Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

A Few of My Favourite Things

Published in Sep-Oct 2022

Arooj Anwar lists her favourite recent ad campaigns.

Shan – #HamSabNeBanaya
Agency: BBDO Pakistan
Categories: TV

After #OathforHer, Shan’s #HamSabNeBanaya ad looks at what a healthy mindset looks like when it comes to families supporting working women. The term ‘doctor bahu’ is a badge of honour for families when they want to tell people that their daughter is going to be a cardiologist or that their bahu is a paediatrician. Yet, despite this, most families are still not ready to have an open conversation about supporting their doctor daughters/bahus. Whether it is defending them with words of appreciation, sharing responsibilities at home or simply acknowledging their humanitarian services, this ad shows what this support looks like. The line “ham sab ne banaya” from a Mother-in-Law (in response to an auntie’s question about what the doctor bahu cooked at a daawat) captures the essence of how home, food and social gatherings should be conducted – by a fair distribution of responsibilities. Shan’s approach to highlighting deep-rooted social problems with sensitivity is worthy of applause. 

Arsh Basmati Rice – Apke Magic Ka Special Ingredient
Agency: Arey Wah
Categories: TV

An ad that takes you through life in a neighbourhood with a “badhmizaaj uncle”, a “kanjoos family” and a “nakchiri auntie”, all of whom take a 180-degree personality turn when the new neighbours arrive… with delicious rice dishes made with “khilay huay” Arsh rice and which make the three obnoxious neighbours khilay huay too. The beauty of this ad is how grounded it is. There is a 90% chance that you have met all three such characters at some point in your life – their personalities are not exaggerated. Some food brands focus on the emotional angle of feeding a family, but this ad is a reminder of how to take the magic of your recipes and kindness outside the home too. Sharing food with neighbours is an age-old, simple and effective way to bring people together. This narrative perfectly fits a rice brand, especially when every home has a special rice recipe.

Lifebuoy Shampoo – #KaamKarungiBarayBaray
Agency: JWT | GREY
Categories: TV, Digital

Creating gender-inclusive content, one poem at a time! In Lifebuoy’s new campaign, Jamiluddin Aali’s iconic poem, “Mein chota sa ik larka hoon, kaam karun ga baray baray” has been revised and sung in Zehra Nigah’s impactful voice to empower young girls (“mein choti si ik ladki hun, kaam karun gi baray baray”). The visual shows young girls engaged in different activities using their imagination and skills (make-believe play as an astronaut, taking care of a pet etc.). Poems like these, especially if used in school curriculums, can seed self-belief in girls to encourage them to achieve big dreams. 

Telenor – #AchaiKaTrend
Agency: Ogilvy Pakistan
Categories: Digital

At a time when liking, commenting and tagging are part of our routine, Telenor’s Ramzan campaign showed us how to use digital engagement to support small businesses. The #AchaiKaTrend campaign attempts to encourage the idea of shopping responsibly, and the fact that the most effective way to help small businesses grow is to not only to buy from them but also to support them by becoming their digital voice (or teaching them how to be more present on digital). The beauty of this campaign is how they promoted the fact that the spirit to do good is relevant throughout the year and not only during Ramzan. 

Dulux Pakistan – Pehchaan Ka Rung
Agency: Stimulus Productions Worldwide
Category: TV

After graduating and returning from a foreign university, a young man wants to work in Pakistan and build a housing society for the underprivileged. However, his father wants him to go back and stop wasting the money they spent on giving him a foreign education because “Yahan har cheez mein samjhota karna hota hai”. Eventually, the young man succeeds in making his father realise that just like their own family home (which requires effort to maintain), Pakistan needs maintenance and effort by its people. This insight and timing of the ad could not be more relevant than an Independence Day release. The ad urges young people and their parents to acknowledge that they are Pakistan’s intellectual capital, especially during times when the country needs them the most, reinforcing the idea that proactively doing good for our homeland takes precedence over escaping abroad.

Human Rights Foundation – The Uncomfortable Truth
Agency: TAXI Vancouver
Category: OOH, Digital

A perfect example of a brand hijack for a good cause. Kanye West’s Yeezy brand had collaborated with Gap to create a new jacket. To promote this initiative, the campaign consisted of minimalistic and interactive OOH ads spread all over NYC (a picture of the jacket next to a QR code, zero text used). Once users scanned the QR code, they landed on an online site where they could buy the product. The jacket sold out within hours. The Human Rights Foundation hijacked the idea by replicating the OOH ad for Yeezy to draw public attention to one of the biggest issues facing the fashion industry: forced labour. The ad showed a blue jumpsuit (which is worn by Uyghur prisoners) along with a QR code that took users to a website that educated them on the enforced labour imposed on Uyghur and Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. Users could use the HRF app to check up on other brands that may also be using forced labour. Campaigns like this one help consumers to think more critically about their fashion choices and be more socially aware.

Heinz – Even AI Knows
Agency: Rethink Canada
Category: Digital

AI is about to change the art world. However, when it comes to AI tools, creativity isn’t exactly about the power of imagination as much as it is about the power of creation. The popularity of AI tools such as MidJourney and DALL-E are taking over Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn feeds. These AI-powered tools can turn our imagination into an image. In 2021, Heinz conducted a social experiment with participants from 18 countries, where they asked people to “Draw ketchup” (the people didn’t know Heinz was behind the experiment). The quality of the drawings varied, but one thing was common – when they drew ketchup, they drew a bottle of Heinz Ketchup. In 2022, Heinz once again proved the association between the brand and the word; this time by using AI. They used DALL-E, which can create an image when a user enters text/description into it. They entered the word “ketchup” and it generated an image of a bottle of Heinz. They then entered different descriptions, such as “Ketchup Art”, “Ketchup Renaissance” and “Ketchup bottle floating in a swimming pool” and the digital artwork that popped up was almost always a bottle of Heinz. This experiment helped them establish their point that even AI knows “ketchup means Heinz.” A perfect example of a brand moving at the speed of changing technology and engaging users in first-to-market ways.

JSW Paints – Think Beautiful
Agency: TBWA India
Category: TV

JSW Paints took the idea of thinking beautiful out of the four walls of the home and into the neighbourhood. They smartly played on the undesirable habit of spitting in public places, especially paan. The film hints at a practical solution for a behavioural problem of a biker who spits paan on a wall next to a paint store. The store owner repaints the stained wall hoping the biker might not spit on the clean wall. To his frustration, the biker remains unmoved. The owner then paints the Indian flag on the wall. The biker stops – understandable, admirable, and relevant. Progressive and solution-oriented stories like these lead the public to think creatively about the common problems around them.

Arooj Anwar is Content Manager, BBDO.