Thursday, June 6, 2024
HomeThink Tank90s Flashback: 10 Unforgettable Indian TV Ads That We All Loved

90s Flashback: 10 Unforgettable Indian TV Ads That We All Loved

- Advertisement -

The 90s was a decade of transformation in India. The country had opened its doors to the world, and we were beginning to see the changes reflected in our everyday lives. From fashion to music, everything was in flux, and the advertising world was no exception. The Indian TV ads we saw were no longer just about selling products; they were telling stories that resonated with us.

As we take a trip down memory lane, we can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia for the 90s. It was a simpler time when life moved at a slower pace, and our only worry was whether we would finish our homework in time to catch our favorite TV show. And speaking of TV shows, the commercials that aired during our favorite programs were just as important as the shows themselves. They were a source of entertainment, and we looked forward to them just as much as we did the shows.

In this blog, we’re going to revisit some of the most unforgettable Indian TV ads of the 90s. These are the ads that we all loved, the ones that still give us all the feels. As we watch them again, we’ll be reminded of a time when life was simpler, and we’ll get a glimpse into the past that we’ll always hold dear.

As in Hindi we say, “Purane yaadein taaza karte hain” (old memories refresh us). So, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the best Indian TV ads from the 90s that will bring back fond memories and make us smile.

1- Kissan Jam

Jammy is Rahul Dravid’s nickname. Kissan Jam was smart enough to use Rahul Dravid in their advertisement and highlight his mischievous nature with the tagline “Jammy is coming towards Jam!” Not to mention how much we enjoyed the ad and young Dravid. 

Rahul was cast in a character that was diametrically opposed to his image by Lintas, led by creative director Balki. He used several avatars to represent those who craved for his Kissan jam. In Chennai, renowned Malayalam director VK Prakash shot this movie.

2- Dhara Oil

Who can forget the adorable little kid, Parzaan Dastur, in the Dhara Oil ad of the 90s? The ad opens with Parzaan running away from home, only to return back when Ramu Kaka says that his mother has cooked some delicious jalebis at home.

The ad was created by Jagdish Acharya of Cut The Crap, an ad agency, who knew Dhara needed to tell a story built on emotions and wanted a child in it. After brainstorming with his team and his mother, they came up with the idea of jalebis. 

The ad struck a chord with audiences across India, not only for the cute little boy but also for its message about the importance of home-cooked food. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love some hot and crispy jalebis?

3. Nerolac Paints

Imagine a world without color – how boring would that be? Luckily, there are brands like Nerolac that understand the importance of adding a splash of color to our lives. And they did it in the most memorable way possible – through their iconic advertising jingle that has been etched in our memories for decades.

The story behind the creation of this jingle is just as colorful as the ad itself. It all started with a small team at FCB Ulka (an advertising agency) who was given the task of promoting Nerolac’s range of decorative paints. The market was tough, with Asian Paints already dominating the decorative segment with an emotional campaign featuring the legendary Jagjit Singh. But the team at FCB Ulka decided to take a different approach – they focused on the painters themselves.

Subodh Poddar, an art director and painter himself, was the mastermind behind the script. He understood the emotional connection people have with the colors in their homes and how painters played a crucial role in bringing that joy to people’s lives. The jingle, composed by Vishwajeet, was an instant hit, thanks to its catchy tune and the human touch it added to the brand.

The ad became so popular that even after four years off the air, it remained in the top 7 Indian TV ads that people remembered. And that’s the power of good advertising – it’s not just about selling a product, it’s about creating an emotional connection with the consumer. And that’s exactly what Nerolac did with their iconic jingle  “jab ghar ki raunak badhani ho, deewaron ko jab sajaana ho.” – it made us feel good and added a little color to our lives.

4. Amul Manthan

“Mero gaam katha paare

Ja dudh ki nadiya baahe

Ja Koyal ku ku gaye

Mare ghar angana na bhulo na …”

Yes, the Amul Manthan ad featuring the legendary actress Smita Patil remains an iconic memory for many of us. 

The Manthan ad, released in 1996, was created by advertising professional Subodh Poddar and featured footage from the 1976 film of the same name, inspired by the story of Amul and the White Revolution. The ad reiterates Amul’s Indian roots and celebrates the cooperative movement’s economic impact on women across 10,000 villages. The iconic song “Mero Gaam Katha Parey” from the film was recreated for the ad, sung by Preeti Sagar.

5. Liril

The lively Preity Zinta gave us major motivation to take a shower while singing the well-known “la la la laaaaaaa” music. How could you overlook this amazing advertisement?

This beautiful ad was made by ad filmmaker Kailash Surendranath.

6. Leher Pepsi

Do you remember the iconic Lehar Pepsi ad campaign from the early 90s, with its catchy jingle “Yehi hai right choice baby…aha!”? It was an instant hit among Indian consumers, who were looking for a change from the conventional standards of living.

