Thursday, July 29, 2010
By Leila M. Barry
Lux soap has been synonymous with beauty, glamour and stardom for many decades. Globally, Lux has an intrinsic relationship with the film industry and the brand’s advertising exudes the luxury, charm and allure that are reminiscent of cinema and all things associated with it. The ‘beauty soap’ has been endorsed by reigning queens of the film industry, be it Hollywood, Bollywood or our very own Lollywood.
In Pakistan, of course, the ‘Lux Girl’ was (almost) always a Pakistani star; that is until recently when with a break from tradition, the local Lux campaign featured Bollywood beauty and actor Katrina Kaif in the coveted role of the new Pakistani ‘Lux Girl’.
She may not be Pakistani, but if it’s any consolation Kaif is not Indian either. She is a British citizen who started her career as a model in the UK, and went on to become a Bollywood star. She has a fan base that hails from all over the world; at least one billion Indians and a big chunk of South Asians consider her to be one of the most gorgeous women in cinema today. The audiences adore her and over the last couple of years her films have consistently been hits. Katrina Kaif is tailor-made for the Lux profile: she’s got buzz, she’s beautiful and she’s a big star.
Pakistan has had its share of Lux beauties and this is the first time that a foreign actor has endorsed Lux for Pakistani audiences in such a major campaign. Despite the fact that Kaif is popular, beautiful and not Indian, some Pakistani audiences were offended by this break with tradition that seemed to suggest that Lux has given up on local beauties.
Farheen Salman, Brands Director, Skin Cleansing & Care, Unilever Pakistan begs to differ.
“Lux Pakistan’s team are the last to give up and rush to Bollywood; we did this as a last resort.”
While they have “enjoyed the association with stars like Reema and Babra” Salman and her team had been struggling to come up with a fresh face for the last several months. A large part of the problem lies in the unfortunate fact that Pakistani cinema is defunct; there are no rising stars, and no big names to use as the face of Lux. Furthermore, Pakistan’s existing stars are in their mid to late-30s (even if they won’t admit it) and many of them have already been acknowledged by Lux – many times over. Actors like Meera and Reema are not only past their heyday, they are also professionally stagnant and just not ‘happening’ enough anymore.
Although globally Lux is known as the soap of film stars, in Pakistan the limits were stretched to include icons from the fashion world such as Vaneeza Ahmad, Aaminah Haq and Iman Ali, all of whom act on television off and on; beautiful they may be, but they are also old news. The brand no doubt needed to move beyond those faces in order to bring freshness to its campaigns.
Although models such as Reema, Meera and Iman had in the past been selected based on celebrity status polls, apparently since 2008, there has been little validation from consumers that these stars were ‘happening’. Salman explains that, “in consumer tests, names like Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam were being mentioned with no new names being mentioned from within Lollywood.”
On the other hand, Kaif is popular in Pakistan thanks to cable, satellite and the internet, and Indian movies being regularly shown in Pakistan. In fact she endorses several products on Pakistani television including Slice Mango, Pantene (a Unilever competitor brand) and Alokozay Tea, making her in effect a household name here. It may even seem that she is already overexposed, although the Lux team may not think that is such a bad thing as it confirms Kaif’s superstar status.
Signed up as the brand ambassador for the entire South Asian region, Kaif’s first piece of work for the brand was the present campaign which is essentially Pakistani. It was jointly conceptualised by JWT in Pakistan and India and shot aboard by a foreign director, and I am informed with a certain amount of pride that the campaign is being offered to markets like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as a Pakistani product.
The campaign has been well received and according to Salman, “the signs since the launch have been positive.”
Although pleased by the campaign’s success Salman hopes that in the not-too-distant future “there will be Pakistani stars big enough to feature in our international campaigns.”
Unilever and the Lux team are working on ensuring that sooner rather than later there will be big Pakistani stars to endorse the brand in keeping with the Lux tradition. Currently the brand is involved in promoting film and fashion through the Lux Style Awards, and is sponsoring the development of cinema by offering performing arts scholarships to students at various institutions every year.
In the meantime, Katrina Kaif is doing a pretty job selling soap.
First published in the July-August 2010 issue of Aurora.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
When the lawn season comes around in March and April and everyone and their aunt is holding an exhibition and doing correspondingly high levels of outdoor advertising to promote them, the question is how do you break through the clutter if you are a Punjab-based brand trying to make your mark nationwide?
