This Eid, we have new supermodels in town!

Published: October 25, 2012
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No, we’re not talking about the models and various lawn ads; we’re talking about the cattle farm ads featuring gorgeous, stunning and fine-looking cows and goats for Eid. DESIGN: IMAAN SHEIKH

There were days when almost all the billboards on the roadside had either hair shampoo, mobile phones or their packages displayed all over the city. The trend has changed, however, and only one item rules the billboards of Karachi these days.

They are young, they are attractive and they are a dream come true.

No, I’m not talking about the models and various lawn ads; I’m talking about the cattle farm ads featuring fierce, fat and fine-looking cows and goats for Eid.

We are masters at integrating the latest marketing techniques and technologies with religious rituals and making profit there too. You turn on the TV and cable ads run 24/7 musically informing you of the best sales on cattle this Eid. SMS marketing, too has also found a new favourite and e-marketing, not wanting to be left out, is flooded with

Business rules apply here as well and the marketing expenses add up to the prices that have made it near impossible for a common man to afford sacrifice these days. Despite this, there is no shortage of people seen at the bakra mandi’s (goat farms) wanting to get their hands on an animal that makes them look superior to the rest.

The obsession to show off the best animal for sacrifice is being cashed to the maximum through these advertising tactics and the hysteria has taken a new shape. Cattle is being advertised and sold with prices depending upon weight; of course, there is a guarantee of weight. The spirit of Eid and sacrifice is left somewhere far behind and all that has taken over is a will to supersede one another in the race to brag about the most expensive, heaviest animal this season.

I don’t think it will be long before cattle is sponsored by multinational brands; then, cows, goats, sheep and camels will be seen endorsing soft drinks and detergents. Good looking cows will be part of beauty soap marketing campaigns and energy drinks will be casting the bull and goat in a different manner – if you know what I mean. Heavy duty vehicles will prepare special TV commercials emphasising their capacity by the size of cattle you can carry home in them. Grass will have a new meaning and healthy cattle will be seen recommending the best grass in town. Rope makers will also jump in and market their product in terms of durability and strength showing the heaviest of animals fastened with their brand of rope. Camels will endorse high neck sweaters when Eid comes in the winter season and the list goes on!

Another idea would be to propose package deals in which butcher services will also be included, or deals like ‘Get one camel butchered free on the purchase of every three goats this season!.’

The livestock and cattle industry is growing every year in terms of revenue during the Eid season. However, the common man’s ability to offer sacrifice each year is shrinking and only the rich now seem to afford the ‘luxury’ of being able to offer this holy ritual.

This, indeed, is a thought to ponder upon.

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Hammad Mateen

The author is a mechanical engineer, education management professional and freelance writer working in the social sector, he tweets as @hammadmateen (twitter.com/hammadmateen)

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