Only Vimal: A brand synonymous with the Indian television experience of the 1980s

Only Vimal, the iconic brand with which a generation grew up, is soon to be history. Among other things, Vimal is also synonymous with the Indian television experience of the 1980s: Remember Vivian Richards doing the calypso beat in swimming trunks? Here’s a trip down the print lane.

The ‘Only Vimal’ television commercials, which were aired during the ‘Reliance Cricket Wold Cup’ of 1987 featuring Vivian Richards, Allan Border and Ravi Shastri, are special not just for the oodles of nostalgia they evoke even after two-and-a-half decades, but also because it heralded the triumph of an upstart advertising agency called Mudra.

Even though it was ad legend Frank Simoes who had coined the catchline ‘Only Vimal’ in the late seventies, it was Mudra (established 1980) that took the brand to the next level as an upmarket clothing brand for Indians. Mudra used models from Kabir Bedi to Blitz editor R K Karanjia for the Vimal brand and by 1989 was the third-largest ad agency in India. With Vimal on the block, here’s a quick look at some of its famous ads in its heydays, when Indian men proudly sported facial hair and the TV remote did not have too many buttons.