Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pimp Your Faith With Junaid Jamshed

Once upon a time a man called Junaid Jamshed would lend his voice to Vital Signs and become the sound track of a new generation.

One military dictator later and the poster child of post-Zia liberalism became the poster child for post-9/11 Islamism. JJ is now quite literally the official spokesman on Islam in Pakistan. Consider this for example, recently rumours were circulated that Lays Chips contained non-Halal ingredients and were therefore Haram (only in Pakistan). So widespread were these rumours that it had a significant impact on their sales. Pepsi Pakistan, makers of Lays, needed someone to rebutt these rumours. Who could they turn to? A scholar? No, we don't have any. A religious leader? Nope, their beards are unkempt. How about doing a sketch showing the ludicrousness of the rumour? Subtle message, I don't think so.

I know, thought the marketing executive at Pepsi while smoking a joint, we'll get a former pop icon turned naat khwan, pay him close to 2 Million Rupees (verified) and see the magic happen. Excellent!

Here's the result:

Now when he's not fronting for a multinational corporation and making millions for three hours of work and telling Pakistanis which chips to eat, he's telling Pakistanis what not to do.

SM was recently working on a project that included JJ, she was standing next to a colleague when JJ appeared greeted the man and almost immediately started telling the man that he shouldn't wear his watch around his left wrist; the reason: 'you use your left hand for "na-paak" things (wiping your ass? wanking?) and your watch can get dirty.

In a seperate incident, Z was on a flight seated behind JJ and Saeed Anwar when JJ turned his attentions to another passenger and lectured him for half an hour on why he shouldn't your use his left hand to eat. Once JJ had finished Saeed Anwar turned to the man, smiled and said "just be glad he hasn't started on your clothes," the passenger was wearing trousers and a shirt.

A true public servant.


My favourite Vital Signs song:


Ahsan said...

Those were the best 47 seconds of my life. His language and tone would suggest he's talking about some deep theological matter -- turns out he's talking about vegetable oil.

Anyway, this brouhaha is (or should be) irrelevant. Why are people eating Lays chips anyway? Kings chips are the way to go, the spicy ones, mind.

Waisay, it really does say something about our collective irrationality that chips can be thought of as haram. I mean really.

Philistine said...

AKS, are you reading my blog for ideas??? I posted about Va-JJ getting Lay'd days ago, before there was even a you tube clip of the ad.

It was so long ago that since that time the post developed into a completely unrelated debate that was continued on another blog [turns out I have readers].

I've also noticed that your first-letter colour is the same as the colour of my blog... wow man, way to be original.

Dude I am SO sick of this. What's an up and coming blogger gotta do to get some respect around here yo?? First I plug this dude's blog only to get bitched out by him. The same thing happens with another chick. Then I stick up for you in the condoms ad debate and this is what I get? Just ain't fair yo, 'sall I'm sayin.

Philistine said...

p.s. your post is fatally flawed on account of not pisstaking JJ for participating in the fashion industry. He is guilty of i. making more money than most people and ii. promoting fashion, and he will burn in hell for eternity on account of at least one of those things.

sTk said...

JJ is a sellout and it pisses me that he could be turning his attention to the million and one things wrong in this country but he chooses to focus on something as trivial as chips jeans and watches.
Think I prefer tum mil gaye, AKS but thats me. Been love struck too many times!

lala pathan said...

wow ahsan brother , this post is so awsome..thnx for sharing :) i had forgotton abt him :)

lala pathan said...

sorry i mean AKS or PHILISTINE , well whom ever it belongs to :)

snikometer said...

one the evidence of the 'woh kon thi' video, rohail hyatt joins ranks with michael jackson as a musically gifted sex offender.

Tazeen said...

The gall of the marketing heads of the chips, they call it a public service message!!!!!!

I don’t know what I find more crass; using religion to market a commercial product or using a former-pop-star-turned-self-styled-religious-scholar to model for a commercial in the guise of public service message which is actually a fatwa in favour of a commercial product.

karachi khatmal said...

along with the money, JJ insisted that he be provided a wardrobe (which he wouldn't return) and shoes. when the exasperated agency told him his shoes wouldn't come on air (and neglected to mention that he owned his own clothes store) JJ got pissed until the shoes were promised and delivered.

also your vital signs taste is shit. woh kaun thi was the teeny bopper shit that belied the fact that JJ would one day become the idiot he is today. tum mil gaye, do pal ka jeewan, ajnabi - that is vintage vital signs.

AKS said...

@ Philistine

A million apologies for stealing your thunder! As hard as it may to believe this, I actually came up with this all by myself. Great minds...

And thanks for pointing out the fatal flaw, I agree, any post on JJ is incomplete without referring to his foray into fashion. If he has his way, all Pakistani men will be wearing really grotesque embroidered Kurtas and shalwars that end right below your knees. All Pakistani women will of course be in burqas, jazzed up again by grotesque embroidery.

@ Tazeen

"The gall of the marketing heads of the chips, they call it a public service message!!!!!!"

Fo' sure.

And how sad is it that creative types at Pepsi couldn't think of anything better. In fact Pepsi Pakistan's ads and marketing strategy sucks balls, especially when it is compared to Coke and their Coke Studio initiative, interestingly the man behind that is none other than alleged sex offender Rohail Hyatt.

