RamaScoops: Disappointing Start To 2015 Ramadan Ads

RamaScoops by 3omdaz

Hello, friends. Kol sana wento tayyebeen.

No need for introductions this year, you know what I write, and that’s why you’re here.

Ramadan’s season kickoff seems quite busy this year. In only the first day of Ramadan, we’ve seen more than 10 brands launching their season brand communication.

Before we drill deeper into the details of the ads, a couple of general comments on the overall scene:

The production value is generally quite high across most ads (and programs) I’ve seen so far. The color correction, music composition and general value is quite impressive, even from brands you least expect it.

We haven’t seen the big ones launch yet. Only Vodafone launched its copy on the eve of Ramadan. Coke didn’t unleash yet and Pepsi usually waits for the dust to settle and go big with their three-minute ad. This year, everyone seems to be waiting for the dust of the little brands to settle to clear the battlefield.

Copy duration doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore. Ads that cross the 60- and even 90-second mark seem quite mainstream this year – actually, I don’t remember seeing an ad below 45 seconds so far. I would attribute this to:

  • Brands having excessive money that they don’t know what to do with (as a two-minute copy would climb to a 100-150,000 LE for a one-off airing), which I don’t think is the case.
  • Digital media seems to be taking over normal TV viewership. Remember yesterday when you all shared the ads from YouTube even before they even went on TV? YouTube ads don’t have a restriction on video duration, so it makes sense to get into production with a very long ad, then launch the full long copy on YouTube, kick it off with some TV support, then sustain TV with the cut-down copy for more frequency and more weeks on air.
  • The channels seem to have an endless appetite for advertising. It’s already the first day of Ramadan (with little advertising up on TV aslan, we’ve only scratched the surface) and you’re all already complaining about the abundant advertising scene and long ad breaks.

As you probably heard or read somewhere, the cost of paying the actors for the series they’re starring in climbed to around 500 million LE – only for the cast, not taking into account the actual cost of production, post-production and promotion of this content (all the billboards on 6 October bridge, etc.).

It’s a no-brainer that Ramadan is a fight over viewership, where everyone loses money. No one wins in Ramadan but the viewer. None of the channels make any money in Ramadan, but they win viewership over the best performing series where they can make their money selling ads on the re-runs throughout the year.

So without further ado, I give you the ads of Ramadan 2015 (so far):

 

 

Crunch

 

Ever since the days of Never Say No To Panda, the Maxibon Launch and others, dark comedy seems to have made its way to the advertising scene – a very bold, out of the category norm that hopes to break its way through the clutter.

Problem is, dark comedy has become less successful and scores worse every year, with the second Maxibon ad, the hideous Mega cookies ad of last year, and now this.

While dark comedy was initially used to do something “out of the box”, it evolved to be “THE Box”. Dark comedy became so mainstream that it’s not funny anymore – they all look the same.

I wish they could step back into the box without the sour humour.

Looking at Crunch, what I see here is a very smart copywriter writing some brilliant lines that in 24 hours have already made their way to Internet memes – De7lab De7lab, Na7la b bazzooz, etc.

But at the same time, I see a confused brand that is not sure what to do or how to position itself. We’ve seen Crunch launch in the market last year with a very mellow TV campaign that went unnoticed, coming back earlier this year with an outdoor campaign coupled with a slightly visible TVC that says “3alli 3aleihom”. Now three months later, we’re letting go of 3alli 3aleihom and announcing that E7na fi Zaman Crunch. So what about the Q4 campaign, another change in positioning?

 

 

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Fox

 

This is just torture to watch. I don’t even know where to start, so I think I won’t start and leave it at the point that it’s torture!

P.S. Refer to the dark humor discussion above.

 

 

Embrator

 

While the selling line is quite questionable, the production here is quite high. The ads have good post-production and color correction, while showing the full range of the Embrator undergarments and what each is used for.

People would probably be a bit shocked; we’re not quite used to seeing people in their undies on TV!

 

 

Mega Triple Delight

 

A neat attempt to give the impression that the indulgence of the taste takes you to new horizons – too bad it’s a carbon copy of Tomorrowland.

I understand that in advertising, we learn from each other’s experiences and build on them. But there isn’t much building happening in this one, unfortunately – just copying!

 

 

While all the above have been quite disappointing for me honestly, there is still some light at the end of the tunnel with a couple of decent copies.

 

 

Vodafone

 

No need to reiterate how Ramadan is all about family and togetherness. Vodafone tapped into this beautifully with the above copy – very happy (yet not the best I’ve seen from them, honestly), light, uplifting and definitely puts a smile on your face.

A few points to mention here:

  • Too much noise. As much as I like all the stars in the ad, they can’t sing for shi*!
  • Why does Hussein Fahmy look like Colonel Sanders?
  • Has anyone noticed there’s an offer on scratchcards? This is the main message of the ad, apparently, but they seem to have lost it in the middle of the star-studded spot.

 

 

Shay El 3aroosa

 

Honestly, for me this is the best ad so far – very simple, insight driven, no overclaim on product (or production value – it’s actually the poorest production) and touching our lives in a very relevant manner. No one hasn’t been in a situation like these.

The choice of cast is just brilliant. Amr Abdel Gelil is a guy who is respected and loved by all Egyptians, regardless of class or age – same as Shay El 3aroosa, indeed shay kol el masreyyeen!

 

 

That’s all for now. Looking forward to the kickoff of the big shots soon!

 

 

WE SAID THIS: Which is your favorite ad so far? And which do you think failed?

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A creative AD-dict who gets high on original ideas.. passionate about Egypt, advertising, branding, social media, shisha and his curly hair..

Working in advertising and communication in KSA, Dubai, Beirut and Cairo; Ahmed has taken it on as a personal goal to raise the bar of the Egyptian advertising scene to world class standards..

He keeps an ad critique blog that has been running since 2009.

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