What comes in your mind when you think of lassi?

It is amongst the most popular drinks and beverages consumed in Pakistan. For many, on a hot sunny day it is only natural to quench one’s thirst with a tall glass of lassi. In Punjab it is the most preferred drink, and especially in villages, guests are still served with lassi rather than carbonated drinks. On certain occasions men even challenge each other to intake large amounts of lassi. It has also been a practice in many homes to start their day with lassi and women are renowned for making delicious lassi.

With its smooth, cool and refreshing taste, it perfectly compliments the hot and spicy flavors that epitomise Pakistani cuisine. It aids digestion and is a healthy addition to any balanced diet. Besides offering health benefits, lassi is also indulgent and can be enjoyed with or between meals.

I can imagine all this combined together to produce a concept, which shows that lassi is for everyone.

Whether young or old, it is a drink enjoyed by all age groups. You really can’t classify it as a ‘sexy’ drink, only aimed for young men and women and it is definitely not ‘pyar ka naya ilaaj’.

Firstly, since we’ve stopped producing original stuff, it’s not surprising that this commercial is a desi version of the Heineken Serenades campaign (not that the original is any good either). Secondly, what are they really trying to say? What’s the point behind ‘Guru, ho ja shuru’? Who is the Guru? Is it the man dressed in the hideous blue jacket, dancing away with women who are reminiscent of namkeen and meethi lassi-cum-love?

The standard of copywriting is appalling. What is the opening dialogue, ‘Kehtay hain, pyar lassi jaisa hota hai’ really suggesting? How can lassi be compared to love and also be the remedy for love at the same time?

Not only have they taken a long-established product, but also given it the wrong characteristics. They’re targeting the age group whose prime objective in life (according to the proposed strategy) is to find perfection in love. It’s not liqueur or an energy drink for the youth that they can choose a specific target audience or even try to change the characteristics of the product when it already has a deep-rooted image.The only good thing they’ve done with Omung lassi is to give it a hygienic packaging. This alone is such an amazing element that it could be used as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). But the weak theory that they’ve chosen to market their product with really doesn’t entice the viewer to try the product.

Recently, Olpers also started a scheme where with every carton (containing 12 boxes of Olpers milk) you would get four packs of Omung Lassi free. Apparently, companies have to start implementing such promotions when their advertising strategy fails.

Even if their idea was to encourage the younger generation to have lassi as opposed to soda drinks, the concept would still have been successful if they promoted it the right way. That would have automatically encouraged the elders in the family to purchase more of this product, even if it was only to be consumed by children at home, since older people might still prefer to have lassi the traditional way but the new packaging may be more convenient for younger people with active and busy lifestyle.

I’m sure many of you must have seen the Wonderful Doodh commercial by Amul. The idea of encouraging people of all age groups to drink milk was simple with a very catchy jingle, which remained popular long after the commercial was off all media. Not only did people wait for this commercial during ad breaks because of its popular jingle, but also the commercial itself successfully encouraged more people to drink milk. Moreover, the concept is worthy of praise, keeping in mind the fact that this was a mid-90s production and technology and resources were limited at the time.

It is not worth spending so much time on meticulous detail, if your audience is not going to remember anything. If you want them to retain information and have a lasting impact, the key is to be original and let the character of your product bring out the best in your commercials. In return, it may even boost your brand.

 


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


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The writer is a Multimedia Producer at Dawn.com. She tweets @mejmankani


