Remember the old Liril ad?

September 1, 2006

Pic: RK’s Scrapbook

The hottest ad in the early 80’s used to be of the LIRIL girl drenched under the falls wearing only bikini. The ad was all about waterfalls, abundant water and the girl splashing about in total abandon singing “la…la la la laaa..”. The first liril ad was a masterpiece of its own calibre, a product of Alyque Padamsee’s imagination. It was shot in Kodaikanal at a waterfall a little beyond Guna caves.

Karen Lunel , the first Liril girl reigned for a long time and was succeeded by Anoosha Dalal and many more including the latest Preity Zinta . But even though the scenes, girls and the choreography changed, a part of the original music was still retained.

The Liril Girl is one of the brand’s strongest advertising properties. Try as they might HLL and Lowe have not been able to move the Liril girl from her position. As a result, a certain amount of drudgery began to set into the ads.
Meanwhile the market was heading towards niche segmentations where products were positioned in consumer’s mind in such a way so as to offer particular benefit. Eg. Pears – The Gentle soap . Liril’s idea of ’freedom from usual routine’ failed to create an idea of freedom as against the ads of competitors that ideated well to the single benefit being offered to the consumer. At this point, Liril weathered rough waters with rejuvenated ads addressed to the new generation woman living a fast paced career oriented life thus recovering the much of lost market share. Liril’s growth was sparked by the new addition – Liril Icy Cool Mint. Ice Try Karoge? This new variant refreshed the 25 year old brand’s equity of freshness and exuberance of youth.

Liril’s bold communication is well known even till date, 25 years after its birth. It’s a symbol of juvenile exuberance and an expression of freedom and freshness. Its sonic branding works wonders on consumer’s brain cells and is tantamount to the graphic, logo and line!

Just the sound of jingle transcends a whole new world of Liril freshness freedom.

How did they succeed in pulling out such an innovative concept? At least 30 years ago, a team of managers appointed by Jagdish Chopra , the then MD of HLL, to create freshness soap in premium price segment attempted a blue soap that promised fresh mountain breeze.
A brainstorming session steered by the late marketing guru Shunu Sen was held to find out what freshness meant: like walking barefoot on marble, being sprayed with a jet of water, like icy blue and the like, they came up with icy blue. While test marketing in Nashik and Indore, the blue Liril failed and the idea had to be shelved. So, they took the help of a young, British marketing head and created a green marble soap. It was a regular lime soap owned by HLL.

The team’s aim was to get into households with a bang. Extensive research conducted on young women and housewives helped them gain an interesting insight; it was found that an average Indian woman who lived with her husband’s family had to undergo a lot of pressures in her daily life due to her responsibilities towards her family and the household. Apparently the only time she had for herself was the 10-15 minutes that she was in the shower.

This thought provoked the Liril advertisement created by Neena Merchant , with the help of Alyque Padamsee , the then Director of Lintas featuring a green swimsuit clad girl, frolicking enthusiastically under a waterfall. The moment of liberation that Liril provided was well accepted by the women of India and not only the ad became popular; Liril became premium soap overnight. The brand became a market leader in the category of ’premium freshness soaps’ within a year of its launch.

From ’Come Alive with Freshness’ to ’Ice Try Karoge?’ Liril has come a long way, grown as a brand and found a space for itself in the consumer’s mind.

45 Responses to “Remember the old Liril ad?”

  1. Cuckoo Says:

    This is my first visit here. Nice post. Quite informative. Liked it. 🙂

  2. Gangadhar Says:

    yeah,RK..i remembered that liril ad..It was hot on those days..
    Well,ads require creativity..but should n’t come out with vulgarity..I feel very disgusting about some ads now a days like the mintoplus ad..
    A nice informative post,as cuckoo said..
    hava great weekend,RK..

  3. Vijay Says:

    To this day, Alyque Padamsee considers this one of his best works and thats saying a lot.

  4. rk Says:

    Welcome to RwB. Thanks for commenting. Do visit again.

    Glad you found this post informative. Yes, some ads are least creative and have too many unwanted graphics and vulgar stuff.

    You might remember seeing a television ad for Bajaj Auto which showed three cool riders on their Classic SL scooters, playing chess on the pillion while zigzagging through heavy Mumbai traffic. One of them jumps a road divider and all three vault over a plank, continuing their game with casual sangfroid. While the advertising world gushed over the commercial’s technical finesse, some viewers pointed out that it was encouraging traffic violations. When asked for a justification, Bajaj discreetly withdrew the ad.

    Similarly a spot in which a hausfrau promises to include a Vim washing bar in her daughter’s dowry was modified when Sun TV received complaints that the ad implicitly endorsed the illegal practice of dowry.

    A nubile nymphet in trendy blue jeans is impaled on a cross. Slogan: Lee Jeans. Let the Worship Begin.
    Arvind Fashions quietly withdrew the Lee jeans commercial after Christians across the country protested that it hurt their religious sentiments.

    So, you see there is a very thin line between ‘creativity’ and ‘vulagarity’.

