Humor – Need to Break Monotony in Ufone TVCs

The study of advertising usually begins with a focus on creative strategy and tactics. Creative strategy determines what the advertising message is going to say while the creative tactics deal with how the message strategy will be implemented.

Humor is one of the most widely used techniques in advertising around the world, as about one out of five television ads contain humorous appeal. Although the use of humor in advertising has its origins in the early days of the business, its widespread use as advertising strategy is a more of a recent phenomenon.

However, few studies in this topic have addressed the fact that advertisements attempting humor vary dramatically in the level of humor they actually evoke in the target audience. While some ads are spectacularly successful at raising a laugh, while others fail to do so.

In Pakistan, use of humor in advertising is not a very common practice; however, there are some brands that have used it successfully and made lasting impact in the minds of the consumers.

Currently, the telecom sector, undoubtedly, is the biggest advertiser in Pakistan both in terms of advertising spend and airing of television commercials. This sector has used humour successfully in their advertisements which was first introduced as an advertising platform in telecom by Asher Yaqub Khan, a local marketing guru of the telecom industry.

His managerial career took off at Ufone’s launch where he was a significant team player. Working as a manager marketing he was the first one to implement the idea of humor in Ufone’s commercials. The TV viewers must have remembered the Salma and Shabbo commercials which Faisal Qureshi, Adeel Hashmi and his team had produced.

At present, Asher is working in Banglalink, an Orascom Group’s company in Bangladesh, as Chief Marketing Officer and now has 14 years of experience in the telecom sector.

Asher previously worked with Mobilink, as Director VAS, IR, LDI before joining Ufone in February 2008 for the second time, where he was responsible for a major turnaround in the company.

In 2006 Asher had left Ufone and joined DVCOM as GM marketing where again he used humor technique in BIG Time calling cards commercials.

After DVCOM Asher worked with Mobilink as Director VAS, IR, LDI for almost 22 months, where he couldn’t implement his humor technique as his position offered lesser freedom in creative inputs in the company’s advertising concepts. However, it is interesting to note Akbar Khan was his counterpart as of head of brands at Mobilink at that time.

In early 2008, Ufone was facing severe marketing and network issues and the brand was not keeping pace with the market growth. Asher was once again brought back to Ufone as Chief Marketing Officer; through his dynamic approach he once again made Ufone a successful brand in the telecom sector. He was responsible for a major upturn in Ufone in a year-and-a-half.

If we look at the statistics for 2008 and the first half 2009 for Ufone, we see that the company did pretty well in grabbing customers and also showed positive financial results.

After becoming the CMO of Ufone Asher brought Akbar Khan in his team who had been working with Mobilink as head of brands.

Although, Asher has left Ufone, his policies including advertising approach has not changed since then. His successor does not seem to have enough clout to choose different technique / platform.

The current Ufone’s humorous advertising platform with Faisal Qureshi, Adeel Hashmi and his team now has become very monotonous and not creating similar impact with the viewers as they used to.

With these funny ads, Ufone has failed to grab the corporate customer. The brand is now more of known amongst the teenagers only, unlike Telenor and Mobilink who brought funny and decent TVCs in parallel to cap all types of audiences.

For Ufone commercials, concept and production is being undertaken by Faisal Qureshi and his team.

Common man’s wisdom will suggest that its Ufone’s current marketing team behind all these funny ads, however, when discussed with a creative head of an advertising agency and a close ally of team, the source mentioned, that the team still discusses with Asher Yaqub about any new idea that comes to their mind, although Asher is no more part of Ufone.

Under the circumstances Ufone marketing team needs to come up with their own ideas, to break the monotony of the same faces which some time become more powerful than the brand. It seems that the current marketing team of Ufone lacks creative ideas which prevent it from taking any new initiatives.

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


  • Saad Zaidi

    I dont know exactly what makes an article writer to write such report… Ufone Advertisments are widely adore by Audience that regards some humor.

    At least they are much much much better than CHEAP MOBILINK and TELENOR Advertisments who creates such pathetic ads in India that lacks professionalism, emotions, creativity.. hence in every ground….

    • Haider

      Agreed !

      • khurram

        100% agreed………..
        Ufone is the best and their ads are just spreading smile on the faces of our nation….
        they use their own ppl for the ads, not going to INDIA and start using imported stufff.

    • Ufone adds rocks!

  • Manzoor

    how much did you got paid for this aamir ??? hope its well enough to buy all the toys in your wishlist……

    • admin

      Not more than what you paid me for this promotion: https://propakistani.pk/2010/10/01/ufone-brings-nokia-n8-to-pakistan-with-25-discounted-price/

      Your comment hadn’t appeared here if this was the case!

      • usama khalid

        Mr. Manzoor, this is very sarcastic of you!!! Please be mindful in your words selection. And Aamir bhai, you need not to reply this stupid comment.

    • pappu

      This is one fine blog that i read daily. Give me rights, and i shall make it subscription-only. That is the only way to stop strange comments.

