I haven’t yet understood where the media is headed and what exactly it wants to deliver. Lately I have been witnessing advertisements of consumer products featuring Hollywood/Bollywood models and actresses. I watch their movies and I don’t hate them. But what dragged me towards writing this little piece is my concern for our domestic advertising industry in general and models/actresses in particular. Protectionism is very well practiced even in so-called free market economies of the world and they have constitutional laws in place to protect their domestic industries.
The companies that sell products may be quite content with such ads featuring supermodels from across the borders because they have to only have a copy of the ad Made-on-Mars or somewhere else and have it relayed on local TV network, plus it also saves them some bucks (otherwise needed to spend on getting the same ads done here in Pakistan). TV channels may argue that this is a technologically globalized age and markets are integrated in such ways that we cannot isolate from what’s happening all around. Ok forgiven. But it should not be done at the cost of home productions. It’s even more pathetic to see local channels buy soaps, so-called reality shows and award shows from across the border and televise them at the cost of local sponsors. On the one hand the same channels preach patriotism and protectionism, however, when it comes to maximizing their profits, all their nationalism tel lene chali jati hai [go to purchase oil].
I wonder why they have failed, with so many analysts around, to see the crash of local artists and advert industry if all TV channels air foreign made ads, marketing campaigns, dramas and shows. The PTV dramas of yesteryear are still being watched and adored on Youtube, and the writers who wrote those great classics are still alive and can write even better but are not given preference over the mediocre lot who just twist & turn the story around only to have 100+ episodes.
Pakistanis have proven time and again to produce quality works in music, movies, dramas, stage shows and paintings. They can even perform much better if given the support by local media. Lates Ufone Internet ad is a one-minute-masterpiece.