Who wins the lawn war?

Published: February 29, 2012

Sonam Kapoor endorsed Firdous in what was quite a classy and obviously expensive campaign. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Elsewhere in the tropics the cold season is followed by a season of pleasant temperatures before the heat of the summer hits. However, in our part of the world (read Pakistan), temperatures shoot up early in the year as a gazillion brands of lawn engage in a heated battle and try to outdo each other with psychedelic prints and flamboyant campaigns.

There are the Icons and the Crescents, the originals and the not-so-originals; there are those who can afford to have Indian celebrities as endorsers and those who get by by hiring local anorexics. For mere spectators like us, this season promises an exciting drama, starring the country’s biggest textile tycoons, the snootiest fashion designers and the thinnest models, played out on the thoroughfares of the metropolis (and for those who have enough money, on TV as well).

This season, the most noticeable and talked about campaign has been, hands down, that by Asim Jofa. Starting out early with teasers stating uber-materialistic stuff like  ”I carry Hermés”, it was followed by the actual campaign in which Iman Ali could be seen posing in the most awkward poses. Icon, which is owned by a multinational textile company, also took the suspenseful teaser route by getting creative with the outdoors and placing branded bags around the Park Towers area.

Gul Ahmed ran a snobby campaign with the theme ‘The Original Lawn’, declaring their product to be the most original and thereby placing themselves far above the mixed chaat of competitors – a great campaign, in my opinion. The dentist/actor/model/host/businesswoman Nadia Hussain couldn’t keep it to the billboards alone so she started sending us text messages too. Easy there, Nadia.

The Indian celebrities that adorned Karachi’s billboards this year were the two Kapoors; Sonam Kapoor endorsed Firdous in what was a classy and obviously expensive campaign. The TVC was extremely well-executed, and was probably the reason why Firdous didn’t have the money to get hold of too many huge billboards.

The other is Karishma Kapoor (yup, the retired elder sister of Kareena K) who made an appearance donning prints made by Crescent Lawn. These guys are probably trying to distance themselves from the competition by not hiring a young celebrity and instead using a superstar of the mid-90s to appeal exclusively to the older ‘aunty crowd.’

The worst campaigns were run by Shamaeel and Rizwan Beyg. The former’s teasers could be, without a doubt, the most hideous billboards I have ever seen and the actual campaign itself was pretty average. ZQ also joined the fray with what was apparently a hastily put together and uninspiring campaign while Junxion grabbed a couple of billboards for a super-straightforward campaign.

What surprised me most was the fact that no brand seemed to have successfully courted Mahira Khan aka Khirad to model for them. Surely she would have been the dream endorser right now of any Pakistani business whose major clientele are females.

All in all, the best campaign in my opinion, creativity-wise, was that by J Lawn (Junaid Jamshed). Not using any models at all, it involved some lovely design work which highlighted the core product in a beautiful and eye catching way. However, this is just the beginning of the Lawn Wars 2012 edition – be ready for many new exhibitions in the upcoming weeks!

This post originally appeared here

Najwat Rehman

Najwat Rehman

A marketing graduate from IBA who currently divides his time between a digital media job and his own branding consultancy. Najwat tweets @NajwatRehman

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fah

    who cares?? Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    I do not know who wins the lawn war but every year its getting difficult to drive on roads because of the beauties and divas donning beautiful clothes on these billboards. Its a serious driving hazard for male drivers at least!Recommend

  • waheeda

    Well despite of all this.. When people don’t have money for food how could they buy a lawn suit worth of 2500 or more..
    I personally went at gul ahmed store they have lowest price lawn suit of worth 2200 which even I canot afford being a student.. These suits can only afford who had enuff money to buy a LAWN suit worth 5000. I am seriously hating these ads and lawn campaign!! Recommend

  • TMohsin

    Asim Jofa’s lawn prints are pathetic this time and over costly for no specific difference. Maybe because they present them in a special box. Gul Ahmed lawn is way better and worth the price.Recommend

  • Girl

    nice readRecommend

  • Anum

    Who cares?Recommend

  • Anum

    You’re a guy, right? You pay too much attention to this stuff!Recommend

  • sana Choudhry

    YePpppppppppp who caresSssssssssss.Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    Author fault:
    Pakistani is not only karachi or lahore, In abbottabad and above temperature is still too low, but these authors consider karachi or lahore to be only Pakistan and its temperature is the temperature of PakistanRecommend

  • citizen

    Ban all designer lawns . Cut your coat according to your cloth people . Recommend

  • Karisma

    Not related to lawn or anything but…..

