Stories about commercials

A ‘Mauqa Mauqa’ to celebrate – Pakistan finally wins a match

A match that both teams were trying their level best to lose, Pakistan failed to shoot themselves in the foot for a change and managed to beat the might of Zimbabwe. The day was set for Shahid Afridi to shine on his 35th birthday. Hey, if Meera is still 25, why can’t Afridi be 35? I am still 16 by the way. Afridi’s age is a great metaphor for the entire country; it is stuck in reverse. The day started with news that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was going to play for the team, sending the entire nation (or just me actually) in a ...

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Dear Advertisers, no, we do not start dancing in the streets when we sip on tea!

A few days back, while I was on my way to college, I came across the road near Expo Centre, where the traffic was choked. Naturally, I flipped my hair and smiled at the people in the neighbouring cars; and what do you know, they smiled back! After that we got out of our respective cars, started dancing in the middle of the street with cups of tea that magically appeared in our hands. We danced and swirled while others clapped and hooted. Then, all of a sudden, the traffic opened up, everyone got back into their cars and drove on ...

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Throwing ‘like a girl’ is not an insult!

If you haven’t seen the new advertisement from the Procter and Gamble-owned Always, then you need to see it. This advert, which explores what it means to do something ‘like a girl’, topped the Campaign Viral Chart, bumping Activia’s Shakira video off the first place. It has been shared 536,519 times in the last few days, and it is definitely something everyone should watch. Directed by the award winning filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield, who also directed the famous documentary, The Queen of Versailles, this commercial begins with a bunch of grownups entering the studio and being asked to demonstrate how to run, fight and ...

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Pakistani sports channels and death by advertising

As I write this, Umar Gul has just bowled out a Bangladeshi batsman. Gul screams in celebration, begins to jump with his fists in the air and then there’s Rameez Raja with a cup of tea in his hand. Wait… what? That can’t be right. Sadly, it is. Few things get under my skin as much as excessive advertising during cricket matches. Whether we’re being convinced that a slab of not-so-expensive chocolate will suffice as a midnight anniversary present (take it from me, it doesn’t) or that the amount of egg in a biscuit is reason for six women to put on shiny clothes and ...

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Can you be beautiful as you age? The media says ‘No!’

Beauty has always been tantamount to youth but the frenzy of confining beauty to the fleeting time zone of youth is a recent phenomenon. Media and the cosmetic industry have played a great role in weaving and reinforcing this youth-centric narrative of beauty. Beauty is youth An anti-ageing cream heralds, “Look up to ten years younger.” And that too at the age of 32! The catch here is that the woman is 32-years-old and the gravest matter of concern for her is the growing indifference of her man due to her dull skin. The irony is that the man, no less than a Greek god, is ...

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Pakistani women in the Pakistani advertisements world

“Main iske elaava kisi aur pe kabhi aitemaad nahi karsakti. Bhalay aap koi bhi aur lay ayein, main isko nahi chhor sakti. Ye mera partner hai.” (I cannot trust anyone but him. Bring whatever you can, I would never leave him. He is my partner.) A woman saying this must really like the person she’s talking about. The statement shows that she trusts him immensely and loves him enough to find him irreplaceable. It seems like they have a strong emotional bond; maybe it’s her husband or a friend she confides in? Isn’t this what you would ask yourself if you heard ...

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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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The wondrous world of ‘badvertising’

You have just come home from a stressful day of work and decide to unwind by sitting in front of the TV and indulging in some me-time. Just when you find a show that seems to strike your fancy, the channel decides you subject you to a commercial break. You let our an exasperated groan, and the torturous attacks on your nervous system begins. From shaking their booties to annoying jingles (remember 09-00-78601?) to cheesy plots – Pakistani ads have it all. The most aggravating part is that every channel decides to take their commercial breaks at the same time. There is ...

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Does the BlackBerry girl convince you?

Turn on the TV, a commercial plays and a woman in her late twenties sits in a perfect posture on her perfect couch in her perfect home (read: extravagant) and talks on her phone. Her cream coloured dress matches perfectly with the cream-coloured walls and the sofa set. She walks outside and sits by her mega-sized swimming pool in her colossal backyard. As she turns off her phone, she tells you about the cheaper call rates, part of a wonderful new package introduced by some telecom company. Is this commercial for the public? No. The advertisement is stupid for two reasons; ...

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TV commercials: Inform, remind and persuade!

While I was watching the news the other night, a newscaster said, “Stay tuned, we’ll be right back after a short commercial break,” making me immediately think, “Oh god! Not again.” The musical rollercoaster of advertisements began – a five minute ride that I seriously did not enjoy. What I learnt in my O-level commerce class was that there are three categories of advertisements – ‘reminder advertisement’ that reminds consumers of the products available in the market; ‘informative advertisement’ that keeps the consumer informed and ‘persuasive advertisement’ which persuades consumers through various techniques to buy the product. And these apply ...

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