Published in Sep-Oct 2023
As we inch closer towards the last quarter of 2023, here are my top five picks of the season. I must admit that finding ads that qualified to make it to this list took a lot more time and effort than I had imagined. It made me wonder whether, as an industry, are we producing enough quality campaigns. Here are the campaigns I felt worked.
Agency: Grey Pakistan
Campaign: Breakfast Badlo
Message: Delicious breakfast for chaos-free tasty mornings
Effectiveness: The campaign captures the essence of the morning madness every mother has to face. Sleepy kids and grumpy husbands who are never pleased with what is on the breakfast table. The execution is dramatic and exaggerated, something that many food brands shy away from. However, the insight is as generic as it gets. This 90-second film could have perhaps been a little shorter but the screenplay makes it interesting and worth the watch.
Verdict: As much as I miss the nostalgic Nurpur food films, I am excited to see what the new era will bring for the brand.
Agency: Cheil Dubai and Alt Story
Campaign: Pepsi – Ab Har Ghoont Strong
Message: Pepsi now tastes stronger
Effectiveness: This film relies on a single dialogue to communicate the message – and does so brilliantly, “Babar bhai, aap sahi keh rahe the. Pepsi waqi strong hogayi hai.” This one line bridges this commercial with the previous one (featuring Babar Azam at an airport) and proves that you don’t need a never-ending been-there-heard-that melodramatic or over-the-top script to communicate a message. Set in a very Indian-inspired world, every element has been properly thought through so that nothing overshadows the message. From the location to the cinematography, the wardrobe to the vocals – it’s simple… and who says simple has to be boring?
Verdict: Love the vibe, the music and the lyrics.
Brand: Unilever Pakistan
Agency: Alt Story
Campaign: Liveable Independence
Message: To shape a future where everyone earns liveable wages
Effectiveness: Based on a thought that has been at the back of my mind as the situation in Pakistan gets tougher by the day, this commercial gives us all food for thought. It shows how hard decision-making can be when you have limited resources and you have to choose between food, medical expenses, school fees and house rent. These challenges are faced by people all around us; our drivers, domestic help, office staff and so on, all of whom have to survive on minimum wages and make choices about what to give up every day. As close to my heart as this topic is, I do feel the execution could have been better, much better.
Verdict: Raising awareness about a pressing issue is one thing but doing something about it is another, and I hope the brand is doing both and that others follow their example.
Campaign: Children Hospital
Message: Millions of patients need our support to help raise funds to build SIUT’s Children Hospital
Effectiveness: This campaign is based on the simple, strong and real insight that parents never give up on their children. The film struck all the right chords and reignited the spirit of fighting against all odds together. The campaign tied the insight of never giving up to the idea of never giving up hope of raising funding worth Rs 2.5 billion to build SIUT’s Children Hospital.
Verdict: The right insight coupled with strong copywriting makes all the difference.
Agency: Adcom Leo Burnett
Message: In tough times, be a ray of hope and joy for others around you
Effectiveness: Finally, a Ramzan ad that is not situated in a mosque or around the dining table! No mother frying pakoras and kids running around creating a mess? Am I dreaming? Conceptualised around a relatable everyday situation, this ad moves away from over-the-top emotions and melodrama to deliver the simple message of helping those around us. From the choice of actors to the set design, the smiles to the chemistry between the protagonists, this film is all heart. It encapsulates a large message in a simple and effortless way, making us realise how easy it is to spread joy. One must also take note of how the team always manages to find the most appropriate song for their Ramzan commercials every year.
Verdict: Seedha, saadha, Sooper!
Zuneeta Rawat is head of the marketing and creative department at Image. email@example.com