It’s simple really; you take a leaf out of Firdous Cloth Mills’ (
Before the 2010 lawn season,
Omer Saleem, Director,
But why did the company choose Kareena Kapoor to be their brand ambassador? Rumour has it that Kapoor is extremely difficult to book for a modelling job and charges an arm and a leg for the favour. She is, after all, the highest paid actress in Bollywood and according to an Indian website, Kapoor has been signed up for Golmaal 3 for a record 70 million INR, overtaking other Bollywood ‘it’ girls such as Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra.
Saleem says that the choosing Kapoor was a strategic move.
“We wanted a brand ambassador who would be relevant not only to our target market in
He adds that getting Kapoor on board was not as difficult as people would have imagined. FCMs’ marketing department simply got in touch with her talent management agency in
Saleem also declined to comment on how much Firdous paid Kapoor, although according to Indian gossip website, midday.com, the figure was in the region of 30 million (the website did not specify whether Indian or Pakistani) rupees. The campaign was shot in
Although the campaign was only promoted through billboard and magazine advertising, it created a huge stir in the market; as to whether this stir translated itself into sales, Saleem responds that the interest from
This is interesting if somewhat surprising, because unlike other lawn producers, Firdous has never held an exhibition, preferring instead to sell through third party distributors.
Saleem clarifies that “exhibitions are better suited to designers with limited quantities of stock and who need to clear it out; we produce 400 to 500 designs per season so we sell through shops in the major markets.”
However he adds that Firdous is considering holding an exhibition next year to keep up with market trends.
A limited survey of the
Saleem believes that the objectives of the campaign have been more than met.
“The campaign was not only about getting a celebrity on board, we wanted people to talk about Firdous and buy it. Next year we will try to exceed expectations in terms of quality, fabric and colour.”
Although Firdous will have to wait for the next lawn season to see how things pan out, for the time being one thing is certain – with the current campaign, Firdous has established itself as a worthy contender in the lawn market.
First published in the July-August 2010 issue of Aurora.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
RASHID KHAN: I moved back to
A: When you moved into your current role, what objectives did you set for yourself?
RK: The environment presented a number of challenges; there was the global recession and the price of oil was $50 per barrel. On the local front we had challenges with respect to the security situation, political instability and load shedding. All of this affected us and we have had to make some fundamental changes. We were used to experiencing exponential growth in the telecom sector – we had year on year growth of 100% – and the penetration in
A: What were some of those fundamental changes?
RK: Let’s take the example of load shedding which was a huge problem for us. No network is designed to handle 10-12 hours of load shedding. We had to invest by putting in battery operated generators (and two generators in some case); so that was one set of issues. Then there was the problem of affordability; with so many inflationary pressures, would customers spend on basic necessities or on communication needs? To counter this we introduced bundle packages and tried to incentivise customers so that cellular services would become more affordable.
A: You also came in at a time when competition had increased.
RK: You are absolutely right. A few months before I took up the CEO’s position, Zong was launched as the fifth operator, and I don’t think this market can sustain five operators in the long term, so that was a challenge as well. Each operator has to find its own niche or market share. Mobilink is the market leader, we have about 31.6 million subscribers and to hold on to our market share we had to invest in terms of quality of service; we also had to be competitive in terms of rates and build our brands. We extended our customer care across the country and set up a large number of offices and Jazz service points so that we could take customer service closer to our customers.
A: How has Mobilink as an organisation changed/evolved since you took over?
RK: I think Mobilink as an organisation has shifted gears. Although we are still growing – we have added two million subscribers in the last six to eight months and our market penetration is about 60% now – the pace of growth has slowed down. So we have had to focus on the quality of the service, on adding users and also on providing better value added services.
A: What makes the Mobilink work culture unique?
RK: We have a team of very motivated individuals. The shareholders invested in
A: Has finding the right kind of HR been a problem for Mobilink?
A: Does Mobilink have a management training programme?
RK: Yes, we do. Two years ago, Orascom Telecom – our 100% shareholder – picked up quite a good team of people from each of the subsidiaries in the different countries. These people spent three to six months in each of the subsidiaries and at Orascom’s headquarters in
A: What is Mobilink’s USP particularly since telecom brands are becoming increasingly commoditised in the price war?
RK: The price war has certainly taken its toll. Yet a few paisas here and there is not going to make a great difference; customers are not going to use the cheapest network, they want value for their money. This means good quality of service and a brand they can associate with themselves. These are areas we have invested in heavily.
A: At one point people chose Mobilink because it had the largest network but over the years, because of the competition that perception has been eroded.
