ATP Repost: PIA Ad Re Deux

Posted on August 29, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

The 1960s PIA advertisement that had been featured as the ATP Picture of the Day on 12 June, 2006 is one of the most visited blogpost to date.

We had featured a second PIA Ad from that era on June 24, 2006, which is also interesting but got considerably less attention.

Today, as I prepare to catch my PIA flight to Pakistan (this evening) I thought I might repost it. As we have commented on various occasions, the edge has come off PIA. Sometimes one wonders if the wings will too. I hope they won’t; at least not today!

The crew I will encounter tonight will be wearing a different set of uniforms, but the PIA crew uniform from the 1960s has an interesting pedigree to it. That celebrated uniform is featured in this PIA ad.

According to PIA literature:

In 1966, Pierre Cardin, the renowned French fashion designer, came up with the legendary fawn and moss green summer and winter uniform edged with turquoise. The uniform consisted of a short, easy fitting “A” line tunic, slim-line trousers and imaginatively moulded dupatta that not only covered heads but also turned heads. The uniform became an instant hit, the slim-line trousers immediately were dubbed as ‘PIA Pajamas’. Fashion-conscious young ladies, all across Pakistan, copied Cardin’s design eagerly. This popular uniform design was used by the airline from 1966 to 1975.

Anyhow, combined with the other one, or alone, what–if anything–does this ad say about how Pakistan saw itself; then and now?

23 responses to “ATP Repost: PIA Ad Re Deux”

  1. Faraz Khalid says:

    ok here’s my take on this:

    1) The Ad: Its creative, fun and well made. but i do not agree that modern pakistani ads are not that progressive and creative anymore. Many FMCG, Telecom and Banking companies in pakistan routinely come up with advertising (yes in today’s world) that is modern, hip, fun and quite creative. Judging from these ads, even today pakistan sees itself as a progressive and dynamic nation – atleast a section of our society does, which i trust is a “very” large section.

    2) it is usually a small minority which depicts everything being gloomy, and this depiction ultimately effects the perception of rest of the people. our media today is too busy with pointing out “issues” left, right and center. our opinion leaders are habitually pessimistic, leading to the state we are in now.

    3) PIA is a pretty okay airline. The bigger planes are actually quite comfortable. The food is good and service is usually good too.

    4) In local flights atleast, as soon as the plane lands and you unfasten your seatbelt (metal ka chapta hissa….), the airline crew puts on the music of rangeela’s “ik hussan ki devi say mujhe piyar huwa tha….” They do it in every flight i think. i wonder who instructed them to put this one song and nothing else on earth :)

    5) i heard that PIA experienced lot of staff attrition to new middle eastern airlines. this could be one of the reasons for deterioration in service quality.

    6) airblue vs. pia… against popular opinion, i would still go for pia… (for international travel though, i “never” choose pia, as there are far better options available there, starting from good old emirates.

    7) airblue does have a better check-in system though. much much better, with very good service.

    8) i think pia should experiment more in terms of uniform, food and specially songs.

  2. faraz says:

    I think this PIA uniform represents Pakistan better.

    Some of my friends complain that in PIA, they dont serve alcohol. Is it true?

    In order to be business friendly they should serve alocohol. This is biggest reason why muslims are lagging behind hindus in hospitality industry( like restuarents) in USA.

  3. Adil Najam says:

    Thanks Khurram… maybe there is a subconcious theme here… I had thought of doing something on Musharraf’s uniform but did not have the time…. plus, I think the 1960s PIA uniform was so much smarter ;-)

  4. Khurram says:

    Speaking of uniforms, Mr. Musharraf has agreed to remove his.

  5. Asad says:

    Very nice. There should be a move to use the policies of that era modified for today’s world.

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