While Pakistani ad agencies are busy making ‘chai’, I made a World Cup response video for India

Published: February 13, 2015
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It has already garnered half a million consolidated hits; been shared by all the major pages and private news agencies on their social media. Why? Because someone tried something. PHOTO: JUNAID AKRAM

Just like my life, this blog might not have a particular sense of direction. There is a lot boiling up in my head and I will try to intersect all my rants.

First of all people, calm down. Seriously.

Learn to take a joke. If you cannot, shut up and move on. If you think that this world would be nicer to you forever and ever, then you’re living in a delusion. Get out of it. It’s an evil place and internet is the womb of all evils. Whenever there is something out, an article, a video, a cartoon, we all rile up asking to ban it.

Ban this – ban that!

Why?

Because it’s easier. You do realise this is exactly the same mentality that the Taliban have. Whatever they don’t like, they ask us to stop doing it and if we don’t, they bomb us. Learn to coexist. There are a billion things in the world that you don’t like already but somehow you ignore it and live with it. Like traffic lights. You hate it, so you ignore the red light and move on.

Recently, Star Sports launched this brilliant commercial mocking Pakistan’s consecutive losses against India in the World Cup. As a humourist, I thoroughly enjoyed the genius work mostly because it was based on facts, was well-timed and well-executed (call me a RAW agent now). If you’re at all educated and a bit analytical, you choose facts over anything. Clearly, as a Pakistani it did punch the core of my heart but having said that, whatever displayed in that commercial wasn’t untrue and it was cleverly executed.

But as soon as it began gaining momentum over social media, I saw this consistent demand made by Pakistani people saying “TAKE THIS DOWN”, “BAN THIS VIDEO” and what not. It wasn’t so surprising to see a typical Pakistani reaction since that’s all we do on the internet – or outside of it. Whatever we don’t agree with, we just demand to ban it. You have the choice not to watch it. I still remember when that Egyptian filmmaker released the movie Innocence of Muslims on YouTube; I had heard and read about it. I knew where to find it. It wasn’t blocked by then. I didn’t watch it. I ignored it and moved on.

But in Pakistan, some of us burnt tires, vehicles, forcefully closed the markets, even killed our own people and got YouTube banned by the government, which now dates to roughly three years. The ban is imposed by the government, and now almost everyone is using proxies to bypass, which by definition is a crime.

WOW.

Logic.

Selective morals.

We love the Prophet (pbuh) but videos of cats are also cool. The best thing would have been to make a counter video on the life of the Prophet (pbuh), and use the existence of 1.5 billion people to propagate that message.

But nah!

Killing is much easier.

Pretty much the same happened with the Charlie Hebdo conundrum.

If you don’t have a response, the key is to stay quiet. The more you yell, the more they’ll tease you. Something my mom taught me when I was four, when my elder siblings would tease me. I carried the lesson with me but most forgot.

So when I came across those comments demanding Star Sports to take that advert down, I thought to myself,

“Well, they clearly don’t appreciate smart work, no wonder they like our ridiculous Tarang adverts.”

I wasn’t expecting our TV channels to make a counter advert because f*&% thinking process, they’re busy building sets so another celebrity can get re-married on a morning show. I decided to take things into my own hands and made a response video. It took me 20 minutes to write it, 30 minutes to shoot and an hour and a quarter to edit and upload. Just that simple.

The next morning, it was everywhere. Not because it was smart or funny. But it was a response – something other than the consistent moaning and groaning,

I am offended. Take this video down, admin.

My video wasn’t funny to my own standards, it was factually wrong because the subject was “World Cup” whereas I focused on the Pakistani wins outside of it, it was poorly written and cheaply produced because I don’t have the right equipment or expertise to execute it, yet I did what I could within the parameters of my expertise; and on its third day, it has already garnered half a million consolidated hits; been shared by all the major pages and private news agencies on their social media.

Why? Because someone tried something.

If you make fun of me, I’ll make fun of you; no matter how silly I may sound, I will try. I won’t sit in the corner and cry like a b*&^%. You do realise I’m the fall guy. If Pakistan loses this match, I will be the laughing stock for a nation of 1.5 billion Indian people. I’ll be the new subject of internet bullying. I’ll be the new Justin Bieber for a while. But I’m ready to take that fall because my fellow Pakistanis laughed and that’s what matters most to me. Nothing offends me. Just because I’m follically-challenged, people call me “ganja”, as if it’s something demeaning or it would hurt me. My Instagram handle is “ganjiswag”. You can’t hurt me. Besides, if someone’s opinion of you is so low, the only way is up.

