Stupidity Pays Off Virally – Careem’s Case Of Rishta Aunty

Pakistan is a country where resources and platforms are misused. Yes, it is the fact, every now and then we notice examples which are full of stupidity yet manage to gain traction from masses (read: public). The social media buzz creation is the new addiction for brands and there are many weird ideas which are sold in the name of “Let’s do something crazy” without understanding the persona and attributes of the target market. Most of the brands (if not all) want to get trended and talked about over social media no matter how bizarre their campaign turns out to be. Recently, Careem also did something similar – hats off to the marketing and digital marketing/PR team of Careem for coming up with something that is termed as insensitive and crap by more than 75% of the audience.

Careem needs to get this straight to its mind that in Pakistan, “Rishta” is a family oriented-business, the society and culture of Pakistan should be kept under consideration before making a move.

Careem sent SMSes and emails to its customers and god knows who else which stated:

Careem Rishta

Careem Skyrocketed “Negative Sentiments”

Upon receiving such messages individuals over social media lashed out on Careem and majority abhorred this marketing gimmick. Following are a few responses which were received against a tweet:

Being a digital strategist, I provide consultancy to brands for digital outreach and I have worked for numerous clients who are very sensitive about their reputation and content direction. They cannot stand any negative sentiments as they hit the brand adversely. On digital sphere managing sentiments is very crucial. The entire focus is on creating positive vibes and receiving positive sentiments. So, those who are of the view that

“Negative is Good as it keeps the brand under discussion”

They really need to educate them about Brand Reputation!

Brand Reputation Of Careem:

With such content, along with the Rishta Aunty avatar people are ridiculing Careem. Now, where does the reputation of the brand stand? For a few weeks people were complaining about the “peak factor theory” of Careem and now they are making fun of the “think tanks” from where this idea is executed. According to some

  • this is a very bad move from Careem
  • It is pathetic
  • I totally disagree with #CareemRishta Rishtas are a family thing. Rishta aunties also prefer to meet families of boy and girl


Careem Ridiculed By Other Brands Too

Knowing the fact that no one has accepted the Rishta tactic from Careem, other brands highlighted this in their creatives and shared their take on social media.


Careem Rishta 1


Careem Rishta 2

Joy Cab

Careem Rishta 3

Lifewares by Interwod

careem rishta 6

This clearly proves that people are making fun of the brand (Careem) and their marketing went wrong, in terms of creating a good impact on customers and society.

The Trending Game!

Careem Rishta 5

Careem proves that stupidity “ROCKS”. The hashtag #Careem trended over Twitter and not because of any positive element but otherwise. This entire strategy of Careem “to do something uncanny” actually worked and the brand was discussed massively over social media with 7 – 8 million impressions on Twitter let alone. But the questions are worth considering,

“Should brands keep on exploiting their marketing resource?”

“Doesn’t relevance play an important role in marketing?”

“Can brands go to any level to create talkability / virality?”

“Why brands fail to perform market research before executing idea?”

I leave that to the readers!

Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui

About Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui

Shafiq Siddiqui is a Digital Brand Strategist and Inbound Marketer. He has 8 plus years of extensive experience in the field of content writing, content curation and content marketing. Shafiq Siddiqui provides consultation to businesses and entrepreneurs for the creation and management of their social media marketing strategies. He has worked with international clients, based in US, UK, Canada and Europe. Shafiq Siddiqui has also worked for a Goal Based Social Network from Silicon Valley as Content Analyst and Social Media Director. Currently Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui is working as Digital Brand Manager / Strategist at an international IT concern.

Leave a Reply