Close Encounters of the Levantine Kind – Part 2

(Part 1 can be read here)

The Shelved Cellcom Ads

McCann Erickson's logo

McCann Erickson's logo

It’s mid June at the McCann Erickson offices in Tel Aviv. Hagit, Eyal and Oz have come with their ad proposals for the new cellcom campaign. Luckily enough, you and I are flys on the wall, and are witnessing the ads that never came to be.

Ad 1

It’s midnight. The dark streets of Nablus casbah. The Golani brigade is slowly walking thru the narrow streets, imposing curfew. Close up shots of terrified young soldiers, waiting for the worst to happen. They hear a baby cry in a nearby home, and immediately barge into the house.

But it’s empty. Quiet. Maybe too quiet. The soldiers look around the living room, picking up family photos and magazines on the couch.

Suddenly, a soccer ball bounces down the stairway. The whole platoon aims their M-16s at the bouncing object.

Commander Yossi: “It’s just a ball. Gabi, kick it back up stairs.”

Gabi kicks the ball back. As the soldiers open the door to leave, the ball bounces back down.

Yossia and Gabi smile back at each other.

Yossi: “Yallaaaa!!!! Let the games begin!!!!!!”

Gabi picks up his cellcom phone and calls the other platoon: “Come on over to Salah-a-Din alley, there’s a game!”

Camera slowly moves back, showing all of living room, with soldiers kicking the ball happily and breaking everything in sight.

Announcer: “What is it we all want? Just a little fun”.

Ad 2

It’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. A large scale firefight is taking place in Bet Lahiye between paratroopers and some Hamasniks. At least we think they’re Hamasniks, we can’t really see them.

After several rounds of fire, quiet takes over. Suddenly, a soccer ball comes rolling down from the hill where the Hamasniks are hiding.

Commander Yossi: “It’s just a ball. Gabi, kick it back to them.”

Gabi: “But Commander, they’re Hamasniks!”

Yossi: “How do you know, can you see them?”

Gabi kicks the ball back. At this point, a bearded militant peeks out from behind the hill, rifle on his back, and starts bouncing the ball on his head.

Yossi picks up his Cellcom, and calls the nearest takn unit: “Coordinates: 9-7-5-6 North, 7-5-6-3 West, fire now.”

Tank takes out bearded man.

Announcer: “What is it we all want? Just to have some fun”.

Ad 3

It’s the Hawara checkpoint outside of Jenin. An ambulance, sirens blazing, pulls up. Inside, a woman in labor can be heard.

Husband comes out of ambulance, pleads with soldier to get through to hospital. Close-up on soldier’s face. He’s seen terrorists come through ambulances. He knows better. It’s a big decision.

Yossi: “Open the doors of the ambulance!”

Husband obliges.

Yossi: “You can’t go through.”

Husband: “Why?”

Yossi: “No soccer ball coming out mysteriously from van. I can’t be sure of your intentions.”

Yossi picks up his cellcome phone, and calls his Mom: “Ima, can you bring me a soccer ball on Shabbat? These Arabs are lame”.

Camera fades out as woman in ambulance continues to scream like there’s no tomorrow.

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