Now the real question is what are our ad agencies doing?

Why can’t we think of something like that?

Do you realise how much budget these agencies have and how much these multinational companies pay them to make adverts? And these agencies hire top university grads with solid credentials under their belts and yet we get sh*t content on TV. To some extent, I will give them the benefit of doubt that sometimes clients are difficult too but it’s your job to teach the clients that the methods have changed and they should come out of their bubble of cliché.

Here are some questions for the ad agencies:

For how long will you have Talat Hussain and Zia Mohyeddin do the voice-overs in “karak” Urdu which a great chunk of our population can’t even decipher? They’re in their 70s. Give them a break.

How long will you keep making Saima dance to chai commercials?

For how long will Faisal Qureshi be knocking doors of lonely housewives to clean up their toilets?

How long will these bahus (daughters-in-law) be seeking approval and win the hearts of their susars (fathers-in-law) as they bite onto reshmi kebab made with some heart attack-worthy cooking oil?

And most importantly, for how long will our (dandruff-free) cricketers find their vehicles giving up in an abandoned area and with them ending up playing cricket with the kids and get defeated?

I’ve been watching this since Nixon was in office. Maybe that’s why our team doesn’t usually perform because they end up playing with kids more often than we have them play with the adults. For f*&^’s sake, come up with something new. Vital Signs did the exact same commercial 25 years ago with the same brand where they ended up having a concert on the road. Pepsi hasn’t moved on. That’s why I prefer Coke.

I want all the readers to sit back, think and tell me one commercial, except Ufone ones (although they are sickly monotonous but they cater to a huge audience), that you think was really smart or witty enough in the past decade which you still remember to this day? I can’t think of anything. There’s zero thinking process among our ad agencies. There’s serious scarcity of wit and humour in our commercials.

I’d like to end this with a quote:

“A nation’s intellect is measured by the quality of the advertisements they make.”

Okay, I totally made that up but it sounded convincing enough. In all seriousness, we need good content. If you can’t think of anything witty, hire a comedian! HIRE ME!

Junaid Akram

Junaid Akram

A Pakistani stand up comedian based in Dubai who tweets at @june_aid (twitter.com/june_aid)

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

  • Nandita.

    Really bad response dude, but I still can’t stop laughing. :D
    Essel world wala acting had me in splits… hehe.
    BTW, the son is ganja from childhood but the father seems to have a head full of hair (even in his old age) :D :DRecommend

  • Nandita.

    The south Indian brahmin accent is horrible btw…… :D :D good attempt though. made me laugh.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    One of my closest friends is a pakistani and she told me about this video (the indian one) last night on the phone. She said, ” you have to see that video. it’s super brilliant and hilarious.”Recommend

  • Queen

    LOL! Awesome!!! :DRecommend

  • Yolo

    Dude (author) seems like such a cynic. What a waste.Recommend

  • Ali

    I will be honest with you. I did not bother reading the blog. As I have said before, I will say again: India made a fantastic ad and you and that other boy who tried responding to it failed miserably. Sometimes, it is wise to stay quiet and appreciate the move of the opponent if it is a good enough move. Not responding does not mean sitting in a corner and crying. It’s a sign of maturity.Recommend

  • Saad Ahmed Khan

    my salute to you for doing what we all should actually be doing!!Recommend

  • Faraz

    Really enjoyed that . You sure do have an outsized funny bone Recommend

  • suraj

    Look the response is absolutely fine. If I was a Pakistani, I would have attempted in a similar fashion. My only question is should we drag religion into this? There are people of many faiths in both the countries. By making it along the lines of religion, the “response” lost the plot. I mean you could have had two babies dressed up in India Pakistan jersies and the baby in Indian jersey would cry always and would only laugh when world cup came ( implying Indians only win against Pakistan in world cup). My humble plea is not to drag religion into these issues. Emotions run high on both sides of the border when religion is involved. Hey it is India vs Pakistan and nothing else. “Response” video good considering all the factors. But religious undertone, too immature.Recommend

  • نائلہ
  • raj kumar

    Would have been better if the concept involved a Indian boyfriend and his girlfriend, pleading for a date and in response the girlfriend says that they would go out if India won a match against Pakistan in a non world cup tournament and quiet comprehensively. Poor boy friend never gets a “date”. The concept that the author has used is a bit too much “inspired” from the star sports. Nevertheless, hurray for the efforts.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    I love this guy’s attitude!!

