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U-Campaigns Need U-Turn

By  | 31, Oct 2008 | No Comments



Let me introduce Islamabad based Abu Asma, who is associated with advertising for 12 years now and is currently a Creative Director in a leading advertising Agency. Let’s welcome Abu Asma as latest addition in ProPakistani’s Team.

It is a general view point that money making in Telecom Sector is very simple – they lay down their infrastructure once, and then they can reap money for ever. Indeed this phenomenon is logical, but in real this might not be the case with every venture as some towering expectations might get crashed in days.

With multiple telecom players available in Pakistan, all the telecom companies are fighting hard to increase their share in market. It is very interesting to see that now mobile companies are offering call prices in Paisas to attract more customers and their strength to sell their products by advertising.

As a creative professional most of the time I wonder that big companies just believe on ambush marketing with out localizing the content of their adverts – also, without keeping their customers in mind. Today we have selected Ufone to discuss its advertising campaigns and their approach towards TVCs.

First of all let me tell you that Faisal Qureshi happens to be the creative mind behind Ufone’s campaigns. Before writing this article, I just had to visit Saidpur Village where “Sub say Sasti Call” ad was filmed. Although in the TVC it was shown a normal area where people live and enjoy their life but the reality is far away from what we saw in the AD. Empty buildings, poor people, life below standards is actually what is village is about.

The concept was a copy of the biggest budget ad in Australia and the surprisingly it was executed in exactly the same manner while singing “Yeh tu denya ki sub say sesty call hay”. The Carlton Draught Big ad concept is being taught in almost every university in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and even in UK as a big ad to advertising students. Dozens of thesis have been written on this ad and we are copying it stupidly (Tell you frankly, i had my thesis on the same ad as well). Well done Faisal Qureshi, you have made a really cheap ad which was really the big one.

Let me tell you more about the original ad: Original Carlton Draught Big Ad is an award-winning advertisement for Carlton Draught created by George Patterson and Young & Rubicam of Melbourne, which used viral marketing techniques before being released on television. It premiered on Australian television on 7 August 2005. In the advertisement, two armies, one dressed in maroon, the other in yellow, march toward one another singing “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, but replaced with lyrics such as “It’s a big ad/…expensive ad/This ad better sell some bloody beer”.

A heroic figure on horseback leads the charge. Viewed from the air, we see the armies form a glass of Carlton Draught and a human body. The glass is then lifted to the mouth, and the audience sees the beer (the rushing, ecstatically leaping yellow-clad men) flowing into the stomach of the figure.

The Ufone’s ad has the same voice impact. Secondly, the location for the ad looks like a place out of Pakistan as all the model houses are made to attract the visitors. That is why when I saw this ad first time; I thought that Ufone might have started service in any other country, where a young Imam Sahib who looks Egyptian is surrounded by model hoses like Europe or the US. The people in the background seem to be on picnic party.

It was also astonishing to see that only few people were sing “Yeh tu denya ki sab say sesti call hay” and it voice appeared as hundreds of people were singing the song.

I think Ufone’s creative team and brand characters are tired of new concepts so they are now banking on remixing ideas. Also, if they need to come forward some seriousness with their ads and eventually the brand.

I think they should have more serious approach with serious characters and themes. Let’s wait and see what the Ufone do for us? What you say about the Ufone campaigns please share with us in comments below
We will meet shortly with analysis of another telecom talk soon…

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  • shoby

    Great work man! these are our so called creative people.. yes they created a great concept to remake the ideas from other countries but they might forgot that now world is too close… I always been a big fan of Faisal’s creativity but this is really cheap….. phooooooooooo…

  • http://www.pro-pakistan.com M Junaid Khan

    I tend to disagree with you. I am not a commercial guy as i am attached to financial and strategic planning side in the telecom sector in Pakistan. What i have observed is that that the above ad got a very good response from the public just because the public didn’t have as detailed information about the ad that it has been copied. Moreover, i myself saw the orignal ad since it was forwarded to me and i think Faisal Qureishi modified it in a brilliant manner. We all know that copying ideas is not new in advertisement sector and what really matters is how good you can copy it because we have incidents where copied ads became the source of publicity for the orignal ads. Same is the case with this ad in Pakistan. Can you tell me how many people knew about the Australian ad in such detail and if it was not for positive response the Ufone ad got, no one would have ever explored the orignal ad. Even Geo copied the style and used it in their “Hum sub umeed saay haain”
    Your points are valid when it comes to the background shown in the ad as i also got distracted by it but then the plus points and the very local expressions got it covered. Lastly, the current humorous appeal of the Ufone ads is becoming a distinctive identity of it. The recent FnF number ads is another big hit from Faisal Qureshi and i am sure you will write with some appreciation on it.
    Lastly, i must appreciate this forum for such healthy discussions.

    • Abu Asma

      @M Junaid Khan,

      thank you Junaid for your comment, but mostly when we analyze any thing we need to explain it with details which are not seen otherwise by the people

      thanks again for such a detail comments

  • Abdul Aziz

    Thanks for information. But normally no body has such deep info like you. But if we follow the fact this ad was much appreciated by the people. This was a unique idea(Copied as per you). The same music was used in Dr.Shahid Masud’s programme run on ARY Digital” The End of Time”.