Ad katha

Along with co-writers Anand Halve and Anita Sarkar, and ad guru Gerson da Cunha, this book is the most comprehensive tribute to the Indian advertising industry, till date. 

Ad Katha: The Story of Indian Advertising, Anand Halve, Anita Sarkar, Centrum. `1,750. Available at leading bookstores.

Twenty-one contributors from the ad world have added immeasurable value to every chapter. Rare prints of some of the most eulogised and remembered ad campaigns from the pre-independence era till date make this timeline a must-keep, for the amateur and professional student keen to chronicle the evolution of this buzzing industry.

Pre 50s: Pears used to be advertised as being “by appointment to the Emperor and Empress of India”. But, in an about-turn it began to use imagery based on Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings.

The content flows effortlessly, the design hits the right buttons and the intriguing trivia-filled captions ensure that the book doesn’t fall into the oh-so-familiar trap of academic and research-heavy chronicles.

1980s: Lalitaji, the woman who exuded sense and said there’s a difference between buying cheap and buying quality. Theatre actress Kavita Chaudhury’s portrayal of the smart woman remained etched in the mind as the steeply rising sales graph showed.

Pick this one, to revisit the glory days.  

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