M&C Saatchi Group and Déjà vu create a heart-warming tale of connection with the Liverpool United star, writes Laura Swinton
This year’s Ramadan has felt quite different for people who usually return home to the Middle East and North Africa to spend time with friends and family. Ever-changing Covid-19 travel restrictions have been hard to navigate. According to this new campaign from Oppo, though, technology is allowing people to share the spirit of the holy month with loved ones living far away.
Liverpool footballer Mo Salah, who is also the captain of the Egypt national side, stars in the campaign from M&C Saatchi. As he reminisces about the sights and sounds of Ramadan, a young family member heads out into Cairo, taking photos and videos and picking up a few gifts along the way.
Last year’s Ramadan campaigns saw agencies scramble to do sudden strategic and production handbrake turns – just as people around the MENA region were faced with having to cobble together new plans to connect with family remotely. This year, of course, people have had more time to figure out how to connect with far-flung relatives in a more thoughtful way.
Asmaa Ahmed is regional senior strategist at M&C Saatchi, and she says that the campaign is rooted in an understanding of the emotion and spirit of the holy month and a desire to show people different ways to recreate it.
“There’s a special feeling and vibe about celebrating Ramadan in the Middle East. You can't quite put your finger on it, but you can feel it when you're there,” she says. “It's a big reason why many people travel to the region, not just to gather with friends and family but to feel the Ramadan spirit. Even though it’s an important part of the holy month, the constantly changing guidelines and rules around entering and exiting countries coupled with quarantine rules have made it difficult for many to nearly impossible for some. Through this Ramadan campaign featuring Liverpool star and Middle East icon, Mo Salah, we wanted to encourage people to capture the Ramadan spirit, all the different things that they feel represent the occasion and send it over to those who miss it most.”
Déjà vu produced the spot – the team recently picked up the Golden Palm award at the Dubai Lynx for production company of the year – and it was shot by director Ahmed Hussein.