Ramadan 2013 - Post 4 - The ads I will NOT talk about

Hi guys,
Hope you're holding up well this Ramadan..

As we're halfway into Ramadan now, most of the ads are already out (the good ones at least).. We've already dug through most of them, with the exception of a couple, which are below.
This post will be a bit different.. I will not analyze nor grade any of the below ads, just showcase them and leave the evaluation up to you..

The below bunch are ads of brands that I work on or their direct competitors.. Thus it does not make sense for me to analyze or grade any as my assessment will never be neutral.. so these are just for your viewing pleasures (and further discussion if you want)..

Cadbury Dairy Milk:



The below set however, is just too horrible to even start discussing (in my view at least).. So i'll also leave them up to you..
With all their flaws, they still managed to stir a lot of discussions and raise awareness amongst consumers.. Maybe that was the original objective, awareness and not likability..



That's all for now..Stay tuned for more..
As always, hashtag #3omdazblog or mention @3omdaz for further discussions...


Ramadan 2013 - Post 3 - The Telecom Post... really?

Hello friends,

As far as I can remember, Telecom operators have always been the hottest advertisers in the country, the ones with the biggest budgets to produce and air top notch ads that keep us entertained all month long.. Memorable examples of these would be: Mobinil's Ana batkallem w a2ool ba7ebbak in 1997, Vodafone's Bibo far2a3 Gigi and Etisalat's all Star roster in 2010,, to name a few of course..

Below is a compilation of all the Telecom ads that have been released so far, lets see if they were up to that reputation..


The general trend in advertising is to take one to a world away from reality, a magical land of fantasy.. That would probably make you look up to the ad and aspire to what this brand will make you achieve.
This year, Vodafone took this rulebook and flushed it down the toilet, an extremely down to earth ad.. As in literally down to earth.. They took a step back away from koll el hags bta3 el e3lanat da and gave us the essence of what being a true Egyptian is about, el gad3ana, helping out in time of need and simply sharing..

They took real situations, real people with real sentiments and actions that you see Egyptians practicing everyday.. A group of people pushing a broke car down the road, hanging on to a bus to get one's bicycle going or just splitting a loaf of bread with a fellow coworker or friend..
The essence of the ad is quite noble actually, reiterating that Egyptians have always had sharing in their DNA way before social networks and mobile phones made it even easier.

They passed on the message alright, a bit too much I would say.. to the extent it harmed the overall ad quality in the eyes of many. The production of the ad is so poor (not sure if intentional), as if it was shot with a mobile camera (a cheap mobile kaman).. Pixelated/shaky shots as well as minimal recoloring in post production.. Making the overall ad look as if its an amateur compilation uploaded onto Youtube by MizoTiger17.

Question though, is this a way to get closer to the mass market? which comprises most of the operator's revenue.. As you can imagine the cashcow of the company are prepaid cards, la b2a roaming wala mobile internet w fatooret telefone b 2,000 LE wel kalam da... Its all about the mass and the guy who tops up his phone with 25 LE a week.. w el 3adad fel lamoon b2a.. Thus the mass revenue.

The weird thing is that the ad does not advertise a specific offering (a reduction in minute rates, or double benefits on prepaid cards).. It is a generic brand message directed to all Vodafone consumers.. Making a lot of people feel left out. Which I think is not very clever of the VF Team.
I'm not an elitist, at all actually.. But I just find it difficult hard to relate to such an ad; as it doesn't address me nor does it reflect my lifestyle.. Maybe it would score better with other SEC targets.

Having Mounir on the ad definitely adds to the copy, the lyrics however didn't help much.. Actually the overall copywriting of the ad didn't sink well with me.. Ma7shi w Fteer, w kattar sheriak together.. in one ad... no thanks!

I understand the intuition of getting down to grassroot level but a brand as big as Vodafone shouldn't have taken such a risk.. Would be very interested to look at the copy test results for this across different classes though, yemken ana elli ghaltan

Grade: C


Funny ad, perhaps... to some people.. not to me though..
As always, Mobinil comes with a high production ad, with lots of fireworks and florescent colors.. Big "creative" idea, if you wanna call it creative.. that does not get the message across..
That was always Mobinil's way of communication, an extremely sticky ad that wouldn't tell you anything.. So we all remember the Yasmine AbdelAziz "7amra" Monkey ad or the "Ya Wad ya t2eel" copy a couple of years back.. but what was the ad about, what was the message they wanted to get across? Matla2eesh, zero, none.

One more thing, I'm not too much in favor of swearing in the ads, Etnayyeli, Allah ye7ra2ek.. I'm not sure how this helps with the humor or the message delivery of the ads.. The Mobinil target is quite broad and lots of kids watch this... not too responsible from such a respectable brand to teach kids such jargon.. mesh enni 3am el mo2addab el 7assas, but just saying

Although this comes as a disappointment for lots after Mobinil raised the bar tremendously with their Dayman Ma3 Ba3d song last year.. Bas overall fine, ok ad.. may2olsh la2... not the best i've seen come their way but not too bad either.. The Youssef Eid element probably serves them humorously well.. and that sexy black Shelby too (the car, ma7addesh yefham ghalat)..

