Egypt: The Revolution Will Be Monetized
(Wall Street Journal) — 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.