By Nayera Yasser
With the beginning of Ramadan, a major burst of commercials asking for donations took over each and every TV channel. The excessive amount of commercials is not a foreign phenomenon; however, this year’s immoderate number did bring several comments and much criticism.
Aside from the customary entities that produce annual campaigns, some names debuted for the first time this year, such as Ahl Masr Child Burns Hospital and Baheya Hospital, leaving no cause out of the donation frame.
The increasing number of commercials, which by definition led to longer commercial breaks on television, caused uproar on various social media platforms. The majority of comments criticised the excessive number, and wondered about the government’s role in solving such dilemmas in opposition to crowd fundraising.
Nonetheless, some of the commercials did reach out to the audience successfully, regardless of the circumstances. Mohamed Sobhy’s “Maan” (Together) organisation received a fair appraisal online, as it depended on a smart metaphor instead of the usual straightforward fashion.
“Maan” is the renowned actor’s initiative to rebuild the slums and restore the wasted human rights’ of its residents. The commercial features a big boat sinking while the crowd is enjoying a lavish party, unaware of the suffering team in the basement.
Some entities broke both the online and media boundaries and reached out to the common public in the streets for a bigger influence. Mobinil’s campaign supported the act of a good deed in all of its forms.
The “#Benefactor” campaign started few days ahead of Ramadan with anonymous positive actions in the streets of Cairo. While some left unwanted clothes on a rack for anyone in need, another left a pile of books and so on. The idea became clearer when Mobinil aired its newest commercial on TV encouraging people to participate in its campaign of random good deed.
Coca-Cola, on the other hand, took a complete offline detour. Contrary to its usual costly commercials, the company boycotted TV in order to direct the budget to developing and renovating 100 suffering villages in Egypt.
After more than 10 days of anticipation, Coca-Cola posted its series of commercials online and stated that the company prefers helping people with the assigned budget rather than spending it on airing rights. The online commercials serve a social cause which is against misjudging and prejudice.
The extraordinary campaign came right after several social-media users attacked mega companies for wasting the money on air rights and famous actors, instead of utilising it wisely.
Meanwhile, the least popular donation commercials were the ones that featured sick children to gain from their suffering. The Ahl Masr Child Burns Hospital went as far as using burnt children for a greater influence. Over the course of few commercials, the children recited several lines narrating the prejudice they meet every day as many healthy colleagues refuse to interact with them.