Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Zong takes to the skies

Published in Jul-Aug 2017
Will the D’Hamidi’s new TVC lead Zong to new heights?

China Mobile Pakistan (popularly known as Zong), released a 360-degree campaign in May with the purpose of establishing Zong as the provider of the widest 4G network in Pakistan.

Zong was launched in 2008 as a 100% owned subsidiary of China Mobile Communications Corporation. It currently holds 20% of the market share in the local telecom sector (Jazz accounts for 38%, Ufone 14% and Telenor 28%). To break into the market, Zong initially positioned itself as a service provider for the ‘masses’ with a price-focused strategy.

According to Umar Tanvir, Marketing Manager, Zong, “in those days we were a challenger brand and our strategy was to target the lower SECs by offering the cheapest call and SMS rates.”

However, as demand for faster internet service increased and technology moved from 2G to 3G and 4G, Zong saw the future as being not in voice (2G), but in data (3G/4G) and the company became the first telecom provider in Pakistan to acquire a 3G as well as a 4G licence in 2014. Today, Zong, with over three million 4G subscribers across 200 cities has the highest number, followed by Jazz, with approximately 735,000 4G subscribers and restricted mainly to the major cities of Pakistan.


A new dream’ (previously ‘Sab kehdo’), was built on the premise that Zong facilitates and enables the fulfilment of young people’s dreams. Similarly, the new brand colours – fuchsia and lime green – are edgy and trendy and “target urban Millennials.


Tanvir says, “we invested $600 million in licence fees, plus millions of dollars in infrastructure and set-up. We then had to leverage this hefty investment with changing consumer demands. Soon it was apparent that the brand image needed to move from an ‘awami ’ brand to a premium one. Our target market shifted to the upper SECs and urban Millennials.”

The centrepiece of this rebranding was a TVC released in 2016 with the tagline, ‘A new dream’.

According to Faraz Maqsood Hamidi, CE and Creative Director, The D’Hamidi Partnership (Zong’s creative agency), “the purpose of the TVC was not to promote product offers, it was to announce the rebirth of a brand.”

Hamidi adds that the tagline ‘A new dream’ (previously ‘Sab kehdo’), was built on the premise that Zong facilitates and enables the fulfilment of young people’s dreams. Similarly, the new brand colours – fuchsia and lime green – are edgy and trendy and “target urban Millennials who are drawn towards funky colours.” The colours, he says, were finalised after extensive testing. The logo too, was revamped to incorporate the new colours and the inclusion of the word ‘4G’; “extensive 4G coverage is Zong’s USP, and so we proudly state it in the logo as well.”

The current TVC has built upon last year’s rebranding and shows young people skydiving and landing in remote parts of Pakistan, where they are able to seamlessly access and video stream data. The choice of skydiving was to do something out-of-the-box and avoid creating a “typical over-emotional telecom ad showing people driving through long, winding roads and communicating long-distance,” says Tanvir. To which Hamidi adds: “What better way is there to show network coverage than through the sky! The ad illustrates Zong’s 4G coverage in almost all cities of Pakistan – whether you are on land or in the sky!”


According to Tanvir, the telecom market is extremely competitive and the cost of switching networks is minimal – therefore, “you cannot compete by slashing prices; you need to build equity and create brand loyalty.


Shooting the TVC was a challenge. Due to permission and logistical issues, the flying sequences were shot in San Diego, although the “landing scenes” were shot in Pakistan, with locations ranging from Gwadar to Khunjerab and various parts of northern Pakistan (Zong provides 4G coverage in all these areas).

Looking ahead, Zong plans to focus their forthcoming communication on promoting data services (specifically 4G) and upping their brand image. According to Tanvir, the telecom market is extremely competitive and the cost of switching networks is minimal – therefore, “you cannot compete by slashing prices; you need to build equity and create brand loyalty. Our 4G coverage is unmatchable and is our strength.”

Another key opportunity for Zong will be to provide 4G coverage in those areas which fall within the scope of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambition that will require further long-term investment in infrastructure. In Tanvir’s opinion, “areas previously underserved will now be connected and will be able to communicate and conduct business efficiently. Fast internet changes lives and Zong aims to be a part of this change.”