Published in Jan-Feb 2023
The year is 2023. A year when productions, transitions, camera quality, lively/vibrant sets and neon grading will be THE BENCHMARK in advertising. Sounds pretty good. But there is a problem. Where are the insights and relevance?! In a quest to understand whether insights actually matter, I did a little bit of digging, and found a few ads worth mentioning here, for all the right and wrong reasons!
Agency: IAL Saatchi & Saatchi
Campaign: Blame the Bhook
Message: Hunger brings out all kinds of emotions, so ease your hunger with something light.
Effectiveness: Why is every ad based on a shaadi (wedding)? Tuc’s previous communication strongly positioned the brand as the right, light snack in moments of stress. Although the idea ‘Blame the Bhook’ seemed like a fantastic line, and where so much could have been leveraged, the execution did not do justice to it. Another wedding, another feel-good moment that could have surely been shown another way.
Verdict: I blame the brand, not the bhook.
Agency: BBDO Pakistan
Campaign: Dil Ki Baat
Message: There is so much left unsaid but felt. All you need to do is break the ice and say what you really feel.
Effectiveness: I almost confused this ad with Tuc’s. But I guess 7UP has the advantage here, since they came up with a shaadi before Tuc. 7UP’s new positioning seems as if the brand has lost its essence, especially after creating communication like ‘Manaa Lo Food Ka Love’, which was fantastic. The ad is pleasant, but there is nothing new about it. Surely, a better job could have been done when it comes to matters of the heart.
Verdict: Wohi baat, ab 7UP ke saath.
Brand: Eva Cooking Oil
Agency: IAL Saatchi & Saatchi
Message: Kitchen duties are not only restricted to women. Men may not do a great job, but they will learn.
Effectiveness: I liked the insight. It was a simple one – men may struggle in the kitchen, but they eventually manage. This campaign had a clean execution and gives a push towards changing cultural norms. Well done!
Verdict: Sometimes, simple insights with simple executions are the most effective.
Agency: M&C Saatchi World Services
Campaign: Aaj ke waqt mein, waqt hai mansooba saazi ka
Message: Times have changed and so have the ways families work. We need to embrace change.
Effectiveness: In times like these, such campaigns always stand out. Pakistan has a lack of resources compounded by overpopulation. The insight was very strong. As a society, we need to be progressive and settle for having one child if we can afford it. A job well done.
Verdict: In times like these we need thought-provoking ads that can bring change.
Brand: Zong 4G
Agency: The D’Hamidi Partnership
Campaign: Gen Z matlab Gen Zong
Message: Whether it’s Gen Z or Millennials, everyone belongs to Gen Zong.
Effectiveness: “Hum hain digital, nothing typical.” Buddy, this ad was all typical. Where there is Gen Z, there has to be rap, because that is all a Gen Z person understands… There was no insight. The jingle lacked momentum and was out of sync. Choosing two brothers from different generations was a great idea. The execution… clearly not. Although I liked the idea of making Pakistan digital and promoting Gen Z as a digital-first generation, it did not come up to the mark.
Verdict: Gen Zong needs to understand what Gen Z is all about.
Brand: Pakistan State Oil
Agency: Synergy Dentsu
Campaign: Performance Aisi Ke Dunya Chalay
Message: No matter how tough the roads, performance should always be to the maximum.
Effectiveness: Truck drivers do not have it easy. The tasks they perform require mental and physical strength. The insight was to show the rough and tough lifestyle of a truck driver and why his partner (the truck) should be strong enough to withstand the challenges. While the insight was somewhat there, the execution lacked power. In a market where there are several brands of diesel, this ad did not have the impact required to stand out. The execution could have been stronger and the insight could have been better by showing the specific struggles the truck driver faces.
Verdict: A good attempt, but not hitting the insight to the max.
Murteza H. Aftab is Associate Creative Director, Synite Digital.