Just like Servis last year, hitherto blah advertiser PTCL is getting some serious attention from the crowds thanks to a super-catchy jingle. One Pound Fish man Shahid Nazir has gotten onboard for an annoyingly sticky spoof of his sensational song. Shamelessly commercialized to sell PTCL’s landline service, we are calling this episode One Pound Shit. But, despite many a critics’ apprehension (including ours), the masses are responding warmly to the ad and are generating quite the buzz.
The more important thing to note here is the rising trend among local advertisers to piggyback on social media successes to connect with their audiences. And in most cases this approach has paid off. Osman Khalid Butt’s debut ad was perhaps the first local instance of a social media sensation taken to mainstream audience. His biting sarcastic humor that was the trademark of his viral vlogs was used to sell Omore Buzz to a young crowd. Ufone followed with a wildly popular rendition of the Saeen-sensation Wadere Ka Beta. Next up was the universally panned Zong attempt at profiting off the Gangnam Style hysteria. This last one attempt featured prominently on The Desi Design’s Worst of 2012 list and, to quote ourselves,
More and more people seem to consider this desi spoof of a viral internet sensation simply atrocious. Cheap, horrible and retarded are common adjectives used to describe feelings towards this attempt from Zong to capitalize on a viral idea, after Ufone successfully wooed Wadera Ka Beta guy Ali Gul for a cricket-themed promotion. Oppa Zong Style scores low on our chart because when this ad released the general masses were not sufficiently familiar with the original so for them it was just annoying noise, while those who did know about the original brushed this off as just a cheap, distasteful stunt.
Oh, and let’s not forget the pioneer of the social media celebrity phenomena in Pakistan: The one and only Mr Awais Lovely. While we didn’t see him endorsing anything apart from his groovy moves, we’re sure Fair & Lovely Max Fairness would have done well to enlist his support to attract the local metrosexual populace.
For better or for worse, advertisers are turning to the dyanmism of social content to fuel their brand communications. What are your views?