Grade: B-


Took me some time to find the Etisalat Ramadan copy, as they are still airing with not-so-fresh copies, The Austronaut shisa copy and the other one with the morphing play dough.
After some search, I found this.. A tactical copy for a specific offering on mobile data.. nothing too special.. They can air this at any given non-Ramadan day and I still wouldn't remember it.


Grade: D not for the copy, but for the overall effort,, or should I say for the lack of it

Telecom Egypt:

Since the NTRA announced issuing the license of the 4th telecom operator and the industry has been cautiously awaiting this dormant giant that has offices in every inch of the country and how their business will be affected upon their launch.
So the Telecom Egypt team have been beefing up a lot on their internal and external teams to prepare for the launch and they came up with......this!
A very long copy that doesnt say much.. Not does it have any insinuation of the new mobile service being kicked in, with the exception of one guy talking in his mobile phone in sec "35..

I'm quite disappointed to be honest, if this is the launch of the mobile division of Telecom Egypt..
If the intention here is a rebranding and change of face of the 100 year old brand, then maybe I can start being a bit more lenient.

Nevertheless I still don't like the ad, very tes3eenati.. the ad industry has come a very long way since then..
I won't grade them now as "hopefully" we didn't see everything of this campaign yet.

Grade: N/A

So overall, I can confidently say that this year none of the Telecom operators gave us anything appealing enough for entertainment or starting a discussion, let alone get a message across.. Aho e3lan wel salam.. which is not what we expect from such a giant category with big players..

w 3la ra2y 7adret El Nazer Abdel Mo3ty f Madraset El Moshaghebeen... lam yanga7 a7ad!

Hope I reflect some of your sentiments there.. I'm quite sad at the level of telecom ads this year..
As always, if you have any questions or want to discuss something further, hashtag #3omdazblog or mention @3omdaz and we can have a chat :)

Till I see you next time,
Adios Amigos,

Ramadan 2013 - Post 2 - The Rise of the Blue Giant

Good day friends,

haha... I guess that was everyone's reaction upon seeing the Pepsi ad.. wasn't it?

As mentioned on the previous post, Chipsy and Pepsi were cooking something, something BIG.. something that none of them could carry on their own or sustain with their individuals budgets.. and guess what, it is not only Pepsi & Chipsy Egypt.. They actually had to tie in with Pepsi and Lays Arabia to put all their coins and creative assets in one pot... and the below was the result... and it was BIG alright!

So apparently Pepsi as we know it back... EXTREMELY Emotional ad... Very moving and touches the heart in a jiffy.. Personally I got goosebumps upon seeing the late Fouad El Mohandes (my personal favorite actor of all time).. Very high production value (explaining the merger of Chipsy, Pepsi, 7-Up and Quaker to come up with this. Took more than just money apparently, when Pepsi asked for a beef-up in the creative talent on the BBDO (Pepsi's ad agency) roster, which saw a move of 3 of Leo Burnett's creative talents to the BBDO Team.. Yes, e7na el kar bta3na da 3amel zay la3eebet el kora, but we don't have a transfer season, its all year long :)

There was also quite a collaboration between BBDO Cairo, BBDO Dubai and the post production team, brought specially to the Middle East to resurrect 3ammo Fouad.. so chapeau bas for the team work there, especially on such a big project.

The wave of emotion that followed this was just outstanding, woke up on the morning of the 14th and found my Facebook newsfeed flooded with shares (as with everyone else I guess).. Obviously no need to reiterate how big the social wave was as it is something we all noticed and even took part of.

But enough speaking of how amazing the ad is... This is a critique at the end of the day, so I'll do my best trying to dissect that for points that not necessarily provoked me, but at least intrigued me to think:
  1. With all the greatness of the ad, the high production and the great memories it brings, I'm not seeing where Pepsi/Chipsy/7Up/Quaker fit there. There is no brand role in the ad.. If I take out the Pepsi Truck and put a Vodafone store, it will still work.. Or take out the Vodafone store and put in a huge Juhayna yoguhrt tub, it'll still work (at least its even more relevant for Ramadan)
  2. The ad depicts the most popular Ramadan icons of all time; all who ended their Ramadan careers by the mid 1990s (if not before kaman)
    Fattoota (last season aired 1986)
    Bougy w Tamtam (ceased around the early 90s)
    Nelly & 3ammo Fouad (last Fawazeer aired around 1995)

    Last time I checked, Pepsi's core target audience is 16-24 (aw da elli khadnah fel madares at least).. with the bull's eye at 18 y/o... so this means eno by the time 3ammo Fouad stopped airing, that given person from the Pepsi core audience was still in his mom's womb... aw mama w baba makanoosh lessa 2ablo ba3d.
    And its not just me, below is just a snapshot of what people of that target audience think of the ad... they dont even have a clue!

