Who needs ’em when you have the sheer charisma of a leader and a super-catchy albeit utterly unrealistic slogan, right? It’s like stepping into a parallel universe where substance takes a backseat and style reigns supreme.

While political campaigns in the world invest their time and effort into developing comprehensive strategies (ye kya hoti hain?), our dear Pakistani political communications seem to be working the exact opposite way. Instead, they throw together a hodgepodge of visually pleasing photo ops and carefully curated images, with a super patriotic and hopeful voiceover written and narrated with such poetic finesse ke sun ke Ghalib Sharmaa jayen. All of this aims to create an elusive connection between the leader and the people, kind of like that scene from Man of Steel, where Henry Cavil, dressed in full Superman costume, takes a walk among the ‘people,’ and all of them are reaching out for their savior, in hopes of capturing the grandiose existence of Superman in their small feeble lives, desperately yearning to be saved. Welp, sans the costume – that’s exactly how political leaders are positioned in their branding and communications.

Oh, and let’s not forget about Gen Z – which will soon make up the largest chunk of voters in the country. As all marketers have found out in recent times, GenZ is a tricky bunch to sell to, and no one agency or marketing entity has been able to truly unlock the mysterious workings of a GenZ mind. Forcing their sentiment in or away from a certain direction seldom works, but it seems like political marketers have missed that memo.

They stubbornly cling to the old-fashioned notion of forcing these young minds in a certain direction, and we can just hear the GenZ of Pakistan collectively going ‘Oh, the audacity!’. Little do they know that Gen Z has a sixth sense for anything ‘Sus’ and can spot someone ‘Capping’ from miles away. So, good luck with these attempts to manipulate their sentiments with flashy ads and superficial flair. Gen Z demands more than empty slogans and flashy gimmicks. They thirst for authenticity and hunger for genuine engagement. The young souls of the Z generation yearn for ‘real talk’, genuine connections, and the freedom to form their own ‘clout’. They reject the notion of being swayed by the prevailing catchy jingles and airbrushed images.

But hey, let’s not discourage them! Go ahead, try to crack the Gen Z code. Just remember, you’re wading into uncharted waters, armed with nothing but a jar of empty promises. The brilliant marketers working on these political campaigns need to put on thinking caps and prepare to be schooled by Gen Z. Adapt their strategies, ditch the insincerity, and embrace the challenge of connecting with these elusive creatures. It’s time to step up their game and speak the language of Gen Z. Embrace their slang, understand their ‘tea’, and show them that you’re not just another ‘clout-chasing boomer’ trying to sell them something they don’t want. Engage with them authentically, acknowledge their concerns, and be a part of the conversation. Then and only then might you have some chance of capturing the hearts and minds of this elusive generation.

But remember, it’s not a task for the faint-hearted. Gen Z is armed with the power of social media to call you out on your tricks, and that’s a fate no one can escape. In the realm of political marketing, they are the ultimate litmus test, and any political party looking to be successful will have to rise to the occasion and earn their ‘vibes,’ otherwise, they will be left in the dust, chasing after their fleeting attention spans.

In the realm of political branding, however, it seems like everyone’s in on the joke except the politicians themselves. While the rest of the world embraces the power of actionable insights and thoughtful manifestos, our politicians have found a shortcut to our hearts: a carefully crafted image and a slogan that’s catchier than a Bollywood dance number. Who needs substance when you can have style, right? It’s like a game of smoke and mirrors, where the audience is dazzled by the spectacle while the real issues fade into the background.

But hey, let’s not forget that sometimes the absurdity of it all can be quite entertaining too. It’s better than binge-watching Netflix at this point. We watch the theatrical act unfold on our TV all the time, between programs, before videos, and during a cricket match. These ads flood our lives like water floods Karachi’s roads, making promises that we know deep down are too good to be true. It’s almost like a soap opera, with each election bringing new episodes of political drama and farce.

If we take a moment to ponder the deeper implications of this recurring theme, we will realize that while the flashy ads and charismatic leaders may grab our attention, the real question is, what happens when the show is over? What happens when we realize that the promises made were nothing more than empty words? In a country grappling with real problems and pressing issues, this big gap becomes harder to ignore. It is now time for a reality check. These political communications do little to address the complex challenges that our nation faces. In these testing times, what we really need is substance, thoughtful policies, and leaders who want to make a real difference. It’s time to move beyond the superficial and demand more from our political discourse. Because as it stands, amidst all the buffoonery, there is room for change too.

As Gen Z marketers, we have the power to challenge the status quo and demand more from our political discourse. We can bring a fresh perspective, pushing for transparency, authenticity, and substantive content. We can encourage our fellow young voters to look beyond the flashy ads and question the real intentions and capabilities of our political leaders. Let’s not allow empty promises and superficial tactics to sway us away. Instead, let’s demand substance, integrity, and a genuine commitment to addressing the issues that truly matter. It’s time to break free from the cycle of political absurdity and pave the way for a new era of meaningful political engagement.

In conclusion, the world of Pakistani political branding may be rife with questionable branding, but it’s not without its comedic charm. We, as Gen Z marketers, have a unique vantage point to observe and critique this spectacle. While we can find humor in the theatrics, we also recognize the need for substantive change and genuine political engagement. By using our wit, sarcasm, and demand for substance, we can play a vital role in shaping the future of political branding in Pakistan.

So, let’s continue to laugh, question, and advocate for more meaningful and authentic political discourse. After all, in the midst of absurdity lies the opportunity for true transformation.

It’s time to unleash our creativity, challenge the status quo, and demand a political landscape that prioritizes substance over flair. Together, we can make a difference and create a political environment that truly represents the aspirations and concerns of our generation.

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Puns, pun-ctuation & Creative solutions - my life is one prolonged brainstorm session. I'm passionate about advertising, but even more passionate about words - whether they're spoken, written, or whatever. When I'm not cooking up concepts or copies, you'll find me performing the spoken word in some obscure open mic ... or binge-watching B99 for the 99th time.