Ramadan Week 3 Review - Part 1

Hello people,

First of all, sorry if I was a bit of a disappointment this year... its been a crazy, CRAZY Ramadan... with no time to do anything!!
Anyway, since I don't have much of active brain cells left in me; lets dig into the critique.. no intros..


Youssef Dawood:

Hassan El Asmar:

A typical Leo Burnett ad with its striking colors... I really like the Youssef Dawood copy, great of choice of character; his laugh is extremely remarkable, specially that he's bantering at the poor guy...

Hassan El Asmar's copy is also quite good, and would definitely sink well with the target audience (pre paid customers, SEC C wenta nazel)... Tough luck for Mobinil, the copy will not see light anymore out of respect for the deceased singer whom this ad was his last piece of art... RIP

Grade: B+





As expected in review dated August 1st, it was a charity campaign indeed with voting involved...
There are some mixed emotions I'm sensing from this campaign... some people like it, some dont... Personally I like the Education copy a lot..
Nevertheless, no one can deny that Donia Samir Ghanem's star is shining as she proves year on year that she is one of the biggest talents to scout for out there..

Pepsi is at fault at one point there; regardless of whether you liked the ad or not... You'll end up hating it anyway because it airs A LOTTTT pretty much everywhere.. Pepsi is adapting the local proverb of "الزن علي الودان أمر من السحر"
One of the reasons why brands produce more than one copy per campaign is because people get bored after a certain level of exposure to the copy... Afterwhich their perception of the copy becomes negative.. Its called "Copy Wearout" theory..

You may have also noticed a series of unorthodox outdoor street signage for this campaign, as if it is a real elections campaign with candidates running against one another..
Too bad Coke jumped the gun last year with the same idea for Fantaloup's campaign last year below.. But I have to say that Pepsi have been more visible this year..

Grade: B+



A non entertaining ad + a redundant jingle blended with a long copy duration that airs about 5000 times a day is a definite recipe of failure, for me at least..
The campaign's idea is smart indeed, thanking whoever you want, someone you're grateful for... great idea.. execution sucks though...
Dull copy, horrible jingle and a low production daily TV show doesn't really cut it..

Vodafone may have won the share of voice battle this Ramadan as they're the one's who are most visibile and probably the ones with the biggest pockets this year...
But I'm not sure how they scored in terms of ad likeablity and positive perception...
So I don't think we should consider this a victory for VF as much as its a failure to deliver by the other 2 telco operators... So its like you won a race, but you've been the only one running against crippled competitors!

Grade: C

Vodafone Network Coverage Campaign:

1. زيارة مفاجأة

2. معلومات مهمة

3. معلومات مهمة بردو

4. هس السلعوة

I believe this ad marks a transformation in VF's communication history.. VF has always been very serious, functional and to the point.. typically British.. Even when they were "fun", they were never playful..
Now we see a fun ad that is completely different from what we're used to from VF..
See how similar how this ad is to Mobinil's ad around 4-5 years back (The Mercedes, The Monkey, Yasmine Abdel Aziz....etc)

I believe this paradigm shift is because the new creative team on the Vodafone account have been brought up in the Leo Burnett Cairo school.. It is evident in the color tone, telescene, black comedy and opening sequence (note how similar the first couple of frames in the copies below are similar)

Anyway, this one helped maintained the balance after Shokran's flop (for me at least).. Shokran Vodafone ennoko l7e2to nafsoko!

Grade: A


We now come to the most controversial ad this year...
Some people absolutely LOVE it and actually wait for it to come along on TV, and others utterly despise it and zap away whenever it comes along..

This ad embodies everything that is evil in the advertising world... a stolen jingle, a fake French accent, irrelevant political connotations (Gaddafi quotes, WTF??), people dancing for utterly no reason.. how relevant is any of this to ANYTHING that has to do with the brand...
Major flop by creative agency... from a professional angle..
However, for some weird reason, the ad is funny and shareable.. so its something people like to see again and are actually sharing with eacother (so I really don't know whether this is a plus point for the ad or a minus point from the viewers)..

