The campaign that saved Ramadan 2014..

Every year, comes out 1 campaign that becomes an icon for years to come.. From “Bibo far2a3 Gigi” in the early 2000s, to Melody Tunes (ol Ingelesh, ol za tayem) in 2007, Maxibon “Abooya” & Mobinil Dayman Ma3 Ba3d Song in 2012.. this year, it is beyond no doubt that Tecno Mobile is this campaign.

 ِAfter a rather disappointing season this Ramadan with little good copies; Hany Ramzy's thighs, and the Fridge that el gen el azra2 el quite fond of.. Tecno Mobile come to us with a fresh concept in 8 different copies that are all as hilarious..

It is becoming inevitable that mobile is the most important device in our lives, it is the one device that does not stay more than 10 meters away from you at any point during the day, you wouldn't go back home if you forgot your wallet but you'll definitely go back for your mobile.... need I say more?

With more than 120% penetration on mobile phones in Egypt, it is about time to elevate the smartphone penetration, currently sitting at a mere 15-20%.
Not the whole world can afford an iPhone 5S or a Samsung G5, someone had to step in with a more convenient option.. a more affordable thus attainable option.. is Tecno Mobile that option?

From a campaign point of view, the ads are great.. Great creative input from BBDO Cairo, great interpretation and cinematography from award winning director (and ex creative director) Ali Ali..

The situations are real, everyday hiccups that you find yourself in and only a smart phone can help.. 
Speaking of real situations, we actually beat you to a donkey selfie a couple of months ago on a business trip to upper Egypt :)

From another stand, the campaign seems to be getting a lot of heat for 2 reasons:
  1. A lot of people look at the campaign as an elitist one, looking down at doormen, mechanics, makwageyya...etc.. Well the fact of the matter is, if you're already one of that class, you'll probably just find it funny because these are situations that you come across in your day to day..
    Haters will always be haters... But that wave seems to be gaining popularity
  2. The phones sells itself as the "Smartphone for everyone"... I dont think "everyone" can particularly afford a phone that is 2300-2800 LE... Coming to think about it, the caliber we saw in the ad would be barely making this amount of money a month, let alone spare it on a smart phone for their leisure.. so I'm not sure if the disconnect here came from the client brief (which didnt highlight the price), or the agency that took their humor way too far to actually omit the fact they're actually going off brief..
    Either way, being so humorous about a certain chunk of society, while giving them a phone they can't afford will definitely loop back to point #1, that you're actually making fun of them...
    Also one piece of advice to Tecno Mobile social media handlers, make your dialogue on Facebook in Arabic, immediately... Some people are already not too happy with the ad but are asking for the phone anyway, at least reply back in the language they prefer; don't talk from your ivory tower up in the sky.. they wont like it and they'll lash you for it... soon
Concluding remark... great ad, loved the scripts and the humor...  I just hope it sells well with such a hefty price-tag.
Thank you BBDO and Ali Ali

Thats all this time..
Till we meet again,

Ramadan 2014 - The Sh*t Ads post

Hello Friends,
Hope Ramadan is treating you well so far..

As we approach the end of Ramadan with less than 10 days ahead of us, I took all the time possible to wait for these to counter the damage they've done to us over the past 20 days.. But since there wasn't much into their campaigns than what we actually saw... so i'll have to crown them the worst of Ramadan 2014


Being the local underwear brand in the country, it was no surprise the Cotonil will go with a local activity.. But this, this is just taking local and throwing it out of the window...
With a series of very frail teasers that leave you not longing to keep track of what comes next; they come to us with this copy.. A TVC that says nothing about the brand, humiliates Hany Ramzy by dancing in his undies (a sight probably no one would want to see) and destroying a classic piece of Egyptian culture.. Fouad El Mohandes' and Soad Hosny's musical from Ganab El Safir (1966).. Even worse, they haven't even paid the rights to the music, thus why it's been taken off air.... El Hamdulellah!

A silly copy that was wisely replaced with this copy.. Which i think is a much better alternative, but the damage has been done anyways... The sight of Hany Ramzy's thighs will probably stick in my memory for a while..

Bank Misr:

OK so weak creative with bad humor is one thing, but an entirely stolen concept that has absolutely no cultural relevance is just absurd.
Riverdance has risen to stardom in the mid 90s when introduced to stageon EuroVision by an Irish couple… So its not only pertaining to a certain culture, its actually very specific to a certain family that seem to have made this a profession.. The relevance of this copy to anything Egyptian has raised a lot of eyebrows and created a major wave of questioning and ridicule on social media, such as the below.

Recipe of a failed copy, a bad song with inaudible lyrics and incoherent choreography that is not even in sync.

