40 memorable Indian ads. Can you find them all?

I came across this delightful piece of art yesterday, from multiple people on WhatsApp and Twitter. It took me quite a while to figure out the source.

Photo via Shubho Sengupta on Facebook.

This seems to have emanated out of the recently-concluded Zee Melt event. The team behind this impressive idea and effort needs a special mention: Sandeep Sawant, Hitesh Shah, Arun Udmale, Subodh and Pavan, from BBDO India.

A couple of observations:

1/ If the organizers of Zee Melt intended this as an offline, side-attraction during the event, I believe they have missed out on a tremendous opportunity online. The fact that this was being circulated, debated and shared online without any reference to Zee Melt or the creators of this art is a result of that missed opportunity.

Zee Melt should have seized ownership of it by sharing a high-quality version themselves and throwing it open to the public online, and not just for the small segment of people viewing it offline. This is event organizers’ dream content that can involve and engage the larger audience outside of the offline event, giving the event broader wings and visibility.

2/ This should have been shared by Zee Melt first at the same time as it went live offline. And, add an online link (hosted on the event page) with the answers (all 40 brands, marked and annotated) that is discoverable with a simple search (’40 memorable Indian ads. Can you find them all?’). That helps later discoverability and people are likely to search first with the most obvious title (which should be part of the digital version of the art).

3/ The art doesn’t have a single mention of either Zee Melt or the creators. That should ideally be embedded in the art, either as a strip above or below, or perhaps hidden cleverly inside the art. So, when it is being shared online (by others in the event, removed of Zee Melt’s connection), people are able to figure out naturally.

4/ The kind of response this riddle got yesterday on Twitter was astounding (but something easily worth anticipating). This is a great example of how popular advertising is, almost on par with mainstream movies.

Finally, here are my guesses (UPDATE: Includes a lot of crowdsourced answers – multiple responses from a lot of people). I have made a numbered version for easier access. I did not get 2 and 40. 2 seems too small to be an ad, or I’m missing something. And 40 is probably a tourism ad that I’m not able to recall. Or, I could have missed some and wrongly marked these two.

Also, I might have got 15 wrongly since it is very, very new and doesn’t perhaps deserve a spot in this otherwise-nostalgic collection so early.

UPDATE: Looks like there are 4 more (44, in total) – added in the end of the list and marked in the photo.

1/ Happydent

2/ Asian Paints (Raag Malhar)?

3/ Vodafone ZooZoo

4/ Maruti Suzuki (Khatam Hi Nahi Hoti)

5/ Vicks

6/ Bournvita (Tayyari Jeet Ki)

7/ Surf (Lalita Ji)

8/ ECE Bulbs

9/ Fevicol

10/ Colgate

11/ Dhara – Jalebi

12/ Hamara Bajaj

13/ Cadbury Dairy Milk (Kuch Khaas Hai)

14/ Palmolive

15/ Gillette (Barbershop girls)?

16/ Whisper (Touch the pickle)

17/ Coca-Cola (Aamir Khan)

18/ Liril

19/ VIP Frenchie

20/ Ceat Tyres MRF Zigma (The Space Age Radial)

21/ Hutch (Pug)

22/ Fevikwik (fish catching)

23/ Lifebuoy ‘Help a Child Reach 5’

24/ Nike

25/ Brooke Bond Taj Mahal tea

26/ Nirma

27/ Lijjat Papad

28/ Onida

29/ Surf Excel (Daag Achche Hote Hai)

30/ Idea Cellular – Save the tree

31/ Airtel Internet – ‘Jo mera hai wo tera hai, Jo tera hai wo mera’

32/ Britannia Glucose D biscuits

33/ Pepsi (Yeh Dil Maange More)

34/ Cadbury 5-Star (Ramesh Suresh)

35/ Pepsi (Dhoni Helicopter shot)?

36/ Google (Partition)

37/ Ariel (Share The Load)

38/ Balbir Pasha Ko AIDS Hoga Kya?

39/ Amul

40/ Madhya Pradesh tourism?

41/ Maggi?

42/ Rasna?

43/ Center Shock chewing gum

44/ Flipkart?