Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

For better or worse

Published in Jan-Feb 2016

The ECD of IAL Saatchi & Saatchi shares her favourite and not-so-favourite ads.

Ta da! Campaign Watch time. I am not one for cribbing about the nature of the Pakistani ad industry and bemoaning the lack of awards on one’s shelf. No, if our ads are not ‘good enough’ it’s because we as an industry are not producing the right creative talent or creating the right environment. And if you want to win awards there is nothing to stop you from doing so.

The recent awards won for an anti-drone campaign prove that if you have a great pro-bono idea and are able to position it correctly there is no reason you will not be noticed. Besides it’s the beginning of a new year. ‘Tis the season to be merry and open-minded especially since there was some good work produced last year.

BRAND: Candyland Novella

Campaign: Forgetful father
Message: Candyland Novella melts hearts.
This is the second TVC in the campaign and this time the story centres around an essay written by a little girl about her father, which she leaves for him to read along with a bar of Novella chocolate. In it she excuses his absent-mindedness and absences by writing that he works really hard because he cares for his family and therefore forgets to give her any attention. The father is overcome with emotion and gives his daughter a hug. It is a sweet ad but the chocolate itself is completely incidental. There is no consumption and the product intro is a force fit.
Verdict: You will remember the story but not the product.

BRAND: State Life Insurance

Campaign: Anniversary gift
Message: The gift that gives on a rainy day.
A young man returns home to wish his wife on their anniversary. She is surprised that he has remembered but is less than impressed with the insurance policy that he is giving her as a gift. He reminds her of past anniversary gifts, all conventional ones that have either been ruined or stolen. He adds that this is one gift that cannot be spoiled or stolen, but in fact will come in handy when she needs it most. There is a nice touch where she is still sceptical and says that their son will probably make a paper plane out of the insurance paper but is finally convinced. I doubt if many women would like being given an insurance policy and reminded about the fickle future that may await them on their anniversary but it’s actually quite a good concept and better than the emotional blackmail that Jubilee inflicts. Nicely executed as well.
Verdict: Could have done with a bit more drama.


Campaign: Mukammal Current Account
Message: You don’t get everything in life but you can get a complete bank account.
Building on the You Come First equity, the TVC uses the analogy approach with subtle humour to position the Mukammal Current Account as a truly complete account. Good use of insights – the bald man looking enviously at the younger man’s full head of hair, the middle aged man looking woefully at his diet plate or the younger man eyeing a fancy sports car. All three stories are seamlessly intertwined with a background jingle that underscores the story without overpowering it. The benefits of the account are incorporated in such an engaging manner that you will remember them after the first viewing. Excellent concept. Very well done.
Verdict: The best financial services ad of the year.

BRAND: Lemon Max

Campaign: Long bar value communication
Message: Lasts longer, washes more. Young charismatic couple wants to go out but the pesky mother-in-law tells the young wife to wash all the dishes before heading out. Of course, judging by the number of dishes it seems like there is a week’s worth of washing. The wife proceeds to pull out the new long bar and breaks into a song and dance during which the dishes are all transformed from greasy mess to sparkling clean. The problem is not that there is nothing new, it is just so darn boring. A complete waste of a great cast. All it needed was a bit more oomph.
Verdict: Lost in the crowd.

BRAND: Haier

Campaign: Esteem phone launch
Message: Your life in your pocket.
Starring Ayesha Omar, the TVC capitalises on her multifaceted persona as an artist (she’s an NCA graduate with a Fine Arts degree), a singer, an actor, an observer and an explorer. This she reveals by charmingly asking a question in the third person – Who is Ayesha Omar? It is most certainly one of Ahsan Rahim’s best works. What is smart about this commercial is that unlike other celebrity endorsements this matches her diverse personal interests with the diverse offerings of the phone itself. The phone is clearly the hero and her celebrity status enhances the product as opposed to overshadowing it.
Verdict: Raises Haier’s esteem in more ways than one.

Rashna Abdi is ECD, IAL Saatchi & Saatchi.