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Changing Advertising Trends in Pakistan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 2658 words Published: 8th Sep 2021

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This research study unveils trends of advertising in Pakistan and to reflect and monitor the evolution of trends in the dynamic Pakistani advertising industry, a research study has been designed and conducted to analyze various insights linked to advertising agencies, marketers and media planners operating in Pakistan and their inter-relations and preferences in planning, developing and implementing advertising.

For agencies this research provides a framework for comparing their image, position and perceived performance against other agencies, and hence is a valuable tool to guide them to more productive partnerships with marketers and to overcome the barriers faced by them.. For marketers, beyond image and perception of agencies, this study also provides important insights into agency selection methods, agency evaluation and compensation trends.

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It contains various views of marketers about what is the meaning of advertising in their opinions, Also feedbacks are addressed about effects of advertising generates the sales figure, product awareness or customer satisfaction. Various concerns of marketers are also addressed in this research study about their agency selection, reason for changing the creative agency. Preferred methods by the marketers to hunt down for the suitable creative agency which understand the tastes of the marketers and meet their advertising needs profitably for the marketers, also preferred medium of pay off for the agency credentials are addressed in the study weather most of the marketers prefer to pay on monthly basis fee to the agency and get themselves bound to get all the their advertising from single agency or they prefer to pay on project base and are not bound to get the work done from single creative agency.

It also includes media planners opinions about weather consumer research is important prior to on air a campaign to distinguish which communication channel would be appropriate for the promotion of campaign in order to hit the right target audience through the right communication medium. A reason for selecting a media agency is also addressed in this research study.

Literature review

More clients are looking for like-minded business partners who can deliver accountability and shareholder value and, similarly, agencies wish to rise to the challenge and are throwing off their historic mantle of creative aloofness. More clients are looking for like-minded business partners who can deliver accountability and shareholder value and, similarly, agencies wish to rise to the challenge and are throwing off their historic mantle of creative aloofness

“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine”(David Ogilvy).According to the current situation we are so fixated on the form (TV spot and print ad) and that is the reason that our creativity is restricted due to space parameters. More and more creativity if required because   the future will be about creative ideas and the idea itself will determine the shapes and forms that it will take. Brand building effort has to go far beyond the 30 second advertising break or full print page to step change people connectivity.  It needs to create real time engaging opportunities to win the hearts and minds of people. Creating a brand experience will win the heart of people with some location-based experiences which will engage the brain and heart of the people. They need to get emotionally engage with experience so that they can experience the brand with by getting totally indulge in that either consciously or sub consciously. It will pull out the audience by watching typical commercial clutter by which they became irritated by watching it again and again.  This gives them the time and space to consider the brand. It is not about the medium but the idea that is of paramount importance when it comes to creating an experience (Shoaib qureshy,2005) I witnessed an incident while working at red communication arts on Servis account. Don Carlos TVC was made in which this brand was re launched and when the ad was on aired after few weeks the conversion for that brand shoes purchase fall down because consumer thinking was changed about that brand ones it was perceived as one of the prestigious brands. An unofficial sales figure was shared by the client which was reflecting the down fall in sales. According to the feedback taken from different individuals they reason diagnosed was that after viewing the current ad Doc Carlos seems them an ordinary brand .Its previous ads was showing the prestige of that brand with a mystery and in the current ones there was no mystery at all and the earlier TVC and left lasting impact on consumers memory who are fan of this brand. (Faizan gull,2010 )

Advertising in Pakistan still keeps reeling from the creative flair and the execution that it requires there is no attempt to make an investment in people to develop nurture and groom the raw talent that we have in abundance. Looking out for quality employee by employers will always kill the chance to recruit fresh minded talent which may deliver much creative idea and One more reason of restricted growth of the advertising industry can also be attributed to the ground realities of the Pakistani market. Like all other businesses advertising too should not be expected to perform in isolation. It performance depends heavily on the performance of the other sectors of the economy as well.(Ahmad Kapadia,2011)

A research study was conducted to analyze the mediums i:e serious advertisements & humorous advertising. The study unveils that Humorous ads have higher attention than serious ads as compared with serious ads.( Khadam Ali Shah Bukhari,2008). The perception of people about effects of new advertising trends according to our cultures in our society should be studied by the companies before making any kind of advertisements because if people or customers are not satisfied then businesses cannot flourish and this the major drawback in the growth of advertising . internet and some other causes are already adversely affecting the culture and traditions of our society and if we didn’t revise our advertisements then it can worsen the moral and ethical values of our society therefore it is strongly recommended that advertising agencies, marketers and all the companies themselves should make sure that the marketing campaigns do include all the social- groups and people and are also in consistent with our traditions, social norms and values and for this it is strongly recommended to make proper consumer research prior to launch a campaign.(Mohammad usman,2010)

Brand managers are limited to the current typical advertising; they don’t want to try something new and innovative for their brands. Their opinion is based on the fact that digital is free and spending on it to book space will not be worthy so they don’t want to risk to try something new which may built their brand strong enough in the minds of consumers.(Salman Abedin,2010)

Creativity is limited in Pakistan because marketers don’t want to take risks with brands and try something new .They are just stick to the story board of the ad and their core focus is just to fill three basic elements i:e Positioning ,brand logo and tagline which they feel that an ad is complete after getting done with these three elements in an ad and many of the consumers are attracted to this approach because the product is already in demand and those ads just serve as recall nothing more than that. Their aim is just to link the positioning to the story board, high quality visuals and somewhat humor. But we miss out on the conceptual connectivity element(Sarosh waiz ,2009)

