RamaScoops 2016: Clash of the Telecoms

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As we enter a new season of mosalsalat and ads, and before we highlight the biggest winners (and losers) on the ad space this year, there have been some ground-shaking changes to the industry just days before Ramadan that are worthy of highlighting.

 

Over the past couple of weeks prior to Ramadan, we have witnessed a couple of business deals that have changed the balance in power in the media market, a market worth circa 4 Bn EGP of advertising money, with everyone wanting a piece of the pie. We have seen CBC and Al Nahar join forces to create a giant conglomerate that eventually wants to export Egyptian content to the Gulf, a step to go back to the glory days of Egyptian media and cinema, when it was Egypt’s third biggest revenue source after long-staple Egyptian cotton and the Suez Canal.

 

Another significant change was the rise of the Abu-Hashima Media Empire. In just one week, The owner of Egyptian Steel has swept off two media deals with the acquisition of ONTV from Naguib Sawiris as well as 51% majority stake in Presentation Sports, a move that could change the face of sports marketing as we currently know it.

 

Pundits saw this as an end of an era to political content, a genre that rose to stardom after Jan 25th. Media owners will probably tone down their political content and more into entertainment and sports, to re-gain the hearts of an audience lost to digital platforms, as well as get on the regime’s good side. Only time will tell if this is really the intention or just another conspiracy theory.

 

Now onto the ads! 12 hours into the first day of Ramadan, we’ve seen the launch of two industry giants wanting to take the first move before the other…

 

Etisalat

 

 

Etisalat took this whole first-move thing very seriously, launching a day before Ramadan even started. A copy celebrating 30 Million users, a great milestone for the green giant.

 

The outcome however wasn’t as strong as their brief was. For me, the ad comes out very bland, tasteless, even irrelevant to 99% of the 30 million “Egyptians” they pride themselves to have served for the past nine years since their launch. The Egyptians Etisalat are talking to don’t know what the Holi Festival is; they don’t drum for meditation, they probably don’t splash around in Gouna or take selfies in a Luxor hot-air balloon. I think they did a much better job celebrating their 15 million subscriber milestone in 2010.

 

Besides, Etisalat have changed their slogans more than I’ve changed shoes in the past nine years! Entalek. Takhayal bokra. Fe eh ya gama3a? Give us time to realize what you’re saying before changing it.

 

 

 

Vodafone

 


I’m having very mixed feelings about this one. While it’s a great ad that’ll struck an emotional chord in you, and will definitely get people frantically sharing it on social media, I can’t help feeling like I’ve seen it before…quite a lot.

 

Isnt’t this last year’s Vodafone ad? The one with the song and all the celebrities? Or wait, isn’t this the setup of Pepsi’s last year’s ad…and the one before? And the one before? The only difference is that they got celebrities that aren’t dead yet.

 

It’s a mix of all of the above, as it’s the same team that brought us Pepsi ads of the past three years, merged with the قوتك في عيلتك message Vodafone has launched last Ramadan. Add to that a couple of million dollars to get all the celebrities available on the shooting day. Nevertheless, it’s a very happy ad. People will continue sharing it and connecting with it.
I just expected something different, and more this year.

 

 

WE SAID THIS: It might be too early to judge the creative seasons, but it’s off to a good start. Looking forward to more releases and more critiques..

 

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