Another kind of democracy
People respond much better to brands than they do to politicians. We don’t give brands a second chance. Who says happiness isn’t for sale?
My name is Umair, and I’m a marketing strategist.
And as a marketer, I’m trained to offer creative solutions in the face of extreme adversity. Between apocalyptic stories of fake degrees, rampant corruption, and all-around disappointment hovering in the international media, Pakistan is almost always in the crosshairs of a bad governance witch hunt.
Much like a marketing brief, let’s tackle this problem by identifying the crucial elements:
What’s the job-to-be-done? Good governance.
What’s the market scenario? Destruction and despair at the hands of politicians.
Who’s the target audience? The population of Pakistan.
What are the competitors (read: the opposition) doing? Promising to usher in change.
What have they done in previous campaigns? Commit. Break promises. Repeat.
Here’s the creative solution: Replace politicians with brands.
Brands make promises too. But unlike politicians, they don’t have the luxury of forgetting them at the drop of a hat. Guarateed results! Buy one get one free! Results visible from first use! Free prize inside! Although fine prints exist, brands don’t nearly fool the people of Pakistan as much as politicians do. We don’t give brands a second chance or a third chance, or their brother/husband a fourth chance. If a brand disappoints, it’s out. Good marketing can sell a product just once, but politicians win elections by rewording the same old promises year in and year out.
So, as a thought exercise, we conducted a Brand Election, complete with an Election Commission and all. We went to the people of Pakistan and asked them to vote for the brands that are near and dear to their hearts and minds. No judging panels, no sponsors, no claims of rigging.
What we found on the streets was shocking. People respond much better to brands than they do to politicians. Brands surround them in every aspect of their life. They help them do their tasks, enhance their lifestyle, and interact with them on a daily routine. A brand helps you get that fresh minty feeling in the morning, another helps you get to work, and yet another helps you keep cool by conditioning the air around you. A brand helps you avoid pesky insects, it helps you connect to your friends while on the move, and it even helps to put a smile on your face after a refreshing ice cream. Brands provide value at every passing moment of your life. Morning Fresh ki Roti, Outfitters ka Kapra, and Bahria Town ka Makaan!
Brands deliver. Maybe it’s time we ditched the next elections for a Brand Election!
Who says happiness isn’t for sale?
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