VodaCoke..Red vanguards inspire

Hello friends,

It's been a while since I've written here.. in a blog format at least..
Due to a lot of reasons:

  • Mashaghel el dnia, work and the usual rat-race
  • The current happenings around us weren't too suitable for an ad-critique.. falls to the bottom of the priority list in such circumstances.
  • While there were numerous pieces of work in 2016, good pieces of work that sell a product or a brand.. There were little that inspired people.
That was until yesterday.. when (by coincidence) two of the biggest advertisers in the country released 2 beautiful pieces of work to charm us, intrigue us and most importantly inspire us to be a better version of ourselves.


Evolution is a trait of life, we all evolve everyday.. 
Our minds, bodies and talents evolve.. till we reach a peak, the pinnacle of our accomplishments.. before we pass on the torch to a new generation, to pass the learnings and have them build on the foundations we've laid.. this is how humanity works, each one continues on what their predecessors have started.
Vodafone touched upon it beautifully with a spot that touches the hearts of many, playing on sports, art and dance, in an attempt to gather as much interested audiences as possible.
While the idea is not totally fresh, the craftmanship of the copy is beautiful.. and the space that online viewing provides (vs TV), gives more space for longer ads to tell more beautiful stories.
The choice of cast is very smart too, celebrities that people aspire to, consider to be their pride and joy in a time when there are little idols to look up to.

I think the only flaw of the ad is the release date, a time where people are already not too happy with the quality of their 4G connections, even at test phase.. 
I personally was very cynical about it when I shared the ad after seeing it.

Maybe they should have waited till the service is 100% up and running, for people to experience the strength of a 4G connection to feel the evolution highlighted in the ad... and to dodge a couple of sour comments...

*NB: Vodafone being Vodafone, can afford pretty much anything and anyone, no-brainer.. We've seen that time and time again.. they even signed THE ONLY non commercial celebrity in their beautiful 2011 spot with Adel Emam.
Makes me question the stopping power of any VF ad... is it always about who VF paid to come feature in their ad? or will we see a VF ad that is more reliant on the idea than the mouthpiece?
Not to belittle the impact a celebrity has on pushing a commercial message, but I believe an idea should live at the core of creative message, not the celebrity.

Food for thought :)


Coke has always been a driving force in this market, as well as globally.. Time and time again they have proven their innovative approach to marketing in general and their campaigns in specific.

Over the past years, they have cemented themselves as راعي المشجع المصري.. a non-existent space they've carved for themselves and pushed away any other brand that would dare assume the same (including their big blue rival).. No one owns Egyptian football like Coke.. no one.
This time wasn't any different, similar to VF they have used a star-studded spot but solely focused on football.. Mido, Medhat Shalaby, Hazem Emam, Zizo, Karim Shehata...etc.. Difference here is, the IDEA is the hero of this ad, not the celebrity.

We all love Egypt, whether you want to admit it or not.. with all the shit we're going through, we still love it and believe in its people and potential.. else we wouldnt be still here, or all stand in solidarity whenever we're hit by crisis, or shed a tear when moved by a patriotic song... Deep down inside, this country lives in us.
And that's what Coke played on, let me hypothetically jump in their brainstorming meeting room there and reenact the discussion:

"if we cant talk politics, why don't we use football to remind people of how much they love their country"
If we can't use a flag as a country mnemonic, use the football jersey.. 
But not everyone has a football jersey, right? Well why dont we just give it to them.. 
Will cost us a lot? who cares, for the coming years anyone who will see Egypt's football jersey will remember Coke... Its cheaper than a TV campaign for sure.

While looking fairly simple, I'm sure there's a logistical nightmare behind it.. when to exchange, how to exchange, what will happen to the old jersey.. a lot of questions that make the execution hell-like for the marketing team and their agencies.. but i'm sure it will be well worth it.

The conclusion of both campaigns is that in times like these, recession, devaluation, social depression and terrorist attacks.. The mass morale levels have hit the floor, people are looking for inspiration anywhere around them.. anyone that says anything positive will get superhero support.

"Never waste a crisis" is a very wise saying that can apply to pretty much any field of business, in times of crisis there will always be opportunity.
As you see below, there a general slowdown in adspend in all of MENA, not just Egypt, each market for its own reason, falling oil prices, conflict in Yemen, political instability...etc. That said, 2017 won't be any better as there will be more pressure on brands to cut on costs, the obvious bucket.. guess what... advertising :)

With that in mind, there are less players on the advertising scene.. Therefore with less noise competition, those who play with smart strategies and placements will win BIG in the hearts, minds and pockets of consumers

While it would be absurdly naive to assume that brands create heartwarming ads from the goodness of their hearts, there has to be a commercial win obviously. But a marketer that achieves that commercial win while inspiring people and winning over their their hearts, would've achieved the holy grail of marketing.

Bottomline: Bravo CocaCola, Bravo Vodafone... keep them coming!


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