Advertising and the cricket World Cup

World Cup fever is at its height in Pakistan and with this weekend’s Pakistani win over Australia, there seems to be some hope that the Pakistani team may not disappoint us again. Most cricketing nations have prepared campaigns that support their teams no matter what. They have sent them off truly hoping and praying that they will come back with the coveted World Cup. Read more on Advertising and the cricket World Cup…

The power of social media

I must first apologise for my prolonged absence from the blogosphere. Anyone who’s been following the news in Pakistan would have heard how this year has not started off well – in early January, the Governor of the Punjab (the country’s most populous province), a liberal man with high ideals, was gunned down by a member of his own special security detail. The Governor’s crime was merely to recommend that parliament consider reviewing the law, which has long been used to repress non-Muslim minorities. Then a few days ago, Pakistan’s minister for minorities was also gunned down. Read more on The power of social media…

Inspiration vs. plagiarism

When I started my career in advertising I was told that the best way to make good ads is to watch them. And so I immersed myself in whatever “inspiration” I could find. And when I started my agency, I told all my young fresh copywriters and creatives to do the same. I believe all over the world, creatives look for inspiration in the same manner. Yes, we tell our clients that we dig deep in consumers’ hearts, which we do; we look where other agencies don’t, which sometimes we do; but at 2am with a pitch at 9am in the morning and no light-bulbs flashing, we often resort to frantic Google searches. Read more on Inspiration vs. plagiarism…

Work/Life balance

I was recently invited to be a panelist at a conference on Women as Leaders of Change, held in Lahore on November 25.  Attended by professional women from all walks of life, the conference addressed many of the issues that women face in the workplace on a daily basis.  One issue that was discussed at great length was the oft debated topic of the challenge women face in balancing their professional lives with their roles as mothers, wives and ‘homemakers’. Read more on Work/Life balance…

Pakistan fashion week

The Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) and Sunsilk held their second fashion week in Karachi in mid November. The event featured over 24 designers from across the country and was extremely well attended – not only by the local fashion and media lot, but also a  surprisingly high attendance from international buyers and media from Europe, India and the Middle East. Read more on Pakistan fashion week…

Brand Youth Pakistan

How do you define youth anyway? In my opinion, it’s not biological age but rather a mindset. Due to increased social mobility we have opened up a choice of lifestyles that allow us to decide how old we want to behave. Pakistan is essentially a young country – almost half of the population falls under the age of twenty (56.5%). What does this youth want? Broadly speaking, the same as kids anywhere: to be cool! And part of being cool is reflected in the advertising that speaks to kids. Read more on Brand Youth Pakistan…

Advertising as entertainment

A few months ago (during Ramadan) Pepsi released an ad for a consumer promotion – five rupees off bottles of Pepsi. The ad (the title of which translates to “who said you should reduce five rupees on Pepsi?”) has since spawned a myriad spoofs.

Instead of embedding the videos, here are links to the original as well as the spoofs for those interested (I only wish I could translate them! But I strongly suggest finding a South Asian friend and asking them to do so for you – they’re truly hilarious!). Read more on Advertising as entertainment…

No sex please, we’re Pakistani!

There’s been a massive uproar after Telenor Pakistan’s latest campaign ‘Telenor internet.more’ hit TV.  A small group within the marketing community felt that this communication was “not appropriate” in our society.  But this small group sure made a lot of noise – enough noise for Telenor to take the spot off air. Read more on No sex please, we’re Pakistani!…

Advertising for flood relief – how can we make it happen?

Anyone who’s been following the news will know that Pakistan is currently undergoing a national disaster the likes of which have not been witnessed in the country’s 63 year history. A fifth of the country is under water, crops (the livelihood of the vast majority of the population and a main source of economic activity) have been destroyed, personal and economic infrastructure literally swept away. According to the latest estimates, over 20 million people have been directly affected and the total economic impact of the floods is expected to be touch USD 43 billion; meanwhile, the domestic GDP growth is expected to fall to between 0-3 percent, while inflation is expected to rise as high as 25 percent.  Read more on Advertising for flood relief – how can we make it happen?…

Pepsi gets it right

 Since my last post on the impact of the cricket match-fixing scandal on the Pepsi brand, it seems that the powers that be at Pepsi also realised the implications of the association.  While the cola brand is bound in its deal with the Pakistan Cricket Board, its recent brand communication in the country has taken an interesting strategic turn.   Read more on Pepsi gets it right…

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