Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

A Few of My Favourite Things

Published in Jul-Aug 2022

Armna Khan lists her favourite recent ad campaigns.

Maza – Maza Ka Chaunsa!
Agency: Wide Angle Films
Categories: TV, Digital

A jingle-y rap song selling Maza’s chaunsa flavoured juice. It can also be considered a ‘diss track’ aimed at all the other juice brands out there... and I am here for it. The ad took pop culture and chucked it in a blender to make a pick-me-up drink that left us feeling happy. They have done the basics well; from a catchy jingle to cultural tidbits, to production – it has stolen the show. They successfully created a bizarre Maza chaunsa world and brought it to life, so much so that it became immersive. Every time someone says to me “kaunsa?” in whichever context, my response is “chaunsa!” It’s got the three Rs: Rewatchable, Re-singable (it is a word) and Re-memorable (so is this, yes). I also appreciate the faith they put in their audience. The ad assumes, rightly so, that viewers will spot about 15 easter eggs of humour hidden within the film instead of explaining it to them frame by frame. I know that I spotted the scene with a woman in a yellow dress holding a mango, ‘sliced’ in there.

Attock Petroleum – Jesay Koi Apna
Agency: In-house
Categories: TV, Digital

The ad explores the lives of car owners by showing us the different uses of a car, all the while advertising engine oil. I loved the approach. It talks to the everyday Pakistani and uses insights they found concerning car owners to make a very convincing point: we know how much your car means to you and here is a gentle reminder to take care of it. The script is well-written, timed and succinct. It is also hilarious. When a brand can show its understanding of its audiences and be brave enough to strip creativity to its core, it makes for effective work. The objective was to convince car owners to switch to Attock for their engine needs. It spoke with humility and familiarity, and succeeded in resonating with the target audience. There’s not much to unpack in this film, just a lot to learn from.

Jazz – Awaaz Uthaou, Farq Mitaou #SuperForChange
Agency: Fishbowl
Categories: TV, Digital, Print

Jazz partnered with khwaja sira Hina to speak about internet activism while advertising their super 4G connection. This is my pick because I think the broader insight rings true in today’s day and age and it has been well visualised. We live in a global city and although the power of the internet is immense in uniting us, one can also feel that what we have to say is lost in a sea of other people’s opinions. In Pakistan, where social media has often been successfully used as a tool for social justice, we of all people need to realise the weight our voice holds. Jazz has succeeded in finding a unique product benefit for their 4G service and linked it to an important message. It is not easy to find a visual tool portraying something as abstract as the internet, so I applaud the art direction for not relying too heavily on emojis and screenshots and only using them where they made sense.

SIUT – SIUT Apna Hai
Agency: Azadfilm
Categories: TV, Digital, Print

A true story of a donor is told in this ad as an inspiration for others to follow and donate their zakat to SIUT. There is immense integrity reflected here. They have done their research to the point where it led them to a beautiful story. It was a five-minute-long film and I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to know more about the past, present and future of not only the protagonist but of the brand itself. And isn’t that the goal of all donation films? To spark interest in what you do so that the audience cares enough to find out more about and hopefully donate? It’s a winner on all fronts. A genuine piece of work with brilliant direction, acting, copywriting and product story. The true lesson is that sometimes insights can come from looking inwards at your own brand history to find a gem rather than searching the world outside.

Easypaisa – Achay Kaam Karo, Khamoshi Se
Agency: Ogilvy
Category: TVC

Easypaisa’s online donation feature is highlighted by looking at how some people feel awkward or uncomfortable donating in person. What a fun and effective piece of communication! They have identified a human truth and a unique selling point for their product. The humour is poky and divides the room in a loveable way. It is the kind of joke your friend would crack at your expense: funny and true with helpful undertones. I love the quirky soundtrack, the colourful characters, the one-liners and the nods of disapproval. Easypaisa has given us something shareable and punchy to get, dare I say, an important message across to the public. There are a million ways to donate and showing up with a giant cheque is not one of them. Try Easypaisa the next time.

CALM – There’s A Secret Message in This Video
Agency: Recipe
Category: Digital

Calm helps people talk about their mental health issues and this film is an extension of that ambition. Non-traditional use of social media is clutter-breaking on its own right, and the way it has been tackled here is amazing in more ways than one. Firstly, they started with a niche insight about mental health issues in a particular audience: video game players. They then spoke to them in a way they would have liked to be spoken to. Secondly, they went the influencer partnership route and picked the right platform to reach this audience. Thirdly, they picked the right influencer, someone the audience trusts, engages with and feels connected with. Fourthly, they came up with an incredibly smart and emotionally impactful way to land their message, native to the platform. This was not an ordinary ad break, they cared enough to put thought behind how their offer to help as a brand reached the audience.

Tesco – Together this Ramadan
Agency: BBH London
Category: Digital, OOH

This is a creative Ramzan billboard that added food to empty plates at sunset. It’s a first from UK-based supermarket chain Tesco. They have never put an advertising budget behind their Ramzan communication and this was a brilliant start. First off, I love that they did it. With a large Muslim population in certain parts of the UK, I am surprised not many brands have gone down this route before. Most brands don’t even have Ramzan or Eid in their social calendars. So to come out with an out-of-home campaign with roots in digital as well is a great thing to see. And to do it in a way that is noticed is even better. I am glad this got the press it did. The photography is beautiful, the food is representative and the placement is well thought out. Brilliant!

Burger King – Poop-Emoji Ice Cream
Agency: David
Category: Digital

Burger King launched a new product (ice cream that resembles poop emoji) in order to talk about food made from sh*tty ingredients. Hilarious. But also stunt-y. And left-field. And oh-so-smart. Burger King inadvertently owned up to having a menu previously pooped with artificial flavours and also gave the audience an instagrammable trial of the new poop-free flavour. What more can you ask for? They solved a big brand problem and communicated that they had solved it in a Burger King-esque manner; free from jargon, direct and playful. In another world, they would have done a serious ad telling people that if they take their health seriously they can now buy Burger King products because they have made them healthier. But I am so glad they didn’t take that route; poop-emoji ice cream is a much better answer to the brief.

Armna Khan is former BBDO Pakistan and currently working as a creative for The&Partnership, London.