Ad Critique

Faith and modernity are both part of the lifestyle for the Muslim Futurists

13, October, 2011


The context: The ad is created by ‘Nafaess’ which explains itself as a ‘project to encourage worship.’ Traditional methods of encouraging worship and religious rituals are often found to be out of date, old-fashioned or simply unappealing to younger people who are used to the fast slick output of the media and technology. One challenge is how to attract such youngsters away from media and technology – like video games – and engage them in completing their religious duties which include prayer. Prayers must be conducted on time, and cannot be delayed.

The concept: two young men, representing the target group for the message of worship, are pictured in a typical lounge playing video games. They are bobbing up and down in excitement and eating popcorn. Then the call for prayer – the adhan – comes. The pause button is activated, and their game-play is therefore paused.  They leave the lounge, their video game, popcorn and controls frozen in time, and head to the mosque to complete their prayers. Once finished, they return home, the game is unfrozen and they return to their game play.

What we liked: the ad shows acceptance and understanding of the way that the young men choose to spend time playing video games. Much traditional preaching would berate them.  The ad also uses visual imagery that is familiar to the target audience, invoking the ‘pause’ concept to relate to worship.  Futurists see faith and modernity as working together in their lives and not as being in conflict with each other.  The soundtrack is also powerful – the clear melodious voice of the traditional call to prayer cutting across the video game noise, and then the peaceful recitation of the prayers in the mosque. Finally it returns to the noise of the video game. This also reminds the viewer of the timeline that should be followed, and the benefits of the prayer that will be achieved of peace and tranquility, but without the loss of the enjoyable and acceptable video game.  Preaching is rarely this in tune with the thinking of young Muslims and how they choose to live their lives.