RK: To some extent, yes. We have the largest network and the largest footprint as well. Even if you talk only about
A: In your view, what is the customer’s perception of Mobilink?
RK: Customers perceive Mobilink as a company they can rely on to provide good quality service that can meet their communication needs and beyond.
A: Jazz is one of the most successful prepaid brands in
RK: Jazz is the strongest brand in the network and we need to continue to invest in the brand. We are getting excellent results as we do so.
A: Do other Orascom subsidiaries enjoy market leadership in their respective countries?
RK: Yes, that is true of most of the countries Orascom operates in. In
A: Mobilink does a great deal of Pakistan-centric advertising. Why is this important?
RK: As the largest private sector company in
A: CSR has become such a buzzword that sometimes you get the impression that companies do it because it is expected of them. Has Mobilink been able to rise above that?
RK: We are the only company in
A: Is Mobilink considering data and mobile internet usage as an alternative revenue stream, and if so is it necessary to make data usage on mobiles more affordable?
RK: Yes, it is necessary. The penetration is currently quite low so it is expensive, but as this evolves matters will improve. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is encouraging operators into that area and based on this Mobilink has invested in internet service provision. We have a wireless service in
A: In the future, is Mobilink going to focus on a particular segment of the market?
RK: Not really. What we need to provide are segmented solutions. Be it the rural market or the urban, voice is the common denominator for all these segments, but in addition to this there could be applications as simple as listening to music by dialling 555 or it could be a sophisticated BlackBerry application that helps you get around a new city.
A: There has been talk of consolidation in the telecom sector. Were it to happen, how would it affect Mobilink’s market leadership position and what would your strategy be in this situation?
RK: We are the leader and we will continue to be. Our shareholders believe that this market has a lot of potential, so we continue to invest. This year we will be investing $250 million in
A: Do you think the consolidation is inevitable?
RK: I think the market forces will determine that. We believe that there are too many players. Based on the low prices and high operating expenses, it’s a natural evolution.
A: What are the most pressing issues for telecom operators?
RK: Overall the PTA as well as the Ministry of IT and Telecom have been very supportive. They have laid a solid foundation for its growth and I must compliment them. But the taxes in
A: What is your vision for Mobilink in the next three to five years?
RK: To be the leading telecom service provider in
Rashid Khan was talking to Marylou Andrew. For feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, July 19, 2010
By Sara Kayani
As I start to pen this down after completing an evaluation of the ads, I realise that contrary to what I thought, it wasn’t easy; I really had to struggle to strike a balance.
You see, most print ads are based on a formula. Divide the layout into boxes, use reds, blues and yellows, a variety of fonts and keep repeating the logo as often as possible within a small space, or take up most of it. And there you have it – a ‘great’ mediocre ad.
It is those heaps of mediocrity that made this exercise difficult.
A good thing to come out of this exercise is that it has opened my eyes and made me more understanding of consumers. I mean, imagine what they have to endure? After all, the campaigns we roll out are aimed at them, while we, sitting in our boardrooms think we know our consumer. My question is, do you really need to graduate from art school to know the difference between a good and a bad ad? Certainly not, which is why I feel consumers know more than we think they do. After all they are the same people who watch, appreciate and ‘get’ international advertising.
Having reviewed some of the recent print campaigns and generally finding all of them to be cut from the same cloth, I also sense that there is an underlying urge to come up with something brilliant. Creatives are waking up to the fact that, despite all the limitations, they can if they want to, produce eye- catching pieces. The only thing left to figure out is how to accommodate the endless, and sometimes ridiculous, requirements of the client, while maintaining creativity and conveying the message.
Campaign: Sunsilk Co-Creations
Message: Partnered with en of the best hair experts in the world – to create the best ever Sunsilk.
Effectiveness: We may not know who they are, but the campaign makes it clear that they are experts in hair care, thereby enhancing the image of Sunsilk. I love the use of black and the central juxtaposition of the image. It makes me believe that Sunsilk is an improved product and a premium one at that. Has the price increased? It seems so!
Verdict: Nicely done. The message is delivered and the creativity has not been stifled.
Campaign: Now fly between
Effectiveness: I will kill the next person who shows me another picture of
Verdict: Makes me yawn; makes me never want to go to
Campaign: Prevent Typhoid – Protect Health
Message: Are you vaccinated against typhoid yet?
Effectiveness: I like the feel of the ad. However, I feel that such important messages should be more hard hitting. The copy is conveying too many messages. Maybe if the message was direct it would have been more effective. Public awareness messages should be much simpler, especially considering our literacy rate.
