Stories about brand

NEFER: Fabulous handbags, fabulously Pakistani!

I am all for entrepreneurship. Be it any field, I have a great sense of respect for whoever decides to venture into the field and willingly commits to the several pressures and demands innate to the entire prospect. As a nation we have had our fair share of notorious leadership, misguided groups and tragedies, with a few to thank. We have also hit the rock bottom at various times, yet I have not given up on the Pakistani youth. Being a part of the generation myself, I am extremely proud of what we are capable of achieving. From the business sector to ...

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6 steps to becoming (more) successful brand builders in Pakistan

For this particular blog, I just want to focus on talent in Pakistan and its impact on brand building. Brands have become ubiquitous in Pakistan. Our ability to promote brands on TV, mobiles, hoardings, talk show coffee cups and so on has allowed organisations to simplify the process of building brand awareness, as long as you are willing to spend the cash. And there is clearly no dearth of advertisement cash in Pakistan. But whether you drive down Shahrah-e-Faisal or Lahore Defence Boulevard, after a mile of watching hoarding after hoarding with beautiful women staring down at you, the brand message gets easily lost. In fact, ...

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My first visit to a lawn exhibition in Pakistan

I don’t quite understand how it happened, but 15 hours after landing in Karachi on a beautiful sunny day, I found myself at my first designer lawn exhibition. Over the last few years, I’d heard a lot about the way this industry has changed from one selling moderately priced cotton, to a market awash with “designer” prints and labels. My friend and I (we’ll call her S) were on our way to the newly opened Dolmen Mall in Clifton when she turned and asked if I fancied visiting my first designer lawn exhibition. What’s a girl to say? Yes! So we pulled up outside Rizwan Beyg’s (long-standing designer ...

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Facebook: Think before you ‘like’

Back in 2010, when Facebook first introduced a ‘like’ button as a way for people to ‘give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about on Facebook, it forever changed the meaning of the word; or at least, for its 850 million or so active users. Ten years ago, who would have thought regular people like you and I would exist so publicly online? We use our real names on social networks to share our lives with loved ones, openly show political support, voice our opinions without a second thought, upload pictures of the most important occasions of ...

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Remember the ads of yesteryear?

‘Wasim bhai ap thaktay nahin hain?’ (Wasim brother, don’t you get tired?) ‘Nahi, mein cigarette nahin peeta.’ (No, because I don’t smoke.) These simple words uttered by Wasim Akram in an anti-smoking advertisement many years ago are still remembered by millions. I am sure all those born in the 80s watched this advertisement on their television sets, and those who missed it must have seen it on YouTube. Why is it that we still remember this ad? It is simply because the commercials of yesteryear had a certain feel to them. Even today, they successfully manage to grab our attention, and as soon as we watch them ...

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Pakistan: Where life can be a blast

The ‘enlightened moderation’ mantra from the Musharraf era prompted Pakistan’s oft-quoted ‘soft image.’ Seen as a much-needed leap beyond archetypal vistas of K-2 and the Lahore Fort (think 1970s photographs issued by PIA and the Ministry of Tourism), well-meant consultants were hired for the purpose of promoting a progressive image for the country—or at least, that’s what the aim was in flying out designers and models to put on fashion shows at Pakistani Consulates around the world. One can almost imagine spectators gawking: “Gosh, they have women in their country who don’t wear a burka and aren’t getting stoned for ...

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Yes, my name is Romeo Armani

When I wrote my first story, I was hesitant to show it to anyone. The main reason was my name. I was hesitant to associate my real name with the story. Eight years passed and the story got buried under a pile of papers on my desk. When I was leaving for England, I emptied my drawers and came across the same little story. For some reason I decided to put it in my suitcase and take it with me. In England, I redesigned many of my dreams and reinvented myself in order to achieve my goals. After I completed my ...

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TV ads: Is all the dancing really selling?

Products in Pakistan have not always been sold by armies of men and women dancing to uncoordinated perfection. However, recently advertising ‘charts’ have been hit by four choreographed entries: Tarang, Sooper, Warid and Chaika, which are running on all major TV channels night and day. Does dancing sell? Does this mean that singing and dance routines are what grip the Pakistani people and make them go buy brands? Or, does this simply mean that this is an idea that can be easily sold to clients by agencies? Agencies have developed a stereotypical solution for all marketing communication needs and forgotten the essence of ...

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The conservatives and politics of fear

On Saturday, December 18, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, that was to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States (US) as children, failed to push through the Senate. Although at the outset, the DREAM Act had strong bipartisan support, as the mood of the country towards immigration shifted, Republican (and some Democrat) senators backtracked, terming the legislation as a backdoor amnesty for lawbreakers. These so-called lawbreakers are in fact, individuals who, through no volition of their own, entered and grew up in the US. America is the only ...

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Stop portraying Pakistan as the Meera of the world!

“What do you do?” “I’m a PR consultant.” “Personal relationships?” “No, public relations.” “Oh, you organise events?” Unfortunately, that is what I get from most people when I travel to Pakistan – either this, or I just have to settle for telling them that I work in marketing; which is  a socially acceptable and easily understandable term. PR is not a well known field in Pakistan and is still in stages of infancy; despite the presence of a few PR agencies, the field still remains remarkably untapped. Media and its teething problems One of the obstacles in the development of this field, as I see it, is ...

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