@ KK

Dude, Woh Kaun Thee is a classic. Its the one that I remember most clearly from my youth.

And while there may be 'better' Vital Signs songs (Aitebaar, Tum Mil Gaye), Woh Kaun Thhi has always had a special place in my heart.

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Maybe he could do a duet with Israr Ahmed.

Hira S. said...

JJ. actually came to our university (it's a textile related institute) and told students not to intern during the summer, but to go for 40 day chillas with the tableeghi jamaat.

Saeed Anwar came and started talking about how he used to go out with models during his cricketing life (while he was married) but now has to unfortunately( his own words) stick to his wife.

i don't know, but i definitely don't want my religion in their hands.

sameer khan said...

Should i be surprised if very soon he starts to advertise his own chips and colas perhaps called JJ chips and JJ cola??!!
I dont mind him becoming a mullah or mullang if that is what gives him spiritual,mental and emotional peace after a decade and half of living like a playboy and prince. Thats his choice although i dont believe he should have given up music. In any event, some of my friends back in lahore who on and off visit his apparel shop in gulberg say that the guy has been infected with the wahabi virus and while he is in the store CD's of Quran recitation are on and when he leaves his store, the employees turn back on the latest Bollywood music. However, i think its wrong for him to say that Lays chips is haraam. He could say that he personally believes Lays chips are not halaal and then explain why he believes so. But to declare a product non-halaal knowing pakistani peoples' sensitivities regarding religion, JJ is using his celebrity status to put others down and out of business which is wrong. Soon he will declare all perfumes haraam and say that only his brand of perfurme, JJ perfume is halaal. Believe me, its all about money and he is commercializing and in fact cashing in on his celebrity status, while putting others down. I personally think though that JJ is using or rather abusing his celebrity status to become a rich religious businessman/leader and my advice for him is to go to saudi arabia where not only he can sell his clothes and perfumes but give lectures on what chips and other food items are halaal or not. I bet you he will make a couple of zillion dollars or better yet euros in no time there while he spares the poor average pakistani to enjoy the forbidden but seductive taste of Lays chips!!

Philistine said...

All is forgiven since you have acknowledged my superior intelligence on your highly-trafficked blog.

Five Rupees Writers:
Where is the budget wonk???

bubs said...

Can't say I blame Lays. Ummat magazine had asked Lays for an ad, which Lays refused, saying that it didn't fit in with their advertising strategy. In retaliation, Ummat started spreading the rumour that Lays was cooked in pig fat. Ummat had done a similar thing when Telenor refused to advertise with them. They accused Telenor of spying for Israel. Anyway, Lays has also filed a case against Ummat.

Anonymous said...

@ Sameer Khan

I don't think there is anything wrong with stating the facts i.e. they are made in Pakistan and that they are fit for consumption.

@ all
First, so what if he is a playboy turned mullah? I too used to be a completely different person not long ago.
Second, so what if he has some selling power? I don't see anything wrong with making some money out of it.
Third, what are you all pissed off about? That you guys never got the opportunity? Clearly that is Rafi Usmani's case (Taqi Usmani's son).

sameer khan said...

i think you took my comments the wrong way. first of all, i never ever said that there is anything wrong in stating the fact that the chips are made in pakistan and fit for consumption.
second, i just said he was playboy turned mullah only in the context of analyzing and understanding his present state of mind,ie, his religious rigidity in this matter. i never meant it as an insult, in fact if you read my post again with a cool head, the very second sentence begins with a disclaimer---"i dont mind him becoming......"
third point, there is nothing wrong with him having selling power just that it shouldnt be done at the cost of spreading false rumours to put other people/companies down. Thats wrong such as his declaring that Lays chips is made of non-halaal ingredients.(Can he clearly prove it?)
fourth, what do you mean that others did not get the opportunity? opportunity to make what? money, fame,---well money i have made thank god, and i aint jealous of anyone, and unlike JJ, i havent made money on sucking on the coattails of fake religious piety or spreading false rumours, only on hard work and i am proud of it:)
have a good day, in fact life:)

Ahsan said...

Sameer Khan:

You've misunderstood the post, so allow me to correct you. JJ is not trying to say Lays chips are haraam. JJ is trying to say Lays chips are halaal because people have been spreading false rumors of it being haraam, and he is trying to debunk those rumors. For a price of 2 million rupees. That is all.

Watch the video, and it will become clear to you.

sameer khan said...

my bad bro, thanks for the correction. actually i didnt listen to the youtube video and when i had read the post initially, did so in a bit hurry (was also in a bit of stress after work) and got that impression. but after your comment and reading carefully the post for a second time, i see the situation now.
Well its nice that JJ is clearing up concerns about the chips containing non-halal ingredients, but him charging for it, just doesnt seem right---dont get me wrong, he has every right to make money and he has a good apparel business in gulberg, lahore but making money on clearing a rumour i think is not right. But hey, mullahs also have to make money, right??!!I personally think though that the money he made in this ad by just speaking for three minutes, he should donate to a charity such as an orphanage or swat relief fund, then i think it will be OK. anyways, thats my two cents worth!!

Anonymous said...

@sameer Khan

Didn't mean any personal offense mate. Its just that Shahzad Roy's song.


NaVeed said...

okay this was one of a good post to read :) lol