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (56) Closed




Yasser
Aug 25, 2012 10:18am
But i differ with you, i like their marketing strategy and the advert is simply awesome.
imran
Aug 25, 2012 07:33pm
if you jumped the ship nd never had "good fortune to return" thn leave the cultural wranglings to survivors of nt your country anymore.
Ali Vaqar Awan
Aug 25, 2012 08:44am
First of all its a good effort by omung to encourage drinking to Lassi. Its way lot better than soda or carbonated drinks. Advertisements itself was funny and eye catching.Agreed with writer on a point that its original touch should be maintained. It was good to lassi readily available in market, otherwise it was long search to lassi shop. My favourite one is namkeen lassi.
Junaid
Aug 25, 2012 11:40am
Your watching you thing on tv everything is cool, all of a sudden this joker appear and screams in super loud voice. KEHATAY HAIN PAYAR LASSSII KI TEHAN HOTA HAIIIIII ..... Makes you wanna throw something at your tv set.
Weirdo
Aug 25, 2012 09:14am
Very nice blog! Whenever I watched this commercial ad of lassi , I seriously got perplexed because of the wrong marketing strategy.
Amar
Aug 25, 2012 11:10am
I quite like what they've done with the entire campaign. It hasn't succeeded in making me want to buy their product, which I know is the entire premise of the construct, BUT I like that they at least tried. And seriously, how are you to market lassi to the urbanite? Pushing the drink in villages might be a better idea, and honestly the loud, over-the-top, in-your-face, *insert your favorite cliche* images could really connect with the Lahore-adjacent audience. Not that we Lahori's are an extremely selective or sophisticated bunch. But we do tend to shy away from embracing the desi - it's all about "madern" trends here. So yeah, the creative team gets my approval. And I love the electric blue blazer. That alone makes the campaign for me. Too bad I'd never be able to pull it off. Also, as I see it, the main purpose of any marketing strategy is to elicit reactions (hopefully, positive) and disrupt the status quo, and this they've done in great measure. Anything that doesn't have the phrase "KIS NAY KAHA THAAAAAAAA" is fine by me. More power to them. It's bull, yeah, but it's the right kind of bull (as a teacher of mine used to say).
rehan
Aug 27, 2012 05:08am
The "Guy soap" advertisement was much better as people still remember ( and maybe even use) the product fondly :-)
zenia
Aug 25, 2012 11:53am
I loved the ad I think it grabbed every ones attention. In 48 hours the entire country was talking about it even if the comments were good or bad the point of advertising was to create awareness which it did. ALso if any idiot would know advertising you can tell they are not targetting the usual group but are going after youngsters who drink juices & colas, I think very smart move
mosa master
Aug 27, 2012 11:19am
hahahahha butt sahab... u got me wrong... First read my comment then see your comment again... lolz.. man i am not talking about to block Indians to comment on this blogs neither i am saying anything about internet freedom... what are you talking about??? i am just trying to explain the intellectual level of Pakistani people.. they can't understand serious commercials thats' it... intellectual level of Indian people are much higher than us.. Mind you.. man u are funny...
ayaz
Aug 25, 2012 11:26am
a good product with failed advertising is always a failed product. As author suggested Omung seriously need alternative strategy for advertising Lassi, They need to target all age groups in order to make their product successful.
ali
Aug 25, 2012 09:26am
Good ! catch..I think they should be banned for next 20 years...Morons
mosa master
Aug 25, 2012 09:57am
Nice article though. Ad was very funny itself but consider this fact in Pakistan due to lower level of literacy people are here not capable of understanding the serious message in Advertisement. If you guys remember the "Gaye SOAP" commercial in which cow was playing football...lolz what is the linkage between the Soap and Cow??? One of our marketing teacher told us about this ad, and according to him it was the most successful ad ever made in history of Pakistan. I think some sort of research also conducted by IBA on this "Gaye Soap" ad. So what the point in this Ad?? "Guru Ho ja Shuru" is just the tag line. Majority of the people here don't really care about the benefits and other things associated with product being promoted. Recall Mobilink Ad when Waseem Akram was selling mobile sim by dancing with others guys. Just imagine the mentality of people here.... - Gaye Soap (Cow was playing with football) - Trang Milk (Reema, Meera dancing to selling package milk) - Funny ads of Ufone and mobilink - and list goes on Just think about it.. before writing anything and please dunt compare with Indian Ads with Pakistani Ads. Compare Apple with apple not with Banana. Hope u understand.