Verdict: A good ad but lacking in hard hitting effectiveness.
Brand: Clear Men
Campaign: Ronaldo campaign
Message: Beat the heat and dandruff
Effectiveness: A glance at the ad and it seems alright. The use of colour and space and the controlled copy, all look good. It is only after spending a bit of time that you start to wonder. Ronaldo is the brand ambassador, but what is he doing kicking a football that is in the process of turning into a ball of fire as it crashes through a sheet of ice? This is when I want to replace the copy with the FIFA logo and then I would have a pretty decent ad for the World Cup! The integration of the brand with the message is not there. And what’s with the brand name being repeated again within a few centimetres of the actual bottle of Clear? When will our creatives and clients understand that overdoing is overkill!
Verdict: This is not a job completed! Done half-heartedly and could be better. Doesn’t it remind you of Gillette?
Campaign: Ariel Pro Zim
Message: A single Ariel wash is more effective at removing stains than two washes of ordinary detergent
Effectiveness: This ad must be made for the housewife who has a lot of time on her hands, yet contrary to popular misconception there aren’t many like that. So how in the world is she going to take in all that is being communicated in the ad? It’s confusing. The done to death method of dividing the layout into two to show both sides of the story is very annoying. Then there is the pricing message; two SKUs and their respective prices. This should have been addressed separately or at the very least it should not have been highlighted to the extent that it has been. The ad is trying to address the objectives of two different people at Ariel; the one who wants to highlight the price and the other who wants to show that the product is better than the competition. However, there is one thing common between the two; they didn’t want to spend money to make two ads to address their different concerns.
Verdict: Almost atrocious! I see the client talking through this ad, not his product.
Sara Kayani is Account Planner, Pirana. email@example.com
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The good old days… when we would sit down with the family and watch the ‘telly’.
I can’t even bring myself to call that screen a ‘telly’ anymore. For, you see, telly conjures up a friendly image: a bubbly, happy, entertaining and friendly creature. This monstrosity (regardless of how sleekly the TV manufacturers package it) is just that – a monstrosity. It is evil. It is taunting. And very misleading.
Perhaps I feel this aversion because I have switched to the world of Torrents and an ad-free entertainment zone. Or perhaps, I feel this aversion because the graphics, concepts, production and overall ‘idea’ on our local channels is not even stagnant – it’s hop-skip-and-a-jump right back into a dark, dark era. One that reeks of a desperation so desperate to sell, that ideas be damned and tact be super damned – it’s just about putting images and tag lines together and expecting the consumer to appreciate the effort.
Of course I’m being harsh. But I feel I was treated harshly by the TV when I spent several hours watching it the last few days. Hence, I am merely retaliating. Do the companies advertising think the recession fried our brains along with our bank balances? Feel free to hold on to that answer after you have read what my television showed me.
BRAND: Mobilink Jazz
Campaign: I don’t know… Jazz is so good it makes little girls weep?
Message: Apna hai
Effectiveness: How exactly is a sad, theatric (and bad theatre at that), teary girl rejecting all her birthday presents and asking for Daddy supposed to be effective in selling a cell phone connection? Oh wait. Then we are shown Daddy (who seems to be caught on the set of The English Patient), stepping away from his medic duty and calling his little princess to wish her a happy birthday. She, at the other end, transforms into joy itself, and then he hangs up. Jazz. Apna hai. Eh? Effective with what?
Verdict: Please, have mercy. Make senseless ads if you must but can you at least give the models acting lessons? Also, I don’t understand that if girl was so sad and teary, surely Mom could have called Dad instead of waiting for him to call? Or is Jazz just one way? No. I am not stupid. But this ad makes me think I am.
BRAND: Nestlé Nesquik
Campaign: A ‘health’ drink or something.
Message: Your kid will see a whole new world once he gets a dose of this.
Effectiveness: I’m all for energy and health concoctions for kids. I grew up drinking vile Ovaltine and look where it got me! But this is a bizarre ad. Mother is driving along and suddenly the son at the back sees dinosaurs out of the window. Interestingly, so does the mother. Hrm. Then the kid sees a cartoon character. And we are told that Nesquik just makes the world so much more interesting and lively for the, subsequently, energetic kids. Hello? All I get is that this drink is the kosher version of weed – with second hand effects too! Explain the dinosaurs and the cartoon bunny and I’ll put my shotgun down.
