In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this – wrote the ever quotable Terry Pratchett. This may be true for some older brands as well. In this context, the brand that comes to mind is Tibet, a 40-year-old brand, famous for making Tibet Snow cream; the beauty cream of the east.
Tibet’s earliest ads had the actress Sabiha as brand ambassador. In terms of TV commercials, they featured white Caucasian models on speed boats singing of the joys of using Tibet Soap. Tibet was a household name then and your mom or grandmother may well have used them.
However, like the cats, Tibet has not forgotten its legacy and somehow the brand has become stuck in time. There have been attempts over the past few years to come out with new SKUs, packaging and fragrances and this makes me happy; I am a staunch supporter of all brands Pakistani. The attempts at humour with comedian Danish Ali and the fruity soap, showing a constantly hungry guy, are good and brave attempts by a brand that refuses to forget its legacy. Clearly the brand wants to evolve but is it evolving fast enough? The logo has not, and even with some fantastic storytelling (the freshman ad), the brand feels dated. There are lessons in the constant engaging with new audiences that we see among legacy brands such as Lux, Shell and Levis. Other brands, such as Rooh Afza, have also been victims of the cat mentality and new players like Jam-e-Shirin are surpassing Rooh Afza and Nauras, who are stuck as seasonal Ramzan brands.
Atiya Zaidi is Executive Creative Director, Synergy Dentsu.
First published in THE DAWN OF ADVERTISING IN PAKISTAN (1947-2017), a Special Report published by DAWN on March 31, 2018.