Children's Day: Iconic ads headlined by kids

On Children's Day 2022, we look back at some of the most beloved ad campaigns of India that celebrated childhood

e4m by Sandhya Raghavan
Published: Nov 14, 2022 7:41 AM  | 6 min read

What’s a kid doing in an ad for a fuel-efficient car? How can a tiny tot help sell vegetable oil? We often see kids in ads for products not typically meant for them.

Marketing to children may seem futile. They have no purchasing power, unlike adults. So why do brands vie so much for their attention?

Any marketer worth his or her salt will tell you about the tremendous pester power of children and how it influences parents’ buying decisions.  

Kids of today are the loyal customers for tomorrow. Targeting them through ads makes perfect sense for brands who want to create a lasting relationship with their future buyers.     

Children also make an effective “vehicle” to create rationale and emotional appeals for the different target audiences, according to a 1987 study by J Kinsey.

In fact, some of the most memorable ad campaigns India has seen have been centred on kids.

India celebrates Children’s Day every year on November 14th to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, whose affection towards children was legendary.

On this occasion, we look back at some of the most beloved brand campaigns of India headlined by kids.  

Action Shoes

A boy with a mop of curly hair gets up in the morning, shines his Action shoes and then goes about the usual drill at school. The ad is relatable to an entire generation of Indians who were still in school when it was released. The cute boy in the ad is Tejas Diwan who is now a practising oncologist in the US.


Who could forget this much-loved ad from the 90s and the runaway tyke with a love for jalebis? Vegetable oil brand Dhara was reportedly looking for a rebrand in 1996 and wanted the consumers to associate it with homecoming and love. With a little Parzaan Dastur at the helm, the ad left a lasting impression on Indian viewers, especially the way he squeals “jalebi!” The ad was crafted by Mudra Communications. 


Remember the little moustachioed adults from the old Flipkart ads? In 2011, when online shopping was still in its nascent stage, consumers were still mistrustful of the internet. The e-commerce company wanted to instil some confidence in their customers by addressing some long-held concerns about online shopping.

Happy Creative Services, who conceptualised the ad, decided to feature kids in grown-up situations to allay fears of online shopping. The decision to choose children for the ads stemmed from the fact that no one trusts like kids do.

Le Sancy

The Le Sancy ad will be remembered in posterity as the one that made all the “Rahuls” the butt of everybody’s jokes for a while. The ad shows a rather nonchalant Rahul goofing around in the bathroom, dancing to songs on the stereo. In the background, the shower runs continuously, drenching the bar of Le Sancy soap. Despite his mom's multiple warnings about an impending water supply cut, Rahul takes his own sweet time grooving to songs in the bathroom. The inevitable happens and suddenly the water supply stops. His mother’s voice booms one last time: “Rahul maine kaha than na, pani chala jayega!” (Rahul I warned you the water will run out!) 

Maruti Suzuki

To cement Maruti Suzuki’s place as the “most fuel-efficient car”, the brand and its agency Capital enlisted a tot with a polka-dotted turban. He “drives” his little Hot Wheel toy across blankets, over a man’s bald pate, under a doggy’s tail and over the blackboard all day long. His exasperated dad pleads with him to stop. He replies: “Papa ki karaan, petrol khatam hi nahi hunda.” (Dad, what to do? The petrol is not running out!).

The film’s simplicity, clear messaging, great recall value and cherubically cute central character make this an ad worth remembering.

Rashtriya Saksharta Mission

Yakeen nahi hota, yeh wahi Kishan hain?” (Can’t believe this is the same Kishan) ponders an elderly gentleman who encounters a young boy painting a sign board.

A montage of the man’s memories follows in which he first taught the boy how to write. Astonished at how he now earning his livelihood writing sign boards, the old man beams with pride. Some of the sensibilities of the ad may not appeal to us today, considering the film hints at child labour. However, these were different times. 

The ad ends with the boy’s endearing smile, which is seared in the memory of every person who watched Doordarshan in the 90s.

The ad was made for the National Literacy Mission or Rashtirya Saksharta Mission founded in 1988 by the then PM Rajiv Gandhi. 