Verdict: Drug your child the healthy way. What? Would you as a parent want to encourage imaginary friends in an imaginary world in your kid’s life via a health drink? Add to that the dangers to driving – because as the ad shows us – the effect is contagious. I don’t understand this approach. I. Don’t. Understand. And I’m still saying I’m not stupid.
BRAND: Olper’s Owsum
Campaign: Flavoured milk beats the socks off regular milk.
Message: Kill the milk monster.
Effectiveness: Gee, what did the agency say to the client? “Ace idea. We are going to show milk transforming into a monster and scaring the living daylights out of children everywhere. Then we will show them the flavoured version of milk and they will chase the original milk monster right back to milk hell!” And the client, clearly, bought it. Are you going to challenge me when I say we are officially in the twilight zone? There is nothing effective about milk being a demon.
Verdict: Get a grip. I get it. Kids hate milk. And what a genius thing it is, is it not, to separate regular milk from flavoured milk? Perhaps. I find it disturbing that a renowned brand is out there putting a real time healthy thing down in an attempt to sell a sub-brand. It makes me question the brand itself – it will put its own primary product down to sell a secondary one? How does that make sense? Mom and Dad drink the monster. Here, you drink the monster killer. It’s just teaching them to be serial killers. You are telling them they can kill milk drinkers with the powers gained from chocolate and strawberry flavouring. Either that or the Ovaltine did a number on me growing up.
BRAND: Wall’s ice cream
Campaign: 2-in-1 vanilla-chocolate ice cream
Message: Double maza
Effectiveness: Classic ad. It was so ridiculous that I didn’t know if I should laugh or just act on the urge to smash the TV. Dad is reading about the economic crisis on the front page on a bright and sunny Sunday morning. Twin daughters talk about sharing a bicycle – because they are bright enough to grasp the concept of the worldwide economic crisis. Mom says she has the best solution (for Sundays at least) and takes out the super duper 2-in-1 vanilla-chocolate ice cream container from the freezer. Talk about economies of scale! Effective ad how exactly? That Wall’s now has a combo thing happening? Yeah, I get it. But to link it to the economic crisis… really? I mean – REALLY?
Verdict: Ridiculous but memorable. It’s a terrible ad and an even worse concept. But the crazy thing is – I know Wall’s is now selling this product. The association with the economy is ridiculous and it does nothing in terms of a call for action but – well – I guess at least you know this combo is out there? I’m so lost. I thought wanting to buy ice cream was about the flavour, and the creaminess, and the smoothness and the sinful calories. But hey, what do I know huh?
BRAND: Ariel Pro Zim
Campaign: It kills the competition.
Message: It. Kills. The. Competition. (Yeah, like they have never told us that before!)
Effectiveness: This is getting old okay. The housewives, the nameless competitor brand being put to the test and to eventual shame, the celebrity endorsement – we have seen it all! Can we get over it now? It is not working. Ariel keeps claiming it rules by asking us to believe that a nameless other brand shamelessly fails the stain removal test (because only Ariel has an R&D intelligent enough to remove stains?) and some celebrity will do some hoo-haa and voila! The housewives of the world unite and look down at their very own packet of Ariel with love, respect and admiration. I’m so over it. I bet you are too. Don’t lie now.
Verdict: Old isn’t always gold. How long must we be subjected to regurgitated concepts? Surely Ariel can do better? Pro Zim seems to be a new brand – would it not help to educate the consumer about the washing powder in a way that doesn’t insult their intelligence? Perhaps, do some funky animation and make our laundry look softer, and happier, and whiter as it floats about after a dip in this new product? Why, why, why are the housewives so integral to every ad?
I’m done. So about that question I asked… you can answer now. I would really like to know.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Marylou Andrew profiles Adnan Yousuf.
When I say that Adnan Yousuf is a ‘seasoned’ agency man, I say it with meaning.
He has been through practically every type of agency you can experience in the Pakistani advertising environment: the agency with the strong creative approach (Circuit); the affiliated agency with a focus on client service (Asiatic, now JWT); his own hotshop/agency (Think Tank – in collaboration with Nagina Faruque); and the advertising agency that is part of a larger media empire and has spawned many of the veterans in the business (Interflow Communications, his current job).
Yousuf comes across as mild mannered and humble. Humility is a rare commodity among agency professionals, so it is refreshing to meet someone with Yousuf’s experience and calibre who is quietly self assured, yet not terribly high on himself.
