By Cake Staff:
Business tread murky water every time they try to move beyond the primary goal of advertising their product or service – that is, try and put a social message in there somewhere. Sure, give em credit for trying, because sometimes the ads break out of the usual stereotypes about gender or class. But ads aren’t always a success. Take Dove’s numerous beauty ad campaigns – definitely interesting, but also problematic. There was also that bizarre, casteist spot by Havells, which has otherwise done some nice ads. But now, far exceeding all these, is an online creative by a Karachi based pizzeria is pushing its product with some very forced looking social messaging.
— Imaan Sheikh (@sheikhimaan) September 2, 2016
Recently, BuzzFeed India’s Imaan Sheikh tweeted out this ‘ad’ by The New York Pizza. It’s a local business which has its own app, and “delivers almost anywhere in Karachi” but doesn’t seem to have a very large following on social media. Regardless, they put out a LOT of media on their pages, including this odd comment on honour killing.
Obviously, taking a stand on the patriarchal violence of honour killing is always welcome, but this ad leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Not only does it trivialise the issue of honour based violence by contrasting it with pizza, but it also comes a short month after the horrific murder of Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch. In fact, 1000 women’s lives are lost in honour killings in Pakistan alone, and that’s only a fifth of the global figure. So it is beyond insensitive for a pizzeria to use a large-scale tragedy to sell their food. It’s enough to ruin your appetite.
But The New York Pizza seems to be oddly political. Another Facebook creative, in the same style, comments on Martial Law:
And another makes a bid for Kashmir as part of Pakistan:
We don’t know who does brand management over at The New York Pizza, but we sure hope they don’t pull this stuff again. They may have meant well, but they really should’ve put more thought into what they were doing. Sure there have been some very powerful ads and creatives – like the intense, visceral TV spot by Bodyform, or the Blush ad with women athletes, or even when the Salvation Army used a popular meme to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence. All pretty well done. But it looks like The New York Pizza is just jumping on the progressive marketing bandwagon, and that isn’t cool.