If you were to ask an internet or a social media user today, what is it that annoys them the most, you would find a unanimous answer: Advertisements! However, this was not always so. This generation who would rather prefer skipping ads had their childhood filled with such advertisements that were not only refreshing but also educational and musical. Back when watching the television was a form of bringing the family together, the movies, serials or matches also included the advertisements, which were almost memorized in our subconscious mind with familiar faces or voices in it with famous jingles in each of them.
Madhulika Gupta | BeatCurry Team
The 90s was certainly a golden era of iconic advertisements, as it only gave us some famous ad jingles but also revealed several names of artists who started their careers in the ad industry. Here’s our list of top 14 ‘Made In India’ advertisements, along with the trivia behind the making of these iconic tracks by the most revered and prodigious musicians and composers of our country.
The year is 2012, and the audience is thrilled to see Deepika as the face of Nescafe, as the advertisement begins. However, the shock comes in through the door, when the golden trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy enters the scene. Possibly one of the most popular trios of that time, they composed the official advertisement of Nescafe and the audience was thrilled!
Watch the original NESCAFÉ commercial, here:
First on the list is probably one of the newest advertisements of the collection here. It is sung by the most celebrated Sona Mohapatra, who is known for having a voice that is full and engaging in timbre. The Background Score was given by Mokksha in association with Lintas Advertising & BLUE i Productions and it was perhaps one of the most hummed tunes, so much so that Sona came out with a full-fledged song, “Paas Aao Na”.
Watch the original Close Up commercial, here:
Talking about the best duo in advertisements, there is yet to beat the duo of Jagjit Singh and Om Puri trying to impress the girl across their window. Backed by the ghazal-like vocals of the late Jagjit Singh, singing his song “Aap Ke Dil Ne Humein Awaaz Di” from his album ‘Inteha’, this advertisement is one of the few commercials that one would like to revisit time and again.
Watch the original Torex commercial, here:
It becomes more than just nostalgia, when an advertisement shows a vital timeline of our nation, through the most folkish music possible. Set against the backdrop of the White Revolution by Verghese Kurien, Amul brought the incidents to every household, through their ad campaign named ‘Manthan’, using footage from Smita Patil’s iconic film that goes by the same name. The exemplary music “Mero Gaam Kathaparey” is from the 1976 film Manthan, originally sung by Preeti Sagar. While the original music was sung by Sagar, the new Amul ad featured the Bollywood singer, Sunidhi Chauhan.
Watch the Amul Manthan ad commercial, here:
Recently, Cadbury recreated its iconic 1994 advertisement jingle “Kuch Khas Hai”, retaining the original soundtrack, and surely there is something about this tune that takes you back to the internet-free days, celebrating life as it is. The music was originally composed by Louiz Banks and sung by Shankar Mahadevan, who were thrilled to find that they were ‘back after 27 years’, bringing nostalgia to every 90s kid.
Watch the recreated 2021 Cadbury commercial, here:
What could be more exciting than seeing AR Rahman compose a jingle with the magic he is known for! Using instruments starting from the mouth organ, flute and violins, this advertisement was way ahead of its time, both musically and in picturization. This advertisement still feels fresh as new, each time we hear the widely celebrated tune of Airtel, used till date.
Watch the original Airtel commercial, here:
In the world of commercials, perhaps Wah Taj has managed to present the most musical artists to do their campaigns, making each one more special than the other. For the longest time, recognized for the maestro that he is, Ustad Zakir Hussian has been the sole face of Wah Taj. He was accompanied by Aditya Kalyanpur.
Watch the original Wah Taj Commercial featuring Ustad Zakir Hussain and Aditya Kalyanpur, here:
Every advertisement was lauded and taken well by the audience, including the ones where there were a few special faces, the likes of Alisha Chinai and Rimi Sen. In the coming years, Wah Taj featured the Sitar virtuoso Niladri Kumar, Santoor virtuoso Rahul Sharma and, latest of all, the Mewati Gharana exponent, vocalist Nirali Kartik as the face of its rich advertisement campaign, and the audience was overwhelmed all over again.
Watch the original Wah Taj Commercial featuring Rahul Sharma, here:
Watch the original Wah Taj Commercial featuring Niladri Kumar, here:
Watch the original Wah Taj Commercial featuring Nirali Kartik, here:
Nirma Beauty Soap
Under the African backdrop, the advertisement was first released with the presence of the euphoric Sonali Bendre. The picturization and visual content of Nirma Beauty Soap are extremely empowering, even years later, and the credit for this concept goes to the then ad director Kailash Surendranath. Musically too, the advertisement had some of the popular voices namely Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurti which made it memorable for years to come.
Watch the original Nirma Beauty Soap Commercial, here:
The moment we think of Raymond, the music that plays in our mind, is very interestingly a piece called ‘Träumerei’, one out of the 13 classical Piano compositions by Robert Schumann composed in 1838. This compilation of 13 pieces was called Kinderszenen Opus 15 by Schumann, and can now be heard as interpretations in Raymond ads. Even years later when a 90s kid hears the saxophone tuning into the jingle of Raymonds, they cannot help but recall the merrier days!
Here’s how the original piece, ‘Träumerei’ by Robert Schumann sounded:
Watch the Raymond commercial featuring the classical piece, Träumerei, here:
The ad opens with the actress showing how exotic and therapeutic the Nima Sandal Soup is, depicting how the essence of Sandalwood follows you everywhere and stays with you throughout. Interestingly, the ad was composed by Kartik Shah, who’s popularly known as one half of the Maati-Baani music duo.
Watch the original Nima Sandal commercial, here:
One of the most admired commercials in the year 2010, was the one of Reliance, starring the Guzarish star Hritik Roshan. In addition to his charismatic performance choreographed by Prabhu Deva, the flute track composed by Sameer Uddin was the talk of the town, which makes this to our list of unforgettable musical advertisements.
Watch the original Reliance commercial, here:
Titled as a ‘Jugalbandi’ ad, this advertisement is the funniest musical approach any commercial has dared to attempt. The advertisement is a musical fight between a local tabla maestro and a local singer, whereas as a result of Center Fresh, the singer gets an upper hand. Under the Soda Films production house, ad director Rajesh Krishnan, along with the National Creative Director O&M Abhijit Awasthi, wanted to make the concept of gum more appealing to the masses and hence the idea of a more local setting.
Watch the Center Fruit commercial, here:
Remember Sushant Singh Rajput with one of his first most memorable appearances as he taught us “Munchification” and we surely loved it. His broken (toota) English was quickly grasped by the audience and soon the tune sung by Mika Singh, along with music by Subhajit Mukherjee was on every lip even before the advertisement was replayed on the television sets.
Watch the original Munch commercial, here:
We have definitely saved the best for the last. Recently titled as one of the top 20 most creative ads of all time by The Gunn Report also winning two lions at the Cannes, Happy Dent is the epitome of idiosyncrasy and playful mockery. Created by Prasoon Joshi who is the chairman of Asia Pacific and CEO and chief creative officer McCann Worldgroup India, was supposed to sell the idea of shiny teeth, and India having a pan-eating population was not so crazy about that. Wanting to make something absurd, Joshi got influenced by the tendency of having comfort by the zamindars (affluent landlords) in the oddest way possible.
The music was done by Shantanu Moitra and the song was sung by Kailash Kher. Composers Vishal and Shekhar were in the next studio. When the duo came to see the commercial, they said they wanted to be a part of it. So they ended up giving the Qawwali claps in the film.
Watch the original Happydent commercial, here:
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