BY ALI NAQVI – Coronavirus in Pakistan is dying out or apparently, so it seems. We don’t know whether the figures that are coming in are accurate or not. It is good news if the COVOD-19 curve is flattening for Pakistan. Brands are still making campaigns keeping lockdown and social isolation in mind. Brooke Bond Supreme recently made one and now Sprite has come out with a locked-down Apni Pyaas Ko Sprite Kar campaign.
It may or may not be a good idea for brands to keep making campaigns tagged with social distancing but what is alarming is that most of the brands in the soft drink category are digitally dead. When I saw the new Apni Pyaas Ko Sprite Kar ad on TV featuring Danyal Zafar, it looked interesting.
To watch it again I logged on to YouTube. The phrase I typed in the YouTube search bar was ‘new Sprite ad featuring Danyal Zafar’. The ad was nowhere to be found. The search result showed only 1-year and 2-year-old TVCs. I did not lose heart and kept looking. I searched the official Sprite YouTube Channel and that’s where things started to look gloomy and disappointing. The latest video on the channel was uploaded 5 months ago.
I was convinced that no matter what, I will find the new Sprite TVC on Facebook. When it comes to digital marketing most brands think in terms of social media marketing without even being aware of the fact that digital media is a huge set of marketing and advertising tools and platforms. But since social media is king, I was dead sure that I will find the Sprite ad on the official Sprite Pakistan verified page. It was not there as well. The last Facebook update was done on February 10. 2020.
In short, I stopped searching for the ad and started thinking. How can a brand like Sprite afford to leave one of the most effective social media platforms untapped? To put things in perspective I visited official 7UP verified Facebook page. The situation was no different there either. The last time 7UP posted on its page was 31st May 2020.
Social media marketing being the most effective tool of consumer engagement is at the same time also the cheapest. Social media accounts are becoming the second identity for brands. That’s where the consumer can interact and experience the brand. If you have a brand and a verified Facebook page but you are not active for months then you are doing your brand some real damage. In the case of Sprite and 7UP, I don’t think it is damaging, it is professional suicide in marketing terms.