Saturday, August 13, 2011

A call to Advertising Critics in Egypt

For one reason or another, we're all interested in what the advertising scene in Egypt brings forth. We review it, we critique it, we spill our two cents and most of the time (well we try really) we're being reasonable and we're not talking out of our asses. A lot of us have actually worked in advertising, or have been focused on it for years. We understand it, (at some point perhaps even liked it) and we care about the end result.

So here's my suggestion. Let's create an unofficial Advertising Authority. Let's be the entity that reviews ads in Egypt and make our voices heard, and most of all, matter. Let's pool our resources, points of views, and create a sort of Rotten Tomatoes like portal where we can rate ads, criticize them (as constructively as we can) and who knows, maybe we'll end up making a difference in the shit people have to bare with night and day between the shows they actually WANT to watch.

It's time advertising agencies and their clients pay attention to some detail, get their act together, and make some decent advertising material.

Who's in?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ramadan ADs: Mobinil and the late Hassan El Asmar

This morning I woke up to the news of Hassan El Asmar's death due to a heart attack.
All I can say is that his last appearance on Mobinil's Ramadan commercial was a joy-bringing one.
I meant to review that ad before I heard of his death, and I meant to praise it, because advertising aside, it's a funny little clip that featured one of Egypt's great popular music singers. It's light, it's well produced and shot, it makes the point it's meant to make, and gives us a nice dose of Egyptian humor and song.

I enjoyed it alot. From the VO at the start, to the illustrated words on the T-Shirt, the split screen, the zoom out to El Asmar on the couch accompanied by the classic-looking accordion player, the lyrics and the acting.
It's a great ad, and a bitter-sweet last memory of El Asmar. May he rest in Peace.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ramadan ADs: CocaCola's Better Tomorrow

First thing's first. The kids are adorable, and I don't know a single person who didn't think so.

Alright, other than that... I have to give it to CocaCola this Ramadan because they managed to put a genuine smile on people's faces.

As always, since the days of Hesham Abbas even, we've been used to hearing original jingles from CocaCola and this time is no different. The music is relaxing, sweet, and the kids, again, are just incredibly cute!

I am very fond of the mix between illustration and real footage that some how did not lose it's Egyptian touch as they bring it home with all the references to where we are in the country today; corruption, donations, negativity, of course laziness in Ramadan and mommies making yummy food, the waves of bad news....and our very own Bassem Youssef :)

If there's one thing that's throwing me off, it has to be the resemblance to Vodafone as the AD starts off. The red screen with the centered writing in white...I know that's CocaCola too of course, but some people have mistaken it for a Vodafone commercial, considering that ever since they dropped the puppets they've been trying to forcefully take credit for the strangest things in Egypt. But we'll blame this one on Vodafone not you guys :P

Anyway Great Job integrating your 'Tomorrow is better' campaign with Ramadan and Egyptian culture...I like the AD a lot!

Ramadan Kareem :) 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ramadan ADs: Vodafone's Shokran

To get one thing clear, I have nothing against Vodafone. Sure they part took in the communication blockade during the revolution, but so did the other operators in Egypt, and recently, in other parts of the Arab World too.

I was never a Vodafone customer, and that said, this blog is strictly about advertorial content, and nothing else.

It just happens that Vodafone's advertising material provokes me and though I tried to resist, Ramadan's airtime is heavy with competition, repetition and of course, advertisements.

Vodafone Ramadan 2011…

The first thing that caught my attention about this campaign was the jingle.
An adaptation of  Darwish's Sheikh Qofa3a…which candidly made me sad. Because this is not only ridiculously commercial, but once again, it doesn't mean anything. It is just a catchy jingle, that is guaranteed to keep you tuned to the ad for at least a few times before you grow tired of it, and not only that, it guarantees that it will get stuck in your head.

Now, the second thing was the band on the truck. I do not know who the band is, although I can make a guess. But that is not the point. Do you remember last ramadan, when a local band made their video debut on Tarek Nour's Al Qahira wel nas? Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else see the resemblance? 

