Every generation has bucket of reference points. They may be in form of Movies or T.V series or Sports events or any other world events. Like for example, the Beijing Olypics was such a mammoth event for the Chinese of this generation, the kids there would always refer to it in some form even as they grow old. This Olympics would be their Reference Point forever.
Indians of my generation have a few. Like Asiad'82, 1983 WC, Bhopal Gas Leak... DD and it's sitcoms and of course those Ads.
Doordarshan or DD itself has become a Reference Point for many now. There are forums and Youtube videos talking of those DD series and Ads.
I have many ads that I still remember from the DD days. One of my favorite was.. 'Dhoodh Dhoodh Dhoodh..Dhoodh hai wonderful, pee Sakte hai roz glassful"
It was brilliant on multiple levels. So was Lalitaji of Surf but for very different reasons.
The Dhoodh ad probably made many kids in Indian middle class household.. go for it. It was a massive win for that ad. It glamorised the otherwise insipid, plain white Dhoodh. Like the Lalitaji ad did for middle class upwardly mobile baby boomers of 80s India, the Dhoodh ad hit the sweet spot with the kids demography of that generation.
If advertisements can be such a powerful medium for communicating positive messages I wonder if its power is being under utilized currently.
May be, may be not.
Here's a list of my favourite ads from the yore...(this is not ranking)
3. Garden Vareli
4. Rashtriya Saksharta Mission.....
5. Air India - (The one with Jagjit Singh song)
6. Tata Steel - ("We *also* make steel")
7. Vimal ....
8. Dunlop Tyres
9. Cadbury's Dairy Milk
10. Asian Paints
P.S : I know I have missed the 'Hamara Baja' ad in the list. It's intentional. I never liked it. It was overtly sentimental to the point of being pretentious. But as always, that's my view.