Usman Dastgir
Aug 25, 2012 10:05am
hi.. to be honest..its annoying..but wasn't that the purpose,,to get attentions..yours, mine and everybody else's..none needed an intro to lassi.. all they needed was a shocking highlight that its available in tetrapak.. so in my opinion..its a good ad if if it served the purpose..it can win a critics award latter :)
fahdabbasy
Aug 27, 2012 07:09am
within 48 hours? really? u did a campaign audit across paskitan? and your POV that its targeted towards the youth - regular RTD's consumer- still its a flawed communciation with usual bollywood style handy masala item number type jingle mashed with moulin rogue type set.... a pathetic concept and execution even if was to uplift the "lassi" image and attempt to make it acceptable amonst youth and top tier SEC's
Saad (@saad_durrani)
Aug 25, 2012 10:54pm
And then there was this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdJ97XRR30
ik
Aug 25, 2012 06:12pm
This is what happens when Pakistanis go to INDIA for advertising.
imran khan
Aug 26, 2012 01:19am
Hi,good point to raise, Some times i feel my grade 2 daughter would make a better advert for a prod than ppl sitting in Multinationals and minting millions on Advert in Pakistan...WHO approve this ??
amadjoseph
Aug 26, 2012 05:03pm
This ad encouraged me NOT to buy the product ...Seriously bad stuff ! Two Thumbs up Mahjabeen !!
amjad khattak
Aug 25, 2012 12:49pm
yes its a good ad. i love it. atleast someone thought of making something fresh for the young.
Ali
Aug 25, 2012 03:05pm
This is a Pakistani ad?? I left Pakistan 11 years ago, and have never had the good fortune to return. But if this is a Pakistani ad, then I can't belive the level of cultural degeneration my country has suferred in 11 short years.
Yasir
Aug 26, 2012 03:19pm
I specifically like having Lassi the traditional way...some might not agree to it but lassi in tetra pack will ruin the heritage and culture we have in Punjab secondly fresh lassi has its own taste and benefits replacing that with preservatives is not really a good idea.....why can't we restore our old heritage and promote the pure essence of our country...I want my old Pakistan where everything was like farm fresh:)
Adeela Azeem
Aug 27, 2012 05:52pm
really, the big name like engro foods must be so much choosy while making their ads that creates a big impact on their image and more specifically their advertised product's image, only a brand manager of omung lassi or the advertising agency an actually explain the reasons and background behind this concept, engro foods must now be too conscious about spending their marketing budgets towards the right direction
atif
Aug 26, 2012 08:39am
I totally agree. I have seen those people discussing this who would not talk of an add in years. Moreover, all this discussion shows that the add has been a hit in the market as people have noticed it, and so has the writer of this article.
atif
Aug 26, 2012 08:35am
Look who is talking of 'cultural degenation', a person who is happy to be away from the country. So dear better mind your own life which I am sure will be in a much more 'culturally degenerated country rather in a 'no culture land'.
ahmad butt
Aug 27, 2012 01:30pm
Well Mosa my reply to you was mostly the last part where you had mentioned about comparison of Pakistani with Indian, there is and will be more Indian viewership of Dawn articles. Simple :). Also you think Pakistani ad should not be compared to the indian ones, after all most things are compare. See Sandipan's post, the Amul Ad is sheer genius, but no comparison of an ad with a serious message with Omung swing and a miss approach to creating perfect humor and catchy phrase selling lassi,
Abdullah
Aug 26, 2012 08:20am
i like lassi...but it makes me sleepy...i dont know y....but tun hoo kai mza aata hai.........sexy drink LASSI..lol
ahmad butt
Aug 27, 2012 05:21am