As for Nelly and Samir Ghanem's appearance…I must interrupt myself and assume that something will follow this ad, like a sequel or something, because up to now, I can not make sense of it. 
Two big comedic super stars who have previously been synonymous with Ramadan TV are out giving their thanks to other superstars who have also been integrated in Ramadan culture since we were kids. 

Wait a minute, is Vodafone slowly attempting to rebrand Ramadan into some kind of western Thanksgiving? Is this it? Are we giving our thanks during the Holy Month and Vodafone is reminding us to be thankful? Hmm…I guess we might as well thank them for reminding us of the power within us that led to the revolution right?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vodafone's biggest mistake yet.

It is really quite sad, and pathetic, when an advertising agency helps a client ride the revolutionary wave and manipulate it, but it's an entirely different ballgame when they dare to even hint at the idea that their client had anything to do with it.

It is not only arrogant and obnoxious and offensive, it is delusional, when that agency is advertising for one of the mobile companies that took part in the communication blackout that Egypt experienced; Vodafone, the very one that sent us those pro-government messages, seems to think they can play around the timing of an ad that had nothing to do with anything but pure market competition.

I had reviewed Vodafone's kowetna ad in one of the very first posts of this blog...if I had a problem with them then, this redefines my anger, my disgust, and my shock, at how shameless these creatives and copy writers are, those people who literally sell their ethics and principles for money, for clients who have absolutely nothing to do with the Egyptian revolution yet time and time again, try to work around it and make it work for themselves and their businesses.

This might just be the worst mistake JWT has made. The biggest marketing flop. It is nothing short of despicable.

 - JWT made their video private at some point today, here is another link:

- and yet again, removed. However, thanks to andreasudo for repost and to IhateVodafoneEgypt for publishing and mirroring the post.  

Vodafone Egypt JWT Ad Taking Credit For #Jan25... by andreasudo

Monday, March 28, 2011

لحاف الثورة

لحاااااف مصر، بالوان علم مصر: اغنية حمادة هلال الجديدة

The Revolution's Bandwagon- V

This is soo good. Soo so Good.

Picture courtesy of @etamer

This is what it says,
in this order exactly:

"Long Live Egypt
Down with corruption

Buy Pizza
and get one free"


Viva la revolution..! Free Pizza! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Revolution's Bandwagon- IV

على اساس انه كان بيتكلم هندي قبل الثورة!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Hymen Analogy

Living in Egypt, you grow a little numb. You find yourself on the edge of a cliff to the abyss of apathy. Things cease to shock you...shocking things. Like sexual harassment, like torture, like blackmail, bribery, abuse, lying, chaos, theft, and the list goes on...and in the case that you do show signs of confusion or fail to wrap your head around senseless unbelievable events and circumstances, you are criticized for being shocked at all! "Why are you so surprised?"

However, sometimes, the shock element settles under the umbrella of 'I knew.... but I just never imagined'...

What a shame.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Revolution's Bandwagon- III

!!و هي دي البجاحة

Which literally translates to 'Shamelessness!"

Why don't you stick to giving your customers free internet and making up for the blackout that you didn't even think of warning them about rather than this?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Revolution's Bandwagon- II

On Friday the 28th of January, around 2 am in the morning, after a day long of unstable internet connectivity and rumors that we will be experiencing a blackout, the internet was gone. Just like that, with no warnings or explanations, the internet population of Egypt were silenced.

But then we all woke up to dead phones!!! You couldn't make or receive calls and you couldn't send or receive text messages. Imagine that...on the day of the biggest and angriest protests Egypt has ever seen...Friday of Rage, no one was able to contact the other.  Wherever you were that day...running from tear gas or getting shot at by rubber bullets (which we later realized were occasionally replaced with live ammo) or engaging in battles with riot police, or home on your couch watching - you kept thinking you had no connection.. 'just incase....'

The next morning our phones suddenly started ringing off the hook, people were going crazy trying to reach their loved ones. Many phones kept ringing with no answer... Many phones never rang...many phones were answered by complete strangers...

I can not capture the anger or frustration that the blackout caused...I can not even start to think of the amounts of lives that could have been saved had there been a chance to call for help.