Summer vacations in the 80s and the 90s were incomplete without Rasna. A huge part of the brand’s appeal can be owed to its ad campaign. Child actor Ankita Jhaveri starred in the soft drink concentrate brand’s unforgettable ad film from 1984 and immortalised the line “I Love You Rasna.” While the brand may have faded into oblivion, its tagline and the moppet’s hairstyle are still associated Rasna even after all these years. 

Surf Excel

Surf Excel’s iconic “Daag Acche Hai” campaign subverts some of our long-held notions about stains and dirt and goes beyond surface-level connotations.

In 2006, Lowe Lintas came out with the “Daag Acche Hai” campaign which marked Surf’s departure from its old identity. In the ad, a little girl falls into a puddle. Her indignant elder brother pummels the puddle and demands that it apologise to his sister. In the process, his immaculate white school uniform gets stained. The voiceover says: “Daag lagne se agar kuch accha hota hai, toh daag acche hai na? (If stains can lead to something good, then stains are good, aren’t they?) 

The first ad with the brother-sister duo saw many iterations for different occasions such as Diwali, Holi and Eid. Nevertheless, the brand ensured that all the subsequent ads were headlined by the kids to carry forth the brand message in an uncomplicated, earnest manner.

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Araldite flexes heavy-duty strength in first TVC

The ad has been conceptualized by Ogilvy

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 28, 2023 12:27 PM   |   2 min read


Pidilte has announced the launch of its first TV commercial for its recently acquired brand Araldite – world renowned for high-performance adhesives. The TVC is now on air on various popular TV channels and digital platforms. 

The TVC, which was conceptualized by Ogilvy, showcases Araldite's heavy-duty performance properties and bonding strength in a unique and humorous manner. 

According to Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite, "Araldite is known all over the world for its high performance adhesives that are used in the marble and stone fixing industry and many other applications. After the acquisition, we spent the last two years integrating the Araldite Business into the Pidilite way of working and have built our distribution and user engagement network to address this massive opportunity. Now that we have done the spadework, we think it is just the right time to showcase Araldite to consumers with its first ever TVC. Araldite is already the number 1 trusted brand in its category with stone and marble contractors. We now want it to be a brand that is instantly recognized, and eventually loved by consumers” 

Punit Mehra, President - Araldite, Pidilite said “Araldite is the most preferred adhesive in the large stone fixing market in India. Araldite has some of the most powerful adhesives that are known to join multiple substrates, and can be used for multiple household uses as well. The awareness that this TVC will drive and the work that we will also do with our contractors will help strengthen the equity of the brand further. “ 

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Ogilvy South Asia, said “For over 40 years, I have been in the business of creativity and enjoyed every moment. However, nothing has given me more pleasure than work that unites and delights people. Pidilite is a classic example of such work day in and day out. When regional star Pidilite acquired Araldite it was a great sense of pride. Araldite & Pidilite seems to have come from the same family.” 

The commercial showcases a 50-ton horse that has been stuck with a solitary hoof to the staircase of a palace for decades and how nobody has managed to pull it down because as the Karigar in the film gleefully announces, “I had stuck this horse with Araldite.” 

Araldite's new TVC is part of its broader marketing strategy, which includes digital campaigns, social media promotions, and other advertising initiatives. The company aims to reach a wider audience and showcase the benefits of its high-performance adhesives.


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Britannia Winkin’ Cow brings ‘party in a bottle’

New TVC conceptualised by McCann Worldgroup Bangalore

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 6:48 PM   |   2 min read

britannia winkin' cow

Britannia's beverage brand Winkin' Cow has released a new television commercial for its Thick Shakes line. The TVC, conceptualised by McCann Worldgroup Bangalore, emphasises the range's multisensory adventure, describing it as a "party in a bottle" for your senses.

Taking the essence of the previous TVC's fun party with the cows, this film targets the party-loving Gen-Z audience and thus includes a groovy dance routine to appeal to them. In addition, the commercial highlights Thick Shakes' new PET bottle avatar as well as its mascot, who embodies the brand's fun and adventurous spirit.

