BY ALI NAQVI –
I recently caught a glimpse of a TVC of Cola Next featuring Saba Qamar. Because I could not watch the whole of it, the advert made little sense to me so I searched it on YouTube. As the video was loading a scrolled down to look at the comment section, a habit I developed after starting my own channel for The5Ws. After reading the few comments, all negative and most of them derogatory, I could not go any further and scrolled up to watch the ad.
While critically watching Cola Next TVC one can spot a number of issues with the communication but the issues highlighted in the comment section are the least to be concerned about. To begin with Cola Next committed the same mistake that Chawla Aluminium made a few months ago. The sequences are more about fashion, style and feminine charms than anything else making the ad more suitable for fashion or beauty related products.
There is nothing wrong with the concept at the core that talks about the spark in you that needs to be ignited. It encourages you to act and do something to get yourself to the next level. The real problem for the brand does not arise from the failure or success of this campaign but it surely does as far as its positioning is concerned.
In 2016 the Launch campaign of Cola Next ‘Next is Now’ starring Nargis Fakhri clearly showed the contours of brand’s personality. The highlighted ‘X’ in the logo also meant that brand positioning will rely heavily on the X-factor of female celebrities. The next campaign that came out was off target as Humayun Saeed took the center stage while Urwa Hocane merely played the supporting role. Titled ‘Ban Jaa Next’ the campaign neutralized the previous one.
It was expected that Cola Next will not commit itself to any gender stereotype as we saw with Nargis Fakhri in the launch campaign. The current campaign has gone back again to the position where it all started with ‘Next is Now’. Cola Next needs to define its target audience and communication objective in order to create effective and target driven creative campaigns.
The biggest objection in the eyes of the general public or a least the audience on YouTube is the vulgarity in the ad. For them the outfits Saba has donned are inappropriate and the moves she makes are shameful. Judging by such comments, it seems that our people are extremely virtuous and righteously honest. If you see the comment section of one of the episodes of Turkish drama Ertugrul Ghazi you will find people in love with Islam and its teachings. The only question remains that if we are so morally upright and virtuous then why we are ranked among the top porn watching countries of the world?