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..


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