Indian Talent in Pakistani Adverts – Debate Continues!

Lately there has been a lot of talk about using Indian faces and Indian talent when making ads for Pakistan. Some people have pointed out as to why local talent was not used.

On why Indian faces are creeping into our ads when we have local talent, a creative manager with several campaigns under his belt and wanted to remain un-identified, explains that this is not a new phenomenon.

He reminds us instances from the past that used Indian crew, in one way or the other. He compiled us a list of campaigns. which involved the word India.

  • Surf (Unilever) and Always (P&G) have shot with Indian teams.
  • Clear Shampoo (Unilever) hired an Indian crew to record the Pakistani version of Fear Factor.
  • Coke and Pepsi started this trend in their early days and still do it. The Coca Cola “Kha Ley Pi Ley Jee Ley” campaign used Indian talent both on and off camera.
  • Remember the very touching Everyday (Nestle) ad where the husband offers to make tea with the “Banay hai ek dosray kay liyay” tagline? He is Indian and so is the girl who plays his wife.
  • Kashmir Banaspati has used Indian faces and crew for the “Bus Yehi Hai Achi Zindagi” campaign.
  • Initial ads of Talkshawk (Telenor) fall in this category. The launch campaign of Telenor Easy Paisa “Zindagi Asaan Huee” is entirely “Made in India” down to the location, cast and production team.
  • Jazz (Mobilink) “Apna hai” campaign used a face some may recognize from the Star Plus serial Santaan. While there are more ads in pipeline from Mobilink that are being shot in India.
  • A few years ago, Lux (Unilever) shot a campaign with Aishwarya that was used in both India and Pakistan. More recently, they have used Katrina on our billboards.
  • Alokozay tea with a streamer campaign.
  • Firdaus textile launched its Summer Collection featuring Kareena Kapoor which has stirred as much debate in India as it has here. Shot in a foreign location, the campaign cashes in on the Bollywood mania that is rampant in Pakistan.
  • Gul Ahmed had only just launched its prestigious Summer Prints Issue with Giselle, one of the leading ladies opposite Saif Ali Khan from the movie Love Aaj Kal.

Clearly hiring Indian crew is a rising trend these days. We have discussed before about the technical, professional and working differences of both side of borders, we thought of asking another professional on “why companies are contacting Indian production houses and models for their ads?”.

Faraz, an account manager at a creative agency expresses his thoughts in following manner:

When deciding on a team, our choices are carefully thought out and well researched to make sure that the message will strike a nerve with the target audience.

If the audience responds to a foreign face, there is no reason to go against the tide. At the same time, using foreign talent in no way implies that local talent is not good enough. One has to look at availabilities to work according to the timelines and demands of the clients.

We have very few known directors and even fewer DOPs both of which are extremely important when producing a TVC. Clients are often pressed for time. Companies in the FMCG and Telecom sector, some of which air more than 5 commercials per quarter, cannot at times wait for the good directors’ schedules to clear up and therefore prefer to explore options elsewhere.

Our industry is still very small and unable to meet the demand of the clients in terms of talent as well. For years, we are seeing the same faces walk the ramp and do the commercials. The actors that are on TV have been around for a long time and they have all been used by some company or the other.

Iman has been featured in umpteenth commercials. Shahid Afridi is the brand ambassador for at least three big names. Someone as selective as Shaan has also done several commercials – Mobilink, Pampers, Ronaq Masala to name a few.

Our industry needs a resource injection. More directors and assistant directors, set designers and production crew would make it easier for companies to choose from local variety. Fresh faces are also not very common. With modeling still being a cultural taboo, not many new faces come up. For the industry to flourish, we need to create an enabling environment that follows the professional codes practices internationally and nurtures fresh talent at every level.

How would you comment on these arguments? [Use below space to express your judgments]

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

  • Its seriously a very nice Article.. i guess the advertising agencies are right on their point, they are actually answerable to their clients and if their client is not happy, then their future would be having a big question mark. I guess yes the man was right who said people have already been used and were previously associated with rival companies, but their are companies like Jazz who took a very brave step and made Ali Zafar their brand Ambassador, he was previously working for Telenor i guess, but he is doing a great job here. So its all about taking bold steps you need bit thinking and then its all yours. So i guess, if you take it from Industry site then its not good but Advertising agencies are also right on their point. Look the companies in India are not using Pakistani talent in their commercials, most of their commercials are done with local cast, why is that, its only because their industry is so strong that they dont need anyone else. But seriously i personally want to see only Pakistani Cast working in our commercials. There are still many people who can be utilized like Moammar Rana, Babar Ali, Noor, Resham, Humayun Saeed, Veena Malik, Strings Band, Jal Band.. so there are many pakistani known people who can be utilized..

