2018 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryLive Shows / Concerts / Festivals / Exhibitions

The Campaign

Phonetically, the language of Urdu is regarded as "saccharine" sounding. A mix of Arabic, Persian and Hindi notes give it a dulcet, melodic and honeyed tone - for centuries, poetry in the Indian subcontinent has been written in Urdu for this very reason. Even the script form of Urdu is Arabic-based, using beautiful, flowy calligraphic styles. Our idea was to revive the beauty of Urdu by making it wanted again through something that’s just as old and sweet as the language but is still considered cool: Jalebi. Jalebi is a popular 10th century South Asian dessert made of dough and sugar, and fried in vegetable oils. The sugary treat is made by hand-drawing soft spirals in heated oil which then cools down into a rigid structure. It was the perfect opportunity to merge it with Urdu calligraphy.

Creative Execution

Collaborating with two artists, a calligrapher and a chef, the campaign was launched using the words of a 13th century Urdu poet, Amir Khusro, considered the father of Urdu verse; whose poetry was brought back to life in the form of this dessert. The craft was meticulous. All of Urdu script is not written in joint letters, whereas jalebi can only be formed when it is connected as one unit. We therefore had to create a unique lettering design and practice how to calligraph it in jalebi. We gave it a fitting hashtag: #UrduPoeatry. For PR, we picked high impact venues: The Karachi literary festival held in London and local book stores in Pakistan. Every word of the poem written in jalebi was served with the complete couplet and its english translation. A film was released online on Pakistan’s 70th independence day, along with a billboard of the artwork.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

The press caught on and the results were as sweet as jalebi. For the first time, the brand was featured in the local news. 5 million+ reached and over 1 million views were clocked in 24 hours, with campaign impressions at over 8 million. The live activations were immensely popular, with thousands of people turning up to try the jalebi poetry. The project was featured at Tedx and has become part of university activations. A 13th century poet, a 10th century dessert, 2 artists, a modern calligrapher and a devoted brand all came together to not only revive the sweetness of a national language, but also to rebuild brand love in a heritage brand.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

In a first-of-its-kind live activation, and in order to revive interest in the national language, we merged calligraphic samples of Urdu with a famous sweet dessert: Jalebi. Through pop up activations, we invited people to literally consume the sweet words of a 13th Century Urdu poet for the first time. This wasn't just tasting food, it was tasting poetry and nationalism.

In a market dominated with what we call "song-and-dance" films, all of which look alike, Kashmir Cooking Oils decided to pursue a completely different strategy: a more mature, heritage-based approach with a nationalistic appeal. It was a bold stance for a Pakistani food company to take. As a brand relevance connect, jalebi was the perfect ingredient since it is traditionally fried in banaspati. The target audience was Pakistanis of all ages who knew that interest was dying in their national language. We focused on activations around book stores and literary events, and on message distribution via online film.


Name Company Role
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Regional Creative Director
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Hira Mohibullah BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Strategic Planning Director
Aamna Rahim BBDO Pakistan Senior Creative Manager
Huma Mobin BBDO Pakistan Creative Manager
Faisal Durrani BBDO Pakistan Managing Director
Haroon Rashid BBDO Pakistan Head of Design
Haseeb Akram BBDO Pakistan Art Director
Moiz Khan BBDO Pakistan Associate Creative Director
Jamayal Tanveer BBDO Pakistan Digital Business Director
Jamayal Tanveer BBDO Pakistan Digital Business Director
Mian Aleem Ali BBDO Pakistan Production Designer
Natasha Ejaz Audio DNA Music Director
Atif Pasha BBDO Pakistan Production Manager
Saks Afridi Saks Afridi Artist
Khurram Gillani BBDO Pakistan Account Director
Alize Munir BBDO Pakistan Community Manager
Sarmad Ghafoor Sarmad Ghafoor Musician
Shahid Shahid Chef
Vinod Kamble Vinode Kamble Chef
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
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