Vodafone - متخليش حاجة توقفك

Morning friends,

Its been quite some time since I've wrote anything, depressing times honestly.. I'm sure everyone would agree.
Writing about advertising didn't seem like the right thing to do these days, until I saw this; the new Vodafone copy of Mohamed Mounir..

Cynics would say the idea might actually seem pretty simple, an idea that is repeated a million and one times already, showing the life journey of some singer.. so what?

So to answer that point of view would be; yes. The idea is fairly simple and might be repeated a million and one times; but the fact of the matter is that the choice of celebrity here is different from any other; Mohamed Mounir is a revolutionary icon from a lot of angles; his choice of words, fusion of different music genres, on-stage performances and bizarre attire does not act in conformity with what the society said it should back when he started in the mid 1970s.

Mounir is an exemplary artist who set his own standards, created his own halo and outperformed himself every single time; beating every adversary on the way... till he reached the stature of being called "The King" by his loyal fanbase and later on by the general public as well.

The choice of such a decorated character accompanied with a strong connection with a brand as solid as Vodafone would probably make this ad one of the most powerful this year..

I'll go through some of the elements that helped me assemble the above opinion and pass such a verdict on the ad given that I usually take such pieces of work with a pinch of salt and scrutinize it to the core

1. Choice of character and brand connection:

Well, I believe we already dwelled into the history of Mohamed Mounir and who he is, so no need to reiterate these facts.. The strength here doesn't only lie in Vodafone's endorsement of Mohamed Mounir (and the bags of money behind that) but of how the creative agency; JWT, connected Mounir's journey to the Vodafone brand.
The ad shows the life of a world-class singer and how he managed to crawl out of a small village in Aswan onto the spotlight of the Egyptian singers hall of fame.. A journey that took a lot of effort, perseverance, innovation and assertiveness on what one wants for their destiny.
Mounir is an example of a zero-to-hero character, someone who had nothing and now has everything, he's obviously someone a lot would aspire to (forget about the A/Bs who would still look at things with the tips of their noses; we're talking mass here). So all this married beautifully with the new line of "Don't let anything stop you", falls bull's-eye under the "Power to You" umbrella which Vodafone has been globally adapting since mid 2009...
I've surveyed a dozen of fellow marketing/advertising professionals re this; and some of them think that Mounir's choice weakens Vodafone's stance since Mounir has already been used by a rival telco operator a couple of years ago.. I respectfully disagree; Etisalat used Mounir as a part of a bigger crew that glorified the Etisalat brand (and cost them a shitload of money of course) on its 3rd birthday in a festival-like environment  (and worked beautifully with people), Vodafone however did the exact opposite; they glorified the endorsee and gave him the weight and airtime he deserves; with minimal presence of the brand that is only visible in the last 3 seconds of the ad. To me this this would make the idea sink better because I'm not advertising Vodafone here, I'm advertising the fact that there are people out there (such as Mounir) who went out there, followed their dreams and made something of themselves.. and at the end; hey, VF just wants to remind you that el qowa bein 2edeik and that u can take control of ur destiny, because we just saw an example of that.

So to counter that point once and for all; with the magnitude of this ad (copy duration and content), I even forgot Mounir ever did advertising for someone else before.

2. Casting

One of the core reasons why I think this ad will score very high on its communication KPIs is because its believable, its real..
As far as I'm concerned; the casting on this ad can easily win an Oscar for best casting/make up..  The 13 year old Saad Yassin is now a celebrity already as he resembles Mounir in his looks, walk, talk and singing style..
When you're watching the ad, you feel that is actual footage off Mounir's video library, not just some actors they got together to shoot an ad w shokran.

3. Cinematography & Music

The ad opens with Mohamed Mounir's close-up, so no further teaser of who we think the celebrity is (versus Adel Emam's ad where he appeared in the last 15 seconds in a 90 second copy).. Again this reiterates the fact the VF here is celebrating the Mounir phenomena, not the VF brand.

From my very humble film production knowledge and if I correctly remember my marketing textbooks; I believe cinematography of this ad is very good; as one of the guidelines of celebrity endorsements is to use a different camera lens than the one normally used for regular ads.. To give the viewer the feeling he's watching a movie rather than just another ad... They did that beautifully; coupled with some Instagram-like effects on the telescene, the ad really gives you the feeling it was shot in the 1970s.
Music is also excellent, builds up in the right time to the right scene to give you that epic ambience, that shiver down your spine that you can actually be the one that stage someday (whatever that stage of success means to you).

So to conclude, I was actually in an awe state upon seeing this... being a true believer that everyone has a potential-volcano willing to erupt with talent (targama 7arfeya shwaya, haha)..

With that said, I find no better line to close this than with Mounir's own words;
كل المفروض مرفوض... اثبت للعالم إنك موجود

Till we meet again,


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