According to an article published in e4m, especially for new brands, choosing the appropriate mascot may end up being a mind-boggling job. A lot of thought goes behind the mascot when a brand chooses it The brand icon needs to represent the values of the brand both in letter and spirit. So, this is why a lot of brainstorming sessions go on while deciding upon it. When Karsanbhai Patel, who happens to be the owner of Nirma came up with one of his new washing powder brands in India during the 1970s, he had to take a decision from the heart overruling the logic of the mind.
Not many know that the twirling girl mascot that appears on the cover of Nirma has got its inspiration from the late daughter of Patel, Nirupama. This mascot has gone on to become so much distinct and popular that it became a very important part of the heritage of India’s advertising.
Nirma shall always be known to be the David who defeated Goliath, which was Surf from HUL at that time. What Nirma did was it offer the Indian middle-class households a value for their investment. A kilogram of Nirma was sold for a mere sum of rupees 3.5. This marketing strategy of Nirma had outshined the demand for Surf in the market which was sold at rupees thirteen for a kilogram.
Patel who happens to be a chemist by profession made the detergent powder using soda ash along with a combination of a few more elements. In order to find out if he could entice the people for buying the detergent, he went around selling the detergent on a bicycle. He approached door to door to sell the detergent to the customers directly out of a polythene bag. He did get success and gradually during the 70s he made Nirma available in the market.
In order to make the people resonate with the brand Patel gave it the name Nirma inspired by his late daughter’s name, Nirupama, and introduced the mascot of a twirling girl, for the brand which too signified his late daughter. This is how the icon of a little girl making a twirl wearing a bright white dress, appeared on the packet of Nirma. The girl has thick lustrous hair tied with a bow and her white dress has polka dots on them. She even wears Marie-Jane-type white socks and shoes. The girl also wears a bindi on the forehead.
The mascot was made by a signboard painter and later a colorized version was created too which had a white dress with traces of blue in it and a blue pair of socks as well. The twirling girl further blended well with the jingle of the brand, Washing powder Nirma, and drew the attention of the consumers.
Over the years although multiple iterations were made on Nirma, the icon of the girl remained the same. But in 2006 when Hiren K Patel, the son of Karsanbhai took over as the M, he got the icon removed to respect the deceased who had died in a car accident. Although the girl’s image was removed a likeness of her still appeared on the Nirma packets. Quite recently, even Swara Bhaskar too was compared to that iconic logo when she wore a white dress, puffed skirt, and shorts. Although Nirma ads no longer come on television these days, the icon of the small girl still is remembered by Indian consumers.