A worst example of advertising been done in Islamabad which is known to be capital city of Pakistan on a dazzling display of brightly colored advertisements plastered on jersey barriers, these ads create an awkward tableau of peppy and worst marketing ever seen on barriers which may also divert the attention of driver while starring on it and the result could be an serious accident.(David Nakamura,2010)

Analytical framework

Criteria to select ad agency

  • Creativity is the key Meaning of advertising Criteria to select media agency
  • factor when selecting Customer loyalty Negotiate good rates with media
  • a creative agency Increase sales International network
  • Most widely used Expense Research tools
  • Method is Strategic pitch Reasons for firing agency
  • to hire a creative agency Lack of creativity
  • Misunderstanding client business
  • Lack of transparency
  • Effectiveness required
  • Company has other needs
  • Bad service

Brand building communicator

  • Television
  • Print
  • Outdoor
  • Online

35% marketers believed advertising means attracting customer loyalty whereas another 25% believed it’s meant for increasing sales. However, a group of 25% marketers also believed advertising is a marketing expense.

45% marketers believe advertising is most effective when it achieves Sales. However 30% voted for product awareness. Only 25% marketers believe customer satisfaction proves real affectivity of advertising.

60% marketers are currently satisfied with their advertising agency which shows strong marketer confidence on advertising talent available in Pakistan.

On the other hand, marketers who showed mistrust among their current advertising agencies quoted various reasons for doing so.

35% of marketers marked lack of creativity as core reason for changing their advertising agencies. This shows that marketers are concerned with the lack of new ideas and innovation in communication that drives their brand image against competitors. This also creates a new opportunity for other more successful agencies to pitch new ideas to such unsatisfied clients and expand their client portfolios.

Amongst Advertising Agencies, Interflow Communications stood out as the best well known advertising agency in Pakistan. However, amongst the international agencies, Ogilvy & Mather was rated the best well know agency in Pakistan.

30% of advertising professionals in Pakistan think that Creativity is the key criteria for marketers to select their advertising agencies. This show a clear connect between marketer expectation and agency understanding towards criteria for selection of creative agency which is a favorable sign. But the concerning factor is that 30% is a very less ratio compared to the remaining advertising fraternity who need to realize this key expectation from marketers looking for competent creativity.

70% of advertising professionals believes the most common method marketers deploy to select their media or creative agencies is by calling a creative or strategic pitch.

A surprisingly 50% respondents voted for Retainer fee model being followed in Pakistan which highlights a strong commitment and loyalty amongst marketers and agencies to work on long term basis with a loyal commitment to each other.

45% and 53% media planners respectively suggest Television being most effective and key communication driver for implementing a brand building and sales promotion campaign in Pakistan. Whereas Print media takes secondary preference with 25% and 26% voting respectively.

65% media planners in Pakistan believe a media research on consumer habits and lifestyle is necessary before devising a media plan which positively increases the chances of campaign success. This is an encouraging percentage and supports a scientific planning approach towards media spending which decreases the risk of campaign failure towards media objectives.

35% of media planners think negotiating good rates with media is most important for marketers when selecting their media agencies whereas 20% think it’s the availability of planning tools and resources to conduct research based media plans which count more

Research Hypothesis

Majority of marketers believe sales as an affectivity measure for advertising. This discourages brand building attitude in the advertising environment which can hamper the way of strong local brands arising out of Pakistan.

Advertising agencies need to recruit more inspiring creative talent to match marketer expectation

Enough advertising agencies need to realize that marketers primarily seek “Creativity” as key expectation for selecting a creative agency. Currently only 30% are aware of this expectation which requires the other 70% to realize the same.

Marketers not rely much upon advertising agencies team work due to lack of creativity or limited creativity being generated.

Media planners emphasize to conduct proper consumer research prior to on air the promotional campaign to hit the target audience as desired by the marketer because currently it has not given any importance.

Most marketers are on retainer basis with advertising agencies to avoid the hassle to hunt down different agencies to get their work done by sacrificing on quality and relying on limited creativity generated from one specific agency in an agreement with the marketer on retainer ship basis.

The main reason for which the marketer change the creative agency is lack of creativity.


The research methodology used to undertake this research study is questionnaire based. Three surveys have been conducted with sample size of 20 respondents per survey. First survey was conducted with Marketers from various companies being the primary brand custodians. Second survey was conducted with executives working at various advertising agencies in Pakistan responsible for conducting the brand research, formulating communication strategy and developing creative campaigns on behalf of the marketers. Finally third survey was conducted with media planners working at various media agencies in Pakistan responsible for planning and monitoring the execution of campaign.

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Regulatory bodies such as All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Advertising Association of Pakistan (APP) and Marketing Association of Pakistan need to conduct joint awareness workshops and conferences where key representatives from Advertising and Marketing and Media industries should participate in identifying issues and malpractices of distorted and unproductive trends and devise alternate solutions to the same. Sup the advertising trends through their knowledge, interaction and practices. These inputs or drivers of current prevailing advertising trends in Pakistan affect the outgrowth of this industry in various ways. The negatively affecting elements need to be reviewed and redefined by regulatory bodies such as All Pakistan Newspaper Society and Marketing Association of Pakistan to promulgate ascending industry growth.


Finally I would conclude that Advertising in Pakistan will remain static and room for improvement will always be required if focus will not be given to the above mentioned problems. Marketers are also not paying attention to this issue as they are involved in meeting the timelines for tasks delegated by their higher authorities so advertising agencies also care for their timelines and deliver them low quality work in short timelines. Also media planners are just concerned to buy air time for marketers and get their amount rather than suggesting them a good communication medium depending upon the client expectation and budget.


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