Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank God He Died Before seeing it

One of my favorite poets in the Arab World and Egypt is the legendary Ahmed Shafik Kamal who died in silence last month ,very few knew that he died and wrote about him in the newspapers ahmad_21.jpg_200_-1 hoping that the people would pay a respect to man whose words were lyrics of the most beautiful songs in the modern history of music in Egypt If you are an Egyptian or an Arab then probably you have heard his lyrics in songs like the famous “Enta Omary” and “Fakourany” sang by Om Kalthoum and the Patriotic songs of Abd El-Halim Hafez through the revolution to the 1967 defeat to the 1973 victory. I do not want to speak a lot about Shafik because he deserves a stand alone post with examples of what he wrote. Anyhow I began my love for Ahmed Shafik Kamel after hearing the famous patriotic song “Khally El-Salah Sahi” {Let the weapon awake} when I was a young girl and my mom used to have the complete collection of Halim’s patriotic songs, Kamel wrote it during the gap in 1973 during the Suez siege and Halim who was nearly campaigning in the Egyptian Radio then sang it immediately on the wonderful music of legendary Kamal Al Tawil . It was a hit because it was not a song for 1973 or for a certain enemy ,it was for all times , your army should be awake not sleepy , your weapon should be ready ,do not trust anyone.
Here is the original song by the voice of Halim, words of Kamel and music of Al Tawil ,it is more than wonderful.

Now after 35 years of this war and this wonderful song we found out that this song is being used in Viagra alike medicine called Virecta !! Yes here is the ad below, already this ad is aired on the Private Egyptian Satellite Channels Dream TV and Al Hayat , to be honest I saw that ad on Dream TV II at the 10 PM TV show but I did not hear the background music because I always mute ads,of course you can imagine the angry calls of people who watch this popular TV show condemning that ad. The newspapers like Al Wafd,Al Masry Al Youm and Al Dostor began to speak about the matter.
The Agency that produced that ad is Hit Agency for its Client Eva Pharma
Its Director is Mohamed Bekier and creative director is Mohamed Anwar where as the Producer is Wael Hob.
Now according to several news reports Al Hayat and Dream TV II pulled the ad after the complains of the viewers defending their position that the advertising managers in the channels did not see the ad itself before airing !!!!!!!! Of course silly justification. Still ART Sports channels are airing it. From Marketing point of view this ad burned the product ,it will be forever remembered not as Viagra copycat but as offensive one to their proudest moments in modern history
To be honest I feel so angry but I am not angrier than my aunt who considers herself the generation of the 1973 , she was in high school then and remembers till now how this song was so inspiring that she told me those who made that ad do not respect our heroes who died in that war ,who were injured and who lost their beloved ones. Those who made it may not understand what this song means or why it was made or how it was made because if they did they would not have thought one second to make this ad like that. By the way I tried to contact Mr. Anwar;the Art director of the ad through the Facebook  in order to know his point of view , but till now he did not reply on my message.
All my friends whether online or offline were sick from it too.
This is not the first time something like this happens ,last Ramadan many people including my family and me disliked the Karim Abd El-Aziz Coca-Cola ad imitating Rafeat El-Hagan but of course this is Coca-Cola and that is Karim Abd El-Aziz , sooner people forgot it .
Even before Karim ,there was Saad El-Soghair Pasha who turned the famous 1973 song "Alhomadallah Basamallah" in to another vegetables song as I read from couple of months !! Our patriotic cultural history is being insulted and we do nothing about so do not be surprised after all.This patriotic cultural history is not respected by the young generation thanks to the 27 years of rule of Mubarak .
In the end I would like to say that thank God that Mr. Ahmed Shafik Kamel died before seeing that ad , this man was so sweet and romantic , that would be too much for him.


  1. It's just supposed to be funny. We, Egyptians, sometimes regard anything from the past as sacred and holy. There's no need for such fuss. The song will remain because it's beautiful. What harm was possibly done?

  2. This is awful!..
    the ad. is so filled with sexual symbols .. !!

  3. @Ahmad , it is not funny and this is not a usual thing from the past we consider as sacred and holy
    an example of what I see is that
    There was a famous 1960s revolution song called Baldy Ya Baldy sang by Abd El-Halim , Fouad El-Mohandes used in Shanabou film at the same time , the Egyptian people did not refuse it on the contrary
    Ahmad that song was written and made in circumstances you may not understand or imagine the feelings of those who made it whether from lyrics or music or singing except when you live something similar believe me
    The possible harm may be you do not feel it but some old warrior may feel it because during the Suez Siege the Egyptian Radio used to air this song

    @Blue , well they air in football matches where young kids do not move from the TV !! I saw a Viagra ad ,an old one and it was ridiculous like this one by all the means

  4. i found the ad offensive for so many reasons... that being said, i always wondered about something as far as egyptian ads are concerned... how come copyrights seem to be of no significant importance?? i mean clearly the tune for this add for example is supposedly directly copyrighted to the composer or his heirs as per the egyptian intellectual property law!!

    as for the kareem's cocacola ad, the only thing that annoyed me was how boring and unfunny and uncreative the ads were! but i did not see them offensive to the original character (Ref'at El Gammal) especially that imho it was a simple imitation of the dramatic performance that each and everyone in the egyptian streets seem to take turns making similar impressions of!! so why not kareem, or cocacola for that matter; they were probably thinking ppl would relate to that kind of "comedy"!

  5. @insomniac, you open a topic no one wants to speak about , the copyrights laws in Egypt , we do not have any copyrights laws for the patriotic songs dear at all.
    I agree with you that the Kareem's cola campaign ,yes they were not funny
    I just did not like how they substitute Egypt with the coca cola can in the ad ,already my favorite Rafaat El-Hagan part with the first one with Mr. Momtax

  6. Dear All , I respect all your comments on those ads.
    but lets take it from the marketing point of view .. i believe that the Ad. is doing its mission right even we accept it or not.. those who search for male enhancement stuff will not think of the ad as a violation of historical stuff or not .. and simply Zeinobia, if u dont like the Ad or the product just turn ur tv off.. from the marketing prespective the Ad is effect , specially for low socio-economic people..
    thik of my words and dont forget the other ads like the nail and hammer ad for viagra and Hamed el gamed for Eric...

    thanks for ur concern again but dont forget also to tell us how are u going to market a product that is generic to Viagra..

  7. @The expert , I work in the media and advertising too and I studied IMC and advertising ...etc to all this jazz.
    It is a violation to historical stuff I am afraid at least it is not from the eyes of a veteran I know who fought in both 1967 and 1973 , it is not about turning the TV off my dear , may be I talk about nonsense
    But you must admit some time advertisers forget themselves while design their ad camp and in the end they pay the price but of course they do not admit and consider that it is the mistake of the people
    You should know consumer behavior better ,you should respect their history and know what to make laugh of
    I do not know about you but my family had its shares in all these wars and feel this song ,of course I do not think you understand this
    To make it easier to you and I will give an example of the real consumerism world
    Example once upon time MTV India made fun of Gandhi, do you know that MTV had to issue an apology to the Indian people
    They were clever enough to make the people forget.
    I think that product will come again but with different name and definitely with a new agency that will learn its lesson.
    My dear such product does not need ads in TV especially , men will find if they want to especially if it is cheaper than viagra


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