Pakistan Super League third season has already exceeded the expectations in terms of viewership. The stadiums might have gone empty, but trust us that’s not the case when it comes to viewership. Both online and offline media have achieved higher numbers than previous years. As per the official statement from Ahsen Idris, CEO – Blitz Advertising
“The PSL 3.0 Livestream has exceeded all expectations within its first 2 days, advertisers and media partners alike. With industry giants like ABL, Unilever, Reckitt and Telenor hopping onto the bandwagon, Brand PSL is all set to achieve new records on digital this season. Our expectation is to cross 20 million eyeballs this year (a year on year increase of 50%), and so far it’s proven to be a roller coaster ride. It would be no surprise if Pakistan’s crown jewel of sports entertainment goes pay per view next year”
A lot of effort was made to block the illegal streaming of PSL this year. The official partners for PSL are cricketgateway.pk, and they have successfully surpassed 8.5 million views in the first 15 matches.
TV viewership scales up.
It’s not just the online visitors which haw gone up but TV viewership has increased too. PTV Sports continues to engage more viewership with their rural base. During the first 15 matches, 11.59 million people tuned into PTV Sports daily to watch PSL with an average TRP of 3.6. Besides the opening ceremony which reached out to 15.2 mn people, the match between Lahore & Karachi was the most watched match. The epic rivalry marked the highest TRP of 5.3, reaching out to 14.9 mn people.
Karachi the biggest city in terms of population is definitely the most attached audience on TV. The other two matches which measured the highest viewership so far were Kings v Zalmi and Kings v United. Islamabad United & Multan Sultans are the other two teams which engage more viewership than the rest of the teams. Satellite channels do not have the same kind of viewership as terrestrial but they are not far behind. The trend is not so different, matches played by Karachi Kings tend to generate more viewership. On an average 5.4 mn, people are watching PSL daily on Ten sports, whereas 5.2 mn people are on Geo Super.
Note: Ratings are based on Kantar Media (All Individuals) Pak Total
You Will Find These Scenes in Almost Every Pakistani Drama
If you are a regular Pakistani drama viewer you would agree, most of the time they are as predictable as you can tell from the beginning of a scene what dialogues or scenes are coming ahead. you will find these scenes in almost every Pakistani drama
When Chai Saves the Day of Most of the Script Writers
You’re watching a scene where Ammi and Abbu are having a serious conversation with Khala ki Nand about a very complicated Rishta issue of this female lead character OR you are seeing a scene of a happy family having fun times. Now it turns to a point when the writer has to end the scene. Since having all the necessary conversation done already, the scriptwriter needs a situation to end it. Here, Chai serves as savior!
The scene always ends with Ammi telling everyone, ‘Chalain me apky liyay chai lati hoon’.
Like what is wrong with Ammi? Isn’t she supposed to know, this frequent use of Patti, just to save the day, can ruin Abbu’s stomach?
‘Apki Beti Bhi Na Bus, Boht Ziddi Hai’
This is a scene of very typical upper middle class’s morning breakfast. The breakfast table is stuffed with a variety of food items with a whole bunch of fruits, fried eggs and around 4 pieces of toasted bread. And you will always find a transparent jug full of fresh Orange juice. By the way, ever wonder who drinks this whole jug at 8 AM?
Now enters a very bubbly, carefree girl. The writer here wants to show you how sweet, innocent this girl is. With full makeup on and curls on her hair, she rushes to the door since the late ignoring Ammi and Abbu waiting on the table for her. Seeing her rushing without breakfast Ammi says, ‘Aray Baita Kuch Tou Ley Lo’ and she forcefully takes just one sip from the juice and runs away.
Ammi says to Abbu: ‘Uff Khuda Yeh Larki Bhi Na’.
Abbu: (Looking at Ami with a naughty smile on his face) Apki baiti boht ziddi hai, dair se uthti hai or nashta kiyay baghair rozana chali jati hai
Ammi: (With the same sort of weird smile takes a sip of never-ending Chai, most probably from an empty cup) Aap he nay tou bigara hai isay.
The scene ends with both smiling at each other.
The Always Khoi Khoi One
The female character is going through an emotional crisis. How to show that? Interestingly, the writer has a very typical scenario for this as well.
The family is sitting at the dinner table enjoying a meal in the glass-made dinner set. While everybody’s eating peacefully the female character, lost in the thoughts, is idly moving spoons in the plate. Ammi, all of the sudden, looks at her with wonder and ask ‘Baita Tum Kuch Kha Kyun Nahi Rahi’?
For a moment, our heroin startles, says ‘Mujhy Bhook Nahi Hai’, pushes the table away and runs towards her room
Ammi and Abbu look at each other with worrisome looks and Ammi says, ‘Pata Nahi Kyun Itni Khoi Khoi Rehti Hai’.
