Another year, another 30 Ramadan evenings spent lying in front of the TV, regretting the five kilos of konafa eaten and trying to watch 25 different mosalsals. We say ‘trying’ because this year it seems that we’re watching half an hour of TV commercials for every ten minutes of TV series. Seriously, by the time the commercial break is over, we’ve already forgotten what’s happening in the mosalsal and why Hend Sabry/Nelly Karim/Mervat Amin/etc. is crying.
So, just four days into Ramadan and we’ve already made up our minds about the best and worst commercials to dominate our screens this year (side note: we’re sure other campaigns will launch soon, but we thought we’d get ahead of ourselves and share our expert critique as couch vegetables.
By far our favourite Ramadan commercial this year (so far), this 50-second spot gives everything that the other longer, more expensive and star-filled jingles fail to deliver: entertainment. We love the sharp back-and-forth, the man’s moustache, and the daughter’s side-eye. We like this ad. It won’t necessarily make us buy the cheese, but we like this ad.
As you may tell from the long list of Worst Ads, we’re very cranky, picky TV viewers. So when we like a commercial, it’s got to be good. This Carrier commercial is sharp, quick-witted and subtly digs into characters we all have in our lives.
It’s an easy concept but it’s well-done. Let’s make a short, 30-second spot about family gatherings in Ramadan and sell Coca Cola through. Like the other commercials on this list, Coca Cola gives us a short, quick-witted and relatable commercial that makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside after the onslaught of terrible commercials that we have to sit through. Thanks again, Coca Cola. Now, we can’t wait for Pepsi to launch their assault, uhm, we mean commercial.
We like the reverse scenes of how one man ends up in a death metal band because he wouldn’t get his wife a new washing machine, and another ends up in hospital when he wouldn’t buy a new fridge. Ok, well now that we’ve written it down, it sounds like a stupid plot, but sue us: we like it. Look at the many sucky ads we hate; it doesn’t take much to make us happy.
We all know humour sells cheese; after all, our favourite commercial was the epic Panda ads. That being said, whoever produced this commercial put minimum effort into making it funny. Oh hey, let’s get a dude to dress up like a woman and a child; that will definitely sell cheese. Umm, no. We’re disappointed, especially since other cheese ads this year did so much better.
Hey guys, we know you got into hot water with the censors last Ramadan for your risky ads, but that’s no excuse for this boring jingle and tedious song and dance. And also, what’s up with the clearly not Egyptian models? Considering the tagline is ‘Cotton speaks Egyptian’, we’re confused as to why everyone in this commercial looks vaguely Mediterranean, possibly Turkish.
Yay, it’s Ronaldo! And he’s in Egypt, gallivanting around Cairo and rubbing children’s heads! That’s so cool! He looks so shiny, it’s almost like he has a halo above his head… Wait… why isn’t he making eye contact with anyone? Why are his eyes dead? Why is his head a different colour to the rest of his body? Wait, did they CGI him onto that body? And what is he… is that Arabic? Did he just speak Arabic to us? Wait, steel? Ronaldo is selling steel? WHAT’S GOING ON?
This started so well. We really had such high hopes for this commercial. Then Leila Elwy walked in and started singing, and we wanted to gorge our ears out. The thoughts that run through our heads during this commercial go along the following lines: WHY GOD WHY MAKE IT STOP WHY IS SHE SINGING SWITCH THE CHANNEL SWIIIIITCH!
Good news, we’ve come up with this super creative idea to bring a bunch of singers to play around on beach buggies, sing around a bonfire and splash water at each other, in order to sell a North Coast compound even though we don’t show you a single housing unit. And then we’ll play this commercial over and over again every fifteen minutes for the rest of your life until you want to throw your shoe at the TV and tear out the satellite dish cable.
All Three Mobile Network Ads
Dear Orange, Etisalat and Vodafone, your jingles bore us. You’ve been doing this for years, spending millions on flashy campaigns and/or squashing as many celebrities into one frame as possible (we’re looking at you, Vodafone). We’re sure many viewers will love these ads and download their tracks, but seeing as they’re suuuuuper long (Vodafone takes the cake at 2:29 minutes for its star-packed commercial) and so predictable (Etisalat’s jingle, models and scenes look too similar to last year’s campaign), we wish you had invested all those millions on a more creative concept instead of repeating the same old campaign every year forever. Also, please stop letting celebrities sing off-key. It’s not cute, it’s painful. Kthxbye.
By Samar El Shams