Sylvester daCunha, the man who created an immortal girl, is no more. The marketing legend and creator of the popular ‘Amul girl’ passed away in Mumbai Tuesday night. Condolences and prayers poured in from leaders across sectors, particularly India’s dairy giant Amul.
Jayen Mehta, Managing Director of Amul marketer Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, termed the passing of daCunha a big loss to the advertising industry.
“He is the man behind the Amul girl. He has been part of Amul’s advertising for six decades. Obviously, Amul owes a lot to him for the entire branding he gave to Amul and giving this Amul girl to the world and making it the world’s longest advertising campaign with a single character,” Mehta said.
Mehta said daCunha created a legacy of advertising standard that remained uninterrupted even after 60 years.
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“That is the character and calibre of the great man. His contribution to the industry and the marketing world is that he showed them that brands could be built with the trust of clients,” Mehta said.
daCunha created the Amul topical campaign featuring the iconic ‘Amul girl’ initially for Amul butter, with the tagline ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’. The topical concept helped Amul strike a connect with consumers and the producers and farmers alike.
“He created this campaign, which doesn’t require the client’s approval, about a topic. He earned the client’s trust and respect. The campaign would talk about anything and everything under the sky in a humorous way, involving anyone including celebrities, politicians, sportsperson and sometimes touching controversial topics too. But clients trusted this agency so blindly that the creatives were cleared without approval from the client. This was unique not just in India but for the global advertising industry,” Mehta said, adding that the legacy continues with son Rahul for all brands of Amul.
Former Amul MD and current head of Indian Dairy Association (IDA) RS Sodhi said, “The man who created the legendary, longest-running campaign and the ageless positioning of ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ to Amul Butter. Farmers will remember Shri daCunha for building India’s biggest brand for them.”
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Lloyd Mathias, angel investor and corporate leader, wrote in a twitter post, “Sorry to hear about the passing on of Sylvester daCunha, Advertising legend & founder of da Cunha Associates. He was the man behind the AMUL girl in 1967 & brother of the late Gerson DaCunha,” and extended his condolences to daCunha’s wife Nisha and son Rahul.
Shailendra Raj Mehta, President and Director, MICA said, “Sylvester daCunha created one of the most memorable, long-lasting yet ever fresh icons of India — the Amul girl. We have laughed with her and also laughed till tears streamed out. She has had a witty take on the all the social, political and cultural headlines of the day for five decades. Through her, Sylvester lives on.”