What really bothers me actually is the fact that for the past couple of years, the Bank Masr people have always come to us with pretty decent copies (Corporate Copy and and Masra7eyyat in 2012).. Too bad they approved this concept this year..

Mega Cookies:

OK.. so I took my sweet time with this, watched all the copies, over and over again… Asked friends inside and outside the industry; thinking that something is wrong with me and I cannot get it..
Turns out that everyone share the sentiments to the Mega Cookies ad… a horrible set of ads that have nothing to do with….. anything, really!
From standing at the edge of someone deathbed to getting robbed to a Korean ping-pong…. What are they trying to say here… seriously?
I’ll do my best to decipher the message here… amongst all life’s pressures, Mega Cookies will take you out of it all on a 5 minute journey of indulgence that you won’t feel anything else around you?

I think the team at Nestle thought that it would be a good idea to take things over the edge and take the risk of an eccentric copy, as they did with the first Maxbon copy of 2012.. but this one was taking it a bit too far..

The result? A major backfire in Nestle’s face that dropped brand love to subzero levels in a jiffy… khosara!

Concluding remark
I'm not writing all of this just to shoot someone in the foot, hope the makers of these ads take this critique with an open heart, use the learnings and run with them for a better stronger come back next season

Till we meet again,

The Telecom Post - Ramadan Galak :)

Hello friends,
Welcome back

As we all know; Ramadan is the biggest season of advertising in Egypt; with the highest TV viewership, the most expensive ads and of course; the year’s best creative output.
Last week, we’ve discussed the work of both poles of the CDS rivalry.. Comes next is a rivalry that is not any less fierce, the competition on Telecom Operators.
In this post we’ll discuss the works of all 3 operators.. so without further ado.. let’s dig in J



Just to shed some perspective on the matter, the cost of airing a 30 second TV spot in Ramadan is obviously higher than normal months; roughly around 40-50 thousand EGP (yes, every single time you air it).. so by the time you went to get yourself a bottle of water or ran to the bathroom for a quick pee; you probably missed around half a million pounds of advertising.. That makes the Ramadan budget for any advertiser a significant chunk of their full year spend.

Vodafone this year decided to play things differently, instead of dumping millions and millions of pounds on a TV copy that will get aired along with 10 other ads in the same ad-break; they tackled things differently here; Take a 30 minute segment on MBC Masr, brand it completely; get 3 rising comedians (ex Bassem Youssef entourage; Khalid Mansour, Ayman Wattar & Shady Alfonse) to present it for you…. Cherry on top, you give out a 100,000 EGP A DAY to a lucky winner!
Coming to think about it, the cost of all these together could be end up generating efficiencies for the Telco giant. (3 million pounds for the prizes, say 5-8 million pounds for the 30 minute airtime, plus the production cost and the Trio fees).. So assuming the whole project cost them 15 million pounds, it is still cheaper than what they would have spent on airing a normal copy.

For those who haven’t seen it, the idea of the program is really simple; we’ll pick 5 numbers at random and if you’ a Vodafone customer have these numbers in your phone number (in any order), and sent Vodafone an SMS; you get in the draw for a chance to win 100,000 EGP… simple J
Being the brilliant script writers they are; along with the creative agency’s creative team; Khalid, Ayman and Shady always find innovative ways to make the selection of the 5 numbers quite intriguing, witty and fun… I have only seen bits and pieces of the program but I honestly liked what I saw.. I urge you to watch some and judge for yourself.. they’re available here on VF’s Youtube channel.
While the choice of the anchors of the show is quite smart; I’m not sure if they would appeal to the full audience of Vodafone..
While Khalid, Ayman and Shady are pretty good scriptwriters, actors and comedians, I feel that their use jargon and sarcasm of certain situations; would only appeal to the A/B class segment… I’m not sure if you ask a taxi driver about the opening sequence of the program; he’ll recognize that the trio is actually reenacting Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.. he’ll see a silly clip of 3 guys in shiny suits, wigs and a motorbike helmet (nice helmet btw, Shady).

One other flaw that this project has, is that the whole investment has been made only on one channel, so all the efforts there are focused on the MBC Masr audience only.. so while all the other advertisers are relying on a push approach, where they push their copies onto the ad breaks of popular Ramadan TV serials and programs. Vodafone here applies a pull approach, where they are relying that the word of mouth the competition will generate will pull the audience to the MBC Masr screen at 10 pm..

