Dawn News

Advertising analysis – Zong Flutter

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.

Follow the Advertising Analysis series here.



The writer is a New Media Design Manager at Dawn.com

Email feedback and queries to Dawn.com's editorial team, or visit our contact page


Comments (19) Closed

Aug 04, 2012 01:47pm
Very simple explanation. They were waiting for someone to bring this issue to the public.The writer did it in Dawn.Now thousands of Dawn's internet readers will want to find out more and click on the advertisement.How many of you readers have not clicked on it? Now thousands know what flutter or Zong is.Is ko kethe hain demak ka kamal.
Aug 04, 2012 11:55am
The Ad definitely does not talk to the masses, this is pretty elite and nieche and targets a very specific segment of women. Our masses would not even be able to relate to this Ad. But hasn't Zong always been a Mass brand (more so because of its strong association with China). A drastic transformation....how does this actually fit with their brand architeture? I am confused .....but hopefully the women are clearer to what Zong wants from them.
Aug 04, 2012 07:41am
Couldn't agree with you more, flutter just didn't do it for me - and I'm a woman saying this! The TVC's message is confusing & doesn't "call for action" for an educated woman like me.. so why would it for the masses of women who are uneducated & less aware! Nice write up! :)
Waqar Saleem
Aug 04, 2012 07:24am
If the ad is badly targeted, it will fail to strike a chord with the intended audience, and the package will fizzle out due to non-acceptance.
Rashid M
Aug 04, 2012 08:39am
Finally Mahabeen has come close to making a technical assessment though still short. As a basic principle of advertising you sell more when you say more and this ad says nothing so should expect nothing from the market as well.
Aug 04, 2012 09:37am
Agreed.. I couldnt follow the advert. Besides, what is that Zong want to convey across to women with this package?
Aug 04, 2012 02:38pm
First senseless critique on PEPSI advert and now this? Can the esteemed author publish her next article listing all the advertisements she has directed and have actually aired in last 20 years time. I will seriously like to know her credentials now. Like really!
Aug 04, 2012 07:19pm
wow. i find it hard to believe dawn could employ such a low level and closed minded writer.
Aug 04, 2012 09:50pm
My IQ must have gone low cause this ad. does not make sense to me, it looks more like a hindi song traler than a ad. for phone, flutter eh? astaghfirullah, fluttering is haram !! (I am sure some mullah will be thinking that) While you are at it, how about "tarang"? making 100-200 people dance so you can have chai? sure, it looks like you want people to dance while having chai, which I tell you can only be done in circus !!! I am also wondering how long we will see these "seasoned" models? can't find young faces anymore? oh and can somebody tell me what "extra" ads have to do with something during a cooking show? talk about mixing the marbles.
Aug 05, 2012 03:48am
So true. I would not want to see the add second time. It conveys nothing about the brand. and I still wonder what the woman in add dreamt? Moreover if they wanted to focus on women, then in our part of world, women's life is focused around family. A better add highlighting how the package caters to these may have put across how this package is of use to women folk.
Aug 05, 2012 04:49am
If one wishes to analyze an advertisement, then more than one's reaction is needed. Analysis means bringing in any relevant advertising "theories" (yes there are and there are reserach journals devoted to them - Journal of Advertising, and Journal of Marketing Research,, to name two major ones),and good logic. If the end result is the same as amateur opinions, fine. But at least an effort was made. (It would be good know the point of view of the advertiser of this ad, such as target audiences; communication objectives trying to achieve and message; competition; market structure and stage of PLC.)
Aug 05, 2012 05:54am
WOOWWWW !! super what an add what a direction and yes what a quality.. Amazing.. Pakistan is best in its quality if it tries. I wonder why on all pakistanis private channels they promote INDIAN celeberties and indian adds to sell their products in Pakistan. There should be pakistani adds and pakistanis working in these add to be displayed on TVs in Pak so that they can have jobs and they can compete with asian markets. Thank you for showing and sharing.. love it...
Aug 05, 2012 05:58am
I agree with the writer and want to add that the women of our country has respectable thoughts and high moral values which cannot be portrayed in such a way like a 'Modern' woman is shown in the add as well as some items such as she is dancing with a man, 'THIS IS NOT OUR CULTURE', i simply see it as another small trial to westernise our culture as other media do today such as Dramas and various shows.. and they are successful too
Jibran T. Siddiqui
Aug 05, 2012 10:55pm
This was a launch campaign and launch campaigns don't necessary talk about their tariffs and details. Motive of launch campaigns is to establish brand image. Secondly, the word 'flutter' has nothing to do with flirting, they just sound alike.
Jibran T. Siddiqui
Aug 05, 2012 10:59pm
... I still wonder whats that man doing in the commercial, transferring her into different worlds / imagination? So who is the brand person, the man whos making her dreams come true? lol.
Aug 06, 2012 04:27am
Iwas the first one to comment. So where's my comment? Did my suggestion that analysis sholuld be accompanied by theories of advertising and sound logic (over amateurish reactions) was perhaps too controversial to this Blog's umpires??. You guys/gals need to read Huma Yusuf's Monday August 6th opinion piece about the sorry state of research in Pakistan. Maybe the Blog umpires oughta take it to heart.
Aug 06, 2012 07:43am
The ad is pretty good and flattering to me, but i agree on the point that the message is unclear, the theme and ad concept used in the ad can only be dreamed by an elite women. although Zong is introducing new mobiles and packages every day and they can be seen on dekho.com.pk
Aug 06, 2012 09:07am
The problem across advertising scene in paksitan is: Clients/ Advertisers: - Lack of will on advertisers part to spend in research and if done trust deficit or lack of vision to share with their respective agecies. Ad agencies: Lack the gut to stand up to client and tell them to go for concept testing ( again could be a call taken by advertisers to check if the concept resonates with their audience) In end.. the race to get TOM gives little time to do any of above..!!
haider shaikh
Aug 11, 2012 08:10am
The ad contradicts to what it communicates. It says "set your dream free." But in the ad a man is taking her to the world of dreams!!! That's quite absurd. To me, the ad communicates that woman depends on man, she is servitude, she cannot think on her own, she cannot dream her dreams. Additionally, the copy and the story do not go hand in hand. i think that is a major problem with the ad.