Coffee Planet Hosts Coffee Mob For Facebook Foodies In Lahore

Pakistan’s first ever ‘coffee mob’ took place at local cafe Coffee Planet in Lahore earlier this month. The event was hosted specifically for the Facebook group ‘Foodies R Us’.

The Coffee Planet staff welcomed the guests into the three storied café where on the left one could browse through the Coffee Planet merchandise shelved neatly, and on the right a coffee bar offered filtered and brewed coffees for coffee lovers.

Food enthusiast Asad Sheikh talked about the ‘Foodies R Us’ group and the coffee mob being held, saying: “Foodies R Us has a membership of more than 1,100. We are foodies from all around Pakistan and in the group we simply celebrate our passion – that is food. As for the coffee mob at Coffee Planet, it’s all about the café proving its mettle to us food enthusiasts. We have gathered here for the tasting of the Coffee Planet products that it’s offering to us at discounted rates for today.”

“We will be arranging coffee mobs in other cafés around Lahore in coming weeks as we seek to comparatively rate the coffee places around us, giving others our valued advice” he added.

The coffees offered for tasting included Syphron, B 360, Mocha Master and Aero press, Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino as well as flavored coffees including English Toffee, French Vanilla and Nutty Coffee flavors. Snacks offered for the coffee mob included Cadbury cupcakes, Butterscotch cupcakes, Walnut Brownies and Fudgy Brownies.

Members of a biker group of Lahore also showed up at the mob to enjoy the discounted deals being offered.

Enjoying the jovial ambiance, CEO Coffee Planet Kashif Anwar talked about the coffee mob as he greeted guests. “The outcome of the coffee mob is really good. Guests keep on coming in and with minutes still left on the clock, I assume the visits will be going over 200. We are receiving great reviews by the foodies of the invited group, and we look forward to other such food enthusiasts approaching Coffee Planet to taste our line of coffees and snacks”.

Education Fund For Sindh & BRAC Pakistan Join Hands With The Support Of UK Government’s DFID

In a meeting held yesterday by Education Fund for Sindh (EFS), EFS provided a commitment of PKR 284.3 million to BRAC Pakistan under one of its programmes, which supports sustainable partnerships for providing quality education in underprivileged communities of Sindh.

The agreement provides for establishing 700 schools in the districts of Karachi, Khairpur and Qambar Shahdad Kot for 21,000 children, with special focus on girls’ education, where they will get an opportunity to pursue quality education. The agreement will remain valid for one year and will be renewed on an annual basis.

This outreach programme establishes schools in far-flung and under-privileged areas of Sindh to provide education to out of school children who would not have had a chance to attend school otherwise.

EFS is a not-for-profit company that addresses the current education crisis in Pakistan through a multi-faceted strategy that focuses on grass-root level support to families, capacity building of schools and NGO partnering for extensive reach of its programs that focus on identifying out of school children and providing access to school education. EFS’s primary funding partner at the moment is the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), with which EFS is a listed project.

Under the Intermediaries programme EFS provides access to education by funding existing private educational organizations in Sindh and the key to this programme is to gain synergies in leveraging existing infrastructure. Additionally, EFS will also aim to build capacity of intermediaries to meet demand requirements.

Speaking at the ceremony, Khawaja Adeel Aslam, CEO – EFS, shared the vision of the organization, “Our dream is that every child in Pakistan has access to good quality, cost effective education”. He emphasized the importance of this programme, “this partnership between EFS and BRAC Pakistan holds great promise as a model for addressing the education crisis in Pakistan. EFS is committed to provide as much support as possible to the programme to increase the number of children who get free school education under this program in the coming years”.

“On a global level, BRAC specializes in providing education to the under-privileged children in the most stricken regions. Together we can significantly improve the education scope in Pakistan by making sure that every child attends school from an early age. At EFS, providing quality education to out of school children is our primary goal. Every child deserves education and a better future; we hope that our support will help children to fulfill their dreams”. He further added, “We at EFS are grateful to DFID which not only is our primary funding partner, but also played a key role in facilitating this partnership between EFS and BRAC Pakistan”.