I see this very risky because nowadays, and especially in Ramadan, people are becoming more content driven rather than channel driven.. So gone are the days where you would sit infront of one TV channel and waiting for whatever content it will throw at you.. You now hold your remote control and zap along until you find a piece of content that is interesting to you.. This makes the advertisers’ job to try and widen their reach as much as they can to capture as much as possible of their target audience with their messaging.. In Ramadan specifically, people know exactly what serial they want to watch, when they want to watch it and on which channels (plus the re-runs if they missed the first airing)… So assuming that you might capture their attention by being on air for 30 minutes on one channel could be a bit naïve..

As far as a non-MBC Masr viewer is concerned, Vodafone is not doing anything this Ramadan.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the program, a lot actually.. I just hope this doesn’t kill its flow.. They have a good platform, good ideas, an amazing crew that can get them places… If people get to see them properly!
A quick counterargument to myself though, if they’re giving out a 100 thousand pounds a day, you might as well want to tune in and see if you got lucky.
Great job to all colleagues on this project.. Kudos J


This is the kind of campaign that grows on you after a while, initially I hated it, bit by bit I started getting dragged into it… and now I LOVE it every time I see it.
Playing on the insight that people actually become pretty slow in Ramadan (especially this year with the long fasting hours, the scorching heat and just dealing with other fasting people), the discussion does really become that at some points of time… “was that me or you, did I ask for this or you just… uhmm…. Huh….?”... Who wouldn’t relate to that.
What I love about this one is the attention to detail in all aspects of the copy, the redundancy in the discussion, the confusion, the cast and the punchlines just make it a pleasure to watch every time..
My favorite part of the 3 copies are the discussions that happen..
·         Heya di… bas mesh heya di.. ana mesh faker ay 7aga.. 3ata, enta faker 7aga?
·         Ya ostaz law sama7t mateddakhalsh beini w bein el madam… hahahaha.. classic
·         Ya ostaz keda mesh 7aneftar fel beit

Hatooli el copywriter abooso… Brilliant campaign, want to see it over and over again.

End note: One thing about it though, it has been a signature for Mobinil to produce a brilliant idea that will get people to talk about, with zero recollection of the message... so people will always remember the guy fighting the cheese stand at the supermarket, or being confused in the shop... but no one will remember what was the offer Mobinil was advertising in the first place... food for thought :)

Honorable mention – 7arreefet el net campaign:

Although this campaign has actually been airing for the past month or two, but I want to take the chance to salute the team behind this one as well.. Easily my favorite campaign of the year.

Again, the choice of cast, the situations and the reactions are just hilarious… I personally reenact the Hashtag copy with my son 2-3 times a day.. just hilarious.
Aside from the comedy on Hashtag, Selfie and Tag situations; they also got situations that really ONLY 7arreefet el net would understand, like the Ahmed Sheeba copy (which I personally didn’t know what it really meant till a friend showed me the original situation being imitated)
Beautiful campaign… just beautiful\


This one comes to us from my friends at King Tut Playground (ex Leo Burnett’s Mohammed Hamdalla’s new venture).. I really like this one as well.
The insights there are quite vivid to everyone, yet the KTP team did a great job putting them all together, to bring us to the conclusion that we really need to change how we operate as things are indeed moving very fast around us..
Who now doesn’t see a 2 year old using a tablet better than adults, weird kids in weird clothes and haircuts that change every 2 months.. The hash sign has always been there on telephone dialpads, nothing fancy there.. until the launch of Twitter, skinny jeans (and its 90s version of bantalo esteretch) have always been a part of a girl’s wardrobe, till a couple of years ago where they crawled into men’s fashion as well..
The world now is REALLY moving too fast now; as rightfully said in the copy (إللي ماجددش, إختفي - Those who don’t renovate… disappear)
Great insights, great art direction.. great copy.
Bravo KTP

Telecom Egypt

Telecom Egypt come back this year after last year’s disaster copy (Dawwar Gowa Zatak) with a pretty emotional copy..
Reminding us that Telecom Egypt has been a key participant in the important events throughout Egypt’s history; using real insights and real situations.. They have always been there indeed, from the Suez Canal nationalization, through the grey phone with the round keypad that every home in Egypt had, the internet dial up modem, to the day where mobiles were launched in Egypt (with Nokia Banana and Ericsson 788); when it actually cost you like 3 pounds per minute (w ne2fel el telephone b mofta7 el zero w keda)….lots of good memories with landline J
These aside, I really love how they played on the revolution situation; the telecom blackout between Jan 28th-30th when we all went back to basics and started dialing landlines all over again, great manifestation of it in the ad, where the protestor literally throws his mobile phone away and picks up the landline phone..
One fallout here, the overkill of Amir Eid and his Cairokee crew is becoming a bit too much.. I said it once in the Masr El Kheir ad and I’m saying it again.. The point about celebrity endorsement is novelty and enjoyment.. I don’t think getting them to sing in your ad is new, nor does it add any joy to it, as I’ve already heard them a million times before..
If I were them, I would stop taking ad contracts for a while, if this drags longer I think it will actually hurt their career where people will be bored of hearing them already, they’re all over the place.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I love the Cairokee crew and really admire their talent, but hearing them in one ad is great, hearing them in 50 ads is exhausting your talent.
One last thing worth mentioning, while Telecom Egypt has indeed been part of the Egyptian culture, they’re fading away.. with mobile phones reaching 100%+ on penetration, the decline on landline subscriptions and the high reliance on wireless connectivity in everything.. Telecom Egypt should definitely find a way to get back in the game (be it by introducing the 4th Telecom Operator or other solutions)… I would steal a quote from their friends in Etisalat.. (إللي ماجددش, إختفي - Those who don’t renovate… disappear)..
Hope they learn the lesson and action it… before it’s too late.

