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The Indianization of Pakistani Advertising and Marketing If we consider Pakistan a brand/company or organization which has several products, services and brands extensions under it; from healthcare to hygiene products, fast moving consumer goods to telecommunication products, news channels to press, footwear and everything that you see, which is selling in under the umbrella of Pakistan.

During recent years we have seen (or atleast I am seeing) a shift in the advertising and marketing campaigns of different products and services (brands) in Pakistan. Most of the advertisements, marketing campaigns, the theme and content is getting "Indianized". By the term "Indianized" I mean, seeing Bollywood celebrities in the advertisements of renowned brands ranging from cold drinks to cooking oil to beauty products etc etc. Some of the advertisements can easily be guessed that they are made in India.

Pakistani faces are getting diminished and we are not coming up with any more super models (male and females) and opinion leaders (people who influence us in a specific direction, who have a say and reputation in the public).

Every second advertisement, whether its print ad or television commercial has one or more part "Indianized". The songs, themes, celebrities dancing, families shown and the content is too much inspired, adapted and often led by Indian artists.

What's wrong in that? A marketing student can argue that it's the time of integrated marketing communication i.e. a company or brand speaking the same language and promising and delivering the same value, whether its selling in india, Pakistan or united kingdom. That's why we see the same foreign ads for coldrinks like mountain dew, pepsi or coke run on Pakistani television, which run on the international scenario.

It can also be accepted that we cannot remain in isolation and keep ourselves away from the influence of a giant media industry in our neighbourhood. Why would a company refrain from using a same marketing campaign or a television commercial in Pakistan that it has successfully using in India, with the fact that most of our population is addicted to Indian faces, Bollywood music and media.

Than what's the problem? The problem is we are losing the face of Pakistan in these campaigns. For me, as a marketing student, still the campaign of 'Aey Khuda Mere Abbu Salamat Rahein (State Life - Insurance Pakistan) is more appealing and filled with high emotional quotient , then a Bollywood glamorous model/actress coming in every advertisement to sell me soaps, shampoos, cold drinks etc.

When Shan can brilliantly do the Mobilink Indigo (Postpaid) campaign, why do they (Mobile phone companies) need to shoot their advertisements in India (or Dubai) with Indian Models. Why a Pakistani tea whitener milk (Tarang) needs to be sold by dancing? At least they have Pakistani celebrities (so-called) in it.

It's not just confined to the marketing industry; even the Pakistani television channels are happy to buy the rights of Indian award functions and Indian movies, but they are not willing to invest the same, or more/less amount to make their own Pakistani award shows to promote the Brand Pakistan.

The local or Pakistani touch is getting out, and we are seeing more and more globalized and Indianized approach in our media. The soul of everything should be Pakistani. In order to make our own identity, our own voice and uniqueness; we need to promote the brand Pakistan, in everything we do but in a better way.

Many brands are still promoting Pakistan, but others specially the Multinationals are happy to copy/paste the work into Pakistan that they have done in India.

Despite of all the arguments about the similarities between the culture of India and Pakistan, our likings and linkages, anything that is done here; should be purely Pakistani; so that we can get ourselves to that point where our campaigns, our ideas are re-used in other countries and in India as well. Lets hope for the best.

Note: The author is an Engineer by profession and is currently pursuing his MBA Executive degree from Institute of Business Management, Karachi - Pakistan. Kindly don't reproduce this work without the consent of the author. Thanksadvertising ads