Ads, Ads, and more Ads.
Egyptian advertising campaigns are always exciting, to say the least. Maybe it’s because our cinema is not that great anymore (sorry, Youssef Chahine)? It’s like we wait to see the ads for a breath of fresh air, and a surge of entertainment.
As much as 2016 had some really great ads, unfortunately many of the concepts were heavily inspired, or “taken” (read: stolen) from other concepts abroad. We have the creativity it takes, and there are some really cool ideas that can be made into original campaigns that others imitate, but sadly some of the biggest names in the industry didn’t do that this year.
So on a more positive note, below are some of the best original ads of 2016.
Following Through with a Concept – Orange
It’s been long since we saw a real advertising campaign that keeps people engaged for a whole month. Ramadan is very competitive in terms of airing time and people’s attention. But what makes this campaign particularly great is the fact that it started off as unimpressive, and then created a smooth build up for the song – to reveal the full concept over the days.
While other players went for traditional (or worse: off strategy) campaigns, it was a first in Egypt to get people watching the ads to know the rest of the concept.
A Solid Concept – Vodafone 4G
For 4G, it’s normal to talk about internet speed, for example. But Vodafone surprised us this year by approaching it differently. They capitalised on their strength in the market and the strength of their 3G network (don’t tell me that sometimes the phones don’t work, that’s not the point!), and created an analogy with the superstars featured in the ad. Like 3G is to 4G, so are the older stars to the newer ones.
As Newton said, “I see far because I stand on the shoulders of giants.”
A Movement – CocaCola
It is rare to find a real movement in Egypt. Coca-Cola Egypt ended 2016 with a movement. The video is not the best, which is fine, but the movement itself is awesome. Making Egyptians proud of their identities and their football jersey.
They also partnered up with Careem for people to exchange their jersey in their cars.
The campaign just launched, so we’ll see how effective it is. But for sure, it’s really cool.
Appealing to a Target – Birell 30 Years
Birell ads are so interesting. They’re interesting because they only appeal to males, and most females hate them.
This Ramadan, they capitalised on very real insights that only males understand. They started with the urinal (which was banned), and then touched on men holding hands, and shaving chest hair. Very real insights from the world of Egyptian men.
Bold, probably offensive to some people, but effective.
A Sticky Jingle, and Sexual Puns – Halawani Chicken
It’s a jingle that sticks; a jingle that makes us want to sing it time and time again.
This ad is particularly cool because it has some of sexual puns on chicken “breasts”, and pulls it all off.
It’s a quirky and fun animation, but the copywriting is also awesome. The jungle keeps playing inside our monkey heads, too!
A Cool, Integrated Campaign – Vodafone Egypt
Instead of football fans cheering for their players, their beloved players sang for the fans. And then Vodafone followed with a super cool campaign where they took pictures of football fans and put them on the seats of the stadium when no one was allowed to watch the match live for security reasons.
Here are the fans who support the football team – present at the stadium, supporting their favourite players.
Illustrating What Dreams Look Like – Dango
The directing is fun, the words are good, and it tackles a social issue in a subtle way. Parents in Egypt do not support their children’s quirkiness and scribbles. This is the starting point of this campaign. So Dango’s advertisers took this concept and inflated it. They showed us different situations in which children are seen dreaming of their futures and careers.
They also had a heavy outdoor advertising campaign to support the main copy.
Showing Vision – Korba Heights
Nobody does it like Hamdallah. This campaign for Korba Heights made people look into the future of the investments they are making. It shows the investment opportunities that some people have lost in the past, and how Korba Heights (the brand being advertised for) is similar to that investment opportunity but in the present.
Simple and Gimmicky – Lipton with Ahmed Helmy
It’s a nice and simple ad that shows a simple concept in a humorous way. Everything good starts with a glass of Lipton tea. It’s that simple – nothing more, nothing less.
Goosebumps and an Insight – Magdy Yacoub Foundation
We couldn’t help but wonder how they got this idea. Did someone actually do that? It actually may have happened in a school before because it can’t be so real if it was made up.
Every time we watch this one, it gives us goosebumps. And it’s very simple with a small budget, but it shows the concept very well.
Draw a heart. Well, this is how she drew a heart. It hits deep.
Thank you 2016. It’s been real!
Looking forward to lots of great campaigns in 2017 as well.
Stay on the lookout for the rest of our list of 10s until the end of the year.