This is one of the funniest scenes in fact. Who does that in real life? In fact, you can’t dare do that at home because you know you are not getting food after this drama. Plus there’s always a chance of Dant form Ammi over such display of ‘Nakhray’. In fact, Ammi would rather say ‘Nakhray He Khatam Nahi Hotay Inkay’.
Dialogue Between Rishta Aunty & The Sas-To-Be
Every time a mother is looking for a potential rishta for her son, the most common incentive given to her by the Rishtay Wali Auty is “Larki Ghar Bhar Day Ge Jahaiz Se”. If the mother is not interested, you’d always hear her saying “Hamary Ghar me Allah Ka Diya Sub Kuch Hai, Bus Mujhy Toh Achi Si Bahu Chahiyay”.
Taking a deep breath of contentment overhearing her favorite answer, the Rishtay Wali Aunty dips her cookie in tea.
University Life = Canteen + Bunking Classes
Bunch of friends is sitting in university ground having discussions on girls/boys they are interested in, like the C-grader, backbenchers. And when they have enough of it, one of them would get up all of a sudden and say ‘Chalo Yaar Canteen Chalty Hain, Bhook Lagi Hai”.
Why do our dramas show bunking classes, eating food from the canteen, or just sitting down killing time whenever there’s a scene on a university campus? I thought you were supposed to go study in university? At least show 1 single moment of study, maybe? Plus what’s with the food in the canteen? Why every university in all dramas has only Chai and Samosa available?
Hero and heroine are coming from opposite directions. Shermli heroine is wearing round frame glasses, with her dupatta going everywhere. Both hero & heroine’s books and a bundle of loose papers start falling everywhere. Surprisingly, now they bend down at the same exact millisecond looking into each other’s eyes and accidentally hero gets access to heroine’s most personal notebook which he later reveals. No wonder only in dramas this is how a love story begins.
None of these scenes that are present in almost every script are relevant to real life. In fact, real life is a lot practical and you have to be very careful about behaving the way these characters do in dramas. In reality, you will be responsible for your own actions whether it is getting up late and leaving to university without having breakfast or doing Nakhray over the food table.
DIALOGUE On Harnessing The Power Of Human Skills In Machine Age
In a recently published article on DIALOGUE, organized by SUMMIT Leadership Development Consultancy, we covered the first session that was conducted at the event. In this article, we will be talking about the DIALOGUE on Harnessing the Power of Human Skills in Machine Age, which was also the second session of the day.
This session was based on human resource management and their development in this technologically advanced era. Sohail Ansar – CEO PlanB & Summit LDC was moderating the session with some of the leading names in the panel including, Fouad Husain – CEO GroupM, Omar Abedein – CEO Starcom Mediavest, Arif Hussain – COO Hum TV Network, Shakil Masud – CEO, Dawn News & Furqan Hasan – CSMO Geo News.
The session covered various aspects of this subject including, how much companies are actually investing in their talent and/ or on systems and automation. Mr. Ansar opened the session sharing some of his experiences of how companies lost their way by not investing in their people which remains a crucial part of the development of businesses.
More On Systems & Less On Talent
Fouad Husain, while speaking on the issue, highlighted a fact that a lot depends on the talent coming in the industry. A decade or two ago, companies knew which educational institutes are producing quality students. Later, these universities were divided into ranks as to which one a company should go for in terms of quality.
Now, everybody is getting the same knowledge from the same teachers which moves around the industry from one place to another. He laid special emphasis on the screening process of the companies and believes that it has gone weaker in recent times. The process has become shorter due to business pressures and everybody wants to get going as soon new talent comes in.
Fouad highlighted how they have managed to produce a structured system at GroupM which mainly starts at the middle management level. It starts once a person has spent 6-7 years in a system and that’s where they start building these people for leadership positions. It also includes regional level training coming from the Harvard Business School to help them excel in the business. Whereas, the day to day training continues within the system to develop a certain skill set required for the business.
As the session moved on Omar Abedein spoke about how he sees the market. He started by quoting one of the famous incidents shared by Richard Branson when his CFO asked him, ‘What if we invest a lot on our people and they leave? & He replied ‘What if we don’t and they stay?’
Though there are some exceptions with companies like Unilever, Coke, Pepsi or P&G which are investing a lot in their people. But that’s a fraction of the total employed population of our industry. Other than that there is no effort or steps taken, all everyone need is to get a resource and throw work at them.
The Broadcasters’ Issues & Efforts
Shakil Masud who represents one of the biggest names in Pakistani media said that there is no specific training on the broadcast side. It’s just the day to day learning for the people. But he strongly believes that in today’s age creative thinking is the most important part and to reach that level we need to train our people.
The industry lacks creative thinking and nobody bothers. If one channel is running a successful game show everyone would start doing the same. It’s just a bandwagon where one sets an example and the others follow.