    Great write up Junaid, please post more on ET :)Recommend

  • Tj

    So true there are no quality ads in pakistan, no
    Concept at all!Recommend

  • kushal

    phorenge iss bar..Recommend

  • tooba,

    thank you for pointing out that our ad agencies are simply bakwas. i have stopped watching pakistani TV because i am irritated by the ads in which people are always dancing, women are always serving/making food and everyone must get married be it a mobile phone ad, a cooking oil add or a chocolate ad. stop the shaadi ads people. they make me really sick.Recommend

  • Kumar

    Well being very honest to comment for the commercial video which START SPORTS made, BRILLIANT !! because of its creativity, talent is every where but the point is how do you use it. Though after watching the video i also got offended in the end its about my country. Many of my friends (indians) also teased me by showing the video. But i was calm but i did replied something which made their mouth shut. I dont want to share here in public.

    But the reality is WE (Pakistani’s) know very well even all Indians, why we lost all those match. None of Indian cricketer have the guts to beat Pakistani Cricket player they know that very well.
    They just used our weakness to WIN those matches, and you all know what i am talking about.

    And Junaid Akram !! Hats off to you, im not saying this as you made a super duper video (RESPONSE) but you atleast put the effort with the limited sources you had. where anyone from our MEDIA Companies in Paksitan could made one creative reply in a PEACEFUL way. But no.

    It was really nice to read your article, atleast one from us had the guts and took time. Appreciate your work :)

    I even know many of you would say we just let it go right, but we are not here to fight also lol.

    Just a small example: within our friend circle, when someone teases you, you do respond something right ? But that doesnt mean the friendship is over. Same here, they made the video for fun, not to hurt.

    Junaid Akram made a video just to reply YES WE ARE READY FOR THIS WORLD CUP !!

    Apologies if any of my words did offend someone.Recommend

  • Muhammad Huxaifa Aleem

    another “RESPONSE”.
    Grow up peopleRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Oh wow. That was HILARIOUS, incredibly so.Recommend

  • Peregrine

    Junaid Akram : It is not that only the Best Team Wins. ITS IS THE TEAM THAT PLAYED BEST ON THAT DAY!Recommend

  • Parvez

    That was a riot……the video was so lame that it was hilarious.
    A nations intellect is measured by its ability to laugh at itself………and yes, I made that up.Recommend

  • raj

    very childish of you. Why should we bother to give them any response. its just an ad and also on some hard facts. its world cup and we have never won any match in it against India. You can rightly claiming Pakistan’s record against India is better (thanks to some good past performances) but the focus is world cup not other cricket matches. Why not we come out with ads not in response to Indian idea. Its always answering them. May be next time we can question them with our own idea and ads :)Recommend

  • L.

    It’s all FUN, no one has the knives out- yet.Recommend

  • Fawad Ali

    racist response,. Seemed bad with no creativity. It was better without one, Recommend

  • Fawad Ali

    Lot of curse words, is this Tribune? Blog !! Perhaps cursing not just cool, it is essential sign to be cool.Recommend

  • sharabi

    It seems to me this time you Pakistani will use your firecrackers, Because our Indian teams is Trash.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Given the amount of money involved in an India-Pak encounter and given the pathetic state of both teams, one cannot rule out BCCI (which is more about money & less about cricket) coming up with this ad – meant to provoke, create a controversy and encash on it. Unfortunately some Pakistanis including this author appear to have fallen for this, which could have been left ignored.Recommend

  • Raana

    Yeah….exactly….lame video but good write up…..you should write more Junaid and leave comedy to the actorsRecommend

  • Reddy

    that ad is based on facts, lots of humor and of cource hint of condascention. it’s not like we made an ad about all the wars pakistan lost to india,only thing pakistanis can do is to wait for 15th and win the game(which is highly unlikely), then that same ad is gonna [email protected] allover usRecommend

  • makran

    Touch condom ads were pretty good and refreshing, they were aired throughout the 2009 T20 world cup which we went onto win!Recommend

  • Bee.

