Egyptian Ramadan adverts are often just as important as the mosalsalat (TV shows) — largely produced in the form of catchy jingles and songs. In Ramadan, the unending flow of mosalsalat is interrupted only by small, though frequent, commercial breaks.
By the end of the month, most Egyptians will sing along to the songs, and the more memorable jingles are forever etched into the hearts and minds of people for years onwards.
Over the past years, adverts have shown in high-budgets, extravagant sets, and all-star actors, but it was the warm and familiar songs—those that seep into human emotions—that left watchers inspired and reminded them of the beauty of simplicity and gratitude.
The global economic situation has had dire consequences on people. Recently, the Egyptian pound devalued, and panic became a presiding emotion felt by Egyptians. Coping with the economic crisis has become a daunting challenge as the price of all goods and services rise and the value of the Egyptian pound falls.
According to the World Health Organization, economic crises are times of high risk to the mental well-being of the population, the people affected, and families. As such, it would have been insensitive to have commercials in Ramadan—a month that teaches simplicity and patience—that promote overspending on luxury services and products.
This year, a few Ramadan adverts have served as a nod of encouragement, inspiration, and support to viewers— here are some of the ads that came with a different message this holy month.
Orange — ‘Bab Rizk’
Mobile network Orange not only produced a touching song this Ramadan, but also initiated the campaign Bab Rizk (Doors of Livelihood) to help support people in their small businesses. The main idea of the song, sung by Emirati singer Hussein Al-Jasmi, is that hard work will always be rewarded by God.
The song and campaign is an ode to the hustlers: the single mothers, job-seeking youth, and small business owners who dream of making it big. It serves as a gentle reminder to keep striving for the best, despite the circumstances.
Vodafone – ‘Shokran men Hena Le Bokra’
In times of distress and uncertainty, it is important to seek the support of loved ones. Vodafone’s advert is a reminder of how unwavering love and support can make life worthwhile. It also reminds people of the importance of appreciating people who lend support without anything in return— whether it is partners, friends, or parents. Mo Salah and his wife Magi also make an appearance in the advert: showing how Magi believed in Mo Salah from the beginning and supported him through all of his life’s stages.
The song ‘Shokran Men Hena Le Bokra’ (Thank You From Here Until Tomorrow) is sung by Amr Diab and is guaranteed to make viewers teary-eyed.
Etisalat – ‘Sabeq B Keteer’
The telecom company Etisalat showed viewers how a person is their own competition. The idea behind the advert was to showcase that the only person in the way of success is sometimes the person one sees in the mirror—which is why people must constantly challenge themselves to become the best version of themselves.
The ad features some of the country’s most inspirational figures, including singer Wegz, squash champion Nour El Tayeb, musician and composer Omar Khairat, and actor Khaled El Nabawy.