  • Mazhar

    is this article about ufone or the life story of asher?????

  • Hmd

    guys…. why dont you just move on with ufone ads?

    i think they are already succeed with there marketing when you widely discuss them…

    masses loves them, ufon is selling lots of connection… now what…

    lets move on… stop criticizing..

    • atif

      maybe you didn’t pick the idea. this article is about the influence of ex cmo over current marketing policies

      • khurram

        this is their internal matter……..is this anywhere related to an individual who is using Ufone prapaid SIM or Postpaid……
        do i realy need to know about Mr. Asher….or Mr. Akbar….
        this the brand that speaks louder than this article…..no one is ready to compete them this is all what i grab from this………
        grow up ……

        • atif

          if brand was louder than this article, you would have given a damn, and had not stopped here and had not wasted your energies to comment

  • jambola

    I agree to this line alot, “to break the monotony of the same faces which some time become more powerful than the brand”

    This was exactly what happened to Telenor when ali zafar moved to Mobilink.

    Ufone must not keep all its eggs in one basket, variation is essential for them now.

    • Zullu

      Agree, if in any case, any other cellular company gets pached up with faisal qureshi, (which is easy, as its matter of money – nothing else) what Ufone gonna do then? delete all videos from youtube and their website? like what telenor did in the past?

    • Azmeh

      I agree with you they have become more powerful than the brand, even some time when i see these faces in any other program i relate them with the brand. this can be positive and can even go negative. and the big question what will happen when they leave because nothing is immortal, when they will become more powerful than the brand and leave, what damages Ufone brand will face. The are only using one platform and that is humor, the will have to di very hard work to establish the brand again, may be with new comedy team :)

  • Copper

    Ufone ads are the best one. Faisal Qureshi and co are doing good job. This post can be regarded at best a personal opinion of author. But readers don’t expect to see posts like this presented as general opinions.

  • usama khalid

    Aamir Bhai, as you know, I am a very regular reader of your blog, however after reading the above article, it really doesn’t seems that this article is written from you fingers. I might be wrong, but as earlier I said, ‘It Seems”.

  • Hasnat

    Asher left Ufone but his policies including advertising approach never changed. His successor Akbar Khan seems not have enough guts to choose different technique / platform.

  • Ali

    I totally agree with your viewpoint, there is no change in Ufone’s advertisements since so long. If it is perceived as good as mentioned in above comments and doing miracle with sales figures then Ufone would have been number two at least if not number one. They are the second GSM entrant!!!

  • Raza

    There is another way to look at it.
    It was not Asher infact the whole team who was behind this idea of funny ads.

  • Telecom Employee

    There is nothing wrong in the artical but I feel that one of the Brand Manager got fired or who he has much close relation with Asher Yaqoob is side lined
    He or she tried to put pressure on Present CMO and his team
    Same type of things happened with VP Sales few days back where someone has expressed alot of Poison or expressed Zahar
    I think these things initiated by Any of Competitor or by their parent Company(PTCL) or This could be Aamir Mumtaz who now a days in stress or tension
    Might be Asher is willing to re join U fone

  • Azmeh

    I think they should keep the Humor in their commercials but at least change the ‘comedy’ team, we have sick and tired by watching same faces. specially during matches. Otherwise, they will become same like our famous TV anchors became to whom people really hate now.

  • Faisal

    I agree to the fact that Ufone’s humourous TVCs have carved a niche but the point to ponder is that whether the characters depicted in various Ufone TVCs have beome bigger than the brand itself.

    Humour has also become a bit monotonous with Ufone ads.

  • kashif

    Really really astonished to see this kind of pathetic post by propakistani team. I think this blogging website is just running on the payments to write against each other..for God sake its their internal matter..what you are up to with them???and Ufone’s advertisements are really funny and goal oriented as compared to mobilink and telenor’s ads..Why you guys always try to produce some kind of quarrel between these giants??Try to produce some useful blogs..if you guys are not bale to produce them then endorse this work to me..i will surely do it for no cost..and now i know that you wont moderate my comment..but at least you will read it..

  • Hashim

    Mr.Amir….!!!
    It’s clear from your words that you are paid to post such cheap and unethical article. What is this. At least one Pakistani brand is competing the world standards of ads and everybody is looking your ____ on fire. Be Brave man. It is not the way to defame a brand. Moderate it if you are a man.

  • Imran

    It seems Ufone team got a task to defend, hello guys there is nothing wrong with the article which is writer’s viewpoint and it is not neccesary that you have to agree with it.

    Come up with some logic to defend it not just passing words.

    • zia

      are u working for pro-pakistani? lolz

  • zia

    can ufone initiate legal action on propakistani for this blog???

  • Nawaz

    I am agree with you kashif and sajjad…but i am really shocked to see such a lengthy post by propakistani..how they have produced such a long story against Ufone :-) hats off to you guys..but yara if it will be continued like this then your website blogs will not be pure and realistic..Why to defame some one if its not giving you banner on your website..i know all of this game to earn…for God sake stop blaming..