@Mosa Master, welcome to the world of internet freedom, Dawn cannot restrict Indian counterparts to post comments or block IP from certain countries etc. The eventual fallout would be biased journalism, with one sided comments based on patriotic jingoism. Also Dawn moderators would be bored with comment posting as well. So till then there will be comparisons drawn, both India and Pakistan have been taught from birth to be rivals, the only thing is this forum should be used for constructive views and criticisms rather than senseless bashing. And yes the product is good, but ad is below average and i hope Engro having a decent budget also ensures that quality is not compromised in future(provided Mahjabeen Mankani is successful in bringing her critique work to their attention).
G.a
Aug 25, 2012 08:27pm
I don't watch Pakistani channels and have absolutely No desire to indulge in absolute depression sun up to sun down. I do read Dawn though and if it weren't for this article I wouldn't know about this lassi ad. Now I do. The idea behind commercials is to attract attention and this it has done successfully.
zulfiqar shaikh
Aug 26, 2012 07:54am
i and almost all of my friends and colleagues liked the ad very much, it was a great hit within days. Also within my circle i have seen a good sale of this product. I personally liked meethi lassi much better. The ad strategy to catch urban and youth class was rather attractive. the end goal is to promote a product, and (to a layman) i think it did serve its purpose
Masroor
Aug 27, 2012 06:02am
Really, it is not Lassi. It is Salted\Sweetened LABAN - a popular drink during Summer and Ramazan in the Middle East. I do drink Omung Lassi and find it refreshing, when served chilled. Still, a good article by Mahjabeen Mankani and the remark " If Ms Mankani actually understood product marketing, she would not have raised half of the objections" is unjust.
bkt
Aug 25, 2012 04:24pm
The sweet lassi tasted good and I brought lots. But then everyone who drank it at home including myself suffered from a running stomach. We disposed of them and will never purchase again. I never saw the ad on TV
Ali
Aug 26, 2012 06:25am
very well said imran...it is amazing how pakistanis love to sit in the fun and luxury of other countries while reminiscing about the "homeland" with their enlightening comments!
ali
Aug 26, 2012 06:27am
just for ref. i am the different Ali from the original commentor...i'm changing my name to lower caps ali for clarity :)
farooq
Aug 25, 2012 12:35pm
@sandipan, this amul ad is classic but what about the ones that are outright cheap vulgar and tasteless.Remembering an Indian snack ad (maybe Lehar chips) of the late 90s, the tagline was "kya karun control nahi hota" , it was suggestive as well with girls walking about. But i do agree with Mahjabeen, this is an ad with a senseless vibe, and the pieces do not join like a jigsaw puzzle, nor is it funny like Cow soap, not are the models of Reema and Veena Malik calibre nor is the animation close to the Dentonic ad's sheer genius. Poor Engro, im sure the ex-boss Asad Umar would be worried about this ad being the first jitter after him leaving the office for PTI political venture.But at this point in time, i am sure PTI needs him more than Engro.
Sandipan
Aug 26, 2012 06:02am
@farooq, I never tried to establish the supremacy of Indian ad. I am very much aware that, there are thousands of cheap and vulgar ad (hundred times more than the ad you mention) floating across the Indian Sky. My point is only to highlight the innovative ideas of Amul cooperative to brand their product.
Fahad Zahid
Aug 27, 2012 04:41pm
While the fundamental concept - 'love guru' - may be questionable and only Omung team can confirm how well the campaign fared, I think the execution of the campaign has been amazing. Marketing a product as traditional (and probably boring) as Lassi, is not an easy job, and credit should be given to the team where it's due: for adding that eccentricity & flavor to the Brand, making it appear upbeat and fun, yet, some how, adding a pinch of nostalgia (reminiscent of the good ol' 80s & 90s) to it. The communication certainly caught the TG's eyes, and got them talking about Omung - key to generating that initial trial. That's what counts.
Hamza
Aug 26, 2012 04:01am
I personally think in the milk market, goodmilk has the best ad if them all. The one where they go like "roz roz goodmilkpiya karo"
saleha
Aug 26, 2012 03:39am
good article...however we need not go far away we've had some good jingles of milk ads...the roz roz good milk piya karo...is worth referring to..i wonder why we always have to go to india for inspirational stuff!
