Earlier this month, the Canadian-born BlackBerry, peaking as the “smartphone king” in 2011, finally breathed its last. Long before the mobile phone market became pervasive with iPhone and Android smartphones, the BlackBerry was the first to put the workplace in the palms of professionals. Owning the device with a full QWERTY keyboard makes it easy to exchange emails and texts, not to mention use one of the BlackBerry’s most attractive features – its proprietary messaging app. All in all, it gave the personality of the working professional a certain seriousness.
The demise of the BlackBerry signals the end of a simpler smartphone era. Marketing and agency executives took a trip down memory lane to share other brands or services that no longer exist, but still wish they had. Here is what they said:
Sonali Malaviya, MD, India, Essence
“The brand I miss the most is Gold Spot. More than the airy, extra sweet, artificially enhanced orange flavor, I miss the memories associated with the soft drink. school birthday around burgers and Gold Spot – in a world where access to excess hadn’t taken away the joy and anticipation of a celebration, and where a special Gold Spot treat came with special moments Somewhere along the way, those memories became one with the brand and created lifelong associations of a bygone era.
Kunal Jeswani, CEO, Ogilvy India
“The walkman and the cassettes. I miss buying albums. Because once I did, I committed to listening to every song on the album. And I found gems that I grew to love after listening to them many, many times. I can’t do that with streaming anymore. Of course, streaming has many advantages. But I miss my Walkman and my tapes.
Jasneet Bachal, CMO, YES Bank
“Growing up in the 80s, I found Cadbury’s Double Decker to be a lip-smacking chocolate with a remarkable taste. I have fond memories associated with it.
“I don’t remember many announcements for it, but it was exchanged at a high price between friends, right after Maggi Masala, who came a few years later. As someone who turned to clean eating and leaning towards artisanal chocolates is a temptation I would not regret giving in. Cadbury, I hope you are listening!
Sunay Bhasin, Commercial Manager, MTR Foods
“I miss film cameras and the fun associated with the whole process. From getting your first camera to learning how to load film into it; only taking the camera out for special occasions to take a few pictures at a time.When the roll is finished, take it to a studio to develop it, then start anticipating to see the images.
“And finally, after a long wait, finally seeing what the photos look like and eventually putting them in albums where they become memories. There was such joy and simplicity in the whole task from start to finish that I treasure to this day.
Anupriya Acharya, CEO South Asia, Publicis Groupe
“It would have to be Forhan’s toothpaste. In my wonderful years, it was the favorite of many Indian households and had a very differentiated brand – it was a toothpaste created by dentists and without foam.
“Model Mehr Jesia, with her 1,000 megawatt smile, is unforgettable in advertising. In fact, the mere mention of Forhan gives this immediate memory trigger a minty, ever-fresh feeling. It shows the impact the brand has even after all these years! The brand brings back memories of the beautiful city of Dehradun, where I spent my childhood.
“Another is Halo shampoo…but let’s save that for another time!”
Tarun Jha, Head of Marketing, Škoda Auto
“I miss the feriwallahs. For millions of us who grew up in small towns or townships, these traveling merchants brought joy to our doorsteps in the form of an assortment of biscuits, rusks, handkerchiefs, Kashmiri shawls, fur caps and even mundane items like paper towels and singlets. Patronage and custom were driven not only by our needs but also by theirs. It was kind, caring and compassionate service, and he is sorely missed.