‘Ab KI Baari, Atal Bihari’, celebrated lyricist and adman, Prashoon Joshi came up with ‘Desh Ki Pukar, Modi Sarkar’. The line was approved by the committee was the big man himself found it presumptuous. Finally, Joshi tweaked it to ‘Ab KI Baar, Modi, Sarkar’, and it literally went in to make history with the purpose of targeted advertising for the 2014 elections. . However, advertising giant Piyush Pandey claims otherwise. According to Pandey, he was the mastermind behind the viral rhetoric and Joshi’s contribution to the campaign was nothing more than making a few ad films.

6. Acche din

While Pandey worked on the Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar line, his assistants Anuraag Khandelwal and Nilesh Jain came up with the very powerful ‘Acche din aane wale hain’.These were some of the most brilliant ad campaigns of the country, which were once nothing but a seed of thought scribbled on a piece of paper in the form of a copy.

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