Dearth of Celebrities in Pakistan
Entertainment is what the majority seeks. And advertising in a way is serving the purpose of providing this entertainment to its viewers. Perhaps this is why the quality and concepts of the Pakistani advertising have taken a turn over the years. And thus it has become very entertainment centric.
But one must not forget that the midbreaks on most of the channels are far longer today even with capping and which ultimately makes zipping and zapping one of the common TV viewing habits. And so viewers are bound to flip channels and come across ads everywhere. If the ad is interesting enough they hold on and watch it. If it sucks they move on. So in one way or the other, entertainment it is again.
Agreed we do have quite a lot of good advertising taking place. Big budgets, celebrity power, some good song in the background, pretty locations, a touch of humor and that would pretty much do the job. In this cluttered environment, the ads that really do leave an impact do have a bit of all these elements. But are they remembered for a long time is a question mark. Everything is too temporary and short lived and that’s the way everyone wants things to be. And innovation too is quite a cliched term as nothing really is that new anyway.
The only thing that does ring the bell is that even if we do have amazing ideas and will keep coming up with better and nicer creatives in times ahead – are we using the right faces in our ads? The fact of the matter is that we do have quite a limited options left when it comes to choosing local faces, but we go on picking the same because we have no other choice. Again a temporary solution, which may not be the best thing to do.
Our celebrity list whom the viewers do prefer is still not that long – Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, Iman Ali, Vaneeza Ahmad, a couple of cricketers and bands like JAL and Call. And then a few others too just to fill the gap. Atif Aslam prefers Clear Men; Ali Zafar sings and dances in LG, Telenor and Tarang ads (same stuff but different brands); Vaneeza will be the super model for the next 40 years so yeah we have no other choice and Iman Ali is the local face of a few renowned Unilever brands so she too we shall see. And when you have to be slightly out of the league then we can see a bit of Shaan or Rameez Raja perhaps in some ads. Again not new but may be different.
We do not have a never ending list of celebrities as is the case in India where the actors and actresses are loved when they appear in commercials – Aamir Khan in Coke and Samsung commercials, Juhi Chawla with Kurkure, Abhishek Baachan in the Idea Ad or Dhoni in Pepsi Ads. Not that their celebrities don’t go overboard with appearing in commercials but there the presence of a star in an ad is remembered. And people start believing in the brand because of the brand ambassador.
While our story is that most of our actresses only fit absolutely well with brands like Tarang. Or our we just as good as bringing Amanat Ali and Annie together in Telenor Talkshawk ads to get the youth’s attention and then we will wait for many more years for someone new to come? Does it mean we shall be stuck with the same stuff forever? Or exploring the new and fresher face is something too risky, time-consuming and painful for advertisers? And if all of it falls in the circle of entertainment are we not even worthy of better and new entertainment or do we prefer to be fooled for times to come?