Trends to Watch in 2011

Trends 2011. Salman Abedin. Coordinator Media Sciences, SZABIST.

 

  1. Consumers will be torn apart
  2. USAID will drive Pakistani society further apart
  3. 3d digital cinema will change Retail
  4. Facebook and touchscreens will be the new waves
  5. Ethnic Fashion will be in
  6. Consumers will eat at home more than out
  7. Iphone and Factory outlets will be the counter trends to watch
  8. Veena Malik
  9. Rise of Pakistani Dramas
  10. Fickle Weather

 

  1. The Pakistani consumer will be torn between the masses who are conservative and poor and the elite who are liberal and rich. Companies will struggle to define target markets effectively, and one or the other segment will be offended by every campaign. We foresee brands extending into conservative territory by launching variants and even new brands that are focused to the conservative lower middle class of Pakistan. Masses are by and large pro Pakistani, while elite have by and large given up on the idea of Pakistan. This rift will make nationalism an oxymoron for the elite, but a working model for marketers targeting the lower and middle classes.

Even companies marketing to Pakistanis abroad will find that there are many consumers who have no sense of national link left (“Your country is finished!”), while there are some who are still connected to the soil (mostly the people who originate from Punjab and Kashmir). Being a Pakistani company will cease to be driving force in decision making for the diaspora, after the initial nostalgia of interacting with brands people grew up with wears off.

  1. This pulling apart of the “common ground”, will be re-inforced by the presence of US Government State Department and USAID projects in Pakistan. While the US Government will continue to lobby for a liberal, democratic Pakistan, the middle and lower classes will continue to drift towards a hostile to US stance. This will make consumer product companies stressed by the pulling apart of the polity as a whole. Advertising agencies will be pitching for USAID business, and will be forced into developing campaigns on gender equality, and on liberal values in general. These campaigns have very little chance of success, in fact they will probably make the chasm between the government and governed larger.

 

  1. In terms of the retail environment, the biggest trend that will be witnessed will be the rise of 3d digital cinema in Pakistan. The multiplex in malls will finally arrive and this will bring a new dynamic to the mall culture in Pakistan. Urbanites will spend more money than ever before on watching films together, and will discuss and experience global films from India and Hollywood. In 2011, we predict Pakistani film makers finally making high quality films based on television drama stories and releasing them in local digital cinemas.

 

  1. In terms of Pakistani media, the trend to watch is definitely the rise of the Pakistani drama. Some of the new dramas that are based on serialized stories from Urdu magazines are a cut above. The acting and direction is great. One can easily predict the rise of this format with more and more urban audiences re connecting with relevant and well-conceived and produced stories.  Families will spend time at home together watching the dramas, evoking the olden golden days of PTV family watching in the 80s. The cricket world cup will bring a ratings bonanza to Pakistani TV, but only if Pakistan do well. Indian and American reality shows will also be watched with enthusiasm as will football in a tiny niche segment.

 

  1. Facebook will be the phenomenon to watch as more and more consumers spend more and more time online connecting through facebook. Companies will be trying to engage with them online and specifically through facebook pages and through applications. The online marketing industry will continue to grow as companies demand services from them. More and more high end consumers will shift to touch screen gadgets like the ipad, or Samsung galaxy tab, and even lower end nokia and Samsung touch screen mobile phones. Touch is definitely the trend to watch.

 

  1. In fashion terms women will continue to buy into the ethnic fashion thought process, and more and more consumers will buy fusion ethnic clothing items. More embroidery, more gota work, and more applique will be visible as designers move to embellishments even in every day dresses.

 

  1. Consumers will eat at home in 2011, with cooking channels providing recipes and techniques for creating high end restaurant delicacies at home. The depressed economic climate and security fears will make more people eat at home, and after watching the newer and more educated cooking show hosts teach them how to make interesting international cuisine, women and men will prefer eating at home.

 

  1. The Brands to watch in 2011 are apple in the upper segments, and in the lower segments, it is the impression of brand that is provided by the second hand markets or rip offs available from Thailand and China. Factory Outlets will also flourish in these depressed economic times, with more and more consumers buying from these outlets.

 

  1. Veena Malik will be the celebrity to watch in Pakistan in 2011. Her antics on Bigg Boss and then her subsequent “debate” with a cleric on a talk show have made her the celebrity in Pakistan. She may be over shadowed by Shahid Afridi, if Pakistan wins the world cup, but since that is unlikely, expect her to be in the news more often than not!

 

  1. Global weather is the last factor that will affect all the world and specially Pakistan in 2011. Floods again in the coming rainy season, longer winter and hotter summers will make marketing extremely difficult in rural Pakistan. Consumers will talk about the weather a lot, and everyone will be wary of extensive rainfall.

 

The above trends were developed as part of class discussions in a final year course on Campaign Strategy at SZABIST in 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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