Ya3ni men kotr ma howa we7esh, yes3ab 3aleik, fa t7ebbo.. its like these little bulldogs.... they're so ugly, drooly and disgusting you actually pity them, then eventually like them!

Grade: A or F....Confused, but more prone to be an F!

That pretty much wraps up things for today, stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 with more ads and more scrutiny.. Buahahahaha (evil laugh)..

Campaign gone bad - Vodafone Shokran

Its so frustrating when someone works on something so hard and thinks its the best fruit of all their efforts, they think its the best thing that ever happened or will happen to the world.. Unfortunately not everyone would agree.. exactly what happened to the Vodafone Shokran campaign..

Apart from the actual copy that personally didn't register much with me, and the smaller cutdown of just Nelly and Samir Ghanem playing funny with eachother, which was also a disaster.. VF extended their Shokran campaign onto a radio program and a TV program for everyone to thank everyone else.. and we all live happily everafter..

But what VF didn't think of is that the internet population behaves completely differently than consumers of any other media; if someone doesn't like your ad on the internet they will say it right in ur face.. w elli y7assalni ykassarni... and this is what exactly happened when they decided to roll out that campaign on Twitter.. Last night, VF started a hashtag to encourage people to thank whoever they think is worth thanking; #vodafoneshokran.. It started off peacefully with people thanking their friends and family for being so supportive...etc.. Looks perfectly normal and on track of what they thought would deliver best on their campaign..
Then the tables turned COMPLETELY, with people using the hashtag to remind Vodafone and all the other telcom operators that cut off communication on Jan 28th; and "thanking" them for that... Here's a sample of some of the Tweets..

متشكرين .. انكوا اعلنتوا ان ولائكوا لمن يحكم .. خلوا الحكام ينفعوكوا 

Shokran for putting my life on the line on Jan28. Shokran for the panic you've created in every single house  

 شكرا، من كل شهيد، ماعرفناش نجيبلة إسعاف أو دكاترة يوم28 يناير، عشان مافيش تيليفونات

Adding more fuel to the fire, renown cartoonist and activist Carlos Lattuf actually drew about it...

Other reactions included

Its very dangerous to think you can communicate normally at times of turbulence and major heat about your brand... We can bluntly say that Vodafone hasn't been a fan favorite this year.. So they should've thought a million times before telling people "HEEEEEEEEEEH E7na Geenaaaaaaaaa" :)))))
They should've been more careful about their communication message and how they'll approach it.. I'll quote a friend's status this morning that explains this beautfully: ‎#vodafoneshokran a typical example of " el may3rfsh yesref el gen may7daroosh"

Expected backlash quite honestly... Good luck to the PR team covering up for that!
fa ne2dar kda n2ool en this Ramadan.. Vodafone 2alet shokran!!!


Ramadan 2011 - Day 1 Commercials Critique

أصدقائي صديقاتي..
رمضان كريم..

Its been some time since we've met; its been quite........ an eventful year to say the least..
Over the past 8 months we've seen a lot of peaks and troughs; a mix of emotions; ups and downs, hopes and disappointments..
But with festive seasons such as this one, wel "ayyam el moftaraga" di; comes hope of a better day and wishes that things would become better.. If they're not getting better; at least we'll wish they'd stay as they once were..
So I decided to let time stop here; put all the politics aside and keep the below as pure joy of watching a good piece of advertising.

Since last year; I've been gathering some opinions and "critiques of the critique" regarding this blog; and some people told me that they thought I was being too lenient sometimes because I knew the advertiser or the creative team who worked the ad...
With that being said, I'll be more critical this year and will take whatever comes along with a pinch of salt.. Just for the sake of making this industry better (well; doing my part at least)..
So fellow advertisers, clients and friends... its just business, nothing personal here :)

Lets take a look on who kicked off so far and how they've done..

Coca Cola:

Although this ad scored well with a lot of people thusfar; however the purpose of this blog is to evaluate and critique genuine art of Egyptian creative minds... With that being said, I will not evaluate nor grade this one as it is a copy-paste job from a global copy that aired earlier this year with Coke celebrating 125 years of launch..
I really pity both the Coke marketing team as well as the creative agency for not having the chance to shine nor the space to rocket-launch; especially after such an impressive track-record over the past 3-4  years.
Personally speaking; I'm an original ideas junkie, copycats are a complete turn-off to me; so I looked away after the first 5 seconds; once I saw it was adapted.. but I'll leave the judgement up to you..

The Global copy launched earlier this year

The localized copy launched this Ramadan in Egypt

Grade: N/A (but very VERY disappointed)

Since Coke does have a very impressive track-record and have proven time and time again that they're one of the most original advertisers out there in the market; I'll give them a bit of a break and showcase the below viral; a very inspirational video of the "Like" button... Although its been released about 2 months back; but it still shows that the above wasn't really the best fruit of their work and that they can do much much better!


Obviously there's still a lot left for this one.. We'll be seeing more of this, meet the 3 different characters of Donia Samir Ghanem and get to know them better.. Probably there will be a voting bit involved too.
Maybe SMS voting proceedings will go to charity; note "w ya reitha kanet leya, di l 7aga ensaneyya".

We'll see...
So far.. an average copy.. nothing impressive there either..

Grade: B-


My initial thoughts...... "hmmm, really? Thats all you got??"

A couple of quick thoughts on the same though..

1. Its smart to use Samir Ghanem and Nelly (as they're the ones who always used to bring us joy during Ramadan back in the day) and asking them to thank whoever they thought would deserve a thank you; their mentors/partners...etc... Aseela ya Vodafone, feeki el kheir..

2. Although the ad itself didn't make me feel as festive and happy as it should've; it would be very smart to roll it out on the ground by actual "Thank you" activities; real people doing real good; this would make people feel special, feel loved.. I believe this is what will be done in their CBC Program; "Shokran with Sherif Mounir" that will start broadcasting today at 10 pm.

We'll see how this one will unfold... but taking the copy separately; apart from any complements that might come later; I don't think too highly of it..
My feeling is that Vodafone wants to shove it up Etisalat's face for their copy last year....  lel asaf... lam tanga7!

One more thing... am I the only one getting extremely bothered with the jingle... shokran shokran shokran shokran shokran shokran shokran shokran.... ssshhhhhhhh BASSSSS!!!!

Grade: B-


CSR copy... what can I say.... eshta!
Don't feel too intrigued to watch it again honestly.
I don't think this one will stop here... Probably a side-kick copy to THE corporate ad they'll probably release later on..

Grade: B-


Again another CSR copy by Mobinil, but I'd have to say.. Its very well thought, doesnt come short of what to expect from Leo Burnett..
The hands that cook, the hands that build....etc.. I like that!
One thing worth pondering though; they promised jobs for 200,000 hands? tab mat2oolo jobs for 100,000 people w khalas? lol

Grade: B+

Mobinil Business:

Although this one launched about 1 week before Ramadan, it can still be considered part of the same season. 
This one is just great; colorful; choreography very nicely done by the Alissar Caracalla dance group (Choreography instructor at Star Academy).. Makes you feel real happy watching it

Grade: A-

Again I don't expect Mobinil to stop here... As the above were copies for CSR and Enterprise/Business, we did not see anything for Mobinil Corporate (ie: The BIG Mobinil ad of the year)..
The Leo Burnett team have quite a challenge on their hands since:
1. They need to make up for last year's disaster (Alf Leila w Leila copy with Edward and Aimee Samir Ghanem)
2. They need to cover up all the heat that is surrounding Sawiris and Mobinil for the past 3 months since the whole Twitter cartoons issue.

Anyways, thats just a quick round up of what's been released so far.. I'm sure after Iftar today there will be a lot of ad releases giving us plenty material we can start looking into... yummy :)

Have a great Ramadan everyone..
See u next time..

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