The way forward for Shan Ad.

The Shan masala ad., much-hyped throughout Ramadan, was undoubtedly something all of us desis could relate to. The sad Umer in vilaayat missing ammi and her food on Eid and the caring Bhai going off the way from getting Shan masala and ingredients to preparing the gourmet dishes (Sindhi Biryani and Tandoori Chicken *drools*) and presenting it to Umer became household favorites in Ramadan. See the ad here: Shan Masala Ad

Shan Collage

The ad not only filled tears in the eyes of those living abroad but also was a huge emotional hit with the local audience. Within all those emotions, one thing the ad. successfully imprinted in the audience’s mind was that Shan masala was available across the globe and could come to a solution everytime a Pakistani expatriate wanted homelike food.
But even with the spot-on emotional appeal, amazing background music, and unique plot; the ad will go in back of the mind of all audience and be forgotten within no time. So, what to do now?

Well, here are a few suggestions Shan foods can take from marketing students like us and do wonders.

After the great ad, another great thing Shan foods can do is not let people forget Umer, Bhai and ammi that they kept seeing throughout Ramadan. They can do this by making a carry-forward ad (like the movie sequels). The audience would like to see Umer and Bhai returning to Pakistan and meeting ammi after (say) 5 years. Then ammi would cook their favorite food after tasting which they won’t be able to hold back their tears and finish till they eat their fingers off (ungliyan chaat’te reh jaayain ge). And then ammi lovingly makes the guys sleep in her lap and thanks Shan masala in her head. With the Pakistani audience, mother’s love and an emotional ad can never go wrong.

Shan Foods can further take the story forward in the third ad where Umer and Bhai are shown cooking different recipes using Shan masala. This way, the branding of Shan masala as the ultimate solution for cooking for both amateur and professional cooks would be enforced. It would come out as a sigh of relief for women tired of making and mixing masalas, and as a magic wand for all the amateur cooks.


We hate!


When I was 10-years-old, I made a slam book and made my favorite people fill it up. I asked different questions from the people and they answered them for me. Two interesting questions in that book were “who do you love?” and “who do you hate?”, in response to which they gave me names of people they loved and hated. When I put that book in front of my mama, she filled the whole thing out very obediently for her 10-year-old daughter but her response to “who do you hate?” was something that had a fine impact on me. She wrote:

“Hate is an extreme word. I can tell people I dislike but I don’t actually hate anyone.”
That statement has been imprinted on my mind ever since. Then came the time when I was introduced to the real life and then I realized that all those quotations of “be good to everyone” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” were not applied here. I also realized that ‘hate’ was a not-so-extreme term and was used very commonly.

“I hate you for not telling me your secret.”

“I hate you for calling me stupid.”

“I hate you for uploading that picture.”

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,……………….

And we hate people for minutest reasons without pondering that what goes around comes around too.  Will Smith pointed out rightly, “Hate in your heart will consume you too.”

Now let’s forward my life. 10 years later (2012), I was working in an organization as an intern for two months. One day a misunderstanding occurred and two of my colleagues landed into a fight. When the reason of the argument reached the CEO, she called each one of us and said, “how can you hate each other when you hardly know each other?” This took me back to my mother’s comment in the slam book. I wondered when we don’t fall in love so easily saying that it’s an extreme feeling, how can we so easily declare that we despise someone?

Yes, it is easy to hate and difficult to love these days. But aren’t all good things difficult? Plus love makes you feel good and light from within and hate is such a burden. Correta Scott King says, “hate injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”

Hate infiltrates the heart

The moral of the story?
Who am I to give you the moral?
I, like everyone else, am also one of the culprits who have been contaminating the world with poisonous ‘hatred gas’. But those who are wise will definitely be able to draw a moral out of what I wrote.

Cheers!  🙂