Abhishek Sinha, Chief Business Officer, Dairy Business, Britannia Industries Limited said, “Britannia Winkin’ Cow is a beverage product line loved by all. We have been receiving positive feedback from our consumers and that is substantiated by our revenue figures that crossed INR 100 Crores in FY22, within just three years of its launch. As a customer centric organization, we wanted to celebrate their love & admiration by launching their favourite Winkin’ Cow in an all new and improved thick shake range. The brand new sleek PET bottles are designed to elevate the consumption experience and the evolved packaging enables consumers to have a multi-sensorial experience with a delightful flavour. The new TVC perfectly captures the spirit of the new Winkin’ Cow range.”

Further, Sambit Mohanty, Head of Creative South, McCann Worldgroup, said, “From a tantalizing aroma to a great mouth-feel and taste, new Winkin’ Cow milkshakes are truly a sensorial delight. To convey this in an entertaining manner, we hit upon the idea of a ‘Cowverse’ - where our gang of teens are transported to after drinking Winkin’ Cow. Our film brings alive this world in a fun, groovy way.”

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NatureFresh® introduces #Badlobehtarkeliye campaign

The campaign talks about active parenting

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 6:26 PM   |   3 min read


Cargill’s edible oil brand NatureFresh® has launched a refreshed brand campaign today. Called #BadloBehtarKeLiye, it highlights the importance of active parenting in a child's daily routine, to help them realize their maximum potential. Complete with a new pack design, TV commercial and on ground marketing initiatives, this campaign speaks to the health-conscious consumer. It creates an emotional connect by encouraging parents to be active participants in their child’s journey and success, by being healthier themselves.

Through this campaign, the brand is addressing the ‘Active Parents” community in the age group of 30-50 years, living in urban centers, who aspire to raise confident, ambitious, and happy individuals. Their success as a parent lies in helping their children achieve their full potential in whatever they do. NatureFresh seeks to find a role in the lives of consumers by helping them change old habits and shed inhibitions and delivering a superior quality product that offers 20% lower oil absorption, helping them feel more active and involved as a parent. When parents are actively involved both physically and emotionally in their children’s lives, they are better positioned to help them succeed.

To effectively communicate with consumers in Hindi speaking markets, NatureFresh has showcased the brand name and stance in Devanagari script on the pack itself. Through these initiatives, the brand aims to foster a deep brand connect and provide more meaningful experiences to consumers across North and East India.  

Commenting on the campaign, Subin Sivan, Marketing and Insights leader, Cargill Food ingredients said, “NatureFresh is Cargill’s homegrown consumer brand, and has been trusted by consumers for over a decade. We are committed to taking this legacy forward by delivering a unique product capability of 20% lower absorption to helps parents and children who seek a healthier and more active lifestyle. Through our #BadloBehtarKeLiye campaign, we aim to inspire parents to actively participate in their child’s daily life and support their growth and development. We believe that every moment spent with a child is precious, and by being an active parent, one can make a world of difference in their child's future.”

Commenting on the TVC, Nikhil Mahajan, GM and Chief Growth Officer BBDO said, “NatureFresh offers a very distinct benefit of 20% less oil absorption which in turn makes the food lighter. We found this to be a very relevant product benefit for our consumers who are constantly seeking ways to maintain an active lifestyle for themselves and their family. There’s a very interesting cultural shift where the younger generation feels it’s easier and more comforting for them to achieve their dreams when their parents truly partner them. This in turns motivated the parents to breakout of their comfort zone to take initiatives to stay active. This sweet spot is what we built our brand narrative around. I am super excited with the idea and can’t wait to see the results and the impact this campaign will have on business.”

NatureFresh is Cargill’s homegrown brand that has a product portfolio spanning multiple cooking oil variants - primarily Soyabean and Mustard oil, besides wheat flour (atta). With its superior product proposition and emotive brand stance, NatureFresh is set to become the preferred choice for consumers across North and East regions of India.

Brand TVC went live on March 15, 2023.

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Valvoline launches new TVC, promises extra mileage to bikers

The new TVC will be aired across India’s national and regional GEC & sports channels along with other social media platforms

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 5:45 PM   |   2 min read


Valvoline Cummins Pvt. Ltd., has released a TVC, #2000kmZyadaKaVaada, to promote its new Champ 4T Fuel Efficient engine oil.