Pakistan Idol Announces Judges: Bushra Ansari, Hadiqa Kiani And Ali Azmat

Following an online teaser campaign and competition, upcoming music reality show Pakistan Idol has finally announced its judges:  Bushra Ansari, Hadiqa Kiani and Ali Azmat.

Bushra Ansari is a television presenter, singer, actress, comedian, playwright, and author who started as a child performer in the 1960s and has remained a major TV personality for over four decades.

Singer-songwriter Hadiqa Kiani released her debut album in 1995 and went on to win numerous awards in Pakistan and internationally.

Musician Ali Azmat was the lead vocalist of the rock band Junoon and was also a judge on the singing talent show Cornetto Music Icons aired on ARY Digital. Most recently he starred in Pakistan’s biggest budget feature film to date, Waar.

The three prolific judges, with their years of experience, are all set to judge the aspiring talent of Pakistan.

The show will be hosted by television host, actor and theatre director Mohib Mirza. Mirza is best known for portraying the main character Ishrat Baji on Aag TV’s sitcom Ishrat Baji. He recently starred in the award winning film Seedlings (Lamha) for which he received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the New York Film Festival.

Geo network has acquired the broadcast and production rights to Pakistan Idol, and the current sponsors are Q Mobile, Mobilink, Pepsi and Clear.

The Idol franchise began in the UK as Pop Idol, and is now present in several countries across the globe. This will be its first season in Pakistan.

Coca Cola Pakistan Fined Rs 100,000 For Substandard Product

Coca Cola Pakistan has recently been fined Rs 100,000 by a consumer court in Sialkot due to substandard bottling and packaging. The fine is to be deposited in the State Treasury within a period of one month.

The complaint filed against Coca Cola alleges that a cockroach was found inside a seal packed 1.5 litre bottle of Sprite (a product of the Coca Cola Company) purchased from the canteen of Sialkot Medical Complex. The aim of the complaint was to punish the beverage manufacturer for violating the provisions of the Punjab Consumer Protection Act, 2005.

Coca Cola has contested this complaint on the grounds that it is a renowned multinational company that manufactures the world’s largest selling beverage and thus there are several fake versions of Coca Cola and Sprite in the market trying to pass off as the genuine product. The company also pleaded that  the presence of a cockroach in a genuine sealed bottle may well be a concocted and fabricated story. However, after examining the evidence the court ruled that the defective Sprite bottle was in fact manufactured and supplied in the market by Coca Cola without adopting due care and caution.

Find more details about the case here.

Shell Unveils Ferrari Model Cars In Association With LEGO

Shell Pakistan’s latest teaser campaign was recently unveiled to announce the launch of a new promotion in collaboration with Ferrari and the LEGO Group.

Shell will be offering a range of six different limited edition micro-propelled LEGO model cars in Pakistan or a LEGO minifigure pack with the purchase of Shell Helix Synthetic Motor Oils and Shell Super.

This promotion brings together three global brands and celebrates over 60 years of passion for performance between Shell and Ferrari.

The models are based on some of the most iconic vehicles in Ferrari’s motoring history. Designed by the LEGO Group, these models are the first vehicles of this size that have powered wheels. Aiming to illustrate Shell’s technical partnership with Ferrari, the limited edition models are capable of performing a minimum of 300 pulls, propelling a 30g vehicle a minimum of 2 metres.

“This promotion perfectly represents the passion for performance and innovation that Shell and Ferrari share while incorporating the fun and imagination of LEGO products. Whether you are a fan of Ferrari, motorsport, or LEGO bricks, we think these toys are an exciting reward for our customers,” said Omar Y Sheikh, managing director of Shell Pakistan Limited.

The models included in the promotion are Ferrari F150° Italia, Scuderia Ferrari Truck, Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta passo corto (SWB), Ferrari F40, Ferrari FXX and Ferrari 458 Italia.

Zong Collaborates With United Bank Limited To Provide Online Recharge Facility

China Mobile’s telecom brand, Zong, has partnered with United Bank Limited under its O2O project to establish a service that enables subscribers to recharge their accounts and pay bills online.

This collaboration between Zong and with UBL allows Zong customers to make payments via an Etisalat/UBL powered portal using their debit or credit cards (powered by MasterCard/VISA) to avail the online recharge or bill payment option regardless of the card issuing bank.