As career initiation stories go, Yousuf’s is not an extraordinary one. He started training to be an engineer (as is the case with so many agency professionals) because that is what solid young men did. They became lawyers, doctors or engineers, while art and artistic pursuits were left to girls and sissies.
Bored and dissatisfied with engineering, he didn’t waste too much time at the
Circuit was Yousuf’s home in every way. Not only did he learn a great deal working under the famed Imran Mir, he also recalls keeping spare clothes and an oft used mattress in the office.
When Yousuf was finding his feet in advertising in the early 90s, design was an incredibly contentious area in the agency. Technology was slowly seeping into advertising and there was a tussle between the techies and the traditionalists.
The studio was the domain of the manual artists who would painstakingly cut and paste fonts and make artworks by hand. The relatively new computer/graphics department, on the other hand, was where design was headed. Yousuf remembers the unspoken but very clear divide between the two departments to the extent that “you couldn’t even touch someone else’s keyboard.”
Very clear about the fact that the future of design lay in computers, Yousuf refused to sit in the studio and stuck to graphics. He developed substantial expertise in the area and when he left Circuit after five odd years, he was hired by Anwar Rammal of Asiatic (now JWT) to guide and oversee that agency’s transition from manual design to computers.
Circuit and Asiatic were two very different agencies, says Yousuf. While the former was known by the professional reputation of its helmsman, the latter was bigger, older and known for building big brands. It was around this time that things were also getting tough for ad agencies as clients were no longer willing to hand over their entire brand portfolio to a single agency.
Yousuf had his hands full at Asiatic. He was overseeing the tumultuous transition from manual to computers in creative and like all the other creatives, he had to deal with increasing pressure from client service to do good work for brands but to do it ASAP. Yet, he found time to strike up a great friendship with another creative colleague, Nagina Farooque.
Farooque and Yousuf obviously enjoyed working together because about five years into Yousuf’s stint at Asiatic, the two decided to quit the agency and form their own creative hotshop called Think Tank.
Yousuf says that the main reason for starting Think Tank was to be able “to do good work and to be paid for it.”
They had no clients to begin with but went on to do work for American Express, Brinks, HBL and ICI among others.
Although the two partners were living their dream, there was a snag. Because Farooque and Yousuf had spent all their careers working in creative departments (in an era where creatives were not exposed to clients) they had little to no knowledge of the business side of advertising.
Yousuf says he found it very difficult to be his own boss.
“If Nagina had been a businessperson, I would have loved it because then I wouldn’t have had to deal with excise inspectors, etc. We were a small agency so we had to do everything; we were proud of the fact but it wasted a lot of time and energy.”
After five years of working for himself, Yousuf sold his stake in the business to Farooque and moved back to being an employee; this time at Interflow Communications where he currently serves as Executive Creative Director.
In his own quiet way, Yousuf has many passions and teaching young people about design is an overpowering one. His interest in teaching began when he served as a thesis advisor for the first batch of the Indus Valley (IVSAA) communication design programme students. Now he serves as a juror at
I ask him why he doesn’t do the same for his alma mater, KSA.
“Whenever I sit with students I try to tell them about the realities of advertising. Design in advertising is not just about aesthetics. A large part of it is being able to sell what you have done to the client, it’s also about understanding that because someone else (the client) is footing the bill, they have every right to be demanding.”
Yousuf says that the faculty at many design schools (and by this he is clearly referring to KSA) don’t appreciate such an intrusion because they think it is not part of the curriculum.
He tries his best to inculcate the importance of personal selling in the students he is working with, and occasionally hires some of them. His views on the type of people he wants to hire for Interflow’s creative department are very clear.
“The brief for all prospective employees is simple: selling is far more important than producing. Based on this I get a lot of business grads applying for creative and I think that’s a really good thing.”
Yousuf is also a strong believer in having a healthy work/life balance and another one of his passions is cooking – Italian cooking to be more exact. A mutual friend says that the extent of his passion can be gauged from the fact that he had a brick oven custom designed for his kitchen to make authentic pizza.
“I love cooking and I love Italian food. I went to
Sounds delicious! But throughout the interview I notice one recurring theme – Adnan Yousuf has switched jobs every five years, and as luck would have it, he is in his fifth year at Interflow. Is he planning to move again?
The question draws a knowing laugh from him.
“I was just talking to Taher (A. Khan) the other day about the fact that I have a five-year itch, but I am enjoying my work here and maybe that is why the itch is not so great now.”
Perhaps that is his nice way of saying that you never know what the future holds.