Tremors in Ad-world of Pakistan
The Pakistani market is undergoing a change where the dynamics of advertising are concerned. Whether it is the adaptation of the varying platforms for the purpose of delivering their message to the target customer or by challenging the hardwired status quos of the society in their advertisement.
The year 2019 bore witness to many such initiatives in the Pakistani market which are reflective of the change in mindset in the industry. The question that arises is who has already jumped on the bandwagon and who will make attempts to do so in the coming year.
There is a significant shift away from typical laboring housewife, damsel in distress, sexist and patriarchal premise to one that focus on empowerment, appreciation of individuality, steps outside the stereotypical gender role and inclusion.
Multiple top tiered brands made waves with their novel ideas of promoting their brands. This article highlights some of our top picks.
1. Pampers “Dads can change” campaign – challenging the gender stereotypes
The longest held norm in our culture is that a mother is the primary care giver for the child while the father is the breadwinner for the family. Pampers breaks through the white noise by bringing the father into the role of a primary care giver of a child. The ‘dads can change’ campaign illustrates how it is not only a mother’s duty to change a child’s diaper. The message does have the ease of use of Pampers pants as its central message in the advertisement. This is a an incredibly bold step the brand has taken, and it has been widely acclaimed.
2. Lux – embracing your own beauty
Lux is a beauty soap brand that has been consistent with its theme over the years until recently. Their focus has been the unavoidable fragrance that leads to an attraction between two people of the opposite sex. It was refreshing to witness an entirely woman focused ad by the brand. It’s central them is celebrating being a woman, embracing one’s own beauty and personifying confidence. This is exactly the kind of initiative that is needed in the industry.
3. Tapal Danedar – A shift away from the patriarchal society
Tapal Danedar has always been a product focused brand. All its ads until 2 to 3 years ago were focused on the grain size and the strength of the tea. They had a 360-degree change in the premise that served as the center point for their ads. Valuing relationships, taking out time from buy schedules for our loved ones and challenging the patriarchal mindset are the messages delivered by their most recent communications. ‘Chai banana biwi ka kaam hai’ is no longer a notion that is communicated neither is the fact that a ‘stay at home wife’ has a less tiring day than her working husband. It is the age of appreciating the efforts of women as ‘stay at home wives’ or as mothers which have been largely unaccounted for previously.
4. Sunsilk Refresh – inclusion
Beauty and fashion brands have always appreciated and encouraged ad concepts that emphasize their products benefits. Sunsilk has been the same since it always shows the luscious and healthy long hair post the use of its product that the female model flaunts confidently. However, for the first time a shampoo brand showcased a product focused on the needs of girls who cover their head and there was no emphasis on the hair of main model as a respect for the hijab. This was indeed a risky initiative, but the brand gave it a shot anyways and it made them stand out amongst all other brands.
5. Shan foods – narrowing cultural gaps
Shan foods had a very timely launch of the culturally appreciative ad featuring a Chinese couple residing in Pakistan. Their campaign resonated of cultural tolerance, acceptance, bonds between neighbors and how food brings people together. It was indeed emphasized how Shan spices make cooking easier and produces scrumptious food. Given the hype surrounding CPEC and sensitivity surrounding cultural tolerance in Pakistan this was a very intelligent way of executing their campaign.
The wave of change has just begun in the advertising sector of Pakistan. It will be intriguing to see what breakthroughs the new decade has in store for the industry.
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Assistant Manager Marketing PAS
Sehrish is a MBA in marketing from IBA. She is a marketer and a brand strategist.