    So this makes me wonder, is Pepsi trying to win back the hearts of mawaleed el 70s and 80s (who are probably twice as old as the core target audience), where the scene was much less cluttered and Pepsi dominated the communication game? Or is it just a one off and we're back to the Nikki Minaj copy (elli ana personally lessa ma3rafsh heya meen aw beteshtaghal eh).. Fahhemoona bas w e7na m3ako
  3. So after all the journey, w el fanoos, w el truck, w el sellem... Khado mel wad Tarek el makana el Amici om 15 alf gneh w eddolo taba2 konafa b 50 gneh w rawwa7 gary... just cz he met 3ammo Fouad?
    If you ask me, its a cheap price to pay to stand toe-to-toe with the greatest comedian of all time.
To sum this up, i'll put my critical/over-analytical hat aside and still go with my gut feeling and initial reaction upon seeing this.. Its a great copy that brings back lots of memories, an ad that drew more than just a smile on my face (probably a dropped jaw with some tears too) and I'd definitely love to see it over and over again..

It didnt score well with everyone though.. Some people think its a hollow idea with massive funds of production, but that will always be the case... Some ppl love u, some poeple dont.. below are samples of both poles..

Love the ad or hate it; Pepsi has always been an advertising giant, so please stay this way... don't fade away as you did the past couple of years.. This raises the bar high, very high so make sure you're up to it in ads to come!

Grade: Can't give anything with Fouad El Mohandes in it anything less than an A... Thank you Pepsi

Uff... that was hectic.. I think I should stop the post here.. But there are still some ads to look into.. So I'll take on 7agat khafeefa hena then keep the rest for a future post.

Mountain View:

An OK set of ads, that will get you to talk about it once with your friends, maybe, then gone and forgotten.. Overly exaggerated but gets the message across..
I just LOVE the barbecue copy... Stereotypical as hell.. but still very funny.. gets to me everytime.. Batt eh ya 3am, ba2ollak tarb.. haha

Grade: B

I already gave my feedback about the below campaigns in the previous post (check it our here), the below copies are just an extension of the same campaign; for your reference if you haven't seen them yet.






Anyhow, Pepsi's ad was the main theme of today... So I don't want to steal from its thunder much, nor make the post too long.. So i'll leave you in peace now and I'll see you next time..

One thing before I close this one off.. I write because I enjoy it, but I could have kept it to myself.. I post my writings however because apparently you guys enjoy reading them. I got around 1000 hits on the first article this year, in 48 hours (a number I got in the whole month of Ramadan in 2010), so I'd like to thank each and every one of you for coming over and reading my scribbles here.. Truly humbled and flattered!
For any questions or further debates, hashtag #3omdazblog or just mention @3omdaz.. I'll be happy to answer :)

One important thank you goes out to my good friend, Medhat Amin.. The whole blog thing was his idea in the first place :)

Stay tuned..

Ramadan 2013 - Post 1 - Where are my dam ads??

Hello friends,

It's Ramadan again, been a while since we've seen eachother.. hope everyone's keeping well amidst all the action we're living these days.. 
I don't see a need for a Ramadan drama series while we're living in one everyday... anyhow, I won't dwell into politics now, I'll just stick to what I know and what you're here to read.. ads critiques..
When talking about Ramadan ads this year,  one can't help but ask, where are the dam ads?? With the 4th day of Ramadan kicking in now, we've only seen 5 brands on TV.. these are the ones we'll be tackling this time..
Back in the day, the first few days of Ramadan comprised a parade of the best creative work of the year, ppl wait for and evaluate the ads as much as they wait for the Ramadan content itself (Serials, Programs...etc)

This year is different though, only few brands are on air for now.. Just to give you some perspective on whats going on behind closed doors of ad and media agencies, and advertising clients conference rooms these days.. below are the reasons why:

1. Too much to choose from: 

With the media fragmentation in the market now, 30+ serials, 20+ entertainment programs and a plethora of religious programs on around 15-20 channels.. the advertisers themselves are confused, which channels to air on, will the Nour El Sherif serial be hit or fail? Are people still watching Yossra or is Amir Karara and co stealing the spotlight from the older generation.. so advertisers are actually quite reluctant where to spend their (believe it or not) limited money.. so what they do is take a step back for the first couple of days, do a screening and filtration process, a bit of quantitative and qualitative research of who's watching what.. then decide on which baskets they'll place their eggs this year.

