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Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

What’s going on with MBC’s ban on Zain Kuwait’s Ramadan ad?

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What’s going on with MBC’s ban on Zain Kuwait’s Ramadan ad?

As Muslims began preparations for Ramadan on May 16, Zain Kuwait dropped this bold ad.

The almost four-minute long spot features an Arab kid wishing Ramadan Kareem while also pleading for help as he addresses world leaders including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.

The ad is being applauded for its bravery while also being criticized for its political nature. MBC even banned the ad from appearing across its channels. At the time of writing this, MBC had not responded to Communicate’s request for comment.

Egyptian content producer Ibrahim Gamaleldin who has worked on TV shows for CBC and MBC wrote a blog post outlining why the ad is problematic including points such as lack of brand authenticity, a disempowering political message, and an outdated narrative.

Last year, too, Zain’s Ramadan video featured an anti-terror message by pop singer pop singer Hussain Al Jassmi. Again, while it was applauded for being bold, it was also criticized for being political and insensitive by featuring a young boy in a bus with a striking resemblance to Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy whose photo became famous following the strike in Aleppo.

This year’s ad is particularly sensitive given the timing of the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

At the time of writing this, the ad was trending on second spot on YouTube with 35,86,567 views.

Zain KSA, on the other hand, took a more subtle approach by remembering those who have fought in the army and are no longer with us to celebrate the month of Ramadan. The video had around 183,820 views at the time of writing.

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