Who wins the lawn war?
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.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.