PepsiCo made regional advertising history during Ramadan by becoming the first brand in the Middle East and North Africa to bring iconic entertainers back to life using state-of-the-art special effects.
The company’s Ramadan campaign for Pepsi and Lay’s, called ‘Let’s complete our gathering’, featured icons from the past 40 years, including Egyptian stage and screen actor Fouad El Mohandes, who died in 2006. He appeared as the much-loved character Amo Fouad (Uncle Fouad). The three-minute commercial also included Samir Ghanem’s Fatouta and actress, singer and comedienne Nelly. Both were made to appear as they did 30 or 40 years ago.
The campaign was created by Impact BBDO Cairo, with special effects and post-production carried out by Ghost in Denmark. Complex 3D face replacement and other VFX fixes were required, with all teams working to tough deadlines and filming taking place during unrest in Egypt.
Hussam Moro, executive creative director at Impact BBDO Cairo, said: “We wanted people to be reminded of a more authentic Ramadan time so we selected iconic entertainers from yesteryear but set them in a modern PepsiCo story. These iconic stars were central to Ramadan entertainment in the past. We believed if we could make them re-appear again as they looked before then we would rekindle very strong positive emotions around these loved characters. Easily said, but to make this happen and look perfect took weeks and weeks of complex and innovative CGI work by a small army of brilliant technicians and designers.
“People’s reaction has been phenomenally positive. They really relate to the campaign, the characters and the importance of Ramadan gatherings. The appearance of Fouad El Mohandes in the film has particularly touched people and online the three-minute film has already been viewed more than eight million times.”
Only a few global TVCs have used the same technique.