If we can identify two things that brand managers are strictly told to avoid as conversational topics on any media, its religion and politics. In Pakistan however, religion is exploited where its comfortable and in a few cases politics is used to gain followings depending on the geographic locality of its tie-ins. It’s very impressive when a non-local brand seeks to educate the people and encourage voting, especially given that a whopping 55% of the nation failed to show up in 2008 and prevent what is easily the worst form of democracy ever recorded (more affectionately referred to as demohoaxcrazy in some channels). In terms of getting the message across, whether is positively or negatively encouraging, the top ten ‘shout-outs’ by brands are: 10 – Nando’s Pakistan Virality? 2 Shares 9 – Kurkure Pakistan Virality? 17 Shares 8 – Branding Bees Virality? 20 Shares 7 – The Cakery Virality? 25 Shares 6 – 14th Street Pizza Virality? 34 Shares 5 – Djuice Pakistan Virality? 36 Shares 4 – Uth Oye Virality? 50 Shares 3 – LALS Virality? 64 Shares 2 – Ginsoy Extreme Chinese Virality? 244 Shares 1 – Espresso Coffee Virality? 4,218 Shares It’s interesting to note that the brands without a monetization agenda from the elections make up most of the list. My personal favorite is the message from LALS, what about you? About the author: Zohaib is former CEO of Nadia Textiles and currently a franchisee for Pearl Continental Catering in Lahore and investor-founder of several B-corporations, notably Uth Oye.

Have any of you been watching this campaign unfold? It’s a series of billboards across the city, prompting the audience to text the number 8398 for more information about what to get the men in their lives.

With no visible brand name, product or agency, this is the definition of a teaser campaign.

The monochrome hoardings feature a minimalist aesthetic that focuses entirely on the text. The standard format of the copy goes something like this: ‘For the [male figure] on his [cause for celebration]. Text [male figure] to 8398′

Here are the two that I managed to photograph, with apologies for the poor quality:

For the father teaser ad

For the husband teaser billboard

So of course I followed the instructions on the above billboard:

Husband teaser campaign 8398

And this is what ensued:

Platinvm teaser text message

It’s not a ‘tease’ if you don’t care what it’s about.

Sure, the mysterious billboards piqued my curiosity but, in my opinion, the text message follow up was a huge fail. Other than telling me that this is all about something called ‘PLATINVM’, I got nothing.

After sending in two text messages and being told that this was about men’s gifts (something I already knew from the billboards), I lost interest. Also, I am most certainly not interested in sharing if I’ve ever done something special on my husband’s win in exchange for “a gift idea”. They’re asking for too much effort on my part!

I was expecting more from this campaign, but to be fair, it’s not over yet. Let’s see how this one unravels…

Update: Turns out it was a campaign for Gul Ahmed’s premium range of men’s fabrics. Read more here.