With that in mind, even with the return of phone communication, the SMS service was still out.  However, it seemed like the Mobile companies (Vodafone, Etisalat & Mobinil) were able to text their customers, and I wish they didn't.

Their messages were provocative,offensive and plain invasive due to the clear political agenda they carried...and simply because no one else could send texts!!

Here are the samples:

The Armed Forces are keen for your safety and security
and will not resort to violence against this great people.

To every mother-father-sister-brother and every honorable
citizen, look out for this country، for it is an ever-lasting home.
Youth of Egypt, be ware of rumors and listen to the voice
of reason. Egypt is above all..protect her.

The Armed Forces call upon Egypt's loyal men, to confront
 the traitors and criminals and protect our people and our
honor, for Egypt is precious.
And the worst one of all...

A demonstration rally begins on Wednesday at Noon at
Mostafa Mahmood Square in support of President Mubarak

So moves like this  (images below) make me even angrier - and although I'll pretend to understand that they had no choice - I feel that something MUST be done. I know they gave out free minutes and offered more time for delayed bills bla bla, but it feels like this was a great injustice done to the people..the 'great people' they so blatantly call out to in their texts.

Because this patriotic flair does not really go hand in hand with sending messages DURING A REVOLUTION promoting pro-regime rallies! It does not complement the fact that there were lives lost because of this nightmarish blockage of communication.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


IAm#Jan25 - A splendid initiative acting as a platform/database of all pictures and videos captured during the Jan25 Revolution. 

IAm#Jan25 is developed by Mohanned Ali who was one of the #Jan25 voices during the events taking placing in Egypt. In his own words, he describes himself as a"Nomad, the Swiss Army knife of IT, internet mogul in the making, and aspiring Social Entrepreneur."

Here is what he had to say about the project:
"well basically i've been archiving all #Jan25 tweets, so I thought there must be lots of cool links shared in those tweets, so i wrote this script to dig up all the links from 2.7+ million tweets, and voila lol. I still have hundreds of links to articles etc. which i'll put on the website later on and thats about it lol. My gift to the world :D"

And what a gift! :)
It's a great idea and a catalyst for a proud memory for us all.
Help add to it, enrich it, savor it, and definitely, spread the word!
Cheers Mand0z! 

Note: Love the name!
IAm#Jan25 :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Revolution's Bandwagon

This is probably going to be Part 1 of a series of posts I am considering writing about the Advertising scene during (I will not say post because I believe it is ongoing) the Egyptian 2011 Revolution.

This is also the first post since #Jan25 and I decided that probably anything to say now after the events we have witnessed would be an understatement.

All I can say is that this is our revolution. Those who were part of it know who they are, and those who weren't and claim to be are known by us all. Those who supported every way they knew how will forever be remembered and thanked and respected... while those trying to 'ride the wave' ... well ... they look wet and silly.

So..Part 1 goes to those folks, the ones trying to, shall I say re-brand? their image using the revolution.
بالبلدي يعني: "على قفا الثورة" 

Anyway..Let me kick it off with none other than Sodic. Because frankly, this morning, when I was driving down 26th of July st. and my eyes caught these, my jaw dropped and I let out a long almost laughing gasp. I won't accuse anyone of anything. Time will tell.

For now..gasp with me 

But just incase it's hazy...


Alright I think I'm done.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Angels Falling

I heard about the creative for this Ad before I saw it.
I liked the idea instantly. The thought of an innocent angel falling...a pure, holy being...falling for the irresistibility of whoever this one AXE boy model was going to be. I thought it was clever..

This disturbing. To say the least.

Did we have to make the angels literally and physically devastatingly fall like that? Crash? Break the marble and shake the Earth :S ? I wish there were words to capture the very confused/concerned look I had on my face as I watched this.

Oh..and why do our lady angels look like strippers/pole dancers/lingerie models?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Smell me and .com

There are some products out there in the world that are tricky to advertise....Like cigarettes, condoms, viagra, sex toys etc. Therefore, when we come across one of those product adverts, we happen to pay attention.