    • I totally Agree with you ayaan …there are a lot of actors from our side that need to be given a chance…after all Indians also gave there models a chance and they proved themselves why are we hesitating??? in order to excel and prove one selves we need to take risk which the Indians took!!!

  • An interesting thing I have noticed is how PTV is reacting to this. They show the Lux advertisement but they have edited it so that we don’t see the female model’s face. Anyone know if it’s ash or katrina or someone else?

  • Pak media is doing same. They regularly showing indian movies & shows. Indian Actress Boards are open in roads, while indian never bear us.

  • Guyz yar… just boycott the products that includes bloody _____________ Indeans. They have stopped our water and we are kissing their feets… _______

    [Comment Edited]

  • Well guzy the main reason is HD. As we all know that HD movies are very famous now and HD cost in Pakistan 60% – 80% more than it costs in India.
    We require 8 lights to cover a single person and a single light is of 8.50 lacks. so we use only one or two and you know how much India use to conver a single person ???

    …….. 27 lights for a single person.. and it is cheaper from pakistan. We don’t have equipment like they have just due to kind nature of our government that they have levied too much taxes..

    yarooo ab tu yeh hakoomat hagnay pay be tax na laga day… mujhay tu dar lag raha hai per.. koi bat nehi mujhay apney gairat mand qoom pay yakken hai … keh koi nehi bolay ga..

    khair best of luck for Pakistan..

  • Well guzy don’t worry government kabi restriction nehi lagay ge keh ap Indian actress ya India say add na banvain. Because apke Textile be tu tabbah hoo rahi hai.. only spinning chal rahi hai baki India say ya Dubai say Indian cloth Pakistan say cheap milta hai…
    Interested in know the reason.. Ok guzy tu reason yeh hai keh humari textile pay 27% tax hai aur India mei poooooooooray 2% tax.. oyeee kitney Zalim hai na hakooomnat… humari ofcourse.

    Light humaray pas nehi hai, pani humaray pas nehi hai, ache qayadat [leadership] vo humaray pas nehi hai, itafak humaray mei nahi hai, mazhab say hum door ja rahy hain… loray kay muslims hain hum maderchood.

    dostoo this is the time. Asey qom pay zaval kay siva kuch nehi ata jo itne khud garz ho jay keh usko kisi dosrey tu door key bat apnay darad ka be ehsas na hooo…

    apko pata hai ab hakoomat VAT tax laga rahi hai jisko fil hal sindh government nay na manzoor kyea hai.. ni ni ye mut samjhoo keh vo awam kay sath hain..

    bulkay vo kehtay hain keh bahi hum khud laain gay tax.. humain be tu thoora sa awam ka khoon choosnay du…

    at last AL-QURAN

  • as for as this article is concerned its difficult to disagree with the things explained.if we carefully watch our local TV channels you can find that every channel except ptv showing Indian songs,movies,dramas,bollywood news….so if our nation likes the movies and dramas and Indian actors and actresses then why not advertising agencies think about faces which are more likely watch by our nation.i also against this thing that Indian faces or production houses take business from us but its just not the fault of companies or advertising agencies.lets think about it.

  • apko pata hai na keh hakoomat 8 bajay dukahain bund kerva dyte hai.. han bahi kafi khayal hai humari hakoomat ko humara.. vo kehtay hian keh

    kama ker kya kerna hai.. jao ghar jao ya phir un logon ko looto jinhon nay phele ka kamaya hwa hai..

    well just to let you know keh next 3 months mei agar 8bjay shops close hoty raheen na tu 1 cror 38 lakh log apne jobs say hath dhoo dain gay

    yeh aik soche samjhe scheme hai jis kay tahat investors ko Pakistan say bhagaya ja raha hai..

    jagoo agar ab nehi tu kabi nehi

    admin plz act like Pakistani and publish my comments. [you may delete this line b4 publishing]

  • Aur agar ap yeh sochtay ho nah keh agar koi hum par hamla kare ga tu vo sub say phele en paisay walon ko marray ga… like jis tarha sub say phele badsha ko hi qaid mei dala jata hai…

    per dosto rayaya [awam] key barey be aty hai aur agar ap yeh soch rahay ho keh vo phele aa ker enko qaid kerain gay ….

    tu dosto they are very sharp and evil minded. enhon nay apne shalvarain utar ker un kay samnay rakh dyne hain keh lo maroo…

    aur yeh log unkay sath next chair per bythain gay phansay key ya chuday gey tu siraf awam yani hum aur aap.

