Absurd Advertising

Lack of imaginativeness and creativity is mind boggling these days. Every time you turn on the TV or flip through a magazine you see an advertisement that  is not only grossly misleading but  more often an eye-sore as well.For example Ponds‘ Liquid Gold cream for topical application claims it is formulated to make ones skin look radiant, I guess the only way it could make one look radiant is by the light reflecting off of its fancy glittering packaging. But lets leave cosmetics and food products aside for a moment (because at least they put in effort to make up such fancy quackery) and move over to two things that account for biggest share of  media clutter these days i.e.  food brands and telecom service providers.

Just last night we all saw a ghastly knock-off of  now legendary Psy’s Gangnam Style by Zong. I wonder if Zong‘s  Brand Managers were drunk when they approved this TVC (And I am not talking three or four bottles, I am talking a crate). Its not the first time it has happened as they have a whole history, I guess the urge to break the clutter has led some folks to commit such extraordinarily low-life marketing tactics. Few years back Zong‘s main print advertising copy turned out to be a copy of a famous book cover image that was not just any book but a New York Times Best-seller called ‘Go Green Live Rick‘ by David Bach. And even when people started commenting on it, the brand rather than coming up with a careful thought-out response, did nothing. What about PR?

It doesn’t end there  and isn’t limited to one or two brands, Mobilink launched a youth focused brand in 2010 called ‘Jazba‘. Within days it’s logo  turned out to be a copy of  another European company called ‘Zagora‘. Various people pointed it out in print and online but in vain, the mighty Mobilink resorted to draconian act of blocking people off of  its Facebook page and then it issued an informal statement that termed plagiarism as creative inspiration.Even the “prestigious” Habib Bank Limited went on to leverage upon Mr.Bean franchise(I still can’t grasp the connection between banking and comedian).

And lastly there is this rat race of using street lingo or local content. A perfect example to illustrate this fad would be Wall‘s ‘Kha Badami Wow Strawberry‘,   the tag-line is so out-of-this-world meaningless that I still can’t wrap my head around it, they could have been saying it in Norwegian. Engro Foods’ ice cream brand Omore obviously didn’t want to feel left behind either, they roped in  local Youtube celebrity Osman Khalid Butt to create an Ad that was more Bollywood mockery in bad taste, it didn’t stop there but Engro Foods went on to launch Lassi product Omung  that was extraordinary. Unfortunately, extraordinary bad! And to just rub it in the quintessential TV humor telco Ufone also hopped onto Youtube celebrity bandwagon with Ali Gul Pir of Saeen fame, one just doesn’t get any more horrendous than this TVC, it had a forced uncle-dancing-at-wedding feel with Waseem Akram in there. Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Ufone well-off with its lame Faisal Qureshi jokes in the first place?

I hope somebody out there working in any of those incumbent agencies reads this and aims to work better,work more original!

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22 responses to “Absurd Advertising

  1. Well research and good rationale provided. Mr Aamir I am actually loving the Aamiriat. Keep writing its one of those unique writings which people love to read again and again and would share and speak of in there conversations. I am for sure sharing it with my friends and colleagues.

  2. Reblogged this on mujtabamakhdoom and commented:
    Wonderfully portrayed by Aamir how the marketeer of this century are just copy pasting and calling it their own creative masterpiece. Brilliant. A must read for all those who interest marketing, branding and creative strategies by brands.

  3. Great and valid points …. Unless posts like this don’t come out criticizing the poor quality of our advertising the level just will not go up! Keep it up…

  4. thanks for putting our hearts out in ur blog 🙂 . and fresh up cheengum ( for the way saba qamar chewed it) ! and those clevage showing nightys.. only if fresh up was a sex boosting gum ?? crap after crap ! and these made in india ads .. hell

  5. Really liked your blog. You have still missed many old players in this race. One i want to share here is, Warid’s ad which was exact replica of our Parosi desh’s Airtel’s TVC. I find very few artistic ad ideas in our local setup. I dont know on what basis people are hired by ad agencies to execute and plan ads. Omores recent new product’s launch ad of Pan Kulfi is another potential failure.

    • Thank you, I am glad you liked it. Please mention more and email me at syedaamirb@gmail.com if you find them.

      Mostly they think a business or design degree is enough to hire somebody for an ad agency job. However the problem lies with business schools that produce brand managers that don’t appreciate original ideas. I have personally attended briefs in which clients asks for exact chhapa.

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