When an advertising agency accepts one of those accounts, and creates a creative concept that not only meets the brief and delivers the message, but also stays true to creativity and artistic flair...well, then, they're awesome! Unfortunately, couldn't find out who they are!  Did a little research, but no luck on the TVC agency, only Ps&S for the print ads.

Here's the TVC...
Warning.. not suitable for watching with a parent, a child, and probably not at the office either.

However inappropriate... the ad is sexy, gutsy, the direction and camera work are excellent, the soundtrack is just right, and captured the idea (though in a perverted kinda way) perfectly!

I am also very impressed with the CI itself. The logo, yes I admit is very graphic, but also very clever! They took a rather feminine concept, and delivered a bold/edgy look and feel. The black color, the typography on the packaging, and the size! This is actually quite small. If you take a look at their print ads in the Gallery section of their website (again NSFW) you'll get what I mean.

Look at the product description!!! Doesn't get any more descriptive than that!

That brings me to their URL... which, although changes when you actually arrive to the site, is probably one of the most memorable and clever play on words that is so typical and obvious but entertaining and admirable at the same time!! (can you tell how amused I am by this?)

Enough said...Simply put..Weird (very weird) product, excellent creative concept and execution.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Filmed in Alexandria, Egypt...Ahmad Abdalla's Microphone (finally) sheds some light on the underground music/artistic scene in one of the oldest, most beautiful cities in Egypt.  With little of what I've seen from the trailers, which fulfill some serious teasing, I can't wait to see it.  I can blab about the awards it won and the international film festivals it has participated in,  but sadly that is no longer an indication of anything.

From a distance, the movie looks like an excellent blend of art, music, acting, directing, sound, cinematography and most of all, conveys a sense of honesty as it stays true to the city's mood and atmosphere.  I love the colors too.

Microphone will be in Egyptian Movie Theaters starting on Wednesday, 26th of January. Go see it.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Domino's 2allak:

Na3am? Mish Fahma...

Advertising Prostitutes*

1. You work very late... Just like prostitutes
2. They pay you to make the client happy... Just like a prostitute.
3. The client pays a lot of money, but your employer keeps almost every cent.. Just like a prostitute.
4. You are rewarded for fulfilling the client's dreams.. Just like a prostitute.
5. Your friendships fall apart and you end up hanging out with people in the same profession as you.. Just   like a prostitute.
6. When you have to meet the client you always have to be perfectly groomed... Just like a prostitute.
7. But when you go back home it seems like you are coming back from hell... Just like a prostitute.
8. The client always wants to pay less but expects incredible things from you... Just like a prostitute.
9. Everyday when you wake up, you say:"I'm not going to spend the rest of my life doing this."...
    Just like a prostitute.

*courtesy of BBM forwards

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Personal Appeal to Ragaa El Gedawy

I have watched you in almost every single new drama series that has been produced in the past decade.
Even when Egyptian television discovered sitcoms, you were there!

I watched you play the role of a mother, a diva, a woman living her mid-life crisis, a single old lady, a rich elitist, a foreigner, an alzheimer's patient. Really, kudos! you've done it all. You even had your own segment on Amr Adib, and let's not even get started on what the hell that was all about!

But don't you think it's a bit much now with all the products you're commercially endorsing?

Dish Washing Soap
and i think you did Ghee too..or was it oil?

There was a time when you had your face on three different product billboards at the same time! On the same bridge!!

I'm sure you've made some decent cash by now! Kaman ya3ni your credibility is shot to shit!
Urm...kefaya ba2a!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Etisalat is trying...

Etisalat just released two new TVC's starring Maged Kedwany once again. This time, Maged Kedwany isn't making fun of situations here and there, he's actually making fun of himself. That always wins points in my book, especially if the insight is about the Momma's boy complex Egyptian boys suffer from. 

Kedwany's little talk at the end about how Etisalat has helped his mom and him grow 'closer' and how she surrounds him is brilliant! The previous Kedwany ads all had a bunch of local insights and this one is the cherry on top. 

