My teacher for Brand Identity class showed us the America Is Beautiful ad (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs) and asked us how it made us feel. About 99% of the students said it made them feel patriotic and humbled, even though their motherland is not America. Later, he showed us this video that supposedly targets the people of Pakistan, and followed the same exercise by asking us how it made us feel. We were shocked, confused and angry.
Needless to say, none of the responses were positive. And I’ll tell you why.
- First, this is not Pakistan. This video does NOT represent the whole of Pakistan. They missed out on a lot of communities, a lot of people. They can’t just show one side of our country and expect us all to connect with it.
- Second, the use of the tagline, Hur Dum Pakistani (which translates to Pakistani, with every breath) is incorrect, because it doesn’t make sense. Where are the rest of the people in the video? Why aren’t we here? Aren’t we Pakistanis with every breath, too?
- Third, we couldn’t feel the emotional attachment. Almost all of my classmates said they could not connect with the imagery in the video, because they are not used to it. I agree, too. I couldn’t feel as if I belonged in the video, although it was very real and true. Obviously, because the people they showed are not from my community, or my society.
- Fourth, if they wanted to target to such classes, then they should not have used English as the medium of communication. The taglines: Where there is will, there is happiness and Hur Dum Pakistani do not make sense. If they wanted to target this part of Pakistan, then obviously the most logical explanation would have been if they had used Urdu as the chosen language. I don’t think most of the people in the video can understand English. If they had used Urdu, I am sure people could’ve related to it more.
- And lastly, the National Anthem is NOT sung like this. Honestly, this is what bothered us the most. My teacher went ballistic, to be honest. I think he was the angriest one in the room. Okay. The girl has a pretty voice, but it was kinda messed up. The National Anthem is not a song, like it has been used in the video. The National Anthem has huge importance and it is very respected. This video somehow ruins that majestic quality of the National Anthem. The vocalist, Zahra Daha, has a good voice, I agree. But what is most disappointing is the fact that she cannot speak proper Urdu. At least hire a vocalist who can sing the National Anthem without butchering up the lyrics! Her pronunciation of a lot of Urdu words in the Anthem were messed up. This is highly disrespectful and a matter of humiliation for all Pakistanis.
I sincerely hope, this gets rejected as a commercial. They can do much better, to be very honest. i hope they hire a vocalist who has a good command over the National Language of Pakistan, after all this will be an ad for Pakistanis. And I hope that this time, they make sure it represents all the Pakistanis, instead of focusing on one or two communities. Coke is about sharing happiness, bringing everyone together. Please make sure the ads also do just that.
Quick facts about the video:
- It is directed, shot & edited by Umair Anwar.
- Vocalist is Zahra Daha
- The title is ‘Where there is will, there is happiness’
- The English translation (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qaumi_Taranah) of the National Anthem of Pakistan, in case you guys were wondering: