Monday, December 12, 2011

It's lonely out there for a dictator

Who would have thought that we would once find ourselves watching a commercial featuring the world's most famous dictators.  I wouldn't think so at least.  But I guess I was wrong.  Nando's, the global grilled-chicken chain, together with director, Dean Blumberg, created an ad that features a lonely Robert Mugabe, reminiscing about the good old days with his friends Muammar al-Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin and a few other friendly faces.  This is certainly something we would never see here in the U.S.  I can't even imagine the backlash something like this would receive.  But, then again, that's why we count on these other countries to produce commercials like these for people like me to talk about.  

Paired together with the song "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin, the ad shows us a glimpse of some of the good times shared by these dictators. We begin with Mugabe having a water fight with his pal  Muammar al-Qaddafi, and even going as far to showcase his token golden gun.  We then find Mugabe playing in the sand with a smiling Saddam Hussein, but not before we got a chance to see him singing karaoke with our good friend, Mao.  I think the ad really hit a high note when we find Mugabe and Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, on the back of a tank re-enacting the famous pose first seen on the Titanic, where Leonardo DiCaprio is holding Kate Winslet.

As the ad comes to a close, we find a lonely Mugabe sitting at an empty table, with many of his past friends missing from the dinner party.  A voice over comes along and says "no one should ever have to eat alone" so please indulge yourself in a Nando's 6-pack meal.  

Obviously, this ad hit a few nerves when it was first released, and from what I found, I think it was eventually taken down.  On the other hand, I applaud Nando's for taking a such a risk, and creating a commercial of this stature.  This could have very easily gone wrong, but they managed to create something with the right amount of humor that made it very funny to watch.

~Until Next Time~


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