  • @Ali bahi bhot khoob… tu theak hai agar unko itna hi pasan kertay ho tu yeh partition aur hazaron lakhon maon [mothers] bhenon [sisters] key izat kyun lutvai..

    Un logon say pocho jin key main [mothers] bhenain sikh utha ker lay gay aur unko sare bazar bay-hurmat kyea…

    Tu theak hai agar itna hi pasand hai India tu partion ________ kay lyea key the Pakistan key rehnay dyte sath sath

  • What the fvk is the big deal in it. Pakistani musicians, actors etc going into india and vice versa. you don’t have to put INDIA vs Pak scenario in everythin.

    • I agree. The likes of Atifslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Javed Shekih have been members of Bollywood since long, what the heck is this debate about?

  • Well, well, what i think is that their advertising ideas and campaigns are so good and catchy that they dont require models from Pakistan. Infact, Pakistan should make itself so strong in marketing and advertisement concepts that it should not have to rely on those indians any more…

  • Obviously, we are supporting our country…and hoping for the best for Pakistan…But our marketers should come forward with so unique n brilliant ideas that there remains no need for Indians..!!

  • mujay as bat ki samaj nahe aa rahe k choti se bat ko etna kyun bhara rahay ho so what k agar paki ads main indien model aati ha hum nay cheaz use karni hoti ha na k won models ko wasay be yah kam last 20 sal say ho raah ha pahlay ptv he hota tha aur kafi ads main indien models ki aati thi adds main as ime hum ko etna pata nahe hota tha own models ka per aab media ki waja say sub pata ha so etna sir khapanay ki zarorat nahe ha just chill

  • India has banned broadcasting of all Pakistani channels throughout the country. Cultural exchange should be from both sides. If they are willing to thrust their entertainment into our faces, they should be ready to accept our people from the entertainment industry too.

    When Pakistani multinational/national companies hire Indian models, they are robbing the talented Pakistani artists of their livelihood. They are thrusting people into our faces from a country that does not accept Pakistanis as genuine peace-loving people.

  • @fazee bahi bat yeh hai keh local industry her tarha key us key mut mari gye hai dost.

    log job less ho rahay hain. We should support our industry by using local products. I think you get my point

  • well I think it is the responsibility of PEMRA to stop such people from making our Television screens dirty.I think we need to boycott all those Products using Indian Crew not because of anything else but just because we have trillion times better talent in comparison to India.

  • PEMRA sucks… Here there is no concept of TRP… PEMRA nay tax laga dya hai us equipment pay jo TRP calculate kerta hai channels kay advertisements ka… aur vo more than 80 thousand hai hai.. aur India mei only 20 thousands ka hai…

    Yehan sare khanay bythe hain…

  • The best ads I have seen are that of UFone. So its baseless to say Pakistan got no talent.
    We are inching closer to our demise, morally and physically. Can’t blame government when star tv rules in almost all of our homes. A shameless nation

  • @Admin……..kindly upload the comments only those are written in english…….make a standard and try to stick with it….many thanks

    • Striker, thank you for comment. We have a comment policy in place which is strictly followed, however we allow comments in roman Urdu unlike you advised.

      • @ admin…….i dont see any strict policy has been placed by the admin……..and second thing i didnt advise any thing, i just suggested you about this matter……coz that web site used to get visit all over the Glob not only in Pakistan……..and if you dont like any thing from the reader then may be i will never comment on this web site again, i will never intertain your ironical way of reply.

        • Striker, here is the comments’ policy:

          Majority of ProPakistani visitors are at least grads, so this leaves very little chance for them to comment in roman Urdu.

          But if someone is more comfortable with roman Urdu, we allow it based on the fact that 95 percent traffic on this website comes from Pakistan.

          We are familiar that global traffic may get uneasy with this practice, but we don’t want our larger chunk of traffic to suffer.

          And its not that i didn’t like your comment, even i thanked you for taking time out, noticing a thing and then reporting it.

          If this caused you any sentimental harm, then I am sorry on what i said.

          Keep commenting : – )

  • I am seriously starting to boycott all those products who are using Indians bastards in their Ads. Bullshit companies

    • be polite mate coz abusive behaviour cant change any thing except leaving very poor image of ur personality.

  • stop being racist guys.. if atif sings a song in India so we feel proud ….. and if any Indian talent comes to our country so what’s wrong with you guys….before saying anyone be a great human being … not racist and pls stop being intellectual of policies even yu didn’t know what exact all law so zip it … and be one Human

  • and dont’ compromise government issue with media industry..stick on topic guys… don’t put your personal problem in static topic… grow up guys…we are pakistani and we don’t cheap mind.. just show some positive attitude…

    • i wish every body will think like that…… apreciated n keep spreading this msg around u.

