Okay, this could turn slightly controversial but for those of you who have never been to any Arabic country, what’s the first image that comes to your mind when you think of an Arab? Or when you think of the Arab world in general? Conservatism at its peak, radical thoughts, no space for dissent, and bigotry at its very worst? If yes, then my friend, you are far removed from reality. But I don’t blame you.
The media has painted such a picture of the Arab world in our minds that even the most progressive and loving individuals within us tend to look at Arabs with a lot of skepticism. However, our blogs are all about breaking stereotypes and that’s precisely why we are going to look at some of the most hilarious Arabic commercials in our today’s #FunnyFridays segment.
The purpose of covering these Arabic commercials is two-fold i.e., to bring to you some good laughter and introduce you to the humane side of our Arab brethren. Regardless of whether or not you speak Arabic, you’ll find these ads entertaining. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
1. Panda Cheese
Panda Cheese has come up with a series of commercials over the years with each commercial starting with a person either refusing or postponing the purchase or consumption of Panda Cheese casually. However, as the ad says, you never say no to Panda Cheese!
Each time the Panda appears, there is an awkward silence that lasts for a few seconds. The silence is followed by a violent retaliation from the Panda. We see him throwing a birthday cake, smashing a car, tipping over a shopping cart, and breaking a TV in a hospital. Honestly, the Panda starts resembling a psychopath. Also, the background score fully integrates with the situation.
The reason why this commercial series turned out to be such a major hit is that it applies all four marketing techniques to one commercial. There’s a word hook, a repeatable theme, a character hook, and a constant format in every commercial. It looks like the Panda Cheese’s advertising team got their marketing game right on point!
2. Mcdonald's Arabia
This Mcdonald's commercial is a lesson in how far exactly modern-day lovers can go in love. It shows a guy going to great lengths for his beloved to the tune of the famous Meatloaf song “I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that)”.
The commercial tells us what two young Egyptians madly in love with each other can do for one another, as long as they don’t hit a McDonald’s outlet. When the girl orders a sandwich instead of a combo meal and then tries to share the boy’s fries, it becomes abundantly clear that the guy’s first love is McDonald’s French Fries. The two fight and part ways on a rather bitter note. I think it’s high time I stopped taking my girlfriend to McDonald’s and looked for another place to meet her.
This commercial by Chipsy shows two Arabs at the gym when one of them gives the other guy’s bag of Chipsy potato chips to some girls. When he returns and his friend asks him if he gave his Chipsy to the girls, he emphatically says “yes”.
However, he soon realizes that while he was busy giving away the chips to the girls, his friend gave away his mobile phone to a couple of big, muscular guys in the gym. Now, isn’t that a lesson in etiquette? You don’t just give away someone else’s stuff to others without even asking the owners in the first place.
But, why on earth would you bring a bag of potato chips to the gym?
This commercial by Egypt’s mobile operator network company Mobinil came out during Ramadan and was aimed at promoting its offer of doubled Talktime and SMS messages during the holy period.
The commercial shows a popular action movie star chasing and killing a villain at the end of a movie. But every time you think it’s the end of him, the villain comes back humming a song that you would not understand unless you are an Arabic speaker. However, the way he sings it is downright funny, and there’s no way you can skip the humorous mannerism of the villain.
5. Toyota HiLux
This commercial from Toyota Arabia succinctly introduces its new HiLux range through its commercial that shows a young Arab lad asking for his beloved’s hand in marriage from her family.
The young man is grilled about his occupation. Owing to his experiences with his HiLux, he exaggerates his accomplishments to his beloved’s family. For example, he says he works on great projects for the great leaders of the future when he just ferries a bus of school kids in reality.
He claims to help in special military operations when all he does is show the way to a military convoy while playing with his truck in the desert. He mentions that he invests in agriculture when he merely uses his truck to purchase a load of fruit. Also, he says that he consults for top engineers but in reality, he just uses his HiLux to deliver a load of cinderblocks to a construction site.
The commercial ends with Toyota stating that the HiLux has great power without the need to exaggerate.
And that was a wrap of another #FunnyFriday segment. Although the world is rapidly moving toward globalization, protectionism and conservatism are rearing their heads at an equal pace. This is further augmented by the mainstream western media’s one-sided projection of Arabs and people from other third-world countries as uncivilized savages.
While the Bin Ladens and Al Jawahiris of the world are definitely a threat to all of us, the demonization of people solely based on their nationalities or ethnicities is something that we all need to combat together. Enjoying this blog with an open heart could be a step in that direction😄
We’ll be back with more amazing commercials for you. Till then, stay tuned and take care fellas!