KUWAIT: Zain Group, the leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa recently launched its latest television commercial (TVC) to mark the commencement of the Holy Month of Ramadan. The content immediately amassed significant interest on social media platforms, with the 2.35 minute-long commercial being the most searched and viewed Arabic content across social media platforms, exceeding 12 million views on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bF16Ph3uEI) within a week. The TVC was also aired on regional and local TV networks across the MENA region.

The concept behind Zain's latest TVC, which is entitled 'Zain's Consolation', which has also become known as 'God will not forsake us', is based on offering a message of hope in the midst of the current exceptional circumstances brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. The shocking effects of the virus across the globe made the TVC's comforting words to resonate even more deeply with highly appreciative viewers. Words such as, "God will not forsake us" and "He'll make us richer than to need anything" within the accompanying soundtrack to the commercial offered an air of hope and optimism for people enduring hardships during this difficult time.

The TVC starts with images of the world standing puzzled at the alarming spread of this virus and considering ways to control it, with the soundtrack stating, "Until a vaccine is ready, let's inject the world with humanity." Zain focused the commercial on the effects of Coronavirus on everyone, most notably people in the medical and security frontlines, and showcased the pandemic's devastating effect in separating families and enforcing social distancing. This was reflected in lyrics, "I asked my mother, what is the matter? Where have all the people gone?"

Zain also conjured up the emotional feelings people rely on at times of difficulty, including a scene where children look at the Kaaba at the Great Mosque of Mecca, and wonder why it is empty and when will it return to normal; thronging with the faithful.

This year's TVC is a humanitarian work of art, attempting to bring comfort, ultimate well-being, and hopefulness that God will uplift this affliction, and that the houses of worship will open once more, and loved ones will meet again.

Every Ramadan, Zain seeks to present a new message in its TVCs that touches upon the most relevant issues in life, and this year was no different. In previous TVCs, Zain has addressed peace and tolerance, and highlighted the suffering of refugees, and the effects of disputes and conflicts on people regionally. The company has partnered with global entities including the United Nations to achieve its sustainability and humanitarian goals and communicated such in its Ramadan TVCs.

It is central to Zain that its commercials reflect the values of its brand, which is based on being a cornerstone of every community and country in which is serves. Zain views itself as a facilitator that enables people to enjoy aspects of their lives, sharing occasions with friends and family seamlessly.

'Zain's Consolation' did face technical challenges when being produced. Major national lockdowns around the world made it difficult for crew members to communicate, travel, and film the footage. Crew members had to excuse themselves for the project, though the Zain team overcame these challenges to ensure the project was completed and the message of hope was shared.

The TVC's original idea was generated by Zain's team in Kuwait, while the videography crew members originated from Egypt. The TVC was produced by Joy Productions in Kuwait and directed by Samir Aboud from Lebanon. The lyrics were written by Heba Hamada, and the music was composed by Kuwait's Bashar Al Shatti, while the TVC's music arrangement was performed by Michel Fadel, the mix and master by Rabea Saydawi with vocals by Rama Rabbat.

Notable positive reactions to the TVC on YouTube and across other social media platforms included: "Zain's TVCs always win, they make us feel the special taste of Ramadan, Eid, and other occasions." Another viewer commented, "This is not unusual. Every year Zain mesmerizes us with a new TVC, I can't stop watching!" A further viewer commented, "I'd play this a million times because it really touched my feelings," while another satisfied viewer commented, "After months of this crisis, I hope the world is filled with love and peace."