The campaign film starts with the most customary question with regards to mileage ‘Kitna Deti Hai’ and gets an unbelievable response ‘2000 kms Se Bhi Zyada’. Valvoline has been eternally committed to easing the lives of its consumers with superior quality products backed by research and innovation. Realizing the economic aspects of daily commuting, the campaign is a testament to brand’s dedication in creating need specific products that brings major impact in their lives. The film ends with a promise to ride up to 2000 kms more in a year with its new Champ 4T Fuel Efficient engine oil.

The new TVC will be aired across India’s national and regional GEC & sports channels along with other social media platforms.

Commenting on the launch of the Campaign, Ipshita Chowdhury, Chief Marketing Officer, Valvoline Cummins India JV, said, “Our new campaign reinforces the brand’s promise of continuous innovation that has been a constant for us, for over 150 years. The inspiration for this campaign has come from the most common question that a person asks with regards to mileage ‘Kitna Deti Hai’ and how we at Valvoline are constantly innovating to bring solutions like Champ 4T fuel efficient. India is moving forward, and we are determined to provide optimum solutions to fuel the ambitions of our bikers to help them with better mileage at an affordable price.”

On the curation of the film Shiveshwar Raj Singh, National Creative Head, Innocean Worldwide India said “The brief was to build a strong narrative around the Valvoline Champ 4T fuel efficiency innovation, a key benefit for cost-conscious customers who want to maximize mileage. It’s a slice of life ad where two strangers from similar background get talking. Here, two sales professionals get talking about their bikes and mileage. A typical setup which results in a quick banter which allows us to naturally segue into the product. The advantage of 8% extra mileage which Valvoline delivers is built into their conversation in a way that will surprise everybody. A relatable piece that will surely grab the target audience.”

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Star Sports pays tribute to MS Dhoni with ‘subtitled feed’ for hearing-impaired

The innovative feature will provide live match commentary subtitles, catering to the needs of differently-abled fans

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 4:49 PM   |   2 min read


Star Sports, the official television broadcasters of the TATA IPL 2023, has launched a ‘Subtitled Feed’, a first-of-its-kind initiative in sports broadcasting in India, for the hearing impaired.

The innovative feature will provide live match commentary subtitles, catering to the needs of differently-abled fans.

To celebrate 15 years of MS Dhoni in IPL and the launch of the landmark initiative, Star Sports launched a special promo that brings out the love that all fans have for MS Dhoni. Viewers can now experience the ‘Shor’ that comes along while watching their favourite cricketers like MS Dhoni, who has transcended the ideology of just being a player, but now an emotion.

The promo film showcases fans of MS Dhoni chant his name in a packed stadium, showcasing the passion and emotion that he can bring out among cricket aficionados. This has become an emotion that has been seen time and time again in the TATA IPL, and this season all kinds of fans can experience every second of ‘Thala’s adrenaline-pumping moments differently on television, drawing them closer to their favourite player.

Commentating on the launch of the film and the innovative feature, a Star Sports Spokesperson said, "Star Sports has always been at the forefront of revolutionizing the viewing experience for fans. We are proud to introduce the Subtitled Feed, a ground-breaking technology that aims to make the excitement of the TATA IPL 2023 accessible to everyone, including differently-abled fans. By providing live subtitles of commentary, the innovative feed ensures that no one is left out of the action that only the IPL can bring. With this latest technological advancement, we are bringing fans closer to the game, allowing them to experience the ‘Shor’ of the IPL like never before."

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Candere by Kalyan Jewellers launches Akshaya Tritiya campaign #NayiShuruaatHeereKeSaath

The campaign went live on 22nd March and will continue until 23rd April

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 4:38 PM   |   2 min read


Candere by Kalyan Jewellers has announced the launch of their campaign #NayiShuruaatHeereKeSaath on Akshaya Tritiya. The campaign introduces a quick & hassle-free solution and a problem-solving fix with Candere’s 100% Lifetime Exchange Value on diamond jewellery.

