Animation and Advertisements
The ad industry of Indian animation prospered during the time of Ram Mohan and Bhimsain Khurana. Rise of industrialization in India during the 60s let in many multi-national companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola, they in turn have taken the animation-ad-industry to great heights.
Bhimsain and Kireet Khurana’s 2nz animation studio worked for about 350 ad films with some of the top ad agencies like J. Walter Thompson, Lowe and Leo Burnett. Ariel, Kellogg's, Maggi, 7up, Pepsico, Coke and Lifebuoy being some the major brands in their portfolio.
With the use of Computer Graphics, Shyam Ramanna of Z-axis communication gave the Indian audience goose bumps by turning a Kawasaki Bajaj into a Cheetah in his ad film.
Suddhasatwa Basu of Raikhik Films was also involved in creating ad films. It is interesting to see how brilliantly the color schemes are integrated within his animated characters.
Gradually, apart from the Khan's of Bollywood some other well-known faces were seen in our advertising industry, allowing for fictitious characters to become larger than life.
Let's meet some of them:
Hi, you might have seen a girl with chubby cheeks and round eyes winking at you, dressed in a red polka dot dress - from the hoardings located at traffic lights that’s me- 'Amul girl'. I am the one responsible for the presence of Amul on the breakfast tables of most Indians.
Sylvester daCunha, the managing director of the advertising agency, Advertising and Sales Promotion (ASP) and a know cartoonist and illustrator designed me in 1966 along with my favorite slogan- "Utterly butterly delicious".
The response was phenomenal. The sales of Amul increased from 1000 tones in 1966 to 25,000 tones in 1997.
Recently I got a makeover. Toonz animation studio gave me a third dimension. I am glad to be the first Indian mascot to turn three dimensional. More rounded and more cute! Singing and dancing with kids in a fantasy land.
Mr. Chintamani- The clay animated character.
Meet Mr. Chintamani, a middle class man, worried about saving taxes and making investments. He finds solutions from ICICI Prudential bank, thus has 'No chinta, only money'.
This was created by a clay animator: Nandkishor who later joined Famous Studios and worked on more Chintamani films.
Popular only on the radio earlier, Chintamani gradually found his way into television commercials. This clay animated character was immensely popular, and was liked by the Indian audiences and contributed to the sales of pension schemes, which rose by 30% after the campaign.
Hello, people, I am 'Bula' di. I am a friendly and approachable rag doll (traditional doll of West Bengal known as 'Nyagrarputul'), with a chubby face and big eyes, a handbag slung over the shoulder and outspoken in my safe sex messages. The team of Ogilvy and Mathers created me in consonance with 2004, World AIDS Day with the theme- "Women and Girl- have a say".
The increasing number of HIV patients in West Bengal (especially married women- 61%) demanded a character of a powerful woman to speak openly to the society.
The campaign was out in phases. In phase 1, it focused on transmission of HIV/AIDS and explodes the myths and prejudices associated with it. It also allowed the people to call on a helpline number 1097 for more information. In phase 2, it was focused on sensitizing people about the symptoms of the disease. In the last phase, campaign was centered on safe sex and use of condoms.
The campaign changed the mindset of a huge percentage of people. Choosing an animated character instead of a real one made it universal, thus helping people to identify with it more closely.
And list of famous animated charecters goes on to include the likes of Asian Paint’s ‘Gattu’, Pillsbury’s doughboy hooting- ‘ooo-ooh’, the mischievous 'Chulbuli', created by Vaibhav Kumaresh, which propagates hygiene through clean and healthy hair in a very shrill voice, the famous Fido-Dido- icon for 7up, Simpu Singh (the Punjabi math teacher famous for his unusual diction- ‘Boyzzzz’) promoting Channel V, Kwality Wall’s Paddle Pop, Cerelac boy and the Chota Tiger of Britannia tiger biscuits.
Chulbuli- An animated character which propagates hygiene through clean and healthy hair.
Also the first Indian clay animated commercial for Amaron batteries, presented well with its wonderful jingle and twisted turtle and hare story proves to be a great example in terms of animation doing wonders in the TVC sector. It helped the brand in increasing the sales of Amaron batteries to a great extent.
Experimentation with styles
It’s not just the 2D stick figures of Levi’s jeans or the 3D animated Sagar Cement commercial. With the advent of technology things went beyond just having animated characters. Indian advertising got afresh start with real celebrities meeting animated ones on screen, seamlessly merging the two worlds of fiction and reality into one. This has also brought a successful money-spinning merger of the 'image' with the 'actual'. Sanjay Dutt getting friendly in court with a cartoonish chicken for NECC, or Preity Zinta frustrated amidst an animated traffic of chaos in the Perk Ad are path breaking examples.
From the various commercials, which Alpenliebe came up with right from yesterday’s ‘Jee lalchaye raha na jaaye’ to ‘Lalach aha lap lap’, people mostly remember the one with Mr. Mach
( A 3D animated crocodile) enjoying the sweet with Kajol.
Following the same style there were advertisements like 7up in which Mallika Sherawat happens to ask Fido to make her curvier or another one with Yana Gupta dancing with Fido, Amitabh Bachchan advising an animated common man about an ICICI car loan, the Appy fizz bottle rapping with Saif Ali Khan, Sunfeast’s dream cream, the animated sun taking the little boy into an unreal, beautiful world of cream.
Some other exploration of new styles to tell the story differently, but yet effectively could be seen in commercials by Eeksaurus studio of E.Suresh like the Sulekha.com, which was inspired by Patachitra, an ancient art form, from Orrisa. Another one used relief clay animation to promote Airtel.
“Kaun Bhaya Jeetega”, sung for the innovative Cadbury gems commercial with the title- ‘no umar for favorite color’ scored a huge hit.
Innovative cadbury gems commercial with the title- ‘no umar for favorite color'.
The amazing use of stop motion with live action could also be seen in commercials such Google Tanjore, Usha sewing machine, Kurkure monster paws, and the Dominos online order etc.
Kurkure monster paws.
In 2012, the Famous Studios of Mumbai wonderfully brought Amul 30 sec liquid animation commercial forward. This is one the few ads which was accomplished entirely in India. A 3d version of this ad was also played in theatres.
Amul 30 sec liquid animation- This is one the few ads which was accomplished entirely in India.
Watch the recent 2D animated commercial on ‘India is Polio Free’ and you will believe the animation in Indian advertisements is delivering some really thought provoking and mature work..
Characters over Celebrities
Think of Shahrukh Khan and you can associate him with many brands- like Airtel, Pepsi, Lux, Frooti, Santro etc, but Chintamani remains specifically for ICICI Prudential. It all boils down to the animation techniques for enhancing the recall values of each of these commercials.
Moreover animated charactersdo not undergo controversies, for instance, celebrity popularity fluctuates and a more complex problemof the star over powering the brand.
Animated characters have a universal appeal; they transcend the barriers of age, caste, color and culture. Who would not love the Vodafone 3D parrot carrying BomanIrani's voice or the deadly Mortein mosquito?
That which is unthinkable with real characters is made possible in the imaginative, creative world of animation. Thereby opening a scope to invest more creatively, allowing young talent to show their skills within a challenging timeframe of 30 seconds.
Animators are after all artists, and by working on these advertisements the animation studios get enough funding to create their own personal exploratory films.
New thoughts, new ideas are being invested in, thus animated advertisements in India have a really bright future.