That’s all I got for you this time around
See you when I see you J
Till next time, stay safe..


Big Blue strikes back - Pepsi Ramadan 2014

Hello friends,

It is without doubt that Pepsi has always been a moving force in the Egyptian advertising scene.. Creating ads that leave a mark in our memory for ages now.. For the past couple of years they've been quite idle, leaving Coke to dominate the ad scene and rise to the spotlight... Until last year..
Ramadan 2013 was a game changer for the CSD market, when Pepsi brought us this wonderful copy that took us back to our childhood days and brought tears to everyone’s eyes.. 

Worked out beautifully for them, Pepsi ad was the talk of town and our FB newsfeeds turned Blue overnight..
What we’re about to witness this year won’t be any different, I am writing this only 1 hour after the release of the Pepsi Ramadan 2014 ad on Youtube; it hasn’t gone on TV yet; and my newsfeed is already FLODDED with shares of the Pepsi film..

Now this is a very emotional copy, well written; well casted and well shot.. Including the biggest and brightest stars of the past.. be it Mama Nagwa & Bo2loz, Four M, The Egyptian Squad of 1990, Hesham Abbas & 7ameed or the star of this year’s copy; George Sidhom.. For those who don’t know, George Sidhom has been terribly ill for the past 10+ years and was nearly in vegetative state, bringing him back was a truly pleasant surprise.

While this is a great piece of work indeed; there are 2 things that I don’t quite get about the copy.

  1. The ad does not give a Ramadan feel … So while gathering prominent figures of the Egyptian showbiz scene; none of them have anything to do with Ramadan (with the exception of the Boogi w Tamtam).. Last year they got all Ramadan characters, so maybe this year they run out of cast? Or is the point here is to “nekammel lammetna” regardless?
  2. There’s a big disconnect in the demographic targeting of this ad vs what Pepsi is doing globally.. So in their global World Cup TVC, they have Janelle Monae singing in the background;  a singer only known to the youngsters (and Nikki Minaj in the one before); clearly targeting teens and tweens.. Now they come in this copy and get a band formed in 1979, crew of a legendary masra7eyya that broke stage in 1981 and a song duo that was a smash-hit alright; but in 1992.. During my marketing studies, kan fi Professor tayyeb ebn 7alal that told us that Pepsi talks to 16-24s.. if that is still the case, then let me assure you that this target probably has no idea who are the people in the ad in the first place…
    So for a 20 year old, Four M had stopped singing by the time he/she was 2 and he/she weren't even conceived when Egypt made it to the World Cup with this squad. 
    Personally speaking, at the age of 29 I had trouble recognizing Gamal Abdel Hamid or Hesham Yakan..

    I had the same comment on last year’s copy honestly, that spoke to the 80s generation.. This year they even took it a step further by talking to the 70s generation… Let’s see, maybe in a couple of years’ time we’ll see a Pepsi ad starring Naguib El Ri7ani and Sharafanta7.
    The direction of the company for the past year or so has been #Yalla_Now... now mnein bas... momken tb2a #Walla_Zaman... azbat!
Nevertheless, it is indeed a great copy that I’m sure will touch the hearts of millions of Egyptians this year..
That said, it doesn’t just stop at the copy.. The whole objective (which will probably be revealed in days to come) and was apparent in the last 30 seconds of the ad; is for you to take a picture of an old “lamma” you had and renact with the same people and send it to their website.. once you do, they’ll collate all the pictures and light up the Fanoos in AbdelMon3em Riad square… very smart

So what do you think….  will we see more people sharing old pictures of themselves or their names written on a Coke can?

This is the first year that I cannot foresee a winner... as there is real competition..
We’ll have to wait and see
Stay tuned

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