Telenor’s Shift in Advertising Approach

We know that cellular companies used to copy tariffs, Value Added Services and then came brand ambassadors; however, this has started happening with adverts too. Not a bad move by Telenor, I must admit, but I do have reservations when it comes to the execution of idea.

With its latest Talkshawk package, Telenor promoted it through descriptive advert, which was actually in shape of news item, credited with name of “Staff Reporter”. We remember, Zong did the same with their launch campaign, meaning that they brought the idea of descriptive advertising but that was more of package description, rather than fake news items.


As Mudassar Jehangir writes on his blog,

“On the first go I could not figure out it was an offer from Telenor – From the line “Mehangaee say pareshan awam nay such ka saans liya” I thought it was something about “ATTA” or maybe electricity rates.

Being a Pakistani, I’m quite used to seeing this kind of pictures after a cricket match win or when someone wins the election.

Picture shows people enjoying the moment, but we all came to know about this package from the newspaper ad of 15 July. I wonder how the whole county started dancing well before the package was announced.”

Clearly, Telenor’s this shift in advertising has disrupted many heads in the industry, and there is a reason, because company is famous for mature moves, and classical advertising.

Analysts say that this change in marketing approach can be resultant of recent changes in Telenor’s Marketing department including its head. They predict that another reason for this approach can be absence of Ali Zafar, who was solely branding the TalkShawk for last three years.

Moreover, I would term it editorial mistake (or let me call blunder) as well. How a publication would allow an advert which is more of news than the advert, and above all it is with a byline.

Okay now let’s come to other part, which is related to misleading advertisements – I believe its first time, but Telenor did it at last. Headline of news cum advert says “7 Rupaye main Pooray 7 Ghantay Baat” – that could have been amazing, but unfortunately, 7 Rupees are daily rental only.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK