The fourth instalment of Leo Burnett Cairo’s ‘The Bitter Truth’ campaign for Melody was stolen and leaked online ahead of its planned release, says the agency’s executive creative director, Mohamed Hamdalla.
The ongoing campaign for Melody Drama, called ‘El Hakika El Mora’ in Arabic, first aired in April this year and a new episode has been released every month since, with YouTube viewership measured in the millions.
However, Hamdalla said the latest episode was leaked on Facebook and YouTube and frantic efforts were made to remove it.
“We had just released the third part and about 10 days later Gamal Marwan [CEO at Melody Entertainment] calls me furiously and tells me that part four was online,” said Hamdalla. “We scrambled to shut down every site that had uploaded it. More than 35 YouTube uploads were reported to YouTube and closed down; and more than 30 Facebook pages were reported as well.
“But for every link that we managed to close down, 10 new ones would open. One YouTube upload had over 200,000 hits 48 hours before we managed to shut it down. When we typed “the bitter truth episode four” into Google we got 12,600 unique sites that had the video available for download, some of the links had over 300,000 downloads already. We couldn’t control the situation.
“We decided along with Gamal to upload the fourth installment four days later since more than a million people had already seen it. We are still investigating how the copy was stolen but this is the first time that I’ve encountered a problem like this. Usually we have to persuade people to see our ads, now we are trying to keep the advertising from them. It is a problem, but it’s a great problem to have.”
Melody Drama was launched last December. Leo Burnett Cairo recently won a silver and bronze at Cannes for its ‘The Mother of all Foreign Films’ campaign for Melody.