Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Campaign Watch

Published in May-Jun 2022

Sheema Khan, Sr. Manager Communications & Strategy, Woot, lists her favourite and not-so-favourite ads.

There are ads that ‘break through the clutter’ and some that make you want to march to the brand’s office and demand a refund for the 30 to 120 seconds of your life they have wasted – which is the case for any product or service in any country. So, it makes sense that ad people cannot please Pakistan’s population of over 228 million people all at one time due to the usual factors – generational differences (no uncle, the ‘Why Not Meri Jaan’ tagline was not for you, so why would it appeal to you?), demographic differences (someone from a higher income segment will be more interested in the new iPhone) or, simply, a pure like or dislike of something. Without further ado, here are ads from both my like and dislike lists.

Brand: Changan Pakistan

Agency: Ishtehari

Campaign: Watch Me Move

Message: Can you see the features of the new Oshan X7 in the five seconds of attention it gets?

Effectiveness: Yes, Fatima Hasan’s popular transition videos are great, but this? No thank you, I thought we were trying to diminish the ‘male gaze’ concept. Why Changan? Why would you be okay with the typical female-modelling-a-car concept – and that too with this song (“Baby if you strip, you can get a tip, ‘cause I like you just the way you are”)? There are SO many other ways you could have marketed the Oshan X7. There are two other ads in the series, albeit starring more clothed women and minus the soundtrack, but it is frustrating that marketers still resort to female objectification to sell products. As is the fact that popular female influencers/celebrities are taking part.

Verdict: Stop objectifying women to sell cars!

Brand: Kenwood

Agency: Arey Wah

Campaign: #KhushRaho

Message: Our fridges have lots of space. And people who cancel plans at the last minute suck.

Effectiveness: By featuring the popular TV duo of Kubra Khan and Usman Mukhtar, Kenwood manages to make us wonder how many more dishes the couple can put in the fridge, question why there is so much food left over and chuckle at Khan’s irritation (we can all relate to the frustration we feel when guests we invited to dinner fail to show up). The still camera shot in the first half of the ad is the best part because while we are watching the action, we are also ‘subtly’ enlightened by how spacious the Kenwood fridge is.

Verdict: Strangely light humour, a bickering couple and a great fridge somehow always work.

Brand: EggBox

Agency: Conglo

Campaign: Ye Koi Aam Anda Nahi

Message: Switch to buying high-quality eggs

Effectiveness: Looks like someone took “Ande Ka Funda” seriously. Sorry, bad joke. I am not sure how big a hit the product has been in terms of sales, but it sure has the ad industry talking about it. A waiter is catering to every whim of some kind of hidden royalty behind closed doors in a massive palace type place (only the ‘royalty’s’ assistant communicates with the waiter outside). Then, said royalty turns out to be a comfortably seated chicken laying an egg. The precious egg is then transferred to a golden cup and taken away (to customers). This is one of my favourite campaigns this year (though, as always, it could have been shorter) because it keeps the audience guessing about what the ad is selling. Kudos to the storytellers for keeping us hooked without revealing the hero until the end.

Verdict: Ye koi aam ad nahi.

Brand: Gluco

Agency: BBDO Pakistan

Campaign: Kaisi Ho Maa?

Message: Stop criticising moms and support them instead.

Effectiveness: By framing realistic and relevant depictions of people who judge mothers, especially young mothers, for the way they raise their kids without realising the amount of work that goes into it, Gluco flips the infamously obnoxious line, Kaisi Maa Ho (which mostly comes from people who make up the ‘log’ from the ‘log kya kahenge’ phrase) to Kaisi Ho Maa? – brilliant play of words! From a judgy grandfather wondering why his daughter/bahu is not telling her children to settle down (because she had a long day and is resting) to a maid judging her employer for the same kind of thing... the ad ends with a saleslady asking a mom with a hyperactive child “Kaisi Ho Maa?” instead of saying “Kaisi Maa Ho?”, making the women watching it teary-eyed and angry. Teary-eyed because you want that support too and angry because it’s difficult to get.

Verdict: Still tearing up here.

Brand: Pepsi

Agency: One Take Productions

Campaign: Why Not Meri Jaan x Notice Kiya

Message: Pepsi’s new, stronger taste will make you forget your surroundings.

Effectiveness: Pepsi’s latest series of ads featuring the Young Stunners are once again all about the new, stronger taste of Pepsi (they have been telling us for years that it has a ‘new taste’ although it’s literally the same. But maybe it really is different this time?). The brand has hit three key points with the two ads released in this campaign so far: popular celebs (Young Stunners and Babar Azam), crisp communication (getting the message across in under 20 seconds) and a tinge of humour (the Young Stunners oblivious to the amazing Azam sitting right in front of them because their Pepsi’s stronger taste is so good). However, the ads are conceptually similar to the 2013 Hardee’s Arabia commercial and Cadbury India’s 5 Star commercial, where the consumers are so lost in the product’s taste that they are unable to notice what is happening around them.

Verdict: If they weren’t ‘inspired’ by the international concepts, then good job Pepsi!

Sheema Khan is Sr. Manager Communications & Strategy, Woot.