Panda Cheese Commercial Review Essay

Panda, an Egyptian manufacturer of cheese and dairy products, has dramatically revamped its advertising thanks to boutique agency Elephant Cairo. The four-man agency, which won two grands prix at this year’s Dubai Lynx, sold the client the ‘crazy idea’ that if you don’t like Panda products, eat Panda products, or refuse a Panda sandwich, the Panda will kick your ass.
Utilising dark and subtle humour, the ‘Never say no to Panda’ concept is revealed in a string of new TVCs, which show people refusing to eat Panda cheese. They then nervously look towards a life-size Panda, who stares blankly back at them accompanied by Buddy Holly’s True Love Ways, before the Panda proceeds to smash things up.

Project Never say no to Panda
Client Arab Dairy – Panda, Egypt
Creative agencies Advantage Marketing & Advertising/Elephant Cairo
Creative directors Ali Ali, Maged Nassar
Copywriters Ali Ali, Maged Nassar
Producer Hossam Fawzy
Director Ali Ali
Director of photography Pedro del Ray
Exposure TV

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Filed Under: The Work

Tags: Elephant Cairo • Panda

While we like to imagine Don Draper dreaming up the cheese commercials that have caused us to spend the last hour wheezing through laughter-induced stomach pains, Panda is a product of Egypt, not Madison Avenue. As was the case with those cavemen a few years back, all the "it" commercial elements are intact: oddly compelling characters, a killer soundtrack, and a stock yet endlessly amusing sequence of events. In each installment, as Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways" plays, the cuddly mascot confronts someone--a man in a hospital gown, a father and son shopping for groceries, a cook in a restaurant kitchen--with the audacity to "say no" to the company's cheese.

We won't spoil the inevitable ending, but it suffices to say that this panda, in spite of his perpetually upturned line of a mouth and gentle, blinking eyes, handles rejection very poorly. Think of him as an ursine Gallagher--except threatening, humorless, without a hammer, a striped shirt, or a thing for messing up melons in particular--merely an unwavering mission to ruin the days (and immediate physical surroundings) of any who dare not taste his cheese. And we though the Tillamook ads were good.

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