Expressing his delight on the occasion, Sikandar Naqi, chief public relation officer, Zong said, “At Zong, we believe in continuous progress and innovation, which in turn means better services and facility for our esteemed customers. This new billing system in partnership with UBL is just another example of our dedication towards providing better and time efficient services to our subscribers. Through such endeavors we show our commitment towards taking the telecom services in Pakistan to the next level.”

Speaking on the occasion, Syed Taha Afzal, Head Consumer Finance, UBL, said “We are pleased to announce that UBL is the first bank to offer a facility like this and with this collaboration we have opened new avenues in the payment industry. As a merchant acquirer, UBL will offer cardholders unmatched convenience with regard to Zong post bill payment options and Zong recharge.”

Mr. Afzal also added that the most attractive feature of this agreement was that this service is not limited to UBL cardholders and can be availed by any VISA/MasterCard Debit or Credit cardholder.  

Shell Teaser Ad Promotes Most Exciting Car Launch Of The Year

Shell has launched a teaser ad campaign in Pakistan to promote what it calls the ‘most exciting car launch of the year’.

Though it is unclear what kind of car Shell Pakistan is planning to launch, Brandsynario claims the creative shows the Formula 1 car that Shell is pinned to sponsor. This car is expected to become the next big thing in the energy industry and the automobile market.

Looking to fellow Asian markets for clues, we learnt that last month Shell Indonesia carried out a similar advertising campaign under the same title. In Indonesia’s case the ‘most exciting car launch of the year’ was an exclusive collection of six limited edition Lego Ferrari model cars.

“We believe that these toys will be a prize draw for our customers, whether they are a Ferrari fan, motor sports and Lego,” said General Manager Retail Shell Indonesia, Sammy de Guzman at the event titled The Most Exciting Car Launch of The Year in October.

“The models are designed by the Lego Group illustrates the basic innovation in technical cooperation between Shell and Ferrari,” he said.

It remain to be seen if this campaign will be unveiled in the same way in Pakistan.

Oreo Pakistan Appoints Digitz As Digital Media Agency

New entrant to the local market Oreo Pakistan has appointed Digitz as its digital media agency.

Digitz aims to promote the biscuit on Pakistan’s digital media landscape. The brand is currently present on Facebook, Instagram as well as Twitter.

The iconic Oreo brand has was recently launched in Pakistan by Continental Biscuits Ltd. (CBL), the makers in Pakistan of the LU brand of biscuits and an exclusive affiliate of global snacks group Mondelēz International (previously known as Kraft Foods).

Continental Biscuits Brings Oreo To Pakistan

Continental Biscuits Ltd. (CBL), the makers in Pakistan of the LU brand of biscuits and an exclusive affiliate of global snacks group Mondelēz International (previously known as Kraft Foods), has brought the iconic Oreo biscuit brand to Pakistan.

Oreo is touted as the is the world’s favourite biscuit (or cookie, depending on the market), and CBL aims to make it a local favourite in Pakistan as well by leveraging the global scale and expertise of Mondelēz International, along with CBL’s strong track record, excellence in biscuit manufacturing and marketing, and a long history in Pakistan.

The Oreo cookies previously available in Pakistan were imported and therefore expensive and often past their sell-by date. The new locally produced cookies will reach the market while they are still fresh and will be sold at affordable prices to a wide variety of consumers. Pack and introductory prices are Rs 10 for 3 biscuits, Rs 20 for 6 biscuits and Rs 40 for 12 biscuits.

CBL has invested Rs 1.1 billion (about US$ 11 million) to build a state-of-the-art Oreo production line at its manufacturing plant in Sukkur, making it the largest biscuit-production facility in the country. As the production line is fully automated from the initial production process to the biscuit’s packaging, with no human interaction, the facility is the first of its kind in Pakistan. The line can produce as many as 4 million biscuits per day or 3 tonnes of biscuits per hour.

Speaking on the occasion of Oreo’s debut in Pakistan, CBL’s chairman and managing director Hasan Ali Khan said, “We are delighted to bring the world’s favourite biscuit to Pakistan. For us, this is the beginning of another wonderful journey to make Oreo the no.1 biscuit brand in Pakistan. Our vision of locally producing Oreos clearly signals our intent at dominating the local biscuit market and also highlights the importance of Pakistan as a biscuit manufacturing base.”

