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

  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with the advert. This kind of advertisements are in practice around the Globe especially in the GCC.

    A new Package is like new ‘NEWS’ to people so why not present it like one….

    P.S. All companies (esp. telcos) tend to mislead there customers but there is always that “Fine print” for us to keep an eye for.

  • It shows that a major personnel is changed in Telenor’s Marketing Department-lol! Or they won’t have gone for such mediocre move.
    Seems like end days for telenor coming nearby and first stone is already laid by Marketing Department.

  • The idea is good but the execution is VERY POOR, unlike Telenor. If you want to portray this to be conceived as an editorial then you should design it in way that should look like a news item. A glamorous model in a cut-out you will never see in news items, though you can see these kinds of pictures in Akhbar-e-Jahan and other magazines. The creative agency had to think a lot before executing this idea.

    As compared to Telenor Zong had used this idea creatively, if you look the advertisement of Zong, in first glance you can never figure out that it in an advertisement unless you read on the top that says ADVERTISEMENT

  • It is pretty much obvious that the headline is misleading. It could at best be termed as a paid news story. I believe it has been done in a much more creative way when Zong was launched. Similar approach has been adopted by companies in different fields like banks and FMCG as well with some success but this approach by Telenor is not appealing.

    Ali Zafar’s surprise exit must have a lot to do with this new approach as Telenor seems to be grappling with the idea of his replacement and thus this hastily developed campaign.

  • It is said that copying is also an art and requires some mind exercise and creativity, therefore, just following the same track is not enough.

    Looks like Telenor doesn’t understand the word “Creativity” anymore.
    The copied idea is good but this news item lacks some basic qualities of a news story and the headline misleads the readers.

    News is something “NEW” and if Telenor was providing news to its customers about the launch of a new package, than how come the body of the news includes the details of the consumer’s experience? I wonder if it is some new “Quality of News” introduced by them!

    And btw!! which newspaper asks model to give poses for their news items and cover half of the page??

    In Comparison, the ad of ZONG is very much creative and up to the mark. In simple words, it’s a well executed, well balanced and out of the box kind of idea.

  • Well, There is so much frustration,tension,unemployement, uncertainty,chaos,inflation and no good news to hear at all, So the masses somehow around the country tries to celebrate almost the very tiny things that they think is the very last drop of joy in there life.

    Refer to last blog by @Anum Iqbal, Please don’t blame Telenor for not creative. I think we all Pakistani lack this feature and are always looking towards West.

  • @ Amir Abbas:

    Talking about your first point, I would say that all the things you mentioned are truly the part of our society today, but as far as little celebrations and this ad are concerned then, Excuse me??? I think we were discussing the ad and the news there is the part of that ad or else you tell me, is that possible that at the day of launch of a product, company will also be presenting the over all customer experience? Now don’t say that you considered it a real news:)!!

    I’m not blaming Telenor, its just this that we keep high expectations with such brands, no matter if it’s something about their services or their creative aspects. And as far as your second point of lack of creativity in Pakistan, is concerned. I don’t agree that everyone here just looks towards West and don’t use their own mind and I can provide you with some creative examples. But this is another topic to talk about!

  • 7 RS seven hour lot of calculation is required

    + 50 piasa of sms to activate

    Total =7.50 + Tax (only to subscribe)

    addnow you still have to pay

    FNF 13 Paisa /30sec = 26paisa /min
    Onnet 20 Paisa / 30sec = 40paisa / min

    so one hour cost for FNF = 23.10 Rs + Tax / hour
    so one hour cost for non FNF = 31.50 Rs + Tax / hour

    Now warid gives you crazy hour
    11.99 + tax /hour and all warid numbers

  • @ Anum Iqbal

    I dont work for Telenor neither I am a Telenor user. Let me recall when Telenor was launched the ad that they were producing were only for the so called Literate people and were very sober and professional comparing to the bangra party of Mobilink…
    But they were I think told by some one..Hey!!! you have 70% of the people almost illiterate and they done understand the meaning of your ad’s. So change it to something like as you see…
    The other part is that they have spend billions of rupees and they want return as well, specially in these kind of circumstances where people dont wanna visit pakistan.
    Regarding customer experience of using Telenor or any other operator..If you are talking about that calls cannot be connected properly or voice breaking etc etc…Please spend just a day in the Switching Dept and you will know…There are just a few people handling all over pakistan network.

  • @ Amir Abbas

    I don’t get your point if this is your reply to my last comment here. Besides whatever are or were the reasons.. I actually commented over the above mentioned advertising campaign of Telenor and nothing else.. So my concern here, is not about how they came up or their history or why they changed their advertising strategies previously. My concern here was only this, that Telenor would’ve used mind for even copying the adv campaign which they just copied without any amendments and with Blunders!

  • yes we have tested Telenor in our cooprate deal but found that no difference in Mobilink and Telenor of network quality both are worst neworks

  • Well I belive Idea rules the world BUT when it is executed well. We are of the habbit of UNIQUNESS but in search of inovation we forget the GRACE.

    The idea is like JO BIKTA HAY….Telenor has good image in the minds of customer..

    It seems that the Ad is developed by some one who has made the project of BBA and has to submit to class teacher..

    It is also a truth that some ime Good companies come up with Bad plans..


    Naval VAswani
    SM Sales & Cusomer Care
    PTCL KArachi

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