    Erm … since when did a woman of 36 or 37 ( Karisma Kapoor) appeal only to aunties. Now that is pure age discrimination.Why can’t a woman of Karisma’s age or any other actress of any country but of that particular age appeal to everyone, young, adult and old ???

    Its quite derogatory when you brush off someone just based on their age and imply that they should or should not do something. In fact we should be looking up to women like these who have worked from a young age, have had kids, spent a few years in sabbatical to raise them and now working once again, there by juggling both motherhood and a career which no man ever does.There are so many working mum’s in the Pak TV industry also of that age group you going to disregard all of them as well???

    And what wrong with catering to aunties??? Just coz you are in your late 30′s or early 40′s does not mean you are not a part of society, in fact they most likely these “aunties” are the decision making members of their family and hence play a pivotal role in the economy as they decide where the money is to be spent.

    Every age demographic is important and I hope this “aunty” culture dies away soon from India and Pakistan.Recommend

  • zainab

    @TMohsin:
    yeah gul ahmed lawn is better if you are an aging auntyRecommend

  • wlie8

    If women folk wear lawn to impress their male counterparts, then let me tell them all very clearly, me and my pals had a very long discussion over this issue and almost 80% of the dude agreed that they can’t spot a difference between designer lawns, their make, or design or whether they are from the present or previous season.

    Plus they also said that the only thing they remembered and caught their attention about a female was her face, hair and physic, plus latter on all they cared about was her personality and how well she carried herself.

    On a lighter note one of the guys told a joke which goes like this,

    Aik larka aur larki date per thee, wapsi per parking lot mein larki ki tang pathar se takra kar zakhmii ho gayi, larkay ne koshish ki k larki a dupatta thora sa phar ker zakham ko bandh doon, to who agay see boli,

    “Soochna bhi na ye Sana Safinaz hai!!!!”
    Plus I do agree with “Postman” the adds are really distracting for male drivers!!Recommend

  • http://www.zealforwriting.blogspot.com Sarah B. Haider

    I DO CARE, because I am seriously fed up of my friends and colleagues telling me all the time, “Yaar Gul Ahmed is in stores, Kal Firdous Exhibition hai, Yaar did you see they hired Karisma Kapoor in Crescent lawn, Yaar I ICON check kia? I am dying for that sky blue Asim Jofa lawn, Yaar Rizwan Beyg lawn is out, I am eagerly waiting for HSY”, and blah.
    The whole point is that, Pakistani women certainly have the purchasing power to buy clothes worth five thousand Rupees, wear it 5 times (or even less) and give it to their Maasi. You go to an exhibition and you see women hovering over clothes as if they are being sold for free. Where did the sweet, old, feminine individuality go?? Second, What was the point in hiring foreign actresses for branding a lawn?? We know these women never wear Pakistani lawns, and I think Pakistani models can better carry themselves in shalwar kameez. Would you ever see Noor being hired in a VS campaign? Never in a billion years!
    Being a girl, I love clothes too, however, going ga ga over everything “designer” depicts nothing but shallowness. No matter what you wear, if you don’t have the personality to carry it off well, it goes down the drain and into the gutter. Sometimes a 5000-Rupee lawn won’t look nice, but a 500-Rupee georgette from a Pathan would make you look wonderful. Recommend

  • Armita

    Really disturbed thinking of how much money has been invested on clothes for the “rich women” in Pakistan, while 60% of our population is living on a mere $2 a day. Recommend

  • Aslam Nisar

    Baqi war ka to pata nahin….kharcha buhat zayada ho gaya biwi kay kapron ka :)Recommend

  • Anum

    @ PostMan

    And your blog is ironically titled “think-islam”…Recommend

  • Hira

    I applaud your choice of the word psychedelic. True story. Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Baysharam quom …. people are committing suicides due hardship in life caused by financial burdens and we don’t have a forum to alleviate that but discussing lawn prints !!!!Recommend

  • Pakistani Agnostic

    @Armita:
    Why does it concern you? If people can afford lawn suits, market will dictate high demand for it.Recommend

  • Pakistani Agnostic

    @Armita:
    Why do you care about that? If people can afford it then why not spend money on advertisementsRecommend

  • Sana

    @Anum: He is a marketing graduate… and so he is bound to observe campaigns. Have some deceny!Recommend

  • TMohsin

    @ Zainab..
    I dont think so..they have lawn prints for all ages…ranging from lively and fresh colours to sober ones..but all of them are not out in the market yet..i checked them out in the gul ahmed magazine.

    @Usman Shahid
    you are so right..Karachiites and lahoris think that these are the only two cities of Pakistan..and talk about ads and billboards as if they are placed all over the country and everyone can relate to them. Recommend

  • TMohsin

    @wlie8:
    I never wore anything with the idea of impressing male counterparts…In fact I have always felt that women dress to impress other women ..i.e. their female friends, family, female colleagues etc. Because it is a sort of a competition as to who dresses smarter than the others…Men hardly notice these things.Recommend

  • Sara

    Clothes are very overrated. In the summer months especially, clothes are not even necessary. Then what is the fuss?Recommend

  • Hira A

    Agreed but then again whose giving room to all these so called model turn designers and textile companies of probably Faisalabad ( which have emerged in this lawn business a yr ago courtesy our fashion designers)?? Its the chunk of our public which has a buying power and craze to spend thousands on lawn suits especially if they carry a label like HSY or Nomi Ansari.
    Interestingly, lawn is meant to be worn casually in summers and one should not be spending 3k (average price of lawn these days) ideally but we see females in the malls, shopping centers etc wearing these lavishly designed dresses with latest cuts and adorned with all sorts of lace, quite casually. If you are spending 3k on just the material and then paying around good 2k to tailors who have also increased their charges, what is the difference between a lawn suit and a semi formal dress!

    Lawn in the end of the day shall remain a lawn!Recommend

  • Sana

    @Sarah B. Haider:
    Thank you for writing that, my sentiments exactly!! I dont understand whats with this lawn craze lately. I mean, i totally love clothes, but spending loads of money just because thats a “designer lawn” and hence “MUST” be bought, doesnt make sense. I wish we could use our talents in something more productive rather than just going and pushing eachother at the exhibitions.
    Please stop showing-off, its never about the money, its always about the person. Women, you make me sad at times!!Recommend

  • Solomon

    Lawn rules as it helps males ogle the see through lawns wearing beauties :PRecommend

  • Naureen

    You see these billboards for lawn … every other person is bringing it .. I was like whattt??? may be I should too… but anyway I enjoyed this blog… Good job Najwat!Recommend

  • LOL

    @Sara:
    “In the summer months especially, clothes are not even necessary. ”

    Are you serious? :DRecommend

  • alicia

    Weird to see a guy writing about this.Recommend

  • Sara

    @LOL: Obviously, I am serious.Recommend

  • Sara

    @LOL: Yes, I am.Recommend

  • LOL

    @ Sara

    well maybe for Tarzan they are not necessary..but for us civilized human beings who want to cover ourselves, clothes are not just necessary but they also make our personality and identity :DRecommend

  • Parvez

    From what I’ve been told some years ago no hoity-toity begum would be caught dead wearing a lawn outfit as it was something their massi’s wore. Today both the massi and the begum wear the same cloth. There’s something good somewhere in that story.Recommend

  • Sara

    @LOL: I don’t think they are necessary for humans in the summer. Everyone has their own identity even without them. Recommend

  • Xohaib

    So whts the issue? lawns are there. money is there, people are there, loving this… so ?Recommend

  • Dee

    Guys… the dude is a MARKETING graduate… its an analysis of lawn MARKETING… i swear people need a few more brain cellsRecommend

  • Dee

    …oh and good analysis mr. najwatRecommend

  • LOL

    @Sara
    so you roam around “without clothes” in summers…thats nice..i would like to see you..hahaRecommend

  • Sara

    @LOL: At least at home.Recommend

  • Ozymandias

    @Armita:
    Well, if you’;d actually take the time out to think about this, you’d realise that the growth of lawn means the growth of the Pakistani economy, which will eventually raise standards of living. Recommend

  • Armita

    @Ozymandias:
    Wasn’t looking at it from that angle. Good point!Recommend