Elsewhere in the tropics the cold season is followed by a season of pleasant temperatures before the heat of the summers hits. But in our part of the world (read Karachi) temperatures shoot up early in the year as a zizillion brands of lawns engage in a heated battle and try to outdo each other with psychedelic prints and grand campaigns.
There are the Icons and the Crescents, the Originals and the not-so-originals, those who can afford to have Indian celebrities as endorsers and those who get by hiring local anorexics. For mere spectators like us, this season promises an exciting drama, starring the country’s biggest textile tycoons, the snottiest fashion designers and the thinnest models, played out on the thoroughfares of the metropolis, and for those who have enough money, on TV as well.
This season, the most noticeable and talked about campaign has been, hands down, that by Asim Jofa. Starting out early with teasers stating uber-materialistic stuff like “I carry Hermés”, it was followed by the actual campaign in which Iman Ali could be seen posing all the most awkward poses. ICON, which I have read is owned by a multinational textile company, also went the suspenseful teaser route. They also got creative with the outdoors, placing branded bags around the Park Towers area.
Gul Ahmed ran a very snobby campaign with the theme ‘The Original Lawn‘, declaring their product to be the most original and thereby placing themselves far above the mix chaat of competitors. In my opnion a great campaign. The dentist/actor/model/host/businesswoman/etc Nadia Hussain couldn’t be kept to the billboards alone and she started sending us text messages too. Easy there, Nadia.
This year the Indian celebrities to adorn Karachi’s billboards were two Kapoors. Sonam Kapoor endorsed Firdous in what was quite a classy and obviously expensive campaign. The TVC was extremely well executed, and probably because of this Firdous didn’t have money to get hold of too many huge billboards. Karishma Kapoor (yep, the retired elder sis of Kareena K) also made an appearance donning prints by Crescent Lawn. These guys are probably trying to distance themselves from the competition by not hiring a young celebrity and instead using a superstar of the mid 90’s to appeal exclusively to the older aunties crowd.
The bekaar tareen campaigns were run by Shamaeel and Rizwan Beyg. The former’s teasers would be without a doubt the most hideous billboards I have ever seen, and the actual campaign itself was pretty average. ZQ also joined the fray with what was apparently a hastily put together and uninspiring campaign. Junxion also grabbed a couple of billboards for a super-straightforward campaign.
For me the best campaign, creativity-wise, was that by J Lawn (Junaid Jamshed). Not using any models at all, it involved some lovely design work which highlighted the core product in a beautiful and eye catching way.
What was surprising for me was that no brand seemed to have successfully courted Khirad aka Mahira Khan to model for them. Surely she would have been the dream endorser right now of any Pakistani business whose major clientèle are females.
Apparently this is just the beginning of the Lawn Wars 2012 edition, with many more new exhibitions planned for the upcoming weeks!