Ramadan commercials don’t usually cause much controversy, but Kuwaiti telco Zain has discovered what it means to do just that.
Created by Joy Productions in Kuwait, the three-minute video featuring Emirati pop star Hussain Al Jassmi depicts a would-be suicide bomber being confronted by the faithful. The words ‘Worship your God with love, not terror’ are central to the ad.
However, the commercial has come under attack because of its use of images of five-year-old Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh.
The ad features images from bombings across the region claimed by Al-Qaeda or Daesh, but Daqneesh – who grabbed the world’s attention when he was photographed sitting dazed and bloodied in the back of an ambulance – survived a regime airstrike in Aleppo, not an attack by Islamic militants. This led to the hashtag #zaindistortsthetruth quickly appearing on Twitter.
So far there have been calls for Zain to apologise to the Syrian people and for the commercial to be removed.
Yet the video has 4.1 million views on Zain’s YouTube channel, with 65,205 likes and only 6,029 dislikes, suggesting it is more popular than headlines would have you suggest.
Agency: Joy Advertising Company - Kuwait
Creative Director: May al Saleh
Lyrics by: Heba Mishary Hamada
Music Composition: Bashar al Shatti
Director: Samir Aboud
Singer: Hussain al Jasmi