Freebirds Stories
Sunday ho ya Monday, Roz khao ande

While most of the marketing campaigns of the 20th century were designed to woo potential customers to choose their respective brands, there was one particular aggressive yet innovative campaign with catchy slogans & addictive jingles which systematically introduced a new food-habit even among those conservative families who had considered it a taboo. It was the "Sunday ho ya Monday, Roz khao ande" campaign during the 1980s by NECC.

 

Back in the 1980s, poultry farmers were facing 2 major issues: Firstly, the demand for eggs in the predominantly vegetarian nation was very low. Secondly, there was a strong mafia of egg-dealers throughout the nation who decided procurement prices which were against farmers' interests. This way, the dealers & middlemen made huge profits, while the helpless & exploited farmers could consider themselves lucky if they could manage to recover their cost price.

 
 

That's when Dr BV Rao, who was inspired by Dr Kurien's cooperative model for milk revolution, took up the mammoth task of motivating all the poultry farmers to unite & form egg cooperative model which could stand up against the high-handedness of the dealer-mafia. As the efforts culminated into a nation-wide movement, Dr BV Rao was finally able to establish the cooperative model in 1982 which could coordinate between farmer groups, and was aptly named "National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC)".

 
 

Thus, the problem of farmer exploitation was solved, but the next challenge was to increase egg consumption. In a bid to encourage more Indians to incorporate eggs in their diet, NECC embarked on a wide range of promotional activities including free distribution of eggs at busy intersections in major cities. Soon, NECC realized that what India needed was an aggressive advertising campaign which could make eggs acceptable even to vegetarians. That's when NECC decided to partner with some of the top advertising minds and popular celebrities to create highly addictive jingles ("Sunday ho ya Monday, Roz khao ande").

 
 

Eggs were depicted as healthy supplements which can be consumed everyday by everyone, irrespective of their caste, class, creed, etc. The campaign took the nation by storm and struck a chord with the masses, who gradually opened up to the idea of eggs as a regular supplement. Since the N in NECC stood for "National", most viewers actually felt it was a Govt organization (although it was merely a cooperative, and no way related to the govt) which nevertheless helped the marketing campaign gain serious attention, as more people started embracing it as a "Govt recommended" diet.

 
 

However, the most surprising & interesting aspect of the phenomenon was the ease with which several vegetarians started accepting eggs into their diet, who went on to become a part of the new category called "Eggitarians". By the turn of the century, the campaign had thus successfully achieved its goals, as the per-capita consumption of eggs among Indians increased multi-fold within a generation, and at the same time, it helped the poultry farmers feel empowered, as they were not at the mercy of the dealer-mafia anymore.

 
Story by
Guru Prasad

Guruprasad (or “GP” in short) is a Chief Engineer & Technology Mentor by profession and spends a...

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