When you see a commercial, you surely have many comments and questions about every single detail. And you ask yourself what’s the significance of some scenes. As an audience, we don’t see the struggles of the creative team who works on commercials, and we may criticize their work without knowing the conditions, and the restrictions they had.
Today, we will discover the behind of scenes of Orange commercial for Ramadan, featuring Hussain AlJassmi. We had an interview with Leo Burnett’s Creative Director Osama Arnaouty, who also directed the commercial for the first time.
Who is Osama Al Arnaouty?
Osama Al Arnaouty is a Creative Director at Leo Burnett Cairo, who graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 2004. He used to work for JWT for 2 years before moving to his home Leo Burnett, where he worked for the past 13 years.
Some of his previous notable project:
- Birell: استرجل و أشرب بيريل Campaign. (اضرب صاحبك لو هما كتير / الهوب ماتخليش الدمعه تفط)
- Birell: Egypt for the African cup of nations 2010 Campaign
- Orange: أبو حفيظة
- Mobinil: دايما مع بعض Ramadan 2012
- Mobinil: دايما مع بعض Ramadan 2013
- Mobinil: صحوني عالمدفع
- Mobinil: فاعل_خير رمضان 2015
Orange commercial سُنة الحياة is considered by many, as one of the few best ads during this Ramadan. It was an emotional ad that related to the life of many people. Many mothers saw themselves when they are talking to their kids who are abroad, and many people realized how much they miss their friends and family who are far away, either because of work or because of Coronavirus. The song was touching, and appealed to many, that people learned it quickly.
Today Mr. Osama Al Arnaouty, will answer all our questions, and clarify the hair clip scene, and also share with you the challenges they faced to release the commercial in this challenging time.
- Can you share with us the idea behind this campaign? How did you think of it?
The idea of this campaign came to my mind in November 2019. I was in the car, driving and listening to music. When my favorite track started, my mother called me, but I hung up to enjoy the track. But I felt terrible about what I did. And then I remembered how mom calls us every time, and how she makes sure to wake up extremely early every morning to talk to her son who lives in Australia. And at that moment, I thought about why no telecommunication company thought about the people with family members abroad. And at that moment we had the Brief from Orange for Ramadan.
- Who worked on this project? Can we have an idea about the Creative team?
The Creative Team who worked on this project consisted of 5 people. Even if we worked with a minimal crew, but all that I can say is that the whole team worked with all their hearts. They put their hearts into this project, to come out with a commercial that touches people.
- Can you share with us the process of creating the commercial?
At first, we were working on communicating the message “Sometimes people who matter are far” ساعات اللي بيهمك بيكون بعيد
But after the Coronavirus outbreak and the quarantine, missing family members and being far from our loved ones became dominant feelings and situations. So we changed our concept to لحد ماترجع نقربك ليها. And the Marketing Team of Orange was supporting the idea and made Mega for free.
All the scenes shared in the commercial are based on true and real stories. The first story is inspired by my mother and my brother with all its details.
- There is a scene that sparked a debate on social media, the hair clip scene, can you explain the meaning behind it?
This scene was under the spotlights because the clip is not complete. There is a more extended version, but it had to be cut due to the time for the ad and the skippable ads on YouTube.
Normally, the clip started with the woman sitting, making herself a cup of coffee, drinking it, and talking to her son. Removing her hair clip means that they spoke for a long time.
The actress has two sons abroad, and she said that when she talks to them, she is comfortable and can comb her hair and do house chores… We preferred to let her feel at ease and keep things spontaneous.
- Did you face any challenges while making this commercial?
There was a high risk that the commercial wouldn’t be filmed because many people declined and apologized for not taking the work. And to be able to finish our project, I had to direct and produce the commercial. Orange Commercial was my first experience in Directing, I am originally a Creative Director, but I am passioned by the Directing field, and I make sure to attend Commercial filming.
We were obliged to work with a minimal crew, due to the pandemic, but all people had a passion for helping and having a good outcome. We also had to film the whole commercial indoor, except for the 8 minutes where we shot on top of an offshore drilling rig. We also were taking all precautions by cleaning and disinfecting.
- Why Did you choose Hussain Al Jassmi to perform the song?
Aly Fathalla and Mahmoud ElEsseily who made the music recommended Hussain Al Jassmi. They were in the right place to decide the suitable voice for the music. And of course, we were hoping that Al Jassmi accepts because he’s a big Icon in the Music Industry in the Arab World. He added a lot to the commercial.
- Before finishing this interview, we would like to know if you have an advice to all people who are interested in Copywriting and advertising?
Try always to improve and develop yourself, and keep in mind that finding an idea is very easy; however, you need to always be able to add a story behind it.
Never try to imitate or copy something. Don’t copy a commercial concept just because it went viral. And if you want to be inspired by an international idea that succeeded, try to add an Egyptian touch, that will make you different. For example, Melody “All English all The Time.”
Personally, as far as Ramadan Briefs are concerned, I always try to think about the audience more than the advertisers. I think about how to give them something real, that will touch and impact them and also stay with them for a very long time.
Learn n’ Digital was delighted to talk to such a wonderful person, who participated in the creation of great commercials that Egyptian will always remember. And we respect the fact that you think more about the audience, and you do your best to give them a good outcome, that they will enjoy for long.
Thank you, Mr. Osama Al Arnaouty, for your time, and the opportunity. You were very patient and answered quickly. It only proves how professional you are. We wish you more success.
Credits: Leo Burnett Cairo Directed by Osama Arnaouty Featuring Hussain AlJassmi - حسين الجسمي Chief Operating Officer: Amr Darwish Creative Team: Osama Arnaouty- Adham ElKhosht - Salma Ezz - Mohamed Abd Al-Bar - Hossam Ahmed Communication Team: Ahmad Fahmy - Nadeen Maged - Aliaa El Alaily Agency Producer: Hagar Hammad Orange Team: Maha Nagy - Dalida Tolba - Nasser Mouti - Nourhan Fahmy - Nada ElDamaty - Maryam M.Adly D.O.P: Nadim George Art Director: Amr Saleh Stylist: Farida Fouad Production: Rhino Productions Executive Producer: Mohamed Abdelrehim Senior Producer: Saleh El-Azab Line Producer: Farah Dabbour - Amal Gharbo Head of Production: Karim Darwish Editing: Ahmed Hafez | Aroma Post Production: Mahmoud Ghali & Ahmed Ghali | Monkeys Music: Aly Fathalla, Mahmoud ElEsseily Sound Design: The Garage Studios, Hosny Ali Casting: Challenge Casting Agency