2016-12-02 22:23:36date was

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  • Ramadan 2016 Commercials: The Wins & the Fails (Plus the One We Can’t Make Our Minds Up About)

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    We’re approaching the end of Ramadan and it feels like we’ve lost half our lifetimes watching commercial breaks during our favourite TV shows. This has led us to feel like total experts on the matter, and so we’d like to share our expert opinion on the top TV commercials that made us crack up this long, hot month and the ones that made us wince, cringe bemoan what has come to be of marketing communications in this country.

    The Wins

    Orange

    It’s catchy, funny and doesn’t play on heavy family or nostalgia themes like its two competitors: Orange’s commercial featuring actor Ahmed Fahmy and Akram Hosny, the man behind comedic character Abou Hafeeza, made everyone crack a little smile with the use of Ahmed Adaweya’s Zahma ya Donia Zahma and the old Samir Ghanem trio song ‘El Helwa Rakba Taxi’, giving us just enough nostalgia without it being too much.

    Crystal Lagoons Moussa Coast

    For once, a commercial that’s totally realistic and relatable! And we totally loved this second version because we can imagine this is exactly what it’s like trying to cross the Ein Sokhna Road to the beach; and also the acting is comedic without being over the top.

    Etisalat

    A nice change from their catchy but repetitive jingle that has been played every two seconds ad nausea, this commercial shows two kids talking about how great their hero Mohamed El Nenny is. It’s simple, it’s cute, and it shows that there’s no limit to a child’s imagination or a man’s ambition. It’s a nice way of celebrating Egyptian icons and heroes without the drama and tears.

    Tecno Mobile

    It looks like Tameem Younes’s instantly recognisable voice will take over from Tarek Nour as the go-to voiceover that everyone wants in their ads, but moving on: this commercial’s short, fast and funny in that it shows you there’s more than what meets the eye, plus we also like the subtle dig at Tameem’s friend Kareem Gouda being a bit of a social media influencer/fitness buff – just take a look at his Instagram feed.

     The Fails

    Mountain View

    We spent half of this ad trying to figure out why actor Ahmed Ezz looks so different (seriously, what has he done to his face? Botox? New cheekbones? Hair dye?) and the other half trying to figure out why a brilliant actor like Maged El Kedwany would agree to such a slapstick ad with cheesy lines and an uncreative concept. Maybe because they flew him out to Paris, London and the Maldives?

    Obourland

    Featuring Hassan El Radad and Ahmad Fathy, the first version was bad enough, but the second – in our opinion – is way too similar (*cough* copy paste *cough*) to George Clooney’s Nespresso ad, down to the glamorous woman stealing his cheese.

    Vodafone

    We know this is a very popular ad but hear us out first: you know the saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’? Well this is a case in point: aside from the overacting, the bad singing (bar a few of the more established singers), and the incoherent lyrics (what the hell is Sherine actually saying?!), this concept of family and friends gathering in Ramadan is so tired and predictable, and something we see every single Ramadan without fail. Shwayet creativity will always trump celebrity names.

    Birell

    It’s the same-old chauvinist ‘estargel’ message from Birell, pointing out men who aren’t manly enough with an aggressive voiceover that sounds like it belongs to a kotch, kaptin or bodybuilder. Not only is it a predictable message, but it’s not that funny anymore, just pretty offensive.

    …The One We Can’t Make Our Minds Up About…

    Juhayna

    Possibly the most divisive ad campaign of this year’s lot; yes, this ad caused controversy and got banned because of ‘El Dondo’, which we honestly didn’t know was code for boobs nor did we find it obvious, but yalla; you live and learn something new every day. Thanks to the CPA, our morals are now protected from babies yelling for El Dondo. The controversy didn’t stop there, though; a follow-up ad showing the babies cat-calling and hitting on a girl baby attracted accusations of  Juhayna making light of Egypt’s sexual harassment epidemic. Funny or offensive? Whatever the case, it was one of the of the most-talked about ads this year – which Juhayna will be more than pleased about.
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    By Samar El Shams

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