Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Published in Nov-Dec 2019

Talking Heads 2019 - Part Six

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?

Ahsen Idris
CEO, Blitz Advertising

1 Relevant. A great achievement for the team who made it happen. Pakistan needs every bit of encouragement. The advertising industry in particular has been under unprecedented stress lately and an event of this stature will be a relief, provided industry leaders take it seriously and work towards the development of a conducive environment to nurture creative talent. Otherwise, such initiatives will not be able to do much good; just another conference. 

2 i) When agencies started becoming specialists, we went against the tide and became a full service agency. We delved into sports content and as the first agency in Pakistan to do so, we made PSL happen (and continue to happen) against the odds. The magic happens when we collaborate and approach business challenges through integration.

ii) Taking smart risks when expanding our offering. The sheer speed of change will test the industry in general and our agency in particular. The way forward is to continue adapting and reconfiguring our offering according to client needs.


Seema Jaffer
CEO, Bond Advertising

1 Relevant. The line-up of speakers and topics focus on areas that are relevant. Topics like the importance of brand purpose; the art of storytelling; media innovations that are driving change; creativity that delivers impact; the power of data to fuel strategy; gender and diversity; these are some of the AdAsia 2019 addresses. It is also a platform to exchange ideas, learn and network.

2 i) The digital effect: We have to keep pace and begin our transformative process. Bond Digital is a step in that direction. Communicating with purpose; social consciousness is something we value. We have put in resources, training and research to deliver social impact. Driven by data: We are putting in resources to use data meaningfully.

ii) Technology, more than ever before, is going to change how we engage with consumers. Be it mobile, VR or AR we need to be agile and embrace this technology to create content that is innovative, interactive and rooted in tech.


Ahmed Kapadia
MD, Synergy Group

1 Relevant. AdAsia is a valuable platform to share ideas and experiences relevant to the development and growth of the industry. A good opportunity for Pakistani professionals to showcase their work and interact with experts. Pakistan is in a phase of digital transformation and we can benefit from learnings and approaches in this respect.

2 i) Digital transformation.

Convergence of different media and making communication more consumer-centric Emergence of big data analytics driving one-on-one consumer insight. We have a mix of traditional and digital-first business units to cater to current and evolving communication needs.

ii) Focus on developing talent that has the ability to challenge the status quo. Accept change as a constant reality. Learning will always be practical and reality driven as technological changes dictate how, when and with whom we are communicating. Develop home-grown solutions to issues at the core of our industry. This does not mean that we do not learn from best practices around the world, but it also requires introspection of our limitations and realistic solutions.


Umair Kazi
Partner, Ishtehari

1 Relevant. I welcome any platform on advertising community and industry development. I was in my diapers 30 years ago, so I wouldn’t think of it as a ‘return’.

2 i) Structure, client and talent attrition. We resolved it with soul searching; finding and committing to a purpose that preempts but is not restricted by market forces.

ii) We are adopting the good parts of the start-up movement to ensure we stay nimble, visible and effective. This means a product versus service approach, growth hacks, less bloat and a stronger agency culture.