Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garmi Ka Dushman Sharbat, Talwaar Soap - some of the hit consumer products in Pakistan!

ISLAMABAD - Kalashnikov Surf, Pistol Soap and Talwaar Soap - these are just some of the quirky names of consumer goods being sold to the rich and poor alike in Pakistan these days.These off-beat brand names appeal not only to the highly educated and rich - who select their shirts, shoes, wrist watches or fast food and beverages of certain brands - but also to the poor such as the war victims from the northern areas of Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan living in the temporary camps set in different areas of the city.And so, started an interesting trend of brand naming of a different kind, by local manufacturers of soaps and detergents of the northern areas of the country, especially Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, who name their products with strange brand names, such as Kalashnikov Soap, Pistol Soap, Barood (explosive material) Soap, Kalashnikov Washing Powder, Aakhri Goli (the last bullet) Soap and Talwaar (sword) Soap.According to the Daily Times, an elderly Shahzaman, to people living in war-afflicted areas, these brand names are a matter of honour.“Kalashnikov is an automatic rifle that has been the most popular in Pakistan since the 1980s and when you posses this rifle, you can literally wipe out your enemies, so the detergent manufacturers named their washing powder as Kalashnikov Surf. People can understand that it would washout all the stains from the cloth just like the rifle wipes out the enemies,” he explained.However, products with weird brand names have also trickled into the local markets of Karachi, specifically in the areas where immigrants from the tribal areas or Afghan refugees are living.Psychologists have called this a smart marketing move.“Humans are emotionally and deeply attached with their cultural values and taking advantage of that, most manufacturers name their products after these cultural values just to attract more customers,” The Daily Times quoted Dr Qasim Birhoi, renowned psychiatrist, as saying.Some other bizarrely named products, including Suhaag Rat Paan (wedding night betel leaves), Garmi Ka Dushman Sharbat (anti-heat beverage), Gai Marka (cow mark) Soap and Murgh Marka (chicken mark) Tobacco. (ANI)


Even as people in Manipur are bearing the brunt of National Highway blockade in Nagaland and in Manipur by Naga based groups, some traders are trying to capitalize on the crisis situation. For instance one shop is offering 10 litres of petrol for free with a TV. In the crisis situation a litre of the fuel has shot up to Rs. 200. This electronic shop, one of the biggest in Imphal town grabbed people’s attention and took everyone by surprise one fine day when it posted a full page ad in a local daily. ‘Buy certain items from the shop for certain rate and get 10 liters of petrol or a Tata sky absolutely free’. The one liner of course reflects the scarcity of petroleum products, Manipur faces late in the wake of indefinite National Highway blockade and the counter blockade. A liter of petrol now costs around Rs 150 to 200 in the black market and that is not so readily available. For the last more than a month, Naga groups have imposed blockade on National Highway 39 against the government’s decision to hold ADC polls against the people’s wishes. Making matters worse, the life line of the state got completely paralysed after Ibobi slapped a ban on NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah’s visit to his native village in the early part of this month. Since then NSCN supporters and other Naga groups in Nagaland have held the National Highway siege, thereby choking supply of essential commodities to Manipur. Traders are exploiting the situation to sell their products. And they have got customers rushing to shops that are offering petrol for free. Amid this acute fuel scarcity, Imphal-based electronic outlets have toed in the lines of one offering free petrol for buying television sets, washing machines and refrigerators.