Stories about campaign

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 ...

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Obama’s unfulfilled promises

For Americans and a huge chunk of non-Americans who (sometimes unwillingly) are affected by American policy and rhetoric, the annual State of the Union (SOTU) address makes for important TV. Oh, except that one time in 2010 when that episode of Lost was nearly delayed thanks to competing airtime forcing many to directly question the President’s Office if their president was even aware of this pending catastrophe. Very kindly, the White House assured America’s citizenry that President Obama would “not pre-empt the premier of the show’s final season”. Returning to tonight’s SOTU. On January 24, 9 pm President Obama’s third address to ...

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Know your rights: Ilmpossible

Distracted by the political instability of the country, Pakistanis have failed to draw their attention to the termites that have been incessantly devouring the well being of the country. The crippled education system of Pakistan has proved to be one of these destructive creatures. Nevertheless, the presidential assent given to the Constitution (18th Amendment) Bill in April 2010 was an occurrence of great magnitude in this matter.  What were the outcomes of the 18th Amendment? It turned Pakistan into a parliamentary republic; it removed the powers of the president to dissolve Parliament unilaterally. What else did it do to the constitution? ...

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Benetton, you go too far

The United Colours of Benetton is no stranger to controversy. The company distinguishes itself by its utilisation of attention grabbing and shocking imagery in advertising campaigns. Its latest campaign called ‘UNHATE’ contains a series of photo-shopped montages of political and religious leaders, and traditional enemies, kissing. The jaw dropping series includes Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu kissing Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas; Barack Obama with Hu Jintao and another with Hugo Chavez; Angela Merkel with Nicolas Sarkozy, and the most controversial: the Pope with an Imam. According to a statement released by the Italian company, the series is meant to promote “brotherhood”. But ...

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Video Blog: Wake up and vote

This video was created by Jaag Utho – a youth mobilization campaign by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). Jaag Utho volunteers Nasir and Rizwan were the brains behind the video. Election Commission of Pakistan is conducting a door-to-door voter verification campaign from August 22 to September 30, 2011. In this campaign they will visit each house in Pakistan to verify the electoral lists according to the data given by NADRA. Voter registration is one of the most critical steps in bringing a change to Pakistan. It is the duty of each and every citizen to use the power of their vote. I especially appeal to the youth ...

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Citizens of hypocrisy: Can a petition save Pakistan?

At the first protest I attended, Karachi Unversity students were protesting against the frequent riots by student political wings. It was grand. A large number of young people, full of energy, were screaming, excitedly holding up placards. Not a single one of them seemed to care about what was written on the placards they were holding. It was all about being at the front, holding the best placard, shouting slogans at the tops of their lungs, and most importantly, getting coverage from the media. Apart from the burning sun on my head and some tiny pushes from here and there, I admit ...

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The downfall of Pakistani cinema

Quite often I have noticed veteran directors, producers and actors from our local film industry on television screens complaining that Pakistani cinemas are greatly occupied with foreign films, further alleging that this has denied their own films’ access to local audiences. I personally feel that their attitude does not reflect a positive approach towards the issue of our diminishing film industry. By vehemently pressing for a ban on the screening of foreign films in Pakistani cinemas, they, rather than trying to raise their bars in terms of quality, are actually conceding to the fact that their films cannot compete on an ...

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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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Musharraf has my vote!

In case you guys missed it, ex-dictator (now plain-suited) Pervez Musharraf put up a video on his Facebook page last night with a rather abstract question for his horde of loving fans. The question was: Are Pakistani people capable of differentiating good from bad? It is perhaps the first time this self serving, love-fest of a page has actually caught my attention – perhaps because this is also the first time I have seen Musharraf actually pose a question which had the potential to alienate and confuse his doting minions, and I just LOVE to see a hero shoot himself in the ...

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