BY ALI NAQVI –
Is there an obvious connection between Coca Cola and Shan Foods? It could not have been more discernible had we not seen the recent TVCs by both brands. Yes… food, but it is not the common element I am referring to here. The common ground between the two is Meray Paas Tum Ho. Both Coca Cola and Shan Foods intend to take the full mileage of the hit drama series by employing its characters for their campaigns.
Everybody is talking about the drama and brands have their own way of doing it. First we saw Humayun Saeed and Hira Mani together for ITel campaign then Shan Foods utilized Muhammad Ahmed, now known as Mateen Sahib, for a creative and emotionally charged TVC. And most recently Coke TVC features Adnan Siddique, another notable character from Meray Paas Tum Ho.
Ever since Extremist Campaign coke has been unable to devise a sound creative strategy. The last Brrrrr campaign was ignominiously flawed and harked back to an already exploited idea. Coke Studio too failed to leave an impression with the exceptions of a couple of songs.
The safest strategy for any soft drink brand is to associate the product with food. With 7UP positioned on food and Pepsi playing a lot around foodstuff as it runs out of ideas, it leaves little room to create a space in that category. Nevertheless Coke stoops to play safe by caging itself to the dining table. Coca Cola Khulay To Dil Khulay is a small production with little substance. Koi Baat Karo and Cricket seem a force fit while ‘Coca Cola Khulay To Dil Khulay’ is too obvious and superficial.
When it comes to Adnan Siddique (Shehwar), in the context of Meray Paas Tum Ho, he is the most disgusting and detestable character around and did not add any value to the TVC. Ideally a brand like coke could have used the star power of Humayun Saeed. These days you cannot expect anything positive from Coca Cola.
On the other hand Shan Foods did a fabulous job by creating a heart touching TVC. Muhammad Ahmed’s character (Mateen Sahib) was best suited to play a loving father. Thought the ad is long yet it never bores you. In the advertising circles there is that notion that the industry is not good at creating campaigns with strong emotional appeal and that we cannot outperform our neighbors in this territory. But Shan Foods, unlike Coca Cola, has proven that Pakistan advertising industry has the potential to produce powerful campaigns by manipulating beautiful emotions and feelings.