Rafey Zuberi, CBL’s director marketing added, “Oreo is more than just a biscuit; the ‘Twist, Lick and Dunk’ ritual has brought fun-filled moments-of-bonding to millions of families around the world. The dunking culture already exists in Pakistan, with adults dipping their biscuits in tea. Now, we are giving Pakistani families the chance to dunk their biscuits in milk.”

Ian Buchan, Mondelēz International’s Middle East & Africa new markets general manager, said: “We have been partners with Continental Biscuits since 2007 and have shared business excellence without reference to borders. With the launch of Oreo, we are delighted now to share the ‘moments of joy’ in Pakistan in terms of both industry best-practices and a superb, quality product.”

Pakistani Blockbuster ‘‘Waar’’ Debuts On Big Screen

The movie premiere of Pakistan’s highly anticipated movie ‘Waar’ was held last week at Atrium Cinemas, Karachi.

The premiere saw Atrium Cinemas transformed into an army camp. The movie red carpet and premiere was organized by Syntax Communications – an Edelman affiliate.

Released under the banner of Mind Works Media, ‘Waar’ was ushered in and supported by several celebrities representing the Pakistani media industry. With a massive production budget of nearly US$ 2 million, it is Pakistan’s biggest budget movie to date. Based on actual events, the movie’s plotline revolves around the idea of counter-terrorism packed with suspense, terror and action.

The film is scheduled to hit the big screens across Pakistan this Eid-ul-Adha for general audience.

Distributed by ARY Films & Mandviwalla Entertainment, ‘Waar’ is written and produced by Dr. Hassan Waqas Rana while the young and very talented Bilal Lashari has directed the movie. The star cast of ‘Waar’ includes a mix of industry veterans and newcomers: superstar Shaan plays the lead role in the movie that becomes the last hope for Pakistan’s security agencies to battle against the vicious opponent Shamoon Abbasi. Hamza Ali Abbasi, Aisha Khan, Ali Azmat, Misha Shafi, Kamran Lashari and Nadeem Abbas Rana make the rest of the cast of the movie.

“It is pleasant to see young and passionate people taking the movie industry of Pakistan to new heights of glory. This was needed for a long time and now I believe that time is very near when Pakistani movies will be taking the global stage and WAAR is the beginning” said Salman Iqbal, founder and president, ARY Digital Network.

“ARY Films is proud to be associated with ‘Waar’ one of the most promising Pakistani movies of the decade”, said Mohammad Jerjees Seja, CEO, ARY Digital Network while expressing his excitement about ‘Waar’. “I feel fortunate to be able to witness the turnaround of Pakistani cinema industry and to play an active role in unveiling the new face of Pakistani cinema to the world. The line up of new Pakistani movies such as ‘Waar’ that have breathed a new life into the almost dying Pakistani cinema, projects a positive story of Pakistan; one that every Pakistani will be proud of telling. Mandviwalla Entertainment and ARY Films have been making several efforts to promote the talented Pakistani film makers like Bilal Lashari and it is heartening to finally see the result of our labour.”

Talking about his first movie venture, Bilal Lashari, director of the movie ‘Waar’ said, “I have always believed in making something creative, something that challenges the existing norm. I have tried to inject the same level of creativity and passion in my first movie venture ‘Waar’. I’m grateful to all my supporters out there who waited patiently for the movie – you should know that the movie took longer than expected to make it to the big screen because we wanted to bring to you nothing short of excellence. At this point I don’t know if the audience would like the movie or not but I do know that I have created something original, something that I believe in and if only a handful of people would be able to see that, I would be a happy man.”

“Waar is not your regular romantic movie; it is a story of one man’s bravery and determination to fight against all odds to protect his country’s sovereignty and restore peace within his country,” said Dr. Hasan Waqas Rana while sharing his concept behind the movie. “We have created this movie with a unique concept in mind. The idea is to highlight a powerful story inspired by true events with a perfect combination of script, characters and visualization that will make this movie a truly memorable experience for our audience.”