Sylvester daCunha: The Architect of Timeless Branding & Amul’s Enduring Legacy

The recent passing of Sylvester daCunha, the advertising legend who created the iconic ‘Amul girl’, has prompted a look back at his legacy and the impact he had on the advertising industry in India. From picking the first-ever Amul baby to creating the longest-running ad campaign in the world, daCunha’s contributions to the Amul brand have been immeasurable. Let’s take a closer look at the life and work of Sylvester daCunha and his contribution to the world of advertising.

Image Credits:

The Legacy of Sylvester daCunha: The Man Who Created an Iconic Brand

The man behind the iconic ‘Amul girl’ campaign, Sylvester daCunha’s passing has left behind a legacy that has stood the test of time. The Amul girl, with her witty one-liners and charming personality, has been a household name in India for over six decades.

First Amul Print Ad

The Creation of the Amul Girl: A Story of Friendship and Creativity

In 1961, Sylvester daCunha was tasked with creating a campaign for Amul Butter, a brand known for its quality and taste. He decided to use a baby in the campaign, as he believed that babies are universally loved and would be relatable to the audience. Out of 712 photographs of babies, he chose one of his friend Chandran Tharoor’s daughters, Shobha. The photograph was taken by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, and the rest is history. The Amul girl became an instant hit, and her popularity has only grown over the years.


daCunha’s Philosophy on Advertising

Sylvester daCunha believed that the purpose of advertising is to create a brand that benefits its owners. In the case of Amul, the owners were the farmers who produced the milk used in the butter. He created a brand that was relatable to the masses, without spending big money on advertising. The Amul brand soon became synonymous with quality and taste, and Amul girl – the face of the brand.


The Topical Campaign: A Unique Concept

One of the unique concepts that Sylvester daCunha introduced in advertising was the topical campaign. The campaign would talk about anything and everything under the sky in a humorous way, involving anyone, including celebrities, politicians, and sportspersons. The topical campaign was a hit with the audience, and clients trusted daCunha’s agency blindly. The creatives were cleared without approval from the client, which was unique not just in India but for the global advertising industry.


The Legacy of Sylvester daCunha

Sylvester daCunha passed away, but his legacy lives on. The Amul girl campaign has been running for over six decades, making it the longest-running campaign in the world. The Amul brand is now a household name in India, and the Amul girl is an iconic figure. daCunha’s contribution to the world of advertising is inestimable, and his philosophy on advertising is still relevant today.

The Takeaway

Sylvester daCunha was a marketing legend who created an immortal brand. The Amul girl campaign is a recipe for ageless branding, and daCunha’s contribution to the world of advertising will always be remembered. He believed in creating a brand that benefits its owners and introduced the unique concept of the topical campaign. His legacy lives on, and the Amul girl will continue to charm the audience for generations to come.

Also Read: Amul Strives to Become Total Foods and Beverages Company, Scales-up Portfolio

author avatar
Hasin Hamza