New Delhi: Action Shoes were an indispensable part of school life for anyone from the 1990s. And it was mostly because of the vastly popular and addictive jingle from the famous advertisement for the shoes — “O ho ho school time, Action ka school time”.
The ad was simple but very effective. It followed a child through a school day and was quite successful in garnering empathy from school-going students of the time. Of course, the catchy jingle also aided the entire project.
“It’s an evergreen ad. Students from the 90s era, we are all able to relate to it. From ‘classwork, homework, punishment, lecture’, the Action shoe ad had it all. Every time I see the ad on TV (which is very rare these days), I’m immediately taken back to my school days,” 24-year-old Ashish Kumar, a tech writer, told ThePrint.
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Why was the ad so famous?
While there is no dearth of advertisements on television today, the old ads from the 1990s evoke a different sort of sentimentality.
This is perhaps because quite a few transformations took place in the 90s — it was an era of change. People finally moved away from Doordarshan to cable TV, and even cinema saw the coming of the superstar era.
As a result, a certain novelty was part of everything that emerged in the 1990s. And the Action Shoes advertisement was no different.
“The ad was so effective because of the sprightly jingle that talked about ‘school time’ and ‘masti‘ in the same breath,” said 26-year-old Deepak Choudhary, a high school teacher.
According to Shubra Sharma, who works at an advertising firm, it was also able to capitalise on all key factors required for a successful advertisement.
She said: “The brand brilliantly caught attention due its stickiness, ad frequency, targeting and the high relatability quotient.”
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Shoes that flaunted style
One interesting aspect about the ad was that it targeted children. While parents are the ones who buy school supplies for children, Action Shoes attracted children foremost.
“The shoes enabled us to flaunt our style and made us feel either unique or part of a cool pack. This is where Action came in, fitting itself beautifully in the school culture, tapping onto micro moments of school life and creating inclusivity,” Sharma told ThePrint.
And the branding was so effective that even now, after so many years, one will always find someone humming along to the jingle. It was part of a long foregone school ritual — a past that many yearn for.
“Every Friday night I would wash my pair and would let it dry overnight for Saturday. The day of the week when we had our outdoor activities in school. I think Action Shoes were an integral part of the childhood of all middle class kids in my generation,” reminisced Choudhary.
Even actor Tejan Diwanji, the lively curly-haired boy in the ad, became a face that was plastered on every billboard, even in the smallest of towns and villages. And while Diwanji is now a US-based doctor, one cannot deny how he has invariably become an integral part of the childhood of many 90s students.
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