Published in Jul-Aug 2023
When someone asks you to give your opinion on the work out there, the first instinct is to grasp the opportunity and vent all the frustration stemming from your own work realities, and finally let the world know what you are capable of – if not through your work, then through your critical analysis of other people’s campaigns. However, after working for 18 years in this field, I know that this profession is no child’s play and what goes on in the endless rounds of revisions - and yet another epiphany moment by the client – all of which usually lead to the kind of work we generally see around us. So kudos to all the lucky people whose campaigns came out looking mediocre or run of the mill! At least you were able to deliver the baby after an intense labour. Here are a few campaigns that recently caught my eye.
Agency: Soho Square Pakistan
Campaign: Garmi Mein Bhi Thand Rakh
Message: Sprite can take the heat out of any unpleasant moment
Effectiveness: At first, one feels that this is going to be yet another forced ‘cool’ idea, but the campaign surprises with its on-point insights. The humour balances out the frustration in each story and never leaves out the product’s relevance.
Verdict: Light-hearted, relevant and refreshing, the new sprite ads are a beacon of hope for traumatised creative and client service teams who one day may see their fun scripts transcend into actual ads.
Brand: Nido 1+
Agency: Publicis RED Communication Arts
Campaign: Jitna Saara Mama Ka Pyaar, Utni Bharpoor Nash O Numa
Message: Nutrition as wholesome as a mother’s love
Effectiveness: No one is immune to the economic challenges we are facing these days and as a response, a lot of brands are coming up (quite rightly) with value reframing campaigns. In this context, Nido 1+’s is a simple yet effective campaign that captures those innocent and cherished moments between a mum and her toddler. The stories are cute enough to warm up your heart and effectively remain immersed within the brand identity.
Verdict: If you really put your heart into any communication, it becomes meaningful and memorable. And in the current financial climate keeping it crisp, light-hearted and relevant seems a good strategy.
Campaign: No Khwari, No Lara, OLX Per Tinak Din Tara
Message: Life and its many problems are sorted with OLX
Effectiveness: You may raise an eyebrow but when India says “iss koh laga dala toh life jingalala” I hear applause, so why not appreciate this too?! “No *khwari, no lara, OLX per tinak din tara”* might be random slang, but it works for the audiences. Although the situations could have been crafted better, the campaign is on point and the brand seems to understand its target audience well enough.
Verdict: Over-intellectualising advertising is the worst thing we can do to our careers and the brands we work for. In this age of virality and transparency, easy and natural flows!
Agency: Spectrum VMLY&R
Campaign: Brite Sab Right Ker De Ga
Message: All the tell-tale stains of Pakistani food will be washed away
Effectiveness: The recent TVC in this ongoing campaign is based on the classic product demo approach. Generally, such campaigns are perceived as the dementors of the advertising world, sucking the soul out of a creative. However, this smart team didn’t let that happen and framed the functionality in a light-hearted yet product-driven way that stayed easy on the soul and effective on the mind.
Verdict: Imagination and consistency can make the most functional and basic commercials noticeable and is one of the key reasons why this long-running campaign has still not lost momentum.
Agency: Prestige Communications
Message: Life is too short for sensitivity
Effectiveness: Nine out of 10 medicated toothpaste ads look the same. However, this global campaign by Sensodyne was able to create a breath of fresh air. Although done some time ago, the campaign’s TVC and digital presence were able to communicate to all the GENsss out there. The digital spots were engaging, fun and noticeable.
Verdict: A perfect example of adapting the golden strategies of advertising to the vocabulary and interests of the present times. Despite the novelty of the execution, the brand identity remained intact and the brand relevance could be heard for miles despite the whisperings in the mic.
Ammarah Haroon Dar is ECD, Publicis RED Communication Arts.