Sylvester daCunha, the man behind Amul’s ‘Utterly Butterly’ girl, passed away on Tuesday, leaving behind a legacy of beautiful illustrations and nostalgia.

Back in ‘66, daCunha’s ad agency was given the responsibility of Amul’s ad campaign by Dr Verghese Kurien, the social entrepreneur behind the brand.

DaCunha’s work has been defined as breaking the norms of conventional advertising and media usage with Amul girl.

With television and print media being too expensive for the company, Sylvester decided to design an Amul ad campaign for the more affordable outdoor hoardings.

The advertiser wanted to create a mascot that would resonate with mothers and children, which is how the brand’s mascot became the little girl.

The phrase “Utterly Butterly” was coined by daCunha’s wife, which later became among the most renowned taglines of the nation.

Designed by daCunha and illustrator Eustace Fernandes, the Amul girl made her first public appearance on billboards in 1966.

The vision of the blue-haired girl with her telltale polka dot bow became a massive hit.

Over time, daCunha began to encourage Amul’s ad campaigns towards more topical ideas — for instance, the Amul girl became a jockey during the horse race season.

Many times, daCunha and his team would have to work on releasing these ads quickly, for which Verghese gave Sylester full authority over the campaigns, without waiting for the company to approve them. Such was the trust between the two.

Working relentlessly for over three decades, daCunha passed over the reins of the company, and the Amul girl’s legacy, to his son Rahul.

Sylvester’s work also tied the world of advertising in with nostalgia and childhood, a feat that has ensured that the Amul girl retained her fearlessness over the years, and remains one of India’s most beloved advertising mascots to date.