On the other hand, Arif Hussain believes that it depends on the leadership of every company. At Hum TV, they try to bring in new people under their management trainee program and train them accordingly. Furqan Hasan agreed that there is no formal training but at GEO they mainly emphasize on day to day coaching of their people.
Times Have Changed, Agencies Are Getting More Competitive But What About Broadcasters?
Furqan Hasan quoted one of the most famous lines we all have heard from a media sales person ‘Deal Kaat K Agaye’. This is all that they have to say because they are not being directed in the right direction on how to deal with a certain situation. He thinks the buyers are more savvy than the sales people in the business. The sales guys lack the knowledge required to deal with the agencies.
Fouad, further added some important notes to the issue. He stated that earlier, even the clients used to own the agency resources and paid attention to their training. A media planner used to be aware of the brands as it was more of a collaborative effort and agencies were like business partners who had equal say in the growth of a company. However, things have changed, he added.
He raised a very important point that even after 20 years, we as an industry have failed to form a single agency body. A body which should stand above GroupM’s or Starcom’s interest and think of an industry as a whole. Nobody sits together and discuss how they can help the industry grow. Collaboration is needed more than it was ever before but unfortunately, it’s not happening. And if we don’t take such steps then we should remember that the industry has already reached a stagnating point.
A World Beyond The Leaders
Shakil Masud said that there is a world beyond the market leaders like GroupM & Starcom who hold 60-70% share of the market. Agencies and broadcasters are not as structured as the market leaders. He congratulated SUMMIT for at least taking a step and putting up something which was needed long ago. A place where people from the entire industry could sit together and speak for their common interest.
Do The Agencies Think Broadcasters Have Improved Or Needs Improvement?
The broadcasters have improved for sure, they are more proactive in their approach. They just don’t want to crack a deal but comes before time which helps agencies to plan and innovates in a much better way, added Omar Abedein. People from TV and Film Productions are coming in to pitch in ideas to get clients on board well before time.
Fouad too agreed to the part that broadcasters have changed, a decade ago they used to sell a minute, while half a decade ago they started selling programs and today they are selling ideas & concepts.
But all this is happening in the top tier which needs to trickle down to the second tier channels. Nonetheless, this will happen in future where others would also step up. It would be much easier for them to do these things if they get a slight relief from the financial pressures and day to day struggles.
How Are The Broadcasters Dealing With The Situation?
Sohail went on asking from Arif Hussain whether he thinks that the broadcasters are ready enough to deal with the current level of media planners or buyers. Arif believes that yes they do require training to catch up the pace but still they have made a lot of improvements.
As Fouad earlier mentioned, the cost pressures make it very difficult for broadcasters to push training in their systems. Geo used to do training where they used to invite people from India & Middle-East to train their people but once they were hit with financial pressures post-2014, they haven’t been able to do much of that in recent times.
While speaking of training, Sohail asked Jerjees Seja – CEO ARY Digital Network, that how the biggest network in Pakistan thinks about this situation. He too sided with the fellow panelists, that there is a gap which needs to be filled. It’s more of a day to day training rather than a long-term thing. He mentioned that a training was conducted in India where his team took part. However, department wise training set-up is not there which mainly gets neglected because of cash flow management issues.
Arif Hussain thinks that the leaders are the ones to be blamed in this scenario. The leaders of the industry have not really taken a step to train the new people. If we call the industry experts and ask them to make an effort to train our teams, a lot of issues will be answered. Fouad further added that there are hardly any collaborations as an industry. We should be open to ask and take help from the experts rather than shying away.
Collaboration Is The Key!
On the closing note, Furqan Hasan admitted the need for collaboration. Omar Abedien came strong with his closing note that world is changing and as soon as artificial intelligence takes place, the current resource can be replaced with one-tenth of the cost. This change would eventually come and knock everyone’s door and what then? Only if one can prove its effectiveness in terms of out of the box thinking and to innovate which obviously a machine can’t.
On that note, Sohail highlighted two takeaway points from the session: 1) That training doesn’t need to be extra expensive, and 2) That we have enough talent in our own industry to train our people, all we need is to collaborate and make an effort.
The day ended with a point that clients would never take note of the inflation as most of them work on deflation. If we don’t take the right steps, the industry would hit the deck. On this Furqan Hasan, raised a question on pricing strategy of the clients and why is the CPRP always deflating? Maybe we will get to hear more on this in the next few sessions so stay tuned for more updates on the next DIALOGUE that’s coming very soon!
Is The Agency’s Expertise More Important Or Is It The Collaboration? – DIALOGUE
A few days ago, we reported that a DIALOGUE was taking place in Karachi that aims at discussing and finding out the right direction for business to flourish in the future. Our team attended the event and here’s all you need to know about what happened at the first session of DIALOGUE, Is the agency expertise more important or is it the collaboration?
