Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Cut the Rap, They’ve Won Cannes

Pakistani creatives have so much relevant inspiration to draw from at home, so what’s with the rap frenzy that is seizing our advertising, wonders Ad Mad Dude.
Updated 07 Sep, 2023 05:06pm

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts and prepare for an exhilarating journey into the colourful realm of Pakistani advertising, where creativity reigns supreme and sometimes, it can be as unpredictable as a distant relative visiting from out of town!

Imagine a world where “NOT OUT OF THE BOX ORDINARY ADS” roamed freely, each one vying to outshine the other with their rather conventional yet fancy ideas, catchy jingles and glamorous locales. Dashing men selling everything from colas to telecommunication services, and graceful ladies endorsing oil, soap and shampoo. It felt like a delightful masala mix, with the same ingredients sprinkled on different dishes!

But, as fate would have it, a revolution was brewing in the underground music scene of Pakistan. The infectious beats of rap music began captivating the hearts of the young and audacious, spreading like wildfire from the narrow alleys of Lahore to the bustling streets of Karachi, eventually permeating the mainstream like a force of nature.

Then, like a torrential downpour during the monsoon season, the industry hopped on the rap bandwagon. Suddenly, there was a deluge of rap-infused ads everywhere you looked. Telco – RAP. Cola – RAP. Car – RAP. Even the venerable niswar brand and Hashmi Surma – yes, you guessed it – RAP!

It seems the marketers must have thought, “Hey, everyone’s into rap, right? Let’s toss in some neon lights, cool boyzzz, and girlzzz dancing with a dash of latkas and jhatkas, and voilà, we’ve got ourselves a ‘super creative’ ad!” It was as if they were on a quest to unlock the secret recipe for a viral rap ad, only to end up with an army of clones, all singing the same tune.

One can’t help but wonder if they even considered the appropriateness of rap for every product. Picture this: a grandfather purchasing his favourite brand of surma while a rap song blares in the background, “Yo, yo, yo, Hashmi Surma, it’s the way to go, man!” It’s as peculiar as blending paan masala with gulab jamuns – a combination that might make our ancestors turn in their graves but still appeals to a brand manager.

Now, you might assume that the advertising wizards had a grand strategy behind this madness. Alas, brace yourself for a reality check – it seems they tossed the concept of strategy out the window and embraced a foolproof plan: Open YouTube > Find a new rap song > Insert brand name. Ta-da! A ready-made ad, akin to instant noodles, but with significantly less flavour.

And let’s not forget the ‘intellectual gymnastics’ they boast about – showering money bags at EVERYTHING. Like confetti at a wedding, they douse their ads with money, hoping it will magically transform into a masterpiece. Newsflash: crafting a memorable ad requires more than just rupee notes.

However, amidst this rap frenzy, let’s not lose sight of Pakistan’s creative prowess on the global stage. We recently won the prestigious Cannes Glass Lion, proving that we have the potential to shine amongst the world’s finest. It’s time to remind ourselves that genuine creativity knows no boundaries, and with a sprinkle of strategic brilliance, our ads can command the world’s attention.

So, my fellow advertising adventurers, let’s take a step back, put our dancing shoes aside, and focus on crafting ads that speak to the heart, not just the feet. Let’s draw inspiration from the diverse tapestry of Pakistan, akin to discovering a hidden gem in the bustling bazaars of Peshawar.

Let’s embrace our uniqueness and showcase it to the world – ads that resonate with our people and leave a lasting impression. It’s time to break free from the chains of repetition and embrace the beautiful chaos that makes Pakistan’s advertising truly one of a kind.

As we navigate this quirky world of Pakistani advertising, let’s remember that a successful ad isn’t just about throwing in a rap track and a bunch of flashy visuals. No, no, no! It’s about understanding the soul of the product, the heartbeat of the audience and finding that magical connection that leaves an indelible mark on their minds.

So, dear marketers, before you jump onto the rap bandwagon faster than a rickshaw on a Karachi street, pause for a moment of reflection. Ask yourselves, “Does rap truly complement the essence of our product? Will it resonate with our target audience beyond the fleeting trendiness?”

There’s a whole pot-pourri of creative potential waiting to be explored in the diverse cultural landscape of Pakistan. Why limit ourselves to a one-size-fits-all approach? Let’s dive into the rich heritage of classical music, the mesmerising allure of traditional dance and the poetic charm of Urdu literature. Embracing these elements doesn’t mean we’re stuck in the past; rather, we are weaving a tapestry that marries the timeless with the contemporary.

As we embark on this creative odyssey, let’s keep pushing the boundaries, challenging conventions, and celebrating the true spirit of Pakistani advertising. Together, we can create a symphony of marketing brilliance that captures not only the attention but the hearts of our audiences, both at home and abroad.

In conclusion, let’s be the trailblazers of advertising innovation, the trendsetters of artistic expression, and the champions of creativity. So, raise your chai cups to reset a memorable chapter in Pakistani advertising history and let’s restart a new era that brims with imagination, uniqueness and a touch of the good ol’ Pakistani flair! Cheers!

Ad Mad Dude runs a Facebook page called Ad Mad Dude.