The creative agency behind this groundbreaking campaign was JWT, who understood the pulse of the Indian youth and tapped into their desire to break free from the norm and live for the moment. They brought together popular actors like Aamir Khan, Mahima Chaudhary, and Aishwarya Rai, infusing glamour and entertainment into the ad campaign.

The jingle itself was based on a North American campaign starring Michael J. Fox, but with a uniquely Indian twist that resonated with consumers. It became an overnight sensation, capturing the hearts and minds of millions and cementing Lehar Pepsi’s place in the Indian market.

The Lehar Pepsi ad campaign was more than just a catchy jingle – it was a symbol of the changing times and aspirations of the Indian youth. And it was the creative genius of JWT and the star power of the actors involved that brought it to life in a way that touched people’s hearts.

7.  Cadbury Dairy Milk

The 90s Cadbury Dairy Milk ad titled ‘Asli Swaad Zindagi Ka’ was an iconic campaign that still remains etched in the memories of many 90s kids. The ad, created by Ogilvy, featured a woman biting into a Dairy Milk chocolate as the cricketer on the field is about to hit a century. And when he does, she runs to the ground and starts dancing to celebrate, while the catchy tune of ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ plays in the background. The ad perfectly captured the joy and excitement of indulging in a Dairy Milk chocolate, and is a testament to the brilliant creativity of the advertising industry in the 90s.

The dancing girl from Cadbury could put a smile on everyone’s face. If you said that watching the advertisement after all these years didn’t make you smile you’d be lying.

8. Pepsi

We have seen a tonne of memorable Pepsi advertisements starring our favourite celebrities. But there’s no denying that we preferred the one with Sachin Tendulkar. It was crazy how much the master blaster’s admirers loved him. I must say, infectious! Really, “Dil Maange More”?

9. Surf Ultra

In the 90s, Surf Ultra had a tough challenge – to show it could tackle oily stains effectively while entertaining the viewers. The advertising agency Lintas took on this task and Bharati Shankaran Hemmady was leading the creative team. They wrote several scripts, one of which was based on the Mahabharata lingo. But the clients wanted a housewife who spoke the language of her kids. So, they rewrote the script, and the hook was ‘war and peace.’ Pooh Sayani directed the film with Asawari Joshi & Kunal Khemu starring in it. 

The ad became a hit with its memorable tagline “Dhoondte Reh Jaoge,” which was suggested by the women in research groups. The creative team had to make several tweaks to the script to accommodate all the feedback. In the end, the ad not only showed Surf Ultra’s cleaning power but also resonated with the viewers on a personal level.

10. Ujala

Imagine the bustling streets of India in the 1990s, where housewives were solely responsible for keeping their family’s clothes sparkling clean. Amidst this laundry chaos, a homegrown company called Jyothy Laboratories launched a product called Ujala, hoping to take on the competition from Reckitt Benckiser’s Robin Blue.

But it wasn’t until the creative agency Situations, led by the talented Anjan Chatterjee, came up with a brilliant ad campaign that Ujala truly shone. The campaign focused on the benefits of Ujala’s liquid fabric whitener, making it easy for Indian women to keep their family’s clothes bright and clean.

The real magic, however, came from the catchy jingle composed by Ajay Bhatia and sung by the melodious Kavita Krishnamoorthy – “Aaya naya Ujala, chaar boodon wala”. It tugged at the heartstrings of housewives across the country, who could relate to the struggles of keeping their family’s clothes spotless.

The Ujala ad became an instant hit, winning the hearts of millions and propelling Ujala to become a household name. Even today, the jingle and the ad campaign remain a beloved part of Indian advertising history, thanks to the creativity and vision of the people involved.


It’s amazing how a simple TV commercial can take us back in time and evoke so many nostalgic feelings. As we revisit some of the most iconic Indian TV ads from the 90s, we can’t help but feel a sense of warmth and happiness. 

From the mischievous Jammy in Kissan Jam to the cute little Parzaan in the Dhara Oil ad, these commercials have left an indelible mark on our memories. We still hum the jingle of Nerolac Paints and dance to the catchy tagline of Surf Ultra’s “doondte reh jaoge”. And who can forget the infectious smile of the dancing girl in Cadbury Dairy Milk’s ad?

These Indian TV ads not only entertained us but also taught us valuable lessons. The importance of home-cooked food in the Dhara Oil ad, and the transformative power of paint in the Nerolac Paints ad are just a few examples.

As we take this trip down memory lane, we realize how much these ads influenced our childhood and helped shape our values. They continue to hold a special place in our hearts, and we can’t help but feel grateful for the joy and nostalgia they bring us even today.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

Spice up your inbox with sizzling updates!

Stay Connected

Latest Articles