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Why is Amul bullish about its cheese offerings all of a sudden?

The brand has unveiled two ad films calling out companies that serve ‘fake cheese’, at a time when McDonald’s is dealing with a cheese controversy of its own.


Amul has embarked on an assertive advertising campaign aimed at highlighting the authenticity of its cheese offerings amidst conversations about counterfeit cheese products in the market. The campaign, comprised of two similar ad films, underscores Amul’s commitment to providing consumers with genuine cheese derived solely from milk, without any adulteration.


The latest ad film features a chef who vocally challenges other brands or companies accused of serving inauthentic cheese to consumers. Addressing viewers directly, the chef inquires about instances where consumers have been misled, such as receiving a paratha instead of a pizza. Drawing from personal experience, he shares an anecdote where he ordered cheese but was instead served a substitute devoid of milk content. The ad concludes with a call for companies to eschew such practices, emphasising that “Real cheese is made of milk, not vegetable oil.”


The previous ad depicted a betrayed mother narrative, tapping into universal sentiments of trust and authenticity. With a blend of empathy and indictment, the ad not only called out the alleged deceitful practices of competitors but also positioned itself as the trustworthy alternative, emphasising the purity and quality of its cheese offerings.

This aggressive promotion of its cheese offerings by Amul comes at a time when McDonald’s, a leading quick-service restaurant brand, faces consumer backlash over allegations of substituting cheese with cheaper alternatives, notably at one of its outlets in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. The controversy prompted senior executives of McDonald’s India including its managing director, chief marketing officer, and chief legal officer, among others, to take to the brand’s social media channels to mitigate the ongoing conversations about the controversy.

Observers note the strategic timing of Amul’s campaign against the backdrop of the McDonald’s controversy. By positioning itself as a purveyor of authentic cheese, Amul aims to capitalise on consumer concerns regarding product integrity within the dairy industry.


However, this marketing strategy by Amul echoes past controversies, particularly its legal skirmish with Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in 2017. During that period, Amul aired television commercials that distinguished between ice creams and frozen desserts, claiming superiority for its “real ice cream” made from “real milk,” contrasting it with rivals’ products allegedly containing unhealthy vegetable oils.

HUL contested these claims, leading to a legal battle culminating in a ruling by the Bombay High Court. The court favoured HUL, directing Amul to withdraw the advertisements, citing concerns over misleading messaging and potential harm to competitor brands.


In light of this history, questions arise regarding the efficacy and ethical implications of Amul’s current advertising approach. While the brand seeks to position itself as a champion of authenticity and consumer trust, the potential legal ramifications and industry dynamics warrant careful scrutiny.

As the dairy industry grapples with issues of transparency and product integrity, the actions and messaging of key players like Amul carry significant implications for both consumers and competitors. Amidst the evolving discussions on food advertising and consumer advocacy, the pursuit of truth and fairness remains paramount.


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