Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Talking Heads 2019 - Part One

Published in Nov-Dec 2019

Aurora polled Pakistan’s leading agency and corporate heads on their thoughts about AdAsia 2019

**1. In your opinion, how relevant/irrelevant is AdAsia to Pakistan’s marketing and communications industry?

2. As Pakistan’s marketing and communications industry moves into 2020:

i) What are the three biggest changes to have impacted your agency/brand communication efforts in the last decade and what concrete steps have you implemented to adapt to them?

ii) What further changes will you implement in order to ensure your agency/brand stays relevant?


Syed Hassan Abbas
CEO, Golden Circle Advertising

1 Relevant. Any platform to collaborate and share learnings and ideas helps improve our capabilities. AdAsia is relevant whether you are in seven different continents or in Pakistan.

2 i) HR: The new generation is more comfortable in entrepreneur mode rather than in an employee one. It is hard to find core team members who think and work long-term. Integrated solutions: Ten years ago, clients looked for specialised solutions for creative, digital, media and other services. Now, due to shrinking budgets and what happens to big ideas in translation, we are moving towards integrated communication partners. Specialised content: Brands and agencies are developing specialised content for each communication medium.

ii) We need to train ourselves in technology and digital in order to provide better integrated and result-oriented campaigns. We are in no way close to how digital communication is evolving globally.

Numan Nabi Ahmed
CEO, The Brand Partnership

1 Relevant. The local industry has grown in every respect over the last 20 years, especially after the media boom in 2002 which changed the landscape. There is a need for local talent to have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of relevant people. AdAsia will provide this opportunity.

2 i) Creating a balance between being a local company and servicing global clients. Forming working relationships with global players by attracting quality HR to handle this business and blending their skill set with the local work environment and ground realities. Managing the shift from a full service agency to specialisation. Defining clear roles and breaking the company organogram into strategic business units (SBUs). Generating business to sustain the integrated marketing company model. Working closely with each SBU and creating strategic partnerships, both locally and globally, aimed at offering one stop solutions to clients.

ii) Re-engineering the organisational structure. Harmonising SBUs to offer better ROI by capitalising on strengths. Keeping the ‘innovation in business’ approach as the strategic direction for growth.

Shahnoor Ahmed
Chairman & CEO, Spectrum VLMY&R

1 Relevant. Great to see Pakistan take centre stage in the Asian advertising community. This will benefit young practitioners bringing fresh knowledge from some of the movers and shakers of the industry and help create a soft image of Pakistan.

2 i) Evolving into an entity combining conventional advertising disciplines with the power of digital to create meaningful brand experiences. Provide client solutions not limited to communication objectives but a full brand experience. Becoming brand custodians by providing advisory services that contribute beyond simple communication objectives and directly to business objectives.

ii) We are acquiring six new capabilities that are part of VLMY&R’s new Brand Experience model: Brand stewardship, advisory, commerce, content and media innovation, data and insights, experience and technology.

Nadeem Akbar
CEO, Midas Communications Pakistan

1 Relevant: AdAsia 2019 brings global industry professionals to Pakistan, affording us a chance to learn from them. Pakistan’s ad industry lags behind in many areas, as is evident from its late awakening to digital. AdAsia 2019 is a chance to build strategic alliances and bridge the gap by learning about evolving dynamics within the global industry.

2 i) Mushroom growth of TV channels, emergence of digital media and the contraction of print. These changes compel us to reinvent ourselves and make adjustments, ranging from team adjustments to shifting the focus from/to development of commercial or public sector clients.

ii) Invest more in skill and specialisation. The industry is reeling from the bad economic outlook and digital is the writing on the wall.