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?