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..



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