Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Published in Nov-Dec 2019

TALKING HEADS 2019 – Part Twelve

Aurora polled Pakistan’s leading agency and corporate heads on their thoughts about AdAsia 2019.

In your opinion, how relevant/irrelevant is AdAsia to Pakistan’s marketing and communications industry?

As Pakistan’s marketing and communications industry moves into 2020:

i) What are the three biggest changes to have impacted your agency/brand communication efforts in the last decade and what concrete steps have you implemented to adapt to them?

ii) What further changes will you implement in order to ensure your agency/brand stays relevant?


Asim Naqvi

CEo, Ogilvy Pakistan
1 Relevant. Times are tough for Pakistan’s advertising industry. To take the industry forward, we need to find new ways to stay relevant, and what better than a global forum like AdAsia to discuss challenges, exchange ideas and build knowledge.

2 i) It has never been more challenging to build brands. Mobile mania, bite-sized content, multi-layered media and the number of devices, platforms, experiences and interactions on those platforms have resulted in a massively fragmented marketplace. To meet these changes we have redefined our company though a digital and technological transformation, which was completed three years ago.

ii) My priority is consistency over adjustments or change. I would like to further build our key attributes which are agility, adaptiveness and remaining future focused.


Shoaib Qureshy

MD, Bulls Eye DDB Group

1 Irrelevant. I was not even a marketing and advertising professional when Ad Asia took place 30 years ago. So what it is, what it means and whether it happens or not, does not matter to me. As far as Pakistan’s marketing and advertising industry goes, we have been on our own despite global affiliations. The world and the region still do not see Pakistan on the advertising map. The local marketing and advertising associations only think of securing more local business for their agencies rather than doing anything for the industry, therefore it would be beneficial if we could attract such events to Pakistan more frequently, rather than once in our professional lifetimes.

2 i) Clients looking for solutions beyond traditional media. Clients paying less and wanting more. Retainers and agency commissions under immense pressure. Forget growth, now it’s about arresting year-on-year cuts as procurement and finance rules at most client set ups. Managing a younger people mix and with it on the job training, coaching and guidance.

ii) Going back to the future. The agency model has been affected in this last decade of specialisation driven by clients and forcing the once all-rounder agency to split into specialist smaller agencies. I see myself remixing the advertising, activation and digital agencies into a single agency, as clients will need only one agency.


Khalid Rauf

Chairman & CEO, Mullen LoweRauf

1 Relevant. Technology is having a major impact on advertising, so seeing global practitioners present their ideas and contributions will inspire our industry professionals.

2 i) Increasing use of new media, especially mobile phones. Increasing data. Increasing digital power of the consumer. We started the journey of digital transformation 10 years ago. Since then we have invested in technology and people and made corresponding changes in our organisational structure.

ii) To balance the transition from traditional to digital.


Ali Rez

Regional ECD, Impact BBDO Middle East & Pakistan

1 Relevant. Pakistan has been operating in a bubble of mediocrity for years compared to international standards, and this exposure will help guide the industry towards creating better quality work, especially at a juncture when Pakistan is entering the big digital world.

2 i) Speed of work has greatly increased. Better traffic models and prioritising tools help us adapt and deliver. Retention of talent has become tougher in an era where young talent is keen to keep moving. The rise of better content with digital has greatly affected the need for better talent to create original work.

ii) By delivering better, original and relevant content and delivering it faster than anyone else. The ad agency is no longer a passive recipient of a brief, it needs to be an active participant in guiding the brand partner’s business; traditional media models and behavior will make way for more innovative solutions. We put an emphasis on making the agency a happy place to work: people like purpose in what they do. And this business is based on the people that do the work.