Variety

See that girl!

SRAVANTHI CHALLAPALLI | Updated on July 05, 2012

Energy abounds: As a sponsor of India’s Olympic contingent, Amul’s new ad embodies its positioning of milk.

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Amul’s commercial released on the occasion of the London Olympics is awash in milk, linking ‘the original energy drink’ to sports.

She takes shape rather like a Greek goddess, all grace and fluid movement. Amul’s ‘Milk Girl’ – for that’s the medium she is fashioned from – is the heroine of the company’s latest TV commercial which is part of a larger effort to position milk as ‘the original energy drink’.

The ad is interesting in that it’s a 30-second liquid animation all through, right from milk being poured into a glass, the girl leaping out of it and going back into a packet, after showing off her prowess at doing the backstroke, performing on the parallel bar and lobbing a ball high up into an imaginary basket. Amul’s owner, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), a sponsor of India’s Olympics contingent, is pinning its hopes on this ad to get closer to young people through sports and movies. The brand has also tied up with the The Amazing Spiderman movie to play a 3D version of the ad in all theatres where the movie will play in 3D.

Following a trend where companies now launch ads and products on the Internet first, Amul released this commercial online, which got it many shares and views on social media.

This is one of the few ads using computer graphics that was accomplished entirely in India, and the only one which shows high-end liquid simulation from start to finish, say its creators Harish Murjani and Jayant Hadke.

Murjani, creative director at Draftfcb+Ulka, Amul’s ad agency, mailed Hadke, creative director at Mumbai’s Famous Studios, an illustration of a girl coming out of milk. Hadke looked at some photographs of liquid sculptures for inspiration, mulled over making a figure in acrylic and dropping it in milk, met with production designers to explore shooting liquid forms and then settled on computer graphics (CG). Other post-production houses also pitched for the job but Famous bagged it.

Hadke, who directed the film, says: “I knew it could be turned into a piece of art if tackled properly and any slip would be disastrous.”

Every post-production house is cautious of liquid simulation because of long hours and totally unpredictable results, he says, but he took it on because he knew it was a challenge he would enjoy.

“We started tests, and I was quite horrified with the results. We could not control the way the ‘liquid’ was reacting. It was tearing, breaking into pieces – totally different from the nature of the milk.” He realised one piece of software wouldn’t accomplish all of it, and then used Realflow and Autodesk Maya for the 3D version of the Milk Girl, and Flame, another Autodesk product, as the main software. He got some custom scripts made as well and things began to go smoothly.

Says Nitin Karkare, COO, Draftfcb + Ulka: “We could easily have shown people running around but we wanted to link milk and sports closely.”

Murjani says: “Milk is luscious, inviting, appetising, fuel, so we thought we’d use ‘milk bodies’ to represent all. Plus, the girl child is important to Amul and this idea tied in with that.”

GCMMF Managing Director R. S. Sodhi says over time, more sports will be added to the commercial, which will be the pivot for other promotions to follow.

Published on July 05, 2012

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