First Session: Agency And Client Collaboration
After the opening remarks of Mr. Sohail Ansar, CEO – PlanB and Summit Leadership Development Consultancy, about the need of a platform like DIALOGUE and it’s objectives of setting the right pace and direction for businesses in Pakistan, the first session on Agency and Client Collaboration began with participants including seasoned marketers like Aly Mustansir, Khurram Koraishy, Naveed Asghar, CMO HBL, Sarwar Khan, MD Maxus (Group M) & Farhan Khan, COO, Starcom.
The Client Side
Aly Mustansir believes there is no The Agency as in the era of specialization it has been divided into several sections. There is a media agency, the creative agency, The PR agency, Digital and separate outdoor agencies to do their respective jobs.
While Khurram Koraishy believes that the relationship has worsened over the past decade or so. The key reason is the attitude which has changed, the industry lacks discipline. This could be a change of generation but the level of self-respect has definitely decreased.
On the other hand, other experts like Naveed Asghar was of the view that the challenges in business have increased and most of the companies are performance driven. So a client expects the best of both worlds but it’s humanly not possible. Therefore clients look for the best collaboration to get the tasks done.
The Agency Experts
The agency experts had their own opinion on this topic. Sarwar stated that the change has come due to the change in the way the client is thinking. Initially, it was just media buying but now the clients demand a lot more and agencies have to match that pace. Agencies have shaped up themselves as per the client’s requirements.
Farhan Khan who has returned to Pakistan from Saudia Arabia also agrees on the fact that the industry is evolving. And as this evolution comes along, agencies need to gear up according to the needs. If the agency takes the right step, the collaboration becomes much easier.
What Is The Deciding Factor When You Choose An Agency – The Skill Set Or The Price!
The client panel accepted that they expect everything possible from an agency. They want to choose the best ones but it’s understandable that everything is not a ‘must have’on that list. Also, it varies from agency to agency.
Aly Mustansir mentioned, “A Creative agency is as good as their creative director. ” Local clients tend to do a lot more than the international brands where a particular region dictates the direction. So it depends on what kind of work they need from an agency.
Naveed Asghar emphasized the importance of competitive pricing but also stated that’s not the only important thing. It’s not a long-term strategy if a client is only choosing an agency based on price. They need to see whether the collaboration would work and how good is the agency in understanding your business.
Khurram Koraishy rightly marked the issue with the statement ‘You are as good as the agency standing behind you-Period’. Nine out of ten times the client would choose an agency that delivers the best results. An agency is a reflection of the client so if you want to be the best then you choose the best. Most importantly, all clients believe integrity is the key. An agency that is not true to its own business equally reflects badly on the client as well.
Is Cost Pressure A Reason Leading To Compromise On Integrity?
On this question, the client side stated that you cannot justify wrongdoings because the client remuneration is low or have been cut out. If an agency feels that they would incur a loss of a business then they should simply say No to the business.
Sarwar Khan being the agency side also agreed on it and shared his experience of refusing to take up a reputable client because they wanted to work on a lower commission percentage. The management decided not to compromise their principles and eventually said No to the business.
During the discussion, Khurram Koraishy shared his experience from Tapal where an agency offered them to work for free. However, the deal didn’t work well as their offer created a doubt in client’s mind that how would the agency actually survive without any revenue from the business. Thus, he believes that it’s the industry itself which is hurting the core of the business.
What Needs To Be Done?
All panelists agreed that a local body is required especially on the media agency side. The only reason that the year 2017 witnessed some 20 odd pitches in the industry is that there is no business model to it. Internationally, you have to pay to enter the pitch. Everybody walks in free and a pitch doesn’t even take place if GroupM or Starcom aren’t a part of it.
While Aly Mustansir challenged the authenticity of the data, Farhan Khan pointed out the fact that the data is all transparent in today’s age. Also, it can always be verified by different sources if there is a lack of clarity on it.
It’s Time For Collaboration – The Different Functions Needs To Come Under One Umbrella
The panel concluded with the agreement that it’s time to collaborate with the agencies but at the same time, it’s often difficult to handle so many agencies together. Maybe not all but most of the functions such as Media, Outdoor and Digital needs to come under one roof. Times are changing and the industry is moving from fragmentation to collaboration.
Agencies have already started working on it. As Sarwar Khan mentioned that their teams are already working very closely with certain clients. They are part of all the business planning and strategy processes. But it differs from clients to clients so a lot of decisions are dependent on the client sitting on the other side of the table.
Farhan Khan too sided on this issue and mentioned that they are already training hybrid planners who can do both traditional and digital planning. It’s all part of the process and agencies are learning how to deal with this new era specialization.
What are your thoughts on the above? Please do share your views with us in the comments section. These experts are looking forward to hearing your viewpoint as well. As the DIALOGUE didn’t end at the venue. It will continue even here, till everyone has an answer to their concern.
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