The wall…

wall1One day, early morning, earth was collected and a little bit of water was added to erect a wall.  Slowly and gradually, many took part in the shaping of the wall, particle by particle, brick by brick, layer by layer, as it started to rise in front of the eyes of those who put in their time and effort.

Time passed, the Sun made it impossible for them to continue.  Many left.  The wall, it stayed, risen, bearing the heat, providing shade to those who gave up on it.  All throughout, nature showed its many faces, the Sun, the heat, the rain, the dryness, the snow, the very earth the wall stood on shook a few times, but the wall, it stayed.  Parts of it were washed away at times.  At times, it cracked and parts feel apart.  But those very faces of nature helped the wall in their own way.  The rain would make the mud moist and fill the cracks which resulted from the dryness and the Sun would then provide the heat to make it strong again.

Those who started to put it together used the wall often, for shade and shelter.  wall2Some fixed it at times when they saw it damaged.  Mostly for their own selves and for their own time.  But they all moved on.  The wall stayed.  Yes it did.  It stayed.  All through the weathers and the people, almost as if having the power of self-healing, it stayed, for it felt responsible to provide shade and shelter.  The wall knew how the heat of the Sun, the dryness of the Autumn winds, the cold of Winters, the chill of rains felt.  It knew well.  Very well.  How could then the wall give up, though given up on time and again?

wall3The wall stayed for many.  It saw many come and go.  It was used by many.  The day passed and night fell.  The wall, tired, dilapidated, exhausted, slowly crushed in the dark, turned into the very grains it was made from once.

The next morning, those who once sat under the wall’s shelter and shade, walked all over its remains, crushing each grain under their feet, not remembering those grains once provided for them.  They walked.  They all walked.  Some got together to gather some earth and start a wall.

Oh the wall… the soul…

wall4

Socially responsible marketing and advertisement…

“Advertising is not just about selling products or services; it’s also about molding opinions on issues…”, said Yasmeen Aftab Ali in her article ‘Advertising and Ethics’ published on March 31, 2014.  A rather simple statement, a principle which seems to have escaped brand management far too long.

Advertising merely to make sales and marketing to steer society in a certain direction, curtailing social evil at a mass level, is how one can tell apart a short-term money-minting machine from a vision which probably stands to be a lot more beneficial in the long run for all those involved.

The myth that organizations which are being ‘socially responsible’ in one way or another or perhaps ‘doing a favor’ or ‘being good’ needs to be busted.  It is nothing but a basic ‘requirement’ for an organization to ‘be responsible’ for and ‘responsive to’ the people and the environment in which it operates.  Being concerned about the surroundings and ensuring amelioration is nothing but ensuring sustained business and growth with respectable existence. Any positive impact on the society at large can only result in a positive impact on business in the long run.

ethics 2It is rather concerning how marketing and advertisement in our part of the world has grown into lies, deceit, mis/overcommitments and much more.  When the very basics of clean, honest communication about the product or service being offered is systematically ignored, social amelioration through marketing and advertisement seems like a monumental task.

The darker shade of skin is still bad.  Really bad.  To the extent that one may not ever get married.  The Pathan (Pakhtoon) can never be intelligent, no matter how educated he is.  If these examples are to be listed, volumes can be written.  Instead of addressing these stereotypes, such sentiments are played upon to sell products and such social evils are further ingrained.

One such factor is how women are conveniently established has nothing more than housewives while men being in-charge.  Knowingly or unknowingly, women are shown providing service to men coming back home from work, no matter how hard the women of the house had worked all day, underlying assumption being male supremacy, men being bread earners while women existing only to raise children, keep the house clean and make sure the men are satisfied.  In this context, Meiji Big has proven to be hope.

Hats-off to the brand managers of Meiji Big and Synergy for such an amazing execution. It cannot be said with surety if all this was part of the creative brief but the commercial communicates a lot more than just the features of the product.  A man feeding young children and flaunting it.  Not only that but the children being all daughters and the emphasis on how important it is for them to be healthy and smart (educated) so that they remain “not out” in every match of life.  A lot touched upon and most beautifully.  Bravo to the team!

On the contrary, as customary, the wife well-placed in the passenger seat, husband in the driving seat in the Bank Al Habib (Apni Car) commercial, at least both of them should have been wearing a seat belt while the car was being driven.  It is a requirement as per law and more than that, a life saving practice.  Knocking in a bit of civic sense doesn’t hurt.