Branding patriotism is a marketer’s joy in Pakistan. On the other hand, patriotism is of national pride. A lesson in branding came early as a blessing in disguise.
We are often led to believe that consumers allow their sense of national pride to impact purchasing. Therefore, assuming that a patriotic sales pitch around national days can generate profitable results. However, it is at times like these that we tend to forget the basic rules of branding.
Junoon: Branding Patriotism
While managing the promotion of “Jinnah-the movie.” A film on the founder of Pakistan. Junoon (rock-band) is banned in Pakistan prior to this film publicity campaign. Allegedly for promoting immoral values and inciting rebellion. A demonic branding by the government of the day. Having worked with Junoon before, we knew the soul of their brand i.e Junoonis. The Synergy marketing team contributing by signing them and synergizing their brand. Exclusively to promote the movie. Therefore, film distributor Mandviwalla supported the idea as we collectively invested and produced an iconic song. Airing on paid for primetime PTV, Pakistan’s only nationally viewed television in those days. The rest as they say is history.
Patriotic brands need not be the made-in USA or Pakistan or anywhere else for that matter. However, they do have to be iconic. Junoon delivering on a promise in association with a movie on the founder of Pakistan became a national pride. Rightly So. An entire nation rejoiced with “Azadi.” Today a modern-day national anthem.
Therefore it matters how well branding patriotism is exercised to the people. For those who take pride in nationalism. They must first work to maintain this virtue over time. Above all reliability is established on the knowledge that these brands represent their patrons’ views. Which brings me to another brand I have worked for thankfully at the right time.
Geo TV :
Appearing to be what you are not can be dangerous. For instance, only “wrapping in the flag” in order to gain a following. This is evident in the case of Pakistan’s No.1 News TV channel Geo. Launching as a test transmission on August 14, 2002, the national day of Pakistan. Perhaps patriotic association on the day is something to be gained from. Unfortunately not in the long term. On the contrary, for a network that revolutionized news in Pakistan. Years later and tragically by their own doing. History was turning the tide of perception against them.
A watershed moment against their own virtues of editorial excellence and representing truth at the time of inception. Geo’s branded Patriotism turned into an apology followed by national disgrace. Therefore, consumers eventually know if a brand is actually entrenched in its values.
Branding patriotism tactics fluctuate in content and method. Ultimately, fulfilling a promise. Producers sell superpowers wrapped in nationalism. Just like in the movies, but do they sell.? do these superhero movies even release on patriotic days.? The answer is NO!
Performance is the only way by which history judges OR, as one of my favorite guru puts it
Asim Qureshi is the Founder of Starring Brands. Leading Change With Marketing in Pakistan’s Media, Entertainment and Fashion. Ex-Ceo Pakistan’s Top 2 Media. He is also a former co-founder of Synergy Advertising.
.The blog is also available on Medium