A Review of Recent TVCs Made in Dubai
Posted on 2016 Nov,14  | By ArabAd staff

From babies' sweet laughters to highly cinematic epic battles and road movie, here's a round up of some TVCs made in Dubai that recently caught our attention, and which we will be reviewing here


Johnson Baby wipes - Let the real experts talk:




With baby wipes category being rapidly commoditised in the MENA market, Johnson Baby brand line by Johnson & Johnson needed to find new ways to drive awareness, brand expertise, own the “superior cleaning on the go” territory and prompt mothers to consider the brand as first choice in their baby wipes repertoire.

Knowing social talent is the new brand celebrity, UM MENA’s sister company J3 relinquished its creative control and filmed the thoughts and observations of messy experts—a team of established and highly influential baby bloggers.

In Johnson’s Baby Blogger series, you will meet the real people who know best about the topic in question - the dirty, splattering, splashing, throw-it-in-your-face, color-outside-the-lines and eat-with-your-hands kind of experts.

And it works naturally, especially for a category that is baby wipes, which is being clopped by ads with piano backdrop and golden-ish sunlight colours. "Celebrate the mess" is the line that ties the whole bundle - even if, sadly, it has the same intonations as Omo's "Dirt is good" - and manages to convince us that the toddlers in question have a real-life experience we have been missing.

100% conceptualised and crafted in the region with insights from J3’s creative and media teams, it changed the way the brand approached communication for the baby wipes segment. The concept was so well received that it has since been adapted to be used by Johnson & Johnson’s London office across EMEA region. 


Nissan Patrol 2016 - lost in translation:



It has bee said that the survivors of a nuclear catastrophe would be rats and cockroaches. Well, that was before. And not necessarily a nuclear catastrophe we speak of, but a simple rural-urban migration.

The Nissan Patrol 2016 film tells - through the voice of the car itself - how, no matter where placed, be it in the skyscraper-filled city or thee dunes of the desert, the car is in control in any environment it is in.

At times intentions are better on paper (or board) rather in reality. This is not to denigrate the very high production value, the aesthetic shots, the beautiful gradient of colours, and the driving ability of the stuntmen. The problem is with not much to say apart from a rather beautiful car, the ad lacks depth and fails to drive home the point.

With or without the expressive copy, which is voiced in a deep impressive voice, the ad is rather tame in terms of storytelling, as apart from nice angles of the car in different settings and a line, which strives to express the concept of "take no sides", there is little there in how the original idea got translated visually. The original concept being that "[this] film narrates the story of this epic battle, from the voice of the New Nissan Patrol itself. Eventually no matter who wins this epic battle, if the city consumes the desert or the desert eats the city back up, the Nissan Patrol will always be in control."

It is to note that the signature line, "take no sides", which is a bit of an anti-war rally cry does the job to bring to the foreground an idea, which did not come through easily in visual way. The line is quite strong, insuring a positioning for the car that tries to appease both sides of the equation and ways of life, which could be symbiotic in the GCC countries - the desert-dwellers and city-inhabitants.

The ad has certainly high merits for its entertainment value, and for targeting the right audience of the Middle Easterners who need a versatile car for their daily city life and their weekend escapades in the desert. The hollow story line and the loss in translation of the original idea might not matter much, as in the end, the audience wants to see the car in different settings and decide - depending on brand name and heritage - if they want it or not.


Sabotage: When things go right for Centrepoint:



Get an American muscle car, put on it the 01 sign of the Dukes Of Hazzard (even if the Dukes drove a Dodge Charger, it was a 1969 whereas the car in the ad is of a totally different model, which dates to 1973), run it on a long road, insert stylish, cool, bored models, make the whole thing on a setting reminiscent of Route 66, and put everything in black and white. Basically, all the ingredients needed for a trailer of a movie entitled "Sabotage", which basically is an ad from Centerpoint sales that rolled out two months ago by Impact BBDO Dubai team.

Sabotage ends with the car breaking down, which would not have been an issue had the car not broken down on the rails of a train and the train in question happens to be passing by. 

Moral of the story: When life hits you like a train you'd better be in full style.

Macabre is a good word to describe this. Indie Hollywood production is another. Cool ad is a third. And deliciously dark is a forth…

Centrepoint is not an upscale brand, so whereas the ad suggests the same ennui that expensive brands hint at in their ads, it does convey the tone of a high-end brands where one splashes their money as they purchase from their stores (far from it, in real life when Centrepoint is concerned).

The ad seems to be spreading like wildfire in terms of viewership online. In fact, the spot clocked-up over a million views across YouTube and Facebook in just six hours after release. The production qualities certainly help, the detached tone of storytelling does not stand in the way either and certainly the high-end aspirations of a rather inexpensive brand to compete in the territory of grown ups helps.

Pity that, just as Centrepoint is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it had to be the train!


Cadillac XT5: a new campaign aiming for a younger audience:





Following one's passion can be daunting, but when one dares to do so, one will find that the greatest opportunities and life adventures are simply one step away.

The Cadillac XT5 campaign, the crossover vehicle from the American brand, commercialised in the region by Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai, features three passionate individuals -  Ascia AKF, Shamekh Bluwi and Karen Wazen – and successful social media influencers in their fields who dared to try something new and pursue their callings. Their stories are told through online films created to inspire the viewer to always look forward to the next step in their journey.

"Dare to ask, where next?" says the final line of each video, which had previously detailed the "day in the life of" each of the protagonists. You might be forgiven to mistake the ads for ones for a mobile brand, as there seems to be too much use of cell phones, tablets and technological devices throughout the three ads. The Cadillac features, are seen obliquely throughout.

The production value is necessarily high, and the protagonists seem to live a charming and charmed life in their breezy-airy houses with plenty of sunshine and handsome toddlers to match. There are a lot of scenes featuring them inside the car, or of the car going through urban landscapes, to have better views of it.

The campaign's overall line in the Middle East is "Pursuit of next" whereas in the US it was announced via the "Daring Pursuits" campaign, which pairs passionate creators from different backgrounds to collaborate and share their unique perspectives.

The choice of the stars of the campaign is perhaps a rejuvenation of the image of the brand, rendering close to a younger target audience, since Cadillac necessarily attracts an older, and more established clientele. The pseudo-alternative lifestyle these stars lead, lends them credibility with younger people more internet friendly and more hooked on social media.