In our Dislocated World rocked by political turmoil, organizations try to re-engage with a politically detached Generation Z. As this problem solution online newspaper Mada Masr uses funny ads.

It’s difficult to make an amusing advertisement. Also, it is even more difficult to make originally interesting and gripping ad. Nevertheless, a campaign «Micropolitics» from Egyptian media company Mada Masr stands out. It clarifies how the politics (with its bureaucracy and corruption) is involved in our lives in a funny and even sarcastic way – it really makes for an engaging content. Its tagline “Imagine the politics in politics” can’t fail to draw our attention. The two films ‘Susy’s beauty Salon for Women’ and ‘Under 14 handball team’ by JWT Dubai show how politics works in these seemingly ordinary organizations.

The first video “Suzy’s Beauty Salon” allows us to see a life of a pinky salon where the work is humming. Its main hairdresser, Nazli, is missing, and Salma, who cuts hair, refuses to shampoo. She leaves Loulou to do it, so Salma ignores her “inventory misappropriation”.

Samira reads Karl Marx, and this hobby puts her in direct opposition to Gihan, who reads Ayn Rand… Moreover, a willing accomplice receptionist helps another young woman, who is notorious for poaching spouses. And this is just a part of all the interesting details of Suzy’s Beauty Salon’s work.

The second ad introduces a boys’ handball team. It is run by head coach Muhammed Al-Husseini, whose son is the team captain (unsurprisingly). Here you meet a beloved nephew of a late governor, and he is also a team member; and Hatim, who passes around some adult magazines.

“And the only explicable reason as to how this lot made it to the finals” is that the referee is a half-brother of the head coach.

Both films satirically show us how political games permeate in our lives through the least likely places, which leaves the audiences to think about how it really works in actual governmental politics.  The campaign highlights Mada Masr’s aim to encourage political engagement. Gautam Wadher, JWT Dubai creative director, told AdFreak that ‘The campaign aims to renew the quickly diminishing interest in political affairs in once-committed and involved citizens’.

The problem was to turn inside out these nicely looked outfits, without losing a focus on governmental politics. So all the details of videos had to be perfect: from the ironical voice over to the music. Everything made an ideal atmosphere which is as misleading as the politics itself.

Mada Masr is an Egypt-based independent online newspaper. It was launched in 2013 and now works on producing progressive, critical and engaging journalism. Moreover, it maintains a position as one of the leading independent voices in the country as their work is “untouched by political biases and affiliations”. This news site is oriented on progressive Egyptians in this country as well as on those who live abroad. The organization prides itself on journalism. To tell the truth, it is possible to compare Mada Masr to Vice as these both media resources, in its early days, were not only very ambitious but even more, they were good examples of organizations who thought outside the box. Despite that, they both could fell rough around the edges.

The campaign smartly touches upon topics like bribing, pilfering, sleaze, biases, affiliations etc. Gautam Wadher said: “The insights are poignant and strike an immediate chord. The humorous, witty tone of voice also agrees with the happy-go-lucky, jovial nature of Egyptians”. Obviously, these films don’t leave anybody indifferent: it became Grand Prix winning campaign on Dubai Lynx, the International Festival of Creativity.

We have already written about ads as a time capsule: they can be different, but still they all reflect our values. Although, it remains to be seen how Mada Masr’s ads will actually work on society.

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