DD Days!

Did you know that hoarseness in the throat is caused by this little khich khich monster who loves to play in there? ;-) Let’s go back to the golden olden Black &White Tube Doordarshan days when branding was a bit easier compared to today; ads were simple, and things like clear USP, needs vs. wants, and brand image loyalty existed. No sci-fi graphics or 100s of eye-grabbing prime times, no star-studded endorsements or crores of remunerations (and definitely no unskippable YouTube commercials! :-|).

Khich Khich monster from the Vicks Cough Drops ad aired circa 1980-90's!

Khich Khich monster from the Vicks Cough Drops ad, aired circa 1980-90’s!


90s was the time when shoppers were more value conscious and clear about their purchases. Majority of the ad celebrities were simple, pretty, women-next-door, who were congruent with the brand. Behanji, Lalitaji, Hemaji, and Deepikaji sold us our commonly used household products and even educated what to buy and what not to, and why!😉

Ah! Didn’t we enjoy this culture in our commercials, DD and Vividh Bharati  drama bro’adcasting’,  memorable mantras (jingles), and totally Indian style of storytelling? (We hardly see a mascot or a character solely developed for creating a brand these days. Of course, there are few exceptionals like Voltas All-weather AC’s Mr. & Mrs. Murthy, and exceptions like Parle Agro’s Hippo. Oh, yeah, ZooZoos!)

The animated monster (above pic) from the nostalgic Cough Drops TVC is the clingy USP of the Vicks even today:


The cutie pie winking in the above video is Ishita Arun, daughter of the popular folk songstress and actress Ila Arun. While Ila is renowned for her songs like Choli ke Piche, Ishita is famous for her husky anchoring voice (VJ on B4U Music) and video albums. The father in the commercial telling bedtime story to baby Ishita is ad man, actor and film maker Jayant Kriplani.

Indian model, actress, VJ, singer, and interior designer Ishita

Cute baby model from Vicks Cough Drops advert: Ishita Arun


Born and brought up in Mumbai, Ishita is a talented singer, Kathak practitioner, a model, television host, theatre artist and an interior space designer by profession. She has studied Ancient Indian Culture from Xavier’s.

Ishita became popular as the Bijuria girl with her debut in Sonu Nigam’s album Mausam! She has since been a TV celebrity and her stint as a VJ was loved by millions. Ishita has done a handful of cinemas – Stop! (2004, with Dia Mirza), Kahan Ho Tum (2003), and a Malayalam thriller Raakilipattu (2007).

She is also recognized for hosting Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Ek Main Aur Ek Tu (2005) on Zee TV (alongside singer Shaan), and standing runner-up in NDTV Imagine’s reality Dil Jeetegi Desi Girl (2010). Ishita has acted in few rocking pop albums and has performed on several stage shows as well. She married musician Dhruv Ghanekar in 2005.

A glimpse of Ishita’s talent in this classic Aika Dajiba song by Vaishali Samant: (crazy picturization! :-))


Lalitaji (created by ad guru Alyque Padamsee for Surf to take on Nirma) is a classic, aggressive middle-class housewife. The character was personified by Kavita Choudhary and it is a sensation in the advertising history.

Kavitaji is noted for her hit television series Udaan (1990s), where she wrote, directed and played the role of the protagonist – one of the country’s first female IPS officers.

Say Namaste to Lalitaji!


Mr. Padamsee also created the vintage la lalalala la la laa… Liril girl! This ad with the lovely Karen Lunel  (Karen Hishey) was first created almost 3 decades ago. Karen, a former fashion model and air hostess at Air India, has acted only in Liril commercial, twice, but is one of the most entrancing faces on Indian television. She apparently supercharged the sales of the soap, giving the brand its sole USP: freshness.

There is an interview of the ad diva sharing her experience with the ad shoot in Economic Times. And below is the second, reshot Liril ad of Karen from the 1985s.


Divas bolstering the freshness stamp of Liril later on are Sonali Mehta, Anjali Jathar, Pooja Batra, Anisha Dalal, Ruchi Malhotra, Hrishita Bhatt, Preity Zinta and more recently (early 2000s) Tara Sharma, Deepika Padukone, and South African model Candice Boucher.

Angel Anisha:


Hearty Hrishita:


Pretty Preity:


Popular Pooja (I remember this for she swirls the unique Liril Active Shower Gel bottle):


Twinkling Tara:


Charismatic Candice:


Don’t tell me these ads are crazy… we loved watching them all back then! More divas from vintage ads soon… Thank PreethiC (YouTube) for the Liril videos.🙂

End of DD Days! Deepika Padukone

End of DD Days because Ab Tho Sab Par Dish Sawar Hai! (Pic: Deepika)