Murphy was synonymous with the healthy and cute baby seen in their advertising – one of the most famous product logos of the 20th century.
When the signal from a radio station was good, two curtains in the magic eye of the radio would converge.
The radio – Murphy.
A wooden box, an embroidered cloth to cover it and a cute chubby toddler with his/ her finger placed near the lips with a hint of a smile. It occupied a pride of place in the living room to listen to All India Radio, Vividh Bharati from Sri Lanka and all international stations.
This brand came to India in 1948 and was synonymous with the healthy and cute baby seen in their advertising – one of the most famous product logos of the 20th century. One of the most popular compliments for beautiful and healthy children is to call them – “Murphy Baby” or “Murphy Munna”. Mothers wished their kids looked like the Murphy baby.
Perhaps, one of the best ways to advertise Murphy had been calendars and posters with the baby’s face often hung in gynaecology clinics, maternity homes, and barbershops. It was ubiquitous.
National Advertising was entrusted with creatives. Murphy’s famous advertising tagline was sung by Mohammad Rafi: “Murphy Ghar Ghar ki Ronak, Tarah Tarah ke Murphy radio, la Deten Hain Ghar Mein Jaan”.
As the original Murphy baby, who was a girl, had died, three-year-old Kagyur Tulku Rinpoche from Manali was used as the model as he looked identical to the original one. Mothers loved him, and he was the benchmark for bonny babies.
Stars like Sharmila Tagore and Vyjayanthimala Bali too, have endorsed the brand in the 1960s.
In 2012, ‘Murphy baby’ made a filmi comeback in the movie Barfi! Terms like ‘Murphy Radio’ and ‘Murphy Munna’ were used in the title song to suggest that the hero’s mother desired to have a child like the ‘Murphy baby’. Ranbir Kapoor’s name in the film — Barfi — is inspired by Murphy.
While the brand Murphy still survives in India, it no longer sells radios. Now, it exclusively belongs to Mumbai-based Shirodkar Group of Companies.
Rinpoche later became a Buddhist monk for 20 years and then finally married former actress Mandakini