Advertising is no longer about selling products and hopes; it has gone further. It has become more challenging. Media plays a pivotal role in creating change in society’s attitudes, behaviours and norms. Films are no longer entertainment only; they carry a message, address issues and come up with an answer. Similarly, TV commercials now carry messages that can have a positive impact; a trend which is gaining traction and is drawing attention to social issues prevalent in Pakistan. TVCs are becoming a powerful catalyst of change. Hence, there is more responsibility on our shoulders. We need to be cautious about what we show and ensure it is ethically and morally correct – although one should not forget to sell the product in the process. Here are my five picks.
BRAND: Peek Freans Cake Up
Agency: Ogilvy India & Ogilvy Pakistan
Campaign: Real Goodness Inside
Message: Sharing sweetness with real relationships makes it even sweeter.
Effectiveness: Peek Freans’ previous Rio Biscuits campaigns ‘Fun Ka Daily Dose’, encouraged the idea of children having fun by making fun of their elders. In complete contrast to Rio, here comes an ad of Cake Up that is instilling values in children. Centred on a working mom and her son, the story shows how little things make a big difference and when mom teaches good values to her son, the goodness comes back to her; a lesson for all parents. The film could have been shorter by doing away with clichés such as the husband not finding anything without his wife’s help. Emotional storytelling always works as it is engaging, entertaining and memorable. Kudos to the team for putting together all the right ingredients!
Verdict: Real goodness inside out! Thumbs up to Cake Up!
BRAND: Tapal Danedar
Agency: IAL Saatchi & Saatchi
Campaign: Tum, Mein Aur Aik Cup Chai
Message: Keeping your tea strong and your relationships even stronger.
Effectiveness: With more and more ads focusing on empowering rather than stereotyping women, Tapal Danedar highlighting the role of supportive men is commendable. The TVC features a young couple, with the husband making a cup of tea for his wife while reassuring her as she is about to restart her career. In a society where men don’t like to help their wives in the kitchen even when their wives are working, it is good to encourage them to do so. I hope Tapal keeps brewing stronger relationships over a cuppa tea. Such ads can help change mindsets. How about a diapers ad showing a father changing his baby’s nappies? Not everyone’s cup of tea!
Verdict: Strong concept.
BRAND: Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre
Agency: Adcom Leo Burnett
Campaign: Sadqa Dain Rozana
Message: You keep giving sadqa, we keep building hope.
Effectiveness: In this digital age when everything is instant, people expect instant solutions. And this goes for making donations too. Giving sadqa eases difficulties and keeps misfortunes and calamities at bay and many people are keen to give a daily sadqa, but prefer to give to credible organisations. Shaukat Khanum’s Sadqa campaign offers the opportunity to donate sadqa on a daily or monthly basis. There can’t be an easier way than giving through SMS. Call it ‘instant charity’ or ‘charity on the go’, the ‘sadqa through SMS’ campaign is so simple, so direct and so effective. An amount as little as Rs 20 collected from the public can add up to a huge amount; the best approach for any fundraising.
Verdict: A brilliant idea for instant charity.
BRAND: Surf Excel
Agency: Lowe Lintas
Campaign: Haar Ko Harao
Message: Dirt is good if it teaches you to defeat failure.
Effectiveness: Failure is a taboo; people fear failure. From teachers to parents, everybody is pushing children to excel and putting a lot of pressure on them. In this TVC, Surf Excel tries to take that pressure off. The brand takes forward the ‘Dirt is Good’ concept and introduces the notion that dirt is good if, in the process, you learn to defeat failures. Failure is not the end of the world; it’s an opportunity to learn. The TVC’s message is: never lose hope as there is always a next time.
Verdict: Successful in defeating failures.
BRAND: Shan Shoop Noodles
Campaign: Hum Ander Se Bachhay Hain
Message: Instant noodles for children of all ages.
Effectiveness: In every adult, there dwells a child. Letting that inner child out sometimes is what keeps you having fun in life. Shan Shoop Noodles’ latest ad plays well with that inner child. The ad is refreshing, featuring teenagers unleashing themselves to satiate their hunger pangs. The objective seems to expand the target audience from younger to older children, perhaps because instant noodles are enjoyed by adults as well. Working women who need quick fixes also eat instant noodles for lunch. So, there is a huge market to capture of potential adults who want to enjoy a quick and tasty snack. Food for thought! That’s why I feel instead of showing older children, the ad could have shown adults satisfying their inner child cravings. The contrast could have been much more amusing and could have grabbed adult audiences also.
Verdict: A fresh idea – could be expanded.
Lalarukh Ali is Creative Manager, Bond Advertising. firstname.lastname@example.org