We’ve seen many commercials, which fail to put across their key message, but when I first saw Zong’s Flutter commercial, I was honestly speechless. From the start, as the woman travels through her ‘dunya’ and ‘khawab’, I started thinking of all the possible products this ad could be for. Traveling agency, airlines, jewelry, and even home decor paints, since we’ve seen similar paint commercials. But I never thought it could belong to a mobile network company.
To start off, why the name Flutter? The name not only has flirtatious connotations but in some context it is also inappropriate to compare women to a butterfly. And to top it off they really didn’t need to make it obvious by using faces of women in their logo. Were they worried people will not get the idea? Well, they didn’t anyway. Why? Because in the entire commercial, they’ve just tried to show the so-called ‘khawabon ki dunya’ of a woman and haven’t thought about explaining the package at all. According to Zong, since women make up almost half the population, they decided to introduce a package specially catering to women. But have they realised that most of this population segment is not literate enough to log on to their website to find the details of this package? And if their market caters to only educated women, then that’s a meager percentage which will end up categorising their product as a niche package. So ideally, focusing on what the package has to offer would have been more effective rather than showing a woman ‘fluttering’ through her pointless dreams.
Speaking of which, it is petrifying to know the ’dreams’ Zong thinks women have. Zong Flutter claims to be speaking to women in their own voice. So what exactly is that tone? Magical dreams? Surreal surroundings? And of course, how can those dreams be complete without a handsome suited man? In our country, it may be difficult for the majority of the society to consider women to be equally qualified as men, but we know we are and we definitely have some real and respectable dreams.
What is more surprising is, when Zong was launched, it claimed to be different. But nowadays, when every mobile network operator is struggling hard to retain its position, the war on advertising front has forced them to leap to another level, whether the concept makes any sense or not, is not their concern anymore. They feel they should portray what they think people would like to see.
Unfortunately, this approach turns out to work most of the time because not only do our brand owners don’t understand consumer behavior and are too scared to take risks, but we also don’t have an audience who would understand or appreciate those risks. If this remains the case, I’m afraid it would soon lead to the death of our advertising media.
However, to end on a positive note, I would like to add that Zong’s decision to sponsor Rabia Ashiq for her participation in the Olympics has been highly appreciated. And that, is what real dreams are.