Friday, March 25, 2011

The Jazba of Corruption?

So yeah, I think we're all pretty psyched now for the Mother Of All Battles to take place in Mohali next Wednesday (March 30). An India - Pakistan World Cup semi-final is really the true final as far as both cricketing rivals are concerned (for one it will be a final, of course, even technically speaking). There can be nothing bigger at this World Cup. Nothing. And even as India completed its thrashing of Australia in the quarter-final today, the excitement at what is to come was already easily palpable. People on Twitter and Facebook were already sharing inspirational songs, hopes and cricketing assessments, expressing fears and neuroses, trash-talking to their digital brethren across the border and hoping to reverse-jinx the other side by talking up its strengths. And there's still five days of an agonizing wait ahead.

But more on that, perhaps, later. What I wanted to share with all of you today was this television advertisement which began airing (I think) on March 23rd. A long time ago, I did a post on the semantics of another mobile phone ad (also coincindentally of the same company) and I thought it's probably a good time to deconstruct another. You almost surely have seen the ad, since it runs repeatedly between the cricket (if you are watching in Pakistan), but have you really seen it? If you haven't, I suggest you take a look, particularly from 0:20 onwards (thanks to @shahidsaeed and @KhizM for helping locate the clip):

I hope you're already thinking what I'm about to say. Which of course is: Really Mobilink??? Did you really think the best way to promote your new product was to reference spot-fixing??? I mean, look at the evidence:

1. Mazhar Majeed character sitting outside tells batsman what shot to play next (0:20-0:25)

2. Side-kick character (the go-between?) reminds batsman not to get run-out without settling monetary compensation first (0:26-0:28). "Don't get run out, for free," he says.

3. Bowler gets his instructions to bowl bouncer also from outside the ground and shares the information with the batsman (0:28-0:30)

4. Batsman acknowledges the receipt of the information (0:31-0:34)

5. Bowler gives knowing smile and signals to batsman to seal deal (0:35-0:36)

6. The entire spot-fixing network is summarized involving the players, the bookie and the go-between (0:39-0:45)

7. The non-involved players represent the wide-eyed, clueless fans who cannot believe anything like this could happen (0:45-0:47). "Such?" [Really?] they exclaim.

8. The agreed deal is executed, with a lollipop bouncer being dispatched for a six (0:47-0:48)

9. Mazhar Majeed character displays his quiet triumph in managing another fix (0:49-0:50). Notice that he is not wildly excited like the other fans rushing on to the ground, his real 'interests' lie somewhere else.

After our recent shame with Messrs Butt, Amir and Asif, did Mobilink really want something like this to seem cool? And during the effing World Cup of all times??? When, for once, we've managed to forget all this and rise above it as a team??

And in the off-off-chance that nobody in Mobilink or the advertising agency actually thought about all this in quite these terms (which I am sure would be the line of convenient defence though everyone and their nanny knows that mobile phones have been banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) even in team's dressing rooms for precisely these reasons), wouldn't you say that there's a sorry bunch of incompetents right there?



Sana Saleem said...

hahahahahaa .. is this for real? Seriously you wrote all this. Dont call me ignorant but this is hilarious stuff. Its not that serious and I am sure the creator of this ad are innocent.

RS said...

Mobilink and its advertising agency should issue a formal apology to the people of Pakistan, and to the Pakistani cricket team. Because really, I can think of a million other ideas to promote a cellular plan. But spot-fixing...? Are you serious? Yesterday, when Pakistan beat West Indies, someone tweeted something along the lines of, "Asif, Amir, Butt who?" But Mobilink thought it would do one better: remind us. And also successfully categorized the entire team as corrupt athletes during worldcup season, just a few days prior to the semi-finals. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

the author is a sad life.

probyn said...

fuck Maybelink!

Anonymous said...

Note another thing the timings for that jazba package is 11pm to 5am, and match being played in day, makes no sense. WTF

Preachy said...

capitalists want profit whatever way they can. since when have we started believing that they operate their businesses ethically. this is the story of capitalism locally, regionally and globally. they would even sell their mothers if they can generate profit by that.

Anonymous said...

You gotta watch the Mubashir Luqman show that aired on the 24th of March. It puts the mobilink ad into perspective.

Rahl said...

Haha! Whattay deconstruction. If Mobilink advertisers thought this through, hats off to them.

Anonymous said...

Author of the article seems quite articulate however this angle i'm sure nor the Mobilink marketing or the advertising agency must've thought through, however i must say that the author definately has an above average IQ to dig so deep into the meaning of what is simply not the message of the ad. Author surely has a sad life with nothing else to decipher from the situation. Sad ! talent to waste :(

Khizzy said...

one day, when you post about one of my projects, my client, my client service and I will all come back and comment as Anonymous' telling you that you have a sad life.

Junaid said...

Seriously? is the name of the author of this article Zaid Hamid??? i guess the big glasses and wink of the eye mean the ALL seeing eye!!!!its freemasons i tell u!
Come on!!!!!!!!! u'v been watching too much Capital talk!

Magnum said...

Most Pakistani ads are depressingly bad, but this one is shameful.

Again, let me tell you such things happen. I have seen it myself that MLC's marketing departments and their ad agencies are full of Torus. I'm not joking. If you want to look dor naive idiots pretending to be creative and great marketeers look no further than companies and their ad agencies.

This is one of the shitiest ads and that's saying a lot because the rest are at best midiocre.

Stupid ghairatmands can also be found in telecommunication companies and ad agencies.

TightDhoti said...

Mobilink has always been a source of a bad migraine. Not to mention that it is run by a crony of Hosni Mubarak. I guess a certain corporate culture permeates through the organization.

PECCAVI said...

Anonymous said...

You have got to be freakin out of your mind to understand this from the entire. Were you paid to do this controversial analysis cuz as much as i see its a few friends talking on the phone at the same and each tryin to have a candid response.

You have got to be intensely sick in the head and exctremly negative minded person to come up with this sorta analysis!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAAH! You have got to be fricking out of your mind if you actually think any of this was how mobilink's ad agency thought up the concept. Good analysis but a complete waste of (seemingly) a literate mind. Put your mind to something productive and try and do something good for this country instead of blogging about fantastical crap bud! :)

Full marks for the effort though but seems like you're on a payroll of some sort here ;)

Farrukh Ejaz said...

You have got to be kidding me

Anonymous said...

I am impressed. The guys at Mobilink's ad agency might actually being doing something worthwhile like reading Cafe Pyala. Are they paid bonuses to defend their company anonymously in response to your posts or do they get free minutes? Just wondering.

NarayaN said...

I received, some time many years ago, an e-mail that spoke about how a 'certain' Bihari politician (that applied to Microsoft for a job & received a no-vacancy letter) translated the response (i.e. the no job for you letter from Microsoft) very *imaginatively* - to infer that Microsoft has conferred a job to him & invited him.
Let me see if Google helps me out, yay - it did.
Best of all - it's from the "Pakistan Defense" forum. Are they saying Pak Defense is a laughing matter?? :P - much similar to India's governance - hee he he..

papakhan said...

get out of your head man

Tahyr said...

This blog has completely lost it with this entry. I mean come on, you are thinking way too much with this.

However what mobilink should be blamed for is this.

Here is what I found when you search, crazy cool design on google:

Looks familiar? Ofcourse it does its the Jazba logo they have made. But thats not it, the first link even tells you how to make it.

So in a way 'Maybe-link' ki creative team is more fail than the author who created this post or perhaps its the other way around. I can't decide. :S I'll come back to you on this.

Anonymous said...

to all the naysayers, i'd love to ask, what do *you* see happening in this ad?