However, the Richard Gere one...well what can I say? They should have stuck to just one. I mean why? Why the double? why the ridiculous accent? Why the desperate image? Meh.

Etisalat, don't put all your eggs in one basket, and more over, pick your battles. Baby steps..

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do It Like a Dude

She's not Lady Gaga...and I like her!

"Do it like a brother 
Do it like a dude 
Grab my crotch, wear my hat low like you "

Monday, January 10, 2011

Vodafone ft. Adel Imam

We can tell that after Etisalat's Ramadan TVC that featured superstar El King Mounir, Yosra, Ahmed Ezz, Hend Sabry, Donya Sameer Ghanem and Ezzat Abo Ouf, Vodafone and their agency had a long, very serious meeting.

Mounir, who had never before been seen doing advertisements was not only advertising for Etisalat! He was doing what he does best! He was singing...all cute in green and all! And as if that wasn't a hard enough slap on the face, he sang another brand new specifically written and recorded jingle for yet another Etisalat commercial. Oh the predicament! What will Vodafone/Mobinil possibly do now?

So, while Etisalat is utilizing Mounir's name and voice right after borrowing Maged Kedwany's sense of humor and new found popularity, and while Mobinil is sheeplishly attempting to compete with Edward and Emmy Sameer Ghanem, Vodafone were still playing puppets on strings. 

Well..what do they do to save face? They bring out the Joker ofcourse! They won't bluff nor fold. They will lay low and try to scram anything together for the time being while they pool all their production resources and remaining 2010 budget and go give LOADS of money to Adel Imam to feature in their latest commercial, that didn't really mean anything. So they bring the three boys from Sameer w Shaheer w Baheer (Shiko, Ahmed Fahmy, Hesham Maged) and air a hideously poorly produced sequence of ads that not only gain no momentum, but are met with severe scrutiny from viewers, and were even accused of disrespecting famed Islamic pioneers.

Then comes the day of the anticipated match between Ahly and Zamalek...and after a disappointing first half - BAM. This voice? We all know this voice!

Oh the goosebumps, the inspiration, the nostalgia! The surprise! That's right! It's Adel Imam, well 2 seconds are of his back and the 8 other seconds are of his smiling face...that face that you have come to know and love and smile when you see.

So yes..Vodafone obviously came through on top! I's ADEL IMAM! It's El Za3eem! It's the guy who just made three really bad movies that have disappointed all his fans and has managed to make you forget about it in just under 2 minutes! and make up for it too.

It's about your Egypt! It's about everyone of us. Our individual strengths put together to make dreams come true. It's about your imagination, laughter, simplicity, determination, sensitivity,'s about the magic that lies within each and everyone of us.

I do feel bad for them, that in lights of recent sectarian developments, would be a little nervy to air this ad now. At least for a while. 


An Abused Creative

I have to say, I'm impressed. Have you not run out of ideas yet?
FIRE whoever is in charge of this campaign. YOU NEED TO LET GO!

I feel bad for the creative designers who have to put up with masking this one word over islands, bamboo sticks, fireworks, knitting wool, piano bars, christmas boots, brick walls, gold medals, forests, ...
urgh I am already bored just listing them down.

At least give us something visually entertaining to look at when stuck in traffic everyday you know?

9:47 PM - The Cigar Lounge

5 Men seated across from each other, smoking what one can only assume Havanas and drinking and having a jolly good time without the Mrs!

Yes! Sure, 9:47 PM is the perfect time for the cigar lounge. Where we go and get drunk and give each other longing homosexual desiring looks because secretly we're all gay husbands living the Stepford life stuck with our wives and kids residing in multi-million dollar homes in Egypt's elitist suburbia.

Which one of these men scream gay the most to you? I mean I have nothing against gays, it's just that our society is the one that does, and well, in their desperate attempt to convey 'classy' and with their slogan 'Choose Life'...none of these gentlemen possess any class. In fact, most of them look sleazy.

Indeed...This is the life! This is what you do if you belong to Egypt's elite society. This is how you look, this is what you smoke, this is what you drink. Ahh! Don't you just envy them?