Why Poor Ads from Public Sector…?

Every client in public sector wants some new, creative and innovative approach that is capable of making difference in print and electronic media. However, this wish remains a wish only as most of the public sector clients has no or very small budget. What they demand and what financial resources they normally bear has a huge gap and blame lies on advertising agencies for poor work.

In general, we can term following as the main reasons, which lead to poor advertising.

  • Poor approach of client
  • Limited resources
  • Limited time
  • Commission mafia
  • No marketing plan

Few years back, when I was a Concept writer in a Karachi based advertising agency, I was briefed several times to develop a full-fledged media campaign with print and electronic media coverage. Consequently, our creative and art department worked day and night to give some out standing results. The creative campaign had 7 ads, 4 posters, image building ads, branding and what not…. We also developed four TV concepts and two Radio Spots.

(In advertising, after initial briefing with client, agency prepares few ads, demonstrates them to client for final approval and then releases into media)

Afterwords, during the briefing session, client liked our campaign and asked us to re-arrange ads with new material. So, the original ads were converted according to the client’s demands (as this is the basic rule of advertising that client is always right). We also had to change the size of ads from half page to 10×2 and the concept as well. This particular campaign got released and was printed in only two newspapers.

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While during initial briefings, client had clearly posed as it was 20 million rupees campaign, which turned out to be a 0.2 million campaign at the end. It is normal thing that you may hear from clients “we have big budget” But it is clear that Environment, ENERCON, PTDC, NADRA and some other clients have budget under one million and they have the approach of sky is the limit…hey think before you say!!!

Lately, i read an interview in “Arora” which reveals that the public sector lacks professionalism. It often gives the agency very short time to deliver with out any storyboard and concept visualization in the mind.

I agree with this viewpoint of this gentleman who has an advertising experience of more then 20 years. It is true public sector often works in hurry…. without proper planning and budget allocation. That is the main cause of poor advertising. Moreover, they keep things very simple and straight forward so that every person could understand the message.

Normally, international brands give at least one month for shooting – while public sector asks for the product in a day or two at most.

Furthermore, client never gives the production charges to the company in advance. For example, all the payments are made after 3 months to 6 months of the actual release date. While in commercial advertising the case is different, if you hire a model or purchase a photographer, the client will pay you at the spot. This is the reason that you will never spend millions on hiring top class models, to keep ongoing cost low, instead you will hire actors of roundabout Rs. 5000 per ad

Another factor that is affecting the quality is the commission mafia in advertising. For example, we have 22 ad agencies on health ministry penal and they ask every company to submit their work on a specific topic, such as polio; but at the end Minister may prefer to give the work to his/her favorite agency while big agencies like Midas, Interflow, Adgroup may get ignored. This approach is clearly creating panic in the industry and they are working halfheartedly.

Most of the organizations have no media experts, no media planning and no budget allocation mechanism being followed. That is why they often have some ads in print in black and white to just exhaust their few lac budgets. How they could make a difference with such campaigns. Big companies like OGDCL has only appearance on national day other wise the company published on tenders. So how their PR department could make any difference?

Things will only be changed when some foreign qualified professional will be hired in the government departments, and a sense of responsibility will be felt on the shoulders regarding the money they are spending.

Lets hope a better future for Pakistan and the public sector as well.