Stories about marketing

I refused a sexual relationship with my boss, he refused to pay me for my work

If you’re working as a freelance writer, you’re bound to meet and work with people belonging to different cultures and mentalities. To maintain a healthy business in a professional manner, especially now when technology and virtual communication is integral to any business, it’s important to set certain restrictions and guidelines, leaving room for flexibility. But in all cases, be careful about who you trust because this is what happened to me when I let myself trust a ‘big name’. Two months ago, I chose to work for a well-known journalist, Wajahat Kazmi – one of those personalities who have a ...

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Karachi’s comedy scene – Can you handle it?

If you’ve lived in Karachi, you’re sure to have heard the complaint about there being a lack of entertainment options in the city. Eating out represents the obvious choice for entertainment but there is always the “and now what do we do?” question that hangs in the air after the meal. It’s too early to go home and unfortunately the debate about ‘what next’ rarely moves beyond dessert options. The thought of why there aren’t more regular entertainment options in our city has been annoying me for a while now. If one looks at the thriving theatre industry or the packed ...

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Can the banking sector help Pakistan’s education crisis?

Pakistan is going through an economic crisis. It has been years since the nation has been suffering. For more than 60 years, the nation has put up with different politicians and military dictators. We have no one but ourselves to blame. We are the one who welcomed each of these rulers as our saviours. Despite all of these governing problems, we see that the private sector has sustained itself, and is growing no matter what the circumstances may be. A recent study shows that large private sector organisations can impact the country’s GDP by working on becoming more efficient and improving ...

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Exploiting social adverts to open up a world of possibilities

Social media advertising has gone places where no medium has ever gone before. With a wealth of personal data from social networks, marketers now bombard potential customers with content while they interact with their loved ones. The best part about it is that unlike billboards, organised events, TV and radio commercials, advertisers find out the response to their campaigns within a matter of hours, along with intimate details of the people responding to their initiative. Advertisements on social media, however, can have creative as well as malicious uses. The case of ‘love per click’: Picture this. Megan is a high achiever. She ...

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Why butcher the English language? Just speak in Urdu

Walking towards the Select mart at the petrol pump today, I saw a sign on the wall that read “Select Gate” with an arrow pointing towards the right. It took me a while to figure out that they really meant that the door (the “gate”) was to the right. The writers of this sign may be excused for being uneducated people who are unfamiliar with the English language. Being an avid reader and a writer, however, like Henry Higgins, I am particularly sensitive to the abuse of the English language, especially when it comes from someone who really should know ...

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Cheat sheet: How to deal with cheating manufacturers!

We have all come across the famous ‘Lays’ jokes on social media, where jibes are made about the manufacturers of the chips brand only putting a handful of chips and filling up the rest of the bag with air. But an empty bag of chips isn’t the only way that manufacturers cut corners. Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons why we are really paying more than we should for certain products: Bags of chips and biscuits that are only 1/4 full of their intended product. Technically, a certain amount of air, known as the ‘slack fill’, needs to be ...

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This Eid, we have new supermodels in town!

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. ...

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Pakistan’s underrated luxury brands

Pre-historic or post-modern, in peace or in trauma, human beings have always been inclined towards the creation of beauty and self-expression as means of their personal survival and identity. Modern Pakistanis, too, are heavily invested in the creation of tools of aesthetic indulgence; it’s a sound business enterprise as the need for pleasing surroundings and luxurious products is one that does not diminish; it hasn’t faltered since the Neanderthals wore pigment-stained seashell necklaces around their necks. It’s what we draw solace from in a world that has been consistently unpredictable. Brands are identity- national identity There are imported products and there are ...

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Marketing Pakistan: Know your product

On the one hand, it seems that Pakistan doesn’t have much to offer travelers these days with the exception of expats visiting their families, Lonely Planet reading backpackers, Sikh pilgrims and cricket-mad Indians—many of whom have waned from the ‘insecurity’ situation. Then, on the other hand, the ‘Ministry of Marketing’ (let us suppose that one exists) has plenty of underutilised fodder to attract positive international interest, if only they would. From an ancient civilization that’s older than the Pyramids (the Indus Valley along with Buddhist and Gandhara aren’t adequately promoted like the Mughals as they’re pre-Islamic), historical architecture (including pre-Partition buildings that ...

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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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