Marketers: Where is your media taking us?

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Where is our media taking us?  

If I see a good (read: unique) advertisement (which is gradually becoming rare in Pakistan), my mind forms an invisible link of familiarity to that brand. Whether I know it or not, a part of my brain remembers it. This comfort and familiarity helps when I spot that unique brand somewhere and decide to give it a try.  

Unfortunately marketing efforts here have been more to repel the customers than attract them. The basic premise and motive of advertising seems to have been put aside for a more ulterior and ugly sense of kicks.  

The sole most important role of marketing is to develop a positive feeling in the target audience. If done properly, the audience will unknowingly form a positive emotional link with your brand.  

The positive bonding formula is also linked to the famous Law of Attraction. If used well by marketing, it can really motivate the customers enough to spend the extra bucks. The neural pathways in the brain makes them trust the brand.  

An example of this, also articulated by Robert Middleton, is when you plan on buying a new car you start to notice that specific car-model everywhere you go, when before you did not notice them at all. Brands move your focus into something, and you get tuned into them. It can be a new fad, a new hairstyle, a new cell-phone, anything.  

Having said that, what is wrong with the Pakistani Ads shown on TV these days? We hate the jingles, but they keep ringing in our ears anyway. However, would I buy a new phone connection based on the jingle thats stuck in my head? Would I get motivated to buy a specific phone connection based on the ads shown on TV? Quite on the contrary, I would be compelled to renounce my trust in my existing telecom service provider solely based on their advertisements.  

Ironically, upon asking, the justification for this zombifying marketing given to me by a Marketing Manager of a leading Telco was; “We are now targeting the masses, and they are responding to these new ads immensely”. Of course they are responding to the women dancing on trains or in fields. We are pushing everyone towards idiocracy – they will accept whatever we feed them. The power of media is capable of influencing people in ways we cannot even imagine. My question: is why don’t we influence them for the better?  

If we show family values, modesty and high ethics in our Ads, after a while people will start getting accustomed to that. Why not bring deep thinking, intellectual humor, and cultural highlights to the front. Why not enlighten others once in a while? There are so many gates that can be opened through Media – through this powerful tool in our hands.  

It does not need huge budgets to make good Ads – simple concepts with a brilliant display of expressions do just as well, if not better.

If we open ourselves to creativity and unique thinking, why won’t we be able to come up with ads like [moto-expensive looking phone, meeting], [Theres something in my pocket -nokia N series]. Why is it that every time I see these Ads I don’t feel like changing the channel, turning off the TV or screaming?  

Imagine one day that Pakistan can create ad concepts that are thought provoking enough to make the globe take notice [like the Airtel ads] — crazy thought isn’t it? All it requires is brainpower, something that even the westerners agree is strong in this nation. So what’s stopping us?!

This is a message for all people in responsible marketing positions – do not sell our values for a few seconds of entertainment. Do not move our nation towards mass idiocracy.  

After the link I am posting some ads that I’m sure we’ve all seen, yet fail perhaps to take some pointers from:

India Airtel Ad
Apple Get a Mac Ad Campaign-Restart
Apple "Get a Mac" Ads – Out Of The Box
Get a Mac – Vista Vs Mac – Security – New Mac Add

Facebook comments:


  • well al hope is not lost i guess. one in a while there comes an add which defies these laws of dancing and singing. I always loved the mobilink add in which a child is born and the grandfather gives Azan through the mobile phone. excellent add really shows values of society. i couldn’t find the link though.
    even the mobilink PCO add is very good focusing on the common man.
    but the indigo story is completely absurd. its sad to see that every one starts to jump the band wagon if one type of add succeeds

  • Muhammad Asif Razzaque

    Two reasons for this as earlier mentioned in my article here titled “…A refreshing bath does not go with milk”

    Two reasons for letting such “profit-selfish” and “idea-void” marketing go on rampage is the absence (or in-effectiveness) of the following:

    1. Brand Good Governance/Ethical Control/Brnad Audit: Inhouse. Usually companies have dept titles such as “corporate and regulatory affairs”, Legal affairs etc that instead of safeguarding consumers/ensure citizenship of the brand, design plans and alliances to undermine/postpone any such regulations or reaction by civic bodies.

    2. Consumer Awareness Coucils/Consumer Protection Activism/Knowledge of the Consumer Protection Act 2005: It the education and activism by the consumer that is too thin or missing.

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