  • Well reason is Indian Faces are known more than Paki faces.
    Indian Media is strong because every child grows up watching Indian stuff in India & Pak also.
    Indian know how to make better Film because they have a Film Industry.

    In India Cinema ticket costs Rs10-30 on each film so millions & millions people go to Cinemas to Watch Films each week.
    In Pak cinema tickets cost Rs250-500 on each ticket + 65% Tax. YES! its 65% TAX on each ticket!!
    Now if tickets is this much Expensive how many times will u goto cinema to watch film in cinema?? Once a year or never….You’ll prefer buy a cheap DVD & watch it at home….because of this no profits for cinema,no business for cinema, no more new talent for cinema, & no more polished talent…

  • Now I know most of you are fundamentally racist! Firstly, you don’t want to have anyone look at our women, but you are all prepared to ogle Indian chicks to your hearts content. Then you would rather let our own filim industry die, and buy up Indian DVDs by the dozen and pay 500rs per month for Indian sattillite service. Yes you are all racist, you are anti Pakistani -stop ______ about India and look inward to our own country and try to make it better, so we don’t have to rely on other more sucessful countries. Wake up people, it’s not the Indians that are the problem it is Us

    [Comment Edited]

  • In the list of companies u have mentioned who are using indian talent , one company i would like to mention. Alokozay is an indian company based in Dubai, its tea sales are very low in uae and they have launched themsleves from dubai, so apart from Alokozay all the rest are based in pakistan

    • well once again burning smell of hating humanity.. you mix the topic … why you compare Indian industry v/s Pakistan so damn it.. keep it in your mind India has most populated nation than Pakistan so they have advantage … and we don’t have much either government stability & supports but we ‘re taking good steps now a days in media industry… BTW it’s not all about chicks/guys it’s all about whom you work with …you even don’t know if you’re working at international company so yu will proud yourself whatever that company belongs to US/UK base bcoz they pay you wid good sort of amount right …..on that time you 4get to think all about Pakistani companies … nuts … i just want to say i m proud to be Pakistani & … but it doesn’t mean i have to ignore facts

      inshallah our Pakistani talent will shine their belt everywhere but it doesn’t mean Indian & others lost their heads… all will move 2gether

  • جو عوام دیکھنا چاہتے ہیں وہی دیکھا رہی ہے میڈیا اور ہمارے پروڈکٹس بھی انہی کے ذریعے بیچے جایئں تو کیا برا ہے؟

  • A very good article.. and I guess as far as I am concerned, the only reason I like Ufone over Telenor and Mobilink is because they’ve promoted Pakistani Ad Industry with their gr8 ads.

    HOWEVER! Don’t say a word against BEBO :) lol… she ROX!

  • Dear Dosto
    Basically our whole nation has proved to be beghairat, i salute indians because they are more nationalist and loyal to their country and culture where as we are gone so deep in the ditch of behayai and beghairati for example over here in uk you will never find any pakistani girl wearing sleaveless or short blouses but when we get a chance to watch PTV or ARY we think decide not to send our children to our beloved country with the fear that they wont get spoiled with those dirty fashions.

    I am sorry if i hurt my brothers feelings but this is fact that we are failed as nation, we are just like a person in Comma who can see and hear every thing but cant do any thing.

    don’t forget when after bombay attacks indians were calling us bastards and we released their movies in our country, india only keeps terms with Pakistan regarding showbiz because it benefits them not us financially and also to destroy our belief and culture. We all feel all right and not bothered until fire gets our own home.

    ASK YOUR SELF DO YOU HAVE INNER COURAGE THAT YOU COULD DECIDE NOT TO WATCH OR LISTEN TO INDIAN MUSIC ? No. I knew, its not only you this is whole nation specially our leaders, unfortunately we dont have any leader, i mean true leader not the BIKAOO MALL dancing on foreign signs. Once again i am sorry if if hurt any body’s feelings but please just for one second when you are alone peep into your heart and check is there any true pakistani, its to hard because we only find punjabi, sindhi, urdu speaking, pathan or baluchi no body every tried to put us all togather. Pakistan Zinda bad

  • plz do join us on facebook if you want pakistani channels to stop showing indian programs on our tv channels

  • I am against using Indian face on our advertise.
    I don’t think there is ever any Pakistani advertise rain on Indian channels. Then why our billboards are fill with them?

  • If we keep this up, the Indian media will start manipulating our people. Soon they’ll be able to interfere with our social and religious values. I believe that there was a reason that the government tried to ban Indian soap operas and now the conditions have gotten even worse.

  • close