May, 2019
   
 
 

New Arrivals

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The Paradox

Scores of advertising agencies operate in Pakistan. Only some have foreign affiliations but it seems all agencies produce their TV commercials outside the country. Looks like Pakistani ad practitioners do not yet know how to make a good commercial. The industry probably lacks the resources or the creative faculties to produce acceptable work.
Pakistani ad agencies don’t seem to know how to write good, selling scripts and shoot them. They would rather go abroad to get more professional assistance. In countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, etc.,they shoot at low cost because a commercial shoot there can be done even in one day, processed and edited the next day and is ready on the third day after due post-production work. If the commercial is shot in Pakistan for some reason, so pathetic is the work ethic that the director wakes up in the afternoon after early morning outdoor light has been lost, the actors come late to the shoot and there is no script. So, the next day, they make-do with whatever the brand people suggest because they are in a hurry to get the job done.

The public does not remember the commercials made over the last 10 years because they did not have enough recall value but it is easier to recall the TVCs made 30 years back. If there’s a TV play or film to be made in India, it has a proper script. They don’t copy the story but adapt it. It’s all about thorough groundwork, education, writing and directing skills, professional acting talent and ethic and proper learning. A TVC is supposed to deliver the message in the least possible words and in a minimum time span. For that, good professional background is needed along with good craftsmanship in every department. There is also a need to keep the brand people away from the entire shooting process to avoid their unnecessary interference.

In the Sprite ad, a girl is wearing jeans and is sitting at a dhaba with her friends, enjoying spicy food and Sprite. Does this really happen in Pakistan? Here, girls and boys anywhere – in cities and villages - don’t sit at dhabas and they don’t wear such attire. In the Lux ad, the clothes worn by Mahira Khan, Mawra Hocane and Maya Ali do not depict Pakistani society. Indian actress Katrina Kaif is also seen in many Pakistani commercials like Slice and QMobile. Aditya Roy Kapoor was brought in as the QMobile brand ambassador and there were no problems about him being an Indian. But when the PAF and the Indian Air Force clashed in Kashmir, Pakistani cinemas stopped showing Indian films. As it is, no Indian TV channel is allowed to broadcast in Pakistan. The same, backed by Indian enmity against Pakistan, happens on the other side of the border. Despite all that, India’s Kareena Kapoor was seen in the Levers Magnum TVC. She also appeared in many Pakistani Lawn commercials. Not to be left behind, Jacqueline Fernadez followed her footsteps, shooting for Zainab Chotani’s spring/summer collection. It is also a fact that Katrina Kaif has never visited Pakistan and neither have the other big names. Does this mean that since Pakistan does not have enough good talent of its own, its advertisers are willing to accept the creative flair of a country which is its enemy otherwise?

It is such a paradox that while everything Indian in banned on Pakistani TV channels and in Pakistani cinema houses, patriotism is consigned to the dustbin. What a pity that no thought is given either by the government’s media controlling body, the advertising agencies, the advertisers and the actors, to the fact that Pakistani creativity is not allowed to come forward and local advertising budgets are squandered away outside Pakistan. This is the reason that no opportunity is given to the local TVC-making industry to grow and the agencies have to run abroad every time the client wants a commercial made.
If there were any attraction of profit in the local industry, perhaps investors would be interested in spending money, which would mean that modern studios with the latest equipment and facilities would be installed and openings would be created in all departments for young people to train and join the industry. If this happened, those advertisers who spend their advertising budgets in having their TV commercials made in other countries would be encouraged to have their commercials made in Pakistan at much less cost.

   

 
 
     
 
   
     
     
 
 
     
   
President & Editor-In-Chief:
Syed Jawaid Iqbal

Editor:
Javed Ansari
 

Assistant Editors:
Syeda Areeba Rasheed Faizan Usmani

Editorial Executive
Noor Javed Sadiq

Editorial Team:
Faisal Siddiqi
Sumair Aftab
Sidra Ayub
Kashif Ali
Mansoor Abbas
Kiran Farooq
Nuzair A. Virani

Layout & Graphics:
Haroon Rasheed
Kamran Ghulam Nabi
Riaz Masih

 

Business Unit Head
Syed Ovais Akhtar

Production & Coordination
Aqam-ud-Din Khan

Circulation & Distribution
Shehryar Zulfiqar



The views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily shared by the editor.
 
 
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