They say that advertising is the backbone of economy. But after seeing the following examples, everything you believed or have thought to be true will come crashing down. While advertising helps create awareness, and persuade public opinion to an extent, it also is a great form of entertainment especially in Pakistan.
Where people watch drama serials and soap operas for entertainment, I watch television ads. Why? Because they are better than dramas and soaps. Every channel you tune into, you find a nostril bearing close up of a dude, or a dudette crying their eyes out. With so much sadness and stress in real life already, why would I want to surround myself with more tragedies and other nonsense?
The television ads on the other hand are pure entertainment. Whether it’s the creativity of the ad developers, or the lack of it, I find myself laughing my guts out every now and then. Still not convinced, here is some proof.
Consider Mr. Gubroo Jawan. His woman is washing clothes when instead of letting her use her regular soap, he hands hers this flowery smelling detergent. Why? Because this detergent makes the clothes smell like flowers. Now I ask you, which Gubroo Jawan would want to smell like flowers? Imagine a Punjabi movie with the hero coming to kill the villain, but the villain manages to escape because he could smell the flowery scent of the hero’s clothes from a mile away.
So most of the ad makes in Pakistan think that no matter what the product is, if they include a bunch of men and women dancing to popular music, the ad will be a hit. And while I agree with Sinclair Lewis that ‘advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods’ I also believe that being a billion dollar industry, people would put at least a tiny bit of effort in developing the concept of the ads. Now tell me how is a bunch of men and women dancing around a bonfire going to convince people to buy milk?
And then there are the fairness creams. I believe the people in the subcontinent are the only ones in the world having such a fit over complexion. Many associate skin color with success, or the rate of marriage proposals. The hype has grown to such an extent that now even men have jumped the bandwagon. Not only can you see popular celebrities in these ads, I faintly remember seeing an ad in which this guy applied a mask on his face which he peeled out from a newspaper clipping.
Now isn’t that more entertaining to watch than some soap opera with a woman talking to herself out loud over whether or not she should pick the phone that is ringing.