I Refuse To Wear Asim Jofa

Winter is coming to an end and this can only mean one thing for the skyline of Karachi: lawn billboards. They’re everywhere and they’re full of images of lawn prints, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

And then there’s Asim Jofa.

The 2013 campaign is not very different from the one launched last summer, which contained bizarre slogans aimed at what can only be described as unapologetically spoilt, pretentious and extremely wealthy women.

This year’s billboards feature slogans like “A woman is a diamond’s best friend” and “My love does cost a thing”, accompanied by the words “I wear Asim Jofa”.

The hoardings are scattered across Karachi, with the latest one being put up on what seems to be every agency’s favourie spot, the Clifton underpass.

The brand’s agency is Red Communication Arts. It is an affiliate of the Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s three largest advertising holding companies, and is headed by the prolific Sabene Saigol.

The billboards are as follows:

My love does cost a thing

A woman is a diamond’s best friend

I take my time

I am nature’s miracle – Asim Jofa

I wear Asim Jofa

As always, the Twitterverse is rife with criticism, though some tweets point out the campaign’s effectiveness. A quick search of the term ‘Asim Jofa’ yielded the following results:

Asim Jofa tweets

The comments on Asim Jofa’s Facebook page, however, tell a different story. Most of the brand’s 654,000 fans just want to know when the lawn will be available to purchase.

If last year’s prices are anything to go by, one Asim Jofa lawn suit will retail for around Rs 6,000, making it more expensive than most competing brands. It’s definitely a luxury product, but the abysmal copywriting does not live up to the vibe they’re trying to go for.

More than luxury, the campaign reeks of bad publicity. It feels like a terrible version of L’Oreal’s famous “Because I’m worth it” concept. It’s irritating and offensive, and quite frankly has nothing to do with the product. But, it’s everywhere and people are talking about it. Is this campaign creating a lot of media buzz? Yes. Is it worth demeaning your brand and offending your customers for the sake of publicity? I don’t think so.

I, for one, will not be wearing Asim Jofa.