“Akshaya Tritiya is considered one of the most auspicious days for purchasing gold or jewellery in the Hindu calendar. However, the ideas behind any jewellery purchase during such occasions had been strictly inclined towards gold. Candere aims to provoke a change in the outlook of owning one’s ‘pehla heera’, marking the day's auspiciousness and new beginnings. The 25 seconds campaign film highlights the problem statement surrounding the purchase of diamonds which otherwise has this ‘wow’ factor but there is a persisting hesitation owing to the product's resale value. The campaign primarily motivates the customers to make diamond purchases allowing them to avail the exchange offers anytime in addition to 100% future valuation. Candere wants to solve this particular pain point and address the doubt revolving the purchase in the customers,” the company said.

Speaking about the Akshaya Tritiya campaign, Rupesh Jain, Founder & CEO, Candere by Kalyan Jewellers, said, “We are thrilled to launch this year’s Akshaya Tritiya campaign, and strongly believe that our messaging will reach out to our valuable customers. While this day is marked auspicious with the purchase of gold mainly, we at Candere want to encourage the customers to buy diamond jewellery and celebrate as well cherish new beginnings, providing them with the maximum benefits on product exchange in future.”

Akshay Matkar, Head of Marketing & Brand Experience, Candere by Kalyan Jewellers, further added, “Marking the new beginning with Diamonds (#NayiShuruaatHeereKeSaath), this Akshaya Tritiya will not only give an extra edge to our diamond category allowing our customers to purchase from a wide collection but also avail exchange offers with 100% future valuation of the purchased items.”

The campaign went live on 22nd March and will continue until 23rd April.


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Himalaya Wellness launches campaign for Himalaya Ashvagandha

The campaign says ‘ab stress nahi, de-stress kijiye’

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 27, 2023 4:31 PM   |   3 min read


In the wake of rising stress levels, Himalaya Wellness Company has launched the campaign “Ab Stress Nahi, De-stress Kijiye” to raise awareness about the impact of unaddressed stress, while focusing on natural ways to handle multiple stressors in life.

“Modern lifestyle has its own stress triggers that often go unnoticed or seem common. But this leads to stress that affects one’s body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Building on this insight, the campaign brings these triggers into the spotlight and emphasizes the role of Himalaya Ashvagandha in minimizing stress in daily life and helping bring calm to chaotic stress,” the company said.

With three digital advertisements, the campaign focuses on the lifestyle of three individuals from diverse backgrounds who struggle to cope with stress. The advertisements highlight the after-effects of stress, where the protagonists experience sleeplessness, anger, and tiredness, respectively, when exposed to certain stressors regularly. The communication is reinforced by the doctor talking about the benefits of Himalaya Ashvagandha in helping manage stress better. Ashvagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries to help the body cope with stress and promote relaxation. It improves energy levels and helps relieve stress and anxiety.

The campaign is strategically amplified via radio, internet, and digital media, to raise awareness about the impact of stress on individuals' lives and motivate people to take action on managing stress effectively.

Dr. Sanjiv Shah, an eminent endocrinologist and diabetologist from Mumbai, shares, "Common aberrations like ‘anger, sleeplessness, and tiredness’ are often ignored by many. Most lifestyle disorders are also commonly triggered by stress. According to research, over 70% of adults in India report experiencing stress daily. Stress has emerged as a major issue for many people. Unmanaged stress can have a negative impact on an individual's health, including sleeplessness, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Making a few simple lifestyle modifications such as walking, exercising, pursuing a hobby, and avoiding smoking and drinking can help manage stress better."

Vikas Bansi, who heads the OTC business at Himalaya Wellness Company, shares, "With this campaign, we want to highlight the fact that stress is the most common trigger and can lead to physical, emotional, and behavioral changes, which over a period may result in lifestyle disorders. The integrated radio and digital campaigns are expected to build awareness for Himalaya Ashvagandha and how Himalaya Wellness Company is committed to promoting natural healthcare solutions that help individuals lead healthier and happier lives. The Company's products are developed using natural active ingredients and are designed to be safe, effective, and affordable. We aim to encourage more and more people to take steps to manage their stress effectively and consider Himalaya Ashvagandha as a supplement in their daily routine and, at the same time, promote better health and wellness across India."

“We recently conducted an e-CME titled ‘Stress and Metabolic Disorders,’ where Dr. Sanjiv Shah emphasized the rising incidences of stress-related metabolic disorders. The e-CME was attended by more than 500 doctors, highlighting that the issue has become extremely critical and occupies the center stage in doctors’ practices today," he added.

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