CAIRO—In the weeks since Egypt’s uprising, the television airwaves and Cairo’s streets have been filled with revolutionary slogans.
“Build your country!” shout billboards hovering over this city’s dense thoroughfares. “Develop your country!” urges another over smaller text demanding that Egyptians “Don’t stop!”
But the signs aren’t the work of revolutionaries. They are advertisements for Snicker’s, the candy brand owned by Mars Inc., the U.S.-based confectioner.
Since thousands of protesters ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in a nearly three-week revolt, the enthusiasm for revolution has been redirected and repackaged for television ads, billboards and jingles selling products including hair gel, soft drinks and candy.
A television spot for Coca-Cola Co.’s Coke, which apes a similar Latin American commercial called “Sky,” shows hundreds of kids dressed in trendy clothes climbing to the tops of buildings in downtown Cairo. There, they lasso the sun, pull it out from behind menacing storm clouds and bask in the radiant glory that is the new Egypt. “Make tomorrow better!” the slogan implores.
PepsiCo Inc.’s flagship Pepsi brand has launched a similar ad in which a cool kid dressed in funky clothes emails a playful image of a vibrantly colored and reimagined Cairo. As the image circulates to friends around town—an echo of the calls to protest that first circulated via social-networking sites, the colors sweep across the city’s gray skyline like a coloring book from a child’s imagination.
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