sarmad adnan
Aug 26, 2012 03:15pm
It is a great advertisement well suited for the Pakistani market. If Ms Mankani actually understood product marketing she would not have raised half of the objections that she did in her write-up and would perhaps be working for an advertising agency.
Amar
Aug 25, 2012 05:25pm
I think that the commercial is really not suitable for this product..............they should properly position there product......lassi is associated with our culture so its much better to promote it on the basis of cultural point of view.
JKK
Aug 26, 2012 06:07pm
This is example of hyped up commercial: where product value lags way behind the claimed value in the advertisement.
mosa master
Aug 25, 2012 10:55am
yes u are absolutely right... it is good if it is served the purpose.. that's it.
Ahmad Mirza
Aug 25, 2012 09:38am
I tried it before the advertisment hit the market and after that never had it.
Ali
Aug 25, 2012 08:55am
Excellent observations Mehjabeen, seriously I have never ever seen such an annoying add with so many cheesy models with a senseless slogan of' 'guru hoja shuru'.. They tried their best to be cool but they failed comprehensively....Cant believe they put their product on the edge while spending so much money on this lame add.
Abdul Manan
Aug 25, 2012 09:46am
some advertisements objective is not to increase the sale of product directly. They are indirectly targeting the potential customer by making such eye catching ad, So that people make a joke of OMUNG LUSSIi just like a PEPSI Ad (KIS NY KAHA THA PEPSI 65....... )
Sandipan
Aug 25, 2012 09:46am
A nice article. Just an information regarding Amul cooperative. It is simply not another commercial brand, it empowered thousands of women in rural India. The Amul manthan ad (see the link) is not an exaggeration of the reality happened because of Amul cooperative. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW9DSUbZX34.
Ahsan
Aug 25, 2012 09:00am
couldnt agree more! seriously dont know what was going through their minds when making this ad. =s
kami
Aug 25, 2012 01:55pm
Frankly, I tried out Omung Lassi because of the ad. I personally like the Namkeen one, which is really nice. The sweet one is a bit off.
Syed
Aug 26, 2012 08:58pm
Oh Lord, please wake me up cause this has to be a dream.
Rizwan Rauf
Aug 27, 2012 06:26am
A very good view on advertisment; certainly this jingle is stand out of others but not incline me so far to drink Lassi with my GF/ Wife. Rather I would suggest to market with the focus of vilage people or Group of friends or a lassi competition in young genertation or use it after eating desi feast (biryani / daal chawwal) on sunday.
farooq
Aug 26, 2012 12:34pm
@ sandipan you took it the wrong way, the Amul ad has a very professional touch, so you couldve picked a smarter cheeky indian ad with a touch of hilarity to compare with Omore Lassi ad. Overall, my message was still that the Lasi ad was incompetent. Like i will contrast this ad with another Engro product Omore Buzz d made by Osman Khalid Butt, which has a tagline "No Shashka Just Chaska" and made a cheeky statement on a local host Sahir Lodhi, the ad is very well constructed. Overall, i hope the marketing team at Engro are reading these comments as this is a neutral yet blunt forum, rather than listening to self-praises in the office and getting sales report and figures from the finance team to commend themselves for a job well done.
Khurram kaleem
Aug 26, 2012 08:37pm
I have. Become addicted to the product through this add.reason 1.i am from Lahore and 2 .both add and lassi relates to sex symbol
azhar
Aug 26, 2012 11:46am
well sorry to say advertisement of our country is very pathetic and nonsense i just give a reference some old stuff aamir Khan commercial to promote tourism in india in a commercial some bhai log flirting with foreigner or some local girls at any public place and he stop them with the help of local public and educate the people. But here in our country every one aim to make a money and nothing else.
Omar Khalid
Aug 27, 2012 05:12am
I think it is a great advert. Good recall and stands out among all others. Gives a clear message and differentiates the two tastes clearly. Prompted my family to buy Omung.
shan
Aug 27, 2012 06:27am
SECOND THAT ...GOOD ADVERT
mosa master
Aug 27, 2012 12:31pm
it is not the wrong marketing strategy... it is very targeted commercial.. take a class of advertisement then come back to comment on this blog... sorry dear.