Jazz Ramadan Ad – Is It Against Our Moral Values?

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Advertising is one of the disciplines in marketing and media that has grown inPakistanover the years, from the era of radio and print to the era of visual ads that has also grown to the higher levels by today. Old and serious ads today make us laugh because they seems to be outdated but still there are many that can be named and followed as classic. AsPakistanis culturally, an enriched country therefore in our ads flavour of culture used to be there. I am using the “used to be” part with full responsibility because that aspect of our advertising is dying. Anyhow, that is a separate debate. Coming back to the topic, advertisements should be created with respect to the time of the year it will be released in.

Ramadan is a blessed month that comes with all the blessings and spiritual benefits, hence the advertisements that are released by companies become talk of the town and recalled for years. The best example I can quote is Olpers Ramadan ad campaigns that glorified our screens till last year. Many products rollout their ads in this month and all these campaigns are forcefully coated in the flavour of Ramadan. It is good to utilize the occasion but it should be kept in mind that does it really go with the image of the brand and the real utility that brand has to offer.

Since the telecom boom, or I should better say Cellular network providers’ expansion, we are experiencing new and interesting advertisements very frequently. The bar has been raised with other brands trying to compete against the clutter. Like others, telecos also try to gain something out of the Ramadan blessings and they come up with the advertisements like this:

Great TVC, nicely made, visuals were good, the audio piece to create the feel of the theme and at the end “the message” synced as well. Where everything is perfect, one-thing bugs me, and I have this complain from all the telecos. This is a month for gaining more and better deeds and devoting yourself to get the best out of this month, and for that, we bring many changes in our daily life so that all the religious obligations can be practiced properly. At such a time, ads and messages like those that we get in the end of the above are a misfit.

The month we should spend in doing something better and different from what we do all the year, we are forced to be attracted to certain number of free calls/minutes, certain number of text messages, or any other kind of VAS. Mobilink is not the only culprit in this almost all the telecos do the same; though they justify it with the term “competition”.

Because of bad timing the creativity becomes counterproductive. So the suggestion is, that at the time when the goal is to gain more blessings, conveying such messages that indulge people in something other than what they were planning to, might bring some more bucks in the financial statements but on the other hand also harms the brand name and image to some extent. Therefore, the demand of duty is to deal with this aspect far more technically. There can be many other seasons to gain more sales i.e. Eid.

  • Babar Khan (CMO @ S360)

    While I thoroughly agree with your point, the fact of the matter is that these ads target the masses – most of which follow a selective (read: convenient & easier) version of Islam which is not against participating in:
    1. idle talk
    2. lucky draws (Surf Excel with a Mercedez)
    3. drama’s shoving negative ideals and stereotypes
    4. music in religious programs
    5. subjugation of women to sell technical products

    And b/c of this belief system, campaigns like these do pretty well in terms of ROI; which is why they are without fail repeated year after year.

  • http://twitter.com/SaadGH Saad Hamid

    Hey Rai!

    Interesting bit but I believe you have drawn the wrong conclusion here. All telcos, not just Mobilink, are there to facilitate our daily communication and connecting that to morals is just plain wrong.

    Even smoking is against ones moral value but people do it in ramazan don’t they?

    Also, as hard as it may be for you to believe, these package offers actually help a lot of people abroad connect to their loved ones during sehar/iftar and share the blessings together.

    Such technology is there to help the people, should not be connected to morals 🙂

  • Fahadiqbal

    Well, Thinking like this is not bad but the conclusion made here is I don’t think relevant. I agree with saad hamid’s comment. Ad has nothing wrong in it, the concept, theme, sound, and even the message they are conveying is perfect.

    These companies are here to market and capture the masses so they will advertise considering the RAMAZAN in their mind. First of all, These packages really help in comunicating with our family members living abroad. and making calls, sms unlimited or making them easy for user to do is not at all a bad idea.

    Secondly, there is a specific class for this…they will use all the packages either its RAMAZAN or not. I writing here because I don’t use these packages and I hope neither do you use it.

