Friday, March 11, 2011

Back in the day when choices were limited, there was only one brand (I think) if you wanted "squash", a sort of punch drink in India. That brand was Dipy's. Its mascot was a blond cowboy with a smiling face playing/mock-fighting with Native Americans. The ads were usually in cartoon-strip format with a one-page storyline with a plot straight out of any scene from the dime-a-dozen Italian spaghetti westerns that abounded in the 70s. Except that the Native Americans' aim was always to get the squash from the cowboy (named Dipy). Dipy managed to ward them off with this superior lassoing, gun-toting skills. Besides the Natives were portrayed as pretty pathetic, goofy guys. Sometimes Dipy encouraged them to leave their violent ways and share with him in tasting the squash. Train robberies, horse chases across the prairie, were all part of the lore. I have not seen any of these ads since the mid-Eighties. It was fun to read them as a kid.

I saw a smaller, non-plot version of these ads from another blog featuring vintage Indian print ads (on the left). The memories came flooding back. The punchline for these ads was always the cowboy riding into the sunset singing, "Dipy Dee, Dipy Doo, Dipy Dum Dum". I just can't find a full cartoon strip version on the Internet.

On the other hand when I look at it now, these sure weren't politically correct, and would never fly in today's America (or perhaps even today's India). A similar cartoon strip format was used to market Poppins, small candy packed in bunches in a roll. It was clever because the kids' magazines that carried the ad usually attracted the kids' attention due to their cartoon format. And now, if I could only find a vintage cheese ad from Amul that keeps playing in my mind!

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