Sunday, March 2, 2014


In Pakistan the advertising industry may look extremely glamorous but what goes on behind the doors of any given advertising agency is something one does really not want to get into.  It’s like the saying “what happens in Vegas… stays in Vegas!”   Today with the economy being the way it is the struggle is to keep an agency afloat (business wise) and ensure that you manage to retain your clients that actually pay you due to the volatility of the Pakistani economy.  However, there are brand name legends in the industry that most companies run to for guaranteed success and the economy will not allow any company to risk any advertising campaign that is based upon the ideas of a “newbie” in the creative department!

In a sense I feel sorry for Indus Valley and NCA graduates as these institutes have mastered the art of breeding some of the most creative minds which are never allowed to exercise their educated logic on any given campaign to the fullest of their true potential because some guy in a “bored” room (yes I know the spelling is wrong!) decided to take one element of a campaign and then completely stick it in a Margarita blender with a concept that his wife's basht farand thought looked “cool” on durdarshan.

Let’s get one thing straight and that is that “any” Pakistani is not stupid even if he or she is from the KPK region.  As a country our citizens are more intelligent and can understand and process information quicker, faster and more logically than any nation with regard to anything unless emotions are involved and we all know that relates to religious or political issues.  

If any agency is to survive and make it through this decade then it needs to realize that a simple ATL campaign with a ridiculous media plan will not be the only solution as not only will it be financially expensive rather it will be extremely ineffective because Pakistani’s have evolved in their lives and now want interactive things to do.  (If you look at your own kids of today you will see that your children are now taught in ways that were unheard of in our time.  Learning has become so integrated that now black boards & books are not the only tools that help your child learn faster. )  Today if I were to define an agency that I would want to hire then I would ask to see something truly different!

Rather than pretty visuals displayed by a voluptuous female I would want an agency to deliver a campaign that drives a complete customer experience to my target audience.  This is because us Pakistani’s love to try things before you buy them.   I would like to see creativity in several different forms in any given campaign which is not only limited to social media and a simple BTL activation.  Rather I would like to see what the “new blood” (that is still virgin to the politics of what the industry norms are) has to offer.   I am tired of dinosaurs and “clich├ęd” Demi God like creative directors taking me for a ride and for one would love to work with any agency that has the ability to have faith is what the new generation (which is intouch with the pulse of the market) has to offer!  If only somene would listen to the “little guy” one would realize that not only are their ideas intelligent but extremely practical, honest and very cost effective!  

So if you decide to hunt for ideas for the next business quarter you might just want to tap the youth for them.  Whoever (college kid) gets the next big idea that appeals to you should be given a chance to work on it and execute it with the oversight and support of your agency.  Trust me with the way things are in Pakistan – you might just hit the jackpot or even if you don’t at least it will not be Pseudo Creativity that you will be paying for and will be looked at as a client and not a Mamoo!

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