Published in May-Jun 2022
In 2020, Jazz switched their marketing approach from a conventional and functional-based one to an emotional-centric one. This shift occurred when Jazz onboarded Fishbowl as their creative agency. “When we started to work with Jazz, we were clear about one thing. We did not want ‘fastest downloads’ to be the brand’s identity,” says Syed Hamza, ACD, Fishbowl. “It limited the approach of Jazz’s digital platforms and we wanted to do more with the power of digital.”
This modification concerning communication for Jazz Super 4G came in the form of the word ‘super’ being incorporated in their campaign. “The word ‘super’ has equity and stands for our brand ideals,” adds Hamza. This led to a series of emotional-centric campaigns that used the word ‘super’ and included ‘Super Confidence’ (featuring Hadiqa Kiyani, whose son encourages her to be on social media and show her prowess as a chef); ‘Super Khiladi’ (which centres on a boy who makes videos of himself playing cricket and showcases his passion for the sport), ‘Super Socho’ (depicting a woman making pottery) among others. The most recent is the ‘Super For Change’ campaign which was released on May 19 – a campaign that reflects Jazz’s core ideology of “digital enablement” and features a khwaja sira (transgender person) as the protagonist.
“It is interesting that no other brand has talked about transgender people at such a large scale, perhaps because they lack the confidence to do so,” says Sidra Ahmad, Head of Brands, Jazz.
“We have 75 million subscribers in Pakistan, which puts us in the lead and as a leading telco network, it is our responsibility to provide a platform for change,” agrees Shoaib Ehsan Aftab, Head of Brands and Communication, Jazz.
In the campaign, a transgender person is shown painting the slogan ‘Awaz Uthao, Farq Mitao’ on a wall using graffiti. Hamza points out that “in the past, change occurred when people painted graffiti on walls during marches and protests, as there was no digital media to raise awareness.” Aftab clarifies that “we had not decided to focus on a transgender person for this campaign. When we touch upon certain topics, we dive deep into the reason why we are doing so, then we come up with the best way to communicate the message.” This ultimately led Jazz to focus on transgender people when talking about change because “this particular segment of society has used digital media to bring about change for themselves,” adds Ahmad.
This makes sense given that the Government of Pakistan passed The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in 2018, whereby the transgender community is allowed to choose their ‘third’ gender and have their identity recognised on official documents such as their CNICs, passports and driver’s licenses.
Hina, the transgender person featured in the campaign was selected after Jami (the director of the campaign) held auditions for 50 to 60 people. Hamza says that Hina is a student of mass communication at SZABIST University. “Most of the transgender community is well-read and are social activists. We wanted someone with the passion to voice their opinion, who is articulate and not a celebrity. Hina clicked as the right choice.”
The campaign has been rolled out on digital and traditional platforms. Despite the fact that Pakistan is a conservative society, Aftab is not concerned about any negative backlash.
“We do not think there will be a backlash because we have not triggered anything. We want people to perceive the transgender community through a regular lens because as a society we have preconceived notions about them.”
Nevertheless, the brand has taken measures to ensure minimal backlash by steering clear of anything controversial, such as showing the transgender community in a manner that would offend conservative schools of thought. They have also avoided portraying members of the transgender community stereotypically. “We are trying to change perceptions by showing transgender people as ‘regular’ accomplished people who are socially active and pursuing change,” says Ahmad.
Another component of the campaign is the boot camps and workshops that Jazz have set up to train people from the transgender community to acquire digital skills to further their career prospects or simply to raise their voice. “We are not just preaching that we support the transgender community, we are taking action by providing them with support,” says Aftab
Despite the focus on the transgender community, Ahmad says that their target audience is not limited to them but addresses anyone who uses a phone and a digital platform. Consequently, in addition to traditional media and key digital media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, they are using TikTok. “Tiktok and Jazz have a similar core essence: TikTok provides a platform to its users to not only be creative but also showcase their creativity. Similarly, we are providing a platform to enable our subscribers to use the power of digital,” says Aftab.
Although top of mind recall and brand awareness are the objectives of the current campaigns, the ultimate goal is to communicate that Jazz Super 4G is the answer to anyone’s digital needs, and future campaigns will use the word ‘super’ and keep adding meaning to the word.
In conclusion, Ahmad says, “super is a huge platform and we have only just started to scratch the surface of this communication. We will continue to tell more stories and if required to work with other marginalised communities in the future, we will do so as long as it communicates our fundamental message.”