    This was the most racist thing I have seen in a while.Recommend

  • Almas Aqeel

    Good job!! :-) actually beauty lies in the eyes of beholder;-)Recommend

  • Shaun Stevin

    As per the internal report, Pakistan will dominate the first part of the match. This way the rates will go up and in the end india will take the victory ;) This would going to be really interesting. No matter wherever you are, don’t miss out this historic drama through PureVPN Live :)Recommend

  • Zain Ahmed

    Sorry, but where is this religious undertone you mentioned? I could not find it! The freedom of expression thing! It only depicts the way Indians dress! Same as the Indian video depicts a traditional Muslim Pakistani home!Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    You did not read the blog. Says enough Recommend

  • abhi

    The only guess now is margin of victory. It will be really sweet if it is more than 100.Recommend

  • LoseLose

    February 15, 1611 hrs (IST)
    Pakistan – 170 for 7 in 36.1 Overs
    Need 131 to win in 83 balls

    You were saying something, Junaid?Recommend

  • LoseLose

    I’m pretty sure I know what the technical term for your condition is, mate, but it’ll probably not get published upon the family website this is, so I’ll let it slip.Recommend

  • abhi

    Poor Misbah it seems he is the only one capable to bat in Pakistan.Recommend

  • vignesh pitchiah

    Junaid, such a big article btw, we just thumped you guys at Adelaide… Cant wait for your next lame video …Recommend

  • Hasan

    U r JB congratulations :pRecommend

  • Cricket fan

    See u on Sunday Ha!!! , one more World Cup failure and the ad will be extended when next World Cup comes. See you in 4 yearsRecommend

  • LS

    Ummm… Aaahhh… Response or no response.. the Indian video is still correct… DARecommend

  • abhi

    bad news for you Pakistan did not dominate and part of the match.Recommend

  • cuo

    Haha see you on Sunday
    Sore losersRecommend

  • Jor El

    it was a gud attempt … gud that u carried the disclaimer “it was poorly written and cheaply produced because I don’t have the right equipment or expertise to execute it, yet I did what I could within the parameters of my expertise” …
    Rest assured, “If Pakistan loses this match, I will be the laughing stock for a nation of 1.5 billion Indian people.” that wont happen becoz not many wud have seen this ad …Recommend

  • LS

    “But the reality is WE (Pakistani’s) know very well even all Indians, why we lost all those match. None of Indian cricketer have the guts to beat Pakistani Cricket player they know that very well. They just used our weakness to WIN those matches, and you all know what i am talking about.

    So how else someone is supposed to win? You analyze opponents strengths and weaknesses and don’t allow them to use their strengths and make them play where their weakness is, or make them make the mistake.

    As far as your 72 v/s 51 (including this win) record is concerned let me just tell you one thing. In last 13 matches your country has just won 4 out of 13. So it won’t be long before that gap will vanish…Recommend

  • sa

    Only few cricket players and small% of people has rivalry in both countries. These kind of ads by media creates more fight between both countries. Being a Indian I look for peace between countries and world. Lets leave time waste cricket as is.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    The response video is poor in content though the idea is good. You are showing south indians doing funny accent, something only Bollywood has done in the past ! Perhaps you watch too many Bollywood movies!
    The Indian video was well timed. A Pakistani video should have come out immediately telling the Indians: it is going to be different this time and reminding them: after all we Pakistanis have more one day wins against you. Timing is everything.Recommend

  • joseph yashua

    come on, dont you think pakistan belongs to everyone other than muslims. by the way how could you make it out, a “muslims” house. do christians and other minorities live “differently” and in “different kind” of houses. portraying a man with lines drawn on his head is a clear depiction of hindu. india belongs to every one. it is an insult to people of india, when every one hopes for an indian victory.Recommend

  • Aditya

    Hi,

    I appreciate your broad scene of understanding the situation. Wonderfully put in the blog. Like you said, killing human is not the solution at all. After all its a game. Things has to be taken positively. Every one fights to win in life. Cricket is no difference.

    Wonderful write-up.Recommend

  • rehan

    thank you for pointing out that our ad agencies are simply bakwas. i have stopped watching pakistani TV free live streamingRecommend

  • rehan

    its nice too see these but the real thought behinde its is dissapeared live sports streamingRecommend