Dawn News

Having sponsored and promoted the sport for over three decades, Pepsi Pakistan always brings something new to the table; and it is again back in the game with our favourite boys. From the start of the ICC T20 World Cup these advertisements have caught the attention of many as they are mostly aired during matches.

A series of three commercials, the first one shows Pakistan off spinner and number one ODI bowler of current time Saeed Ajmal playing basketball. Even the Afro doesn’t help him fit in with the sport and his shining the ball was probably the best shot in the commercial, proving he’s only ‘Made for cricket’.

‘Boom Boom’ seems to be back from his island adventure. Leaving Misbah behind with the woman, the leg-spinning all-rounder decided to give golf a shot with his madcap batting style. His inability to control his urges to slog every ball that comes his way has made him a crowd-puller the world over. Back strain or not, he proved to be a compulsive basher with his golfing style as well, his muddled hairstyle too added valuable affect to the setting.

A surprisingly amazing performance by Umar Gul brings a great closure to the series. Pepsi brings the fast bowler with a moustache and a classic getup to bowl. But his rubbing to shine the ball was obviously for another kind of bowling and his performance in yesterday’s match proved his determination for cricket.

After a popular, yet failed attempt with Yeh Pepsi Kis Ki Hogi, this one is actually fun without being despicable. It’s interesting how they’ve incorporated the style of playing cricket with the other sports, without being over-the-top.

Pepsi has a strong supermarket mainstay and since soft drinks really don’t have a healthy Unique Selling Point (USP), a clever celebrity endorsement like this is bound to be effective, especially in our part of the world where people are really passionate about cricket and it provides benefits by capturing the hearts of the people.

Whether the campaign is successful or not, Pepsi seems to have at least answered my question from the previous blog – What can you learn from a soft drink? Just like our boys learnt they were only ‘Made for cricket’, if you’re also wondering about what you are made for, then apparently you need to gulp down 300ml Pepsi to find your answer. It may also help you get rid of a ridiculous getup if you have one; because it appears that people who don’t drink Pepsi have a bizarre fashion sense.

The letdown however came from Noori’s disappointing cricket anthem. It somehow does not bring out the zest and zeal in a nail-biting cricket match.

Countless attempts have been made to rouse the nations patriotism but having lived through the era of Jazba Junoon and Dil Dil Pakistan, such mediocre attempts have only managed to stir disappointment.

Cricket season always brings with it a deluge of jingoistic ditties. The constant generation of such songs might be a mechanism designed to give us some sort of validation – constantly reminding us that indeed we are a nation of winners poised to reach the skies. But what people fail to notice is that when these songs are combined with a product, it’s actually trying to rouse national spirit in order to sell that product. This manner of expressing fidelity to one’s country is a disgrace to prescribed patriotism. But that also means that these products may not stand anywhere without playing on the nation’s emotions.

We should not depend on such morale boosters to remind ourselves the need to stand together. It is our responsibility to stay unified and for that having confidence and mutual understanding is paramount.

In current times we may not have mutual understanding in all affairs but we are confident about one thing – we do stand together when it comes to cricket. So bring out the zest and zeal and let’s support the green team for the big match tomorrow and let’s hope that Pakistan brings back the cup so that we can celebrate victory by popping soft drink bottles in true desi style.

Follow the Advertising Analysis series here.


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

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

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (27) Closed

Sep 29, 2012 04:02pm
Its such a pity that our cricketers are not good actors, nor good players.
Oct 01, 2012 05:17am
Decent analysis - though organised and funded perhaps by Pepsi's marketing and P.R company.
Sep 30, 2012 07:51pm
This is a really useful article and the writer has done a good job with the topic. Thanks a lot!
Sep 30, 2012 04:15am
I think pepci's advertisements are always full of crape like mentioned above. any way good analysis thumbs up.
Oct 01, 2012 12:01am
I am a sharholder :)
Sep 29, 2012 11:24pm
Are you from Bangladesh?
Oct 01, 2012 06:44am
Saad (DXB)
Sep 29, 2012 06:41pm
Let's see how much you pay back in taxes on account of 'Income from Other Sources' on June 30th 2013 Mahjabeen..
Farhan A. Shaikh
Oct 01, 2012 07:59am
Let's just say the analysis was about average. Pepsi commercials have always attempted to bring something different to the ad industry. However, I believe that its about time our players should perform well not only in the ads but also on the field as cricketers.
Oct 01, 2012 04:39am
Honestly speaking our cricketers dont deserve this much respect and coverage
Sep 30, 2012 09:53pm
These are only for ads and not for what they are known.... specially Afridi.... just a notorious, shamful defeat from india
Ahmed Ali
Sep 29, 2012 03:38pm
Brilliant analysis - comprehensive yet simple. Much better in quality and theme than what most others come up with on blogs. Cheers!
ahmad butt
Sep 30, 2012 10:55am
I find the ad hilarious, Umer gul looks like a 70's hippie mixed with disco fever guy, i reckon they can also make him a cowboy as well along with afridi
Sep 29, 2012 03:08pm
do you get paid for these analyses?
Kashif Khan
Sep 30, 2012 09:24am
To promote a unhealthy drink through sports is a disgrace in it self. On top of that blog also looks like a Pepsi commercial.
Oct 01, 2012 04:02am
Of course ! Don't you get paid for the work you do?
Sep 30, 2012 07:25pm
I don't wanna know about the income. It was a rhetoric.
Sep 29, 2012 10:02pm
what a naive and pathetic analysis!!!!!!
David M
Sep 29, 2012 08:47pm
Why? You want a piece of the pie?
Sep 29, 2012 08:26pm
Great start to the article, which was ruined by useless banter of the author. Criticizing is always easier than coming up with something useful.
Oct 01, 2012 03:40am
Kid: Dad come!! COme!!! Afridi hit 3 three sixes in a row Dad: Watch closely son its a Pepsi ad
Raw is War
Sep 29, 2012 02:35pm
Shajia Ahmed
Sep 29, 2012 07:31pm
What kind of a question is this? Even if any writer gets paid whats the purpose of the inquiry?
Amin Hussain
Sep 30, 2012 08:07am
How can somebody doing and Advertising Analysis seriously criticize ads for exploiting patriotism? Advertising is ALL exploitation. If we were to get started on this - you don't need these products to be more popular, you don't need them to be more successful, you don't need them to be more religious! Unless they're advertising cancer medication, these people are almost always exploiting peoples' insecurities to sell them stuff!
Sep 29, 2012 07:44pm
If they are not crickters, then how they are winning? Ur comment is just lame!
Nadia Khanum
Sep 29, 2012 07:45pm
Love this blog. Congrats Mahjabeen. And I disagree. Let our cricketers remain cricketers and not be those fake actors who very quickly develop a love for the screens. Leave this job to our generals, politicians, judges, mullahs and bureaucrats. They are the only good actors who do everything other than their own jobs.
Sep 30, 2012 05:05pm
At least our players play brilliantly well in these soft drink ads!