  • raheem

    this article is just a publicity stunt by propakistani….may be no real news for telecom industry…

    • khurram

      might be they are looking for some marketing support from Ufone to keep their mouth shut…….
      might be…..

  • iPhone

    I love Ufone Commercials i think they are better then International ads that we see. Ufone is a Pakistani Service so we should support it

  • Ahsan

    I think Mr.Amir is paid to promote Mr. Asher or paid by any other mobile operator to ____ against Ufone. Admin must remove this post and must stop creating Fuss. No one will visit this blogs if he continues to write such a cheap and low standard article. If you have nothing to write then don’t copy such words from http://www.google.com and post it as a blog. Why are you so much desperate to write immoral, unethical, unscrupulous and disreputable words.

    [Comment Edited]

  • Janjua

    May be the CMO not have enough power to change the style of advertising, may be top managment like the most….. you never know..

    • Roshan

      …may be the Etisalat’s Shaikhs like Pakistani comedy and enjoy the Ufone Ads….;)

  • pro desi

    lov UFONE ads…they are the best

  • Circuit

    Aamir !
    just a friendly advice……its time to consult a laywer…..

  • unsighted

    Aamir bhai ye kiya likh diya Ufone walo k to dil per lag gayi… ye to sub Ufone team he comment karti lag rahi hay…1-2 to aap ko lawyer k mushware bhi de rahe hein jab k aap ne is se pehlay Mobilink ki to bari take ki hay… Unke indian artists kay ads ki take karne per to bari wah wah hoti thi…

    Unka mazahiya drama aise he chalne dein, jb unko koi gham nahi to aap ko kiya masla hay

  • Sachi Kasam se

    Amir bhai…. mulk diwalia honay wala hai… humaray persident saad ka pait bhar nahi raha… logo’n k pass 1 waqt ki roti k paisay nahi…. aaisay halat me aap ne kia kaam laga dia qaom ko,,, sara he comments kernay lag gayyy…..

    bhai… screw ads… save Pakistan… Pakistan hoga toe hi saray networks hon ge…

  • hasan shah

    Interesting Analysis on Ufone’s Advertising!
    I am really thinking what is forcing current Chief Marketing Officer to stay/work on the same advertising approach implemented by Asher. However being an advertising guy I have seen Akbar Khan’s creativity & ideas during Paktel GSM launch and in Mobilink.

  • Altaf

    I agree with the last part, where it’s said that some times faces becomes stronger than brand. Some thing should be done, otherwise, if any other competitor or other industry hi jacked the faces, it can lead to a set back for Ufone.

  • Dada

    RISHWAT KHOOOR !!!!!

    • Afridi

      Tareef hoti agar to wo bhi to rishwat kay aewaz hosakti hay…meetha meetha hup hup karwa karwa thoo thoo..

      why do you visit this site or bother about this he is not forcing you, if he has no importance just ignore him…

  • Raheel

    every opinion can not be appreciated across the bord, some people do like Ufone ads and some people may be bored but the point is we have to respect everyone’s opinion.

    However, you have to be careful with your words selection. blogs are meant to express your views which you can not express through other traditional mediums.

    • usama khalid

      Very well said Raheel sb…..

  • Maria

    ‘Daal Mein Kuch Kala Hai’why most of the readers are insisting editor to remove this post from blog.

  • Bilal Sheikh

    BREAKING NEWS:

    According to sources Faisal Qureshi, Adeel Hashmi and his team to join hands with Banglalink for an upcoming TV commercial.

    • A Mehmood

      Bilal Munir Shaikh, Vice President Marketing, Mobilink!!!!! Welcome to Propakistani Sir.

  • Such a good post and these dumb comments, following are my answers for some commentators!

    “Can ufone initiate legal action on propakistani for this blog??”

    No, on what ground? Foolish question!

    “Pakistani brand is competing the world standards of ads”

    The Joke of the day!

    “Why are you so much desperate to write immoral, unethical, unscrupulous and disreputable words.”

    I can’t find even one such word, can you tell me more precisely?

    “This article is just a publicity stunt by Propakistani.”
    I don’t think ProPakistani do stunts! Stunts are performed by “EXTRAS”


    “Its time to consult a laywer”

    Lawyers are too busy these days, plus its time for you to consult a dictionary to know correct spellings of lawyer

    • Shamsheer

      great reply Zohair, i completely agree with you,especially the third one.

  • Aniqa Afzal

    Aamir is more like a TV remote :-D poor chap cant kick his only source of income so he has to allow others press his buttons !!!

    • Ahmed

      Poor comment by you lady, it wasn’t funny at all with your “:-D”

      Agree with Aamir Atta, sometimes these always appearing faces in Ufone ads are more stronger than the brand name “Ufone” itself, people enjoy the funny part without looking for the message inside which is to promote ufone.

  • USMAn

    dear Sirs,
    UFONE ADD ARE ONE OF THE BEST IN WORLD