2. Market inflation:

There has been a horrific inflation in advertising rates of Ramadan, as in HORRIFIC.. ya3ni elli kan b 100 el sana eli fatet, el sana di b2a b 250.. so if u had budgeted ur advertising plans at 5 Million EGP.. now you need around 12 Million.. which is a drastic jump.. so what people have done is either succumb and just pay whatever the price tag says (and probably run out of budget by Ramadan 10th).. or wait and further negotiate with the media owners that el rates di "mesh 7atakol" bel baladi keda.. This puts decent pressure on the media suppliers who will not be able to sustain empty air time for a long time, thus drop their rates and we see more of advertising.

3. Cautious Silence:

A friend asked a very good question yesterday, where the hell are the telecom operator ads? Its a first that we dont see a Vodafone or Mobinil ad on the first day of Ramadan. I'm not sure why either but probably everyone is cautiously anticipating the rise of TE (Telecom Egypt), the 4th Mobile Carrier due to launch now.. maybe a restriction from the NTRA (National Telecom Regulatory Authority)?? we'll see..
This can still apply to other categories as well.. Where head-to-head competitors who cautiously await when their competition will strike so they can retaliate.

Enough literature w raghy 3al fady.. lets look at the ads..
Disclaimer bas saree3.. friends and colleagues.. This is a personal opinion, no hard feelings.. You know how much I respect you and your work.

One last thing before I start: 
In our journey in life, we meet, love and lose people along the way.. I would like to dedicate this post to Ihab Hazem; aka Bob (Creative Director at FP7), who passed around a month ago.. Although I don't know you personally, but your contribution to the business and how inspirational you were to those around you is definitely remarkable.. Rest In Peace..

OK... here we go:

1. CocaCola.. Leih la2

So Coke is the first to advertise this year.. as usual punctual and leading the game.. with a redundant message unfortunately.
The ad in its essence is not bad, unity and togetherness are all noble values that we as Egyptians seemed to have forgotten and should be reminded of.. But the fact that it comes after a series of ads that more or less look and sound the same make people feel "Yeah, there goes another Coke ad".. The tie up with CairoKee and Aida El Ayoubi was quite nice the first couple of times.. now it got a bit boring honestly.. although the girl in this one is not Aida, a young lady called Nesma I believe (who more or less sounds like Aida).
Plus given the relatively uncluttered ad break (so far), we see the ad a LOT.. let alone it being a redundant ad.. I'm sure people will get sick of it by first week of Ramadan.. except if they're smart enough to kick in tactical copies stemming out from the principle ad.. we'll have to wait and see..
Grade: B- (so far at least)

2. Birell:





As usual, the one-campaign-a-year brand comes back with a memorable campaign as they always do.. this time with major production budgets that enabled them to shoot 12 different copies to air throughout the month.. 
Cornering your brand in one communication platform can be quite challenging because Birell has been saying "Manhood" for the past 5-6 years minimum and there hasn't been much left to say.. But our friends at KTP (King Tut Playground) always find a way back and they come back BIG... 12 copies showcasing 12 different characters of different horoscopes... We have seen just 4 of which so far, but i'm sure the rest will follow..
A smart story line tackling the same party from 12 different POVs and I love how they always add their contribution to the daily slang... They've been saying Estargel for so long it became boring, now they changed it to Estazkar... A word that I'm sure people will start using on the street very soon..

Love what I've seen so far.

Grade: A-


I'm not sure exactly what to make out of this one, its not even an ad.. But what it seems is that someone's cooking something.. something BIG..
Pepsi and Chipsy joining forces means it is something that none of them could carry on their own, which is even scarier because we're talking about the biggest 2 advertisers in the country.. 
Just connecting some dots, Chipsy and Pepsi, together, on the biggest TV channels in the Arab World, Nekammel lammetna... Nostalgia.... hmmm..... I heard some word about Fouad El Mohandes, Nelly & Sherihan... Did anyone say Fawazeer?

Stay tuned... It reveals tomorrow :)

Grade: lessa shwaya


Talk about a revamp... haha..
KTP comes back again with a brilliant copy.. A milk producer that has been there for the past God-knows-how-long, a boring pack and a more or less similar offering to anything else on the market.. 
What better than to blow it up completely and defame its heros.. 

For years, Soad and Sawsan have been the face of the brand.. Now it seems they've turned bad it was time to let them go... in style

Also love the closing line there: Kefaya Ba2ar Ba2a... Political insinuation... anyone? :) Makes me even like it more now..

Grade: A


Never liked the old one, this one doesn't change my opinion much honestly.. 
I'm not sure how to justify my judgement there... I just dont like it..

I believe they raised the bar so high after last year's copy, they got trapped in how to take it further.. and this copy was the outcome..

Bad.. just bad

Grade: C

That's pretty much if for this time.. Grades might change as more copies of the same campaign unfold..
Hopefully next time we meet we can have some more ads and content to discuss.


Search This Blog

Blog Archive