    Have a great week ahead!

    Indeed it is saying a lot. Geniuses never say which is their BEST work. They always tell, “The best is yet to come”.

  5. EyesOfCalvin Says:

    RK, are you a ‘marketing whiz’ or a ‘research guru’? How could you manage to get such precise information!! Very informative, no doubt. Keep going.

  6. rk Says:

    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for your comments. I worked in a few ad agencies for a few years. Got to read stories behind some great and not-so-great ads. That is the secret behind some precise info.
    Do vist again and good luck 🙂

  7. usha Says:

    Very informative post RK, Liril models have been chosen very carefully till date, The first model was the best 🙂

    Those days colour TV viewing itself was bonus, and liril ad was definite hit .

  8. ajaraj Says:

    what is the name of the new liril girl? how is that modle.

  9. chess set Says:

    things are different since the last time i’ve been here, nice work. i’ll have to stop by more often.

  10. rk Says:

    glad you found the post informative. yes, liril ad was really different.

    pooja batra, preity zinta, hrishita…..have all been liril girls. hrishita is the latest girl, i think (not sure).

    chess set,
    thanks for your comments. please stop by whenever you want, you can ramble with bellur anytime. cheers!

  11. roshan Says:

    r.k. it was a nice article written by you. Iwould be great ful to u if u send the link of the ads to download. thank u. bye.

  12. rk Says:

    glad you liked the post, roshan. if i get the links for the ads, will let you know surely. take care and best wishes.

  13. ravi Says:

    Latest is Deepika Padukone.

  14. rk Says:

    thanks for that info!

  15. Mridula Says:

    I remember this ad. I also remember how parents used to frown at it 🙂

  16. ajaraj Says:

    no mate not hrishita, this girl please check the link. let me know.

  17. madhu Says:

    I happen to know that this liril girl was a foreigner who married an indian and settled here. Her grandkids are now all grown up and live in Jaipur now.

  18. Minks Says:

    hey RK, you seem to know your ad jingles well. Do you remember this ad for shoes (in the 80s I think) with the jingle that ended with “Walking on Air”. Do you which ad it was and where can I find it. Thanks.

  19. indra vegum Says:

    she is awesome, n none can b replaced..

  20. M Mat Says:

    I remember this ad as well. It used to go around that this ad was shot when the model had high fever (102 deg). Memorable one.

  21. siddharth Says:

    can any one send me ringtone or viedo of this ad

  22. kapil Says:

    that ad is a part of my childhood memories, awesome jingle….

  23. Yeah, good bit of nostalgia, this! I was too young at that time to remember the girl, but I do vividly remember the ad and the lovely jingle! Even today, listening to it makes me feel so fresh and active! A wonderful bit of creativity by Alyque Padamsee. And need I say, Karen Lunel looks absolutely stunning! She has such an innocent face, and matched with a bod to kill!

  24. anuj sachdeva Says:

    can anybod tell me or send me a link where i can download liril india tv ad music

  25. tanaya Says:

    good informations for my marketing project on product life cycle.

  26. leena Says:


    It’s like cherishing memory of old days. Hey by any chance if you have any more consumer products advert images please upload it. I am very interested in collecting old packinging and advert posters

  27. priya Says:

    would u please add the song of this advertisement.because i love it a lot.and want to see and also download it.i.s la ila ila

  28. Swapneel Says:

    Some time Back if I remeber correctly Liril Orange had also hit the Market and Deepika Padukone was the one who modeleld for it.

  29. Naseer Says:

    Liril ad become very popular because there were rumors that Karen Lunal the liril girl died during shoot,thats wrong. She met accident but she survived, she is still alive living with her husband in Newzealand. You can watch video of liril and many more Old Doordarshan ads, serials trials etc on below site. After watching all your olden days you will go back to your child hood

  30. john Says:

    I too loved the ad of the liril girl very very much so much that i had it permanently in my mind – till the internet happened – and now WOW I got the chance to see it again – you guys are amazing brilliant – to put it on the net – i cant believe it – send me your comments

  31. ria Says:

    who is that first guy in liril 2000 ad??

  32. Niveditha Says:

    I was googling up to find out who the girl in the ad was and I found you.
    Really interesting blog you’ve got here. 🙂

  33. Neha Varma Says:

    that ad is a part of my childhood memories, awesome jingle….

  34. spandan Says:

    that was the nice post but i want to know where that girl Karen Lunel now can u tell me more about her

  35. suresh Says:

    from you tube..enjoy

  36. We want to use one of your image for academic purpose (non-commercial use) at ILLL University of Delhi (India), therefore we need copyright permission for the same. URL of the Image is given below:

  37. […] Remember the old Liril ad? […]





  40. Jo Says:

    Who did the photo shoot for the first lyril advert

    • rk Says:

      Veteran ad maker and theatre personality Alyque Padamsee.
      The ad was created by Padamsee along with Lintas executive Neena Merchant.
      Karen Lunel was the first Liril girl.

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