Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that has international magazines with their very own Pakistani editions, made for and published in Pakistan. OK! published its first OK! Pakistan this April. Originally from Britain, OK! has only 20 editions across the world and Pakistan is one of them. The other two that have been in Pakistan for some time now are HELLO (with only 23 global editions) and the mighty Newsweek, which has ..wow..only 12 global editions! And here we say that Pakistanis don’t read! Oh and of course all three are English language magazines.
The figure that left me in complete disbelief was from this image I picked through one of my instagram friends’ feed, which is courtesy some conference by British council in Islamabad. It reveals that 49% of Pakistani actually speak English which is more than any country in our region including India. How impressive and “unbelievable” is that! Probably the three magazines did their research and landed here with the desi version thereafter.
On to the point now … OK! Pakistan unveiled its first cover recently. The cover has received a mixed bag of reviews. I find it just OK! infact its doesn’t have that OK! feel to it. No matter how much we love and respect the leader on the cover, it just doesn’t have that OK! feel to it. Do we take a hint that the next covers will have Edhi or Malala or Ansar Burney? I don’t think they will atleast make an exciting OK! cover. If you bring into the picture what OK! is doing internationally (even the OK! Pakistan’s logo reads: “first for celebrity news”) , should I be confused ? Well, let see, many more covers to come 🙂 . Fact of the matter is that the OK! Pakistan team is superb and the magazine is definitely going to be a sure shot success. (oh wait.. what? Aamna Isani has already resigned!)
Came before OK! Pakistan was HELLO Pakistan. I really like the covers of HELLO, which ofcourse are very HELLO. Oozing class in a very sophisticated good taste. But its 1st cover was a sure disappointment. It wasn’t even Pakistani enough.
Sean Penn sitting in an awkward looking posture with face red, it just doesn’t look nice. But then really .. Mr. Penn for the first cover ? That too may be because he just was on a brief visit to Pakistan? Morale of the story or say the morale of the cover: not much of an effort for their Premiere cover. It was very.. Let’s just get hands on Sean Penn, quickly have his photos taken and ask questions and call its Sean Penn explores Pakistan (what was it ? 48 hours of explorations).
Newsweek Pakistan was launched in September 2010 and what a cover that was! A total power punch. Newsweek Pakistan’s cover actually took on its very own International edition infamous cover that had a picture of an angry young madrassa student and a title “Pakistan the most dangerous nation in the world” by publishing a cover that stated Pakistan as the world’s bravest nation with an innocent boy going through hardship. Great! Every single cover of Newsweek Pakistan has been phenomenal since then. The kind of research and effort that goes in each and every cover and the story connected to is just fabulous. And through the first cover of Newsweek, we see how a magazine is supposed to come on strong and through time prove that it is what it aims to be.
So for UMAIRICA, Newsweek Pakistan’s cover is a winner hands down and the other two get a joint position at 2, as they left us confused where they are / were headed down the road. But then, this blog post simply only is talking about their “first” cover pages and by no means implies that the HELLO or OK! are not be worth it. Because had it not been for the standards the magazine editors and CEOs have set, these magazines would never have made it to Pakistan. Here’s hoping all the three magazines will come up with even more captivating covers help the publishing, fashion and entertainment industry flourish.