Babar Khan Javed
Nov 29, 2017

Telenor wants Pakistan to embrace individuality

A series of ads for Telenor Pakistan by Ogilvy seeks to highlight instances of culture shattering behaviour while advocating for individuality.

A stay at home dad asks the audience why society seeks to remove his man status based on his chosen profession.
A stay at home dad asks the audience why society seeks to remove his man status based on his chosen profession.

A new campaign by Telenor Pakistan circles around the theme of individuality and living life on one's own terms.

Celebrating people breaking societal norms, such as being stay-at-home dads, the Telenor 4G "Jo Mein Chahoon" campaign seeks to encourage its audience to follow their passions and dreams to move past conformity.

Loosely translated, "Jo Mein Chahoon" means "what I want", and TVCs and DVCs serving as the core medium for the message focus on specific people and their stories or perspectives on life.

"With its new repositioning, Telenor aims to see every person as a unique and distinct individual who has his/her own dreams and aspirations," a spokesperson from Telenor shared via email. "Telenor aims to highlight this fact and wants people to recognize their inner potential and streak to do what they want with the help of its data."

While the message has been radical in its choice of examples, the means of distribution has been limited. The campaign currently exists online, with few offline marketing channels playing a role in lining up with this message.

"The topics that we have picked up are something that resonates more with the digital savvy consumers and not the mass audience," the spokesperson said. "Hence, it was a conscious decision to take the campaign on digital medium only."

For a nation that is easily offended and easily confused, it has been historically wise to keep norm-breaking communications away from the mass-media light. That being the case, critics have pointed out that this strategy tends to create an echo chamber of agreement among a digital audience that is already in an accepting state of mind.

"The intended audience has the strongest presence online and we believed this kind of content deserves to be on a medium where the audience can not only consume the content but respond, share, debate and appreciate it too," said Arsalan Mohsin, strategy head for the Telenor account at Ogilvy & Mather. "The goal was to start a conversation around such culturally relevant topics, hence digital was the medium most suited for this leg of the campaign."

The customer insight that led to the creation of the messaging stemmed from the prevalence of unfulfilled dreams and aspirations which the Pakistani people don’t achieve. Factors that limit dream chasers can be financial, family pressures, and societal stigma.

One of the ads, around an aspiring model, refers to this stigma as more dangerous than the line of control between Pakistan and India, as it kills dreams. Another ad, around the focus on rote learning in education, makes the point that blind conformity hurts a students ability to develop critical thinking skills. The ad sends a powerful message that Pakistan is doomed to anchor its third-world status with this mindset.

"These unfulfilled dreams are actually what defines a person," said the Telenor spokesperson. "We as a brand felt it important to highlight this issue and encourage the youth to say no to the nay-sayers and achieve their potential using the power of data."

With no call to action in sight, aside for an end title tag saying "do what you want, that's what we want from you", the role of the campaign is crystal clear.

"This is a brand-building campaign that was rolled out with the objective of establishing and cementing the new repositioning amongst its TG," said the spokesperson. "Hence, the success of this campaign is not pegged against any commercial/sales impact."

Ogilvy & Mather won the Telenor creative account in Q2 2017, ending the brand's decade-long relationship with AdCom Leo Burnett.


Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Pakistan
General Manager: Syed Imran Qaiser
Executive Creative Director: Sadia Qutubuddin
Head of Strategy: Arsalan Mohsin
Digital & Creative Director: Hamza Amjad
Associate Creative Director: Bissmah Mehmud
Senior Creative Manager: Ayeza Raza
Creative Manager: Laila Noor
Creative & Platform Manager: Talha Muhammad
Account Director: Shahayar Zafar
Sr. Account Manager: Faryal Haroon

Production House: Big Guns
Director: Aniq Ernest
AD: Waqi Khan
CD: Hamza Lari
DOP: Suleman Razzaq
Art Director: Tanya Mirza
2nd ADs: Taha Aslam / AbuBakr

Brand Credits:
Marketing Director: Shariq Mustafa
Manager Marketing & Brands: Subhan Ahmad
Manager Digital Content & Brand: Yasir Yasin

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