Friday, 16 August 2013

The Lost Cause of Advertising (Part I)

In Pakistan, like the rest of the world advertising is a tool used for brand building, brand recall and mostly for selling products. But if we browse through advertising around the world, there is a certain type of message that is missing in Pakistan; Public service message.

Not to say that its never been done here, but what little of public service messages that we have been exposed to, there is a smaller percentage of what can be categorized as 'good'. Last one I remember is the age old, but a memorable ad; "Waseem Bahi, ap thak-tay nahe hain?" Waseem Akram - Anti Smoking ad.
Anyone remember the Paktel public service messages?, doesn't matter. And have you seen ads done by Aurat Foundation, I bet not.

Advertising for a good cause, is a lost cause in Pakistan. And I wonder why?.

 I'm talking about a real public service message. It is an untapped market in Pakistan, brands, institutions and NGOs can exploit this space. How an institution like Shaukat Khanum could do something like this
Anti-Smoking Ad   instead of a cut-out placed on signals or billboards on international anti-smoking day. To be honest the message doesn't even require to be sincere, it just has to look sincere, a reasonable effort will hit the audience.
What BBDO Pakistan did recently is a perfect example,  BBDO Pakistan, Work That Works For All  they didn't solve any problems with it. But by executing a simple and a creative idea, they advertised their brand philosophy. In simple terms, they advertised themselves, and people took noticed.

 Brands in Pakistan should use this untapped market and through public service messages, they will hit a much wider audience.