    First, look inside yourself, correct yourself and then criticize others….So my answer to your question that “Jazz Ramadan Ad – Is It Against Our Moral Values?” NO….

  • Faizan Ali

    Ramazan is a huge opportunity to advertise, no brand wants to leave this opportunity and try to link Ramadan with the product offering. The TV is shot nicely, but that doesnt make the ad a good one… In this case, the connection of the ad and product offering is weak.

  • Sarmad Khan

    I agree with Saad and Fahad Iqbal on this. Rai Azlan seems to have drawn the wrong conclusion.
    Telcos are here to earn and in this competitive market they definitely are offering packages (or communication facilities) that are cheap in comparison to the telcos all over the world.
    This industry is responsible for giving a lot of jobs to a number of educated (those who have graduated) youth we have in our country. Infact with the current crisis that our country is going through, telcos still are the most sought after choice for employment.

    So you know what I mean…. The thing is that technology or whatever will always be there for us; it is upto us on how we utilize it. Now these bundle package etc. deals from telcos can be used by a little few to talk all night long with their girlfriends or just friends (which I think Rai Azlan is trying to point out) or these packages can actually be used for talking to relatives abroad, nationwide which a lot of people do too…

    We are humans, not animals. I think we can pretty much steer ourselves in the direction of our choosing.

    These packages have nothing to do with Moral Values – there is simply no link. Its US who need to work on OUR moral values OURSELVES.

  • Noreen Ahmed

    my first reaction was the same
    ‘first they want you to say Allah Allah throughout the month then they ask you talk on phone all the time. contradiction eh?

    but really think from their perspective. marketers rush to capitalize one very opportunity they see fit for their brand. and ignoring ramadan will be stupid because a lot of ppl watch tv during iftar &especially sehri. take from someone who doesn’t watch tv the whole year but is at last at the mercy of her annoying family at sehri and iftar who just cant live without watching tv! (in normal days i successfully dodge tv as i have different eating routines than the rest of my fam members)

    anyway so tv viewership usually hikes during ramadan so its a good idea to capitalize. however to choose to talk more during ramadan or not is at the individual’s discretion and it was always like that whether ramadan or not

  • http://twitter.com/Rai_Azlan Rai M. Azlan Shahid

    Thanks for the reply Saad. well my target was all the telecos not only mobilink i used it as an example… and as far as smoking goes one immoral or bad thing can never justify the other.
    and as far as my hard believe goes lets talk on numbers, how many people are there who use such packages for the “communication of Blessings” at the time of sehr and after as much as my experience goes every one is more concerned with the meals.
    and yes tech helps us a lot but if we stop referring to morals than one can only imagine the results.
    here i just want to clear that I AM NOT MULLA as this tag is gained and given easily 😉
    respect your opinion, stay blessed.

  • http://twitter.com/Rai_Azlan Rai M. Azlan Shahid

    as far as Islam goes i believe there is just Islam not versions… versions are something that we have created for our own interests. and 72 versions has already been predicted 1400 years back.

  • http://twitter.com/Rai_Azlan Rai M. Azlan Shahid

    i agree that tv viewership increases but still this does not create grounds for campaigning about certain number of minutes and sms to spend time on at the time when one can do something really better

  • http://twitter.com/Rai_Azlan Rai M. Azlan Shahid

    Thanks for the comment Sarmad and i am thankful to telecos for the good things they have done. and i am one of those who got jobs at telecos just after graduating.
    again i will say lets talk on numbers how many miss-use it and how many utilize it well. 🙂
    i totally agree with the point that it is upto us that how we use and morals are something that decide how it will be used 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/Rai_Azlan Rai M. Azlan Shahid

    Thanks for the comment Fahad. i have already said that ad was filmed very well. and yes it is upto you how it inspires you and how you are going to use the package…
    and as far as usage goes I never used it when i had opportunity now unfortunately i am in a country that never give some Easter or Xmass packages so let ramadan packages aside 🙂
    and thanks for you vote bro stay blessed 🙂