Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

A Rahber Revival?

Published in May-Jun 2023

Rahber's campaign focuses on the quality, functionality and versatility of the products, and leverages Fawad Khan’s popularity.

Orange watercoolers are a common sight in Pakistan, especially during summers and many of those were once upon a time the flagship product of Rahber, a brand that began its journey in the seventies. Then, as market dynamics started to change, the company began to face financial difficulties and eventually went bankrupt, only to be acquired by Eagle Star Company, which specialises in plastic goods in 2012. Recognising the brand’s potential, Eagle Star made a significant investment in R&D aimed at reviving the brand and its positioning and in May 2023, after a gap of 15 years, released an ad campaign promoting Rahber and featuring popular actor Fawad Khan.

The campaign consists of five TVCs highlighting four Rahber products; watercoolers, iceboxes, hotpots and thermoses. The campaign focuses on the quality, functionality and versatility of the products, and leverages Fawad Khan’s popularity. The big idea for the commercials came from Manhattan International, the agency which pitched and secured the Rahber account earlier this year. In fact, the pitch was initiated on the instructions of Bashir Khan, the founder of Manhattan International, who had worked with Rahber in the seventies.

Talking about the campaign, Raheel Pasha Khan, CEO, Omnicom Media Group Pakistan, (part of Manhattan International), says, “The challenge was to create captivating commercials that sparked the audience’s imagination. The brief was straightforward – retain the brand’s legacy and equity and make it relevant to modern-day consumers. The goal was to solidify the brand’s market prominence and emphasise its commitment to quality.”

Their creative approach had two objectives. Firstly, to revitalise the brand’s equity and appeal among existing and potential customers and secondly, to establish Rahber’s dominance in its respective categories. The TVCs used suspense and humour to capture the attention of audiences, while emphasising the superior quality and functionality of the products. Fawad Khan ‘plays’ an actor who in various situations is so taken by Rahber’s products that they even tend to interrupt his work.

Although Fawad Khan has been seen in other recent ad campaigns, Eagle Star wanted him as Rahber’s brand ambassador. As Ehtesham Uddin, Director, Eagle Star explains, “Fawad is a well-known and charismatic actor, and his presence raised the impact of our ads significantly and enhanced the brand’s star power and credibility.”

The brand’s original tagline, ‘Humara Rahber Sub Sey Behtar’ (our Rahber is better than the rest) – which possibly dates to the seventies – was revived for the campaign in order to forge a connection between both older and younger generations.

In terms of the response, the company says that although it is a bit early to calculate the ROI, there has been an increase in demand, indicating a growing level of customer preference for the brand. Furthermore, the response from retailers has been favourable and the commercials seemed to have positively influenced their perceptions of Rahber.

Here it is pertinent to add that the market for thermoware presents unique challenges in terms of penetration, as it is saturated by smaller brands that rely on word-of-mouth advertising. These products are available at lower price points and offer better profit margins to retailers. Yet, it is in this competitive landscape that Rahber faces the task of establishing its value proposition and differentiating itself from other brands – and despite the availability of cheaper alternatives, Rahber positions itself as a premium brand, with an emphasis on quality and reliability. It is also worth pointing out that approximately 80% of Rahber’s sales come from rural areas across Pakistan.

Eagle Star has conducted extensive research, including reviewing case studies of successful international thermoware brands. In particular, the company has noted how sponsorships of major sporting events like NFL and NBA franchises have resulted in significant visibility and brand exposure for similar brands in North America. Apart from taking a more proactive marketing approach in the future, Eagle Star will also be leveraging e-commerce as a means to extend the brand’s presence and tap into a wider customer base.