Advertising In Arabic Way
The Muslim world has unusual prohibitions in advertising. This is due to the national and religious peculiarities of Islamic countries. Any advertising, including logos, should be forcibly adapted to local cultural values and the Arabic language. In order to do this you must know what various animals symbolize, what symbols indicate and how those or other subjects can be interpreted in Islamic countries.
For example, dogs are considered to be “dirty animals”, so you can rarely see them in advertising. Fish symbolizes Christianity, a crow – death, and a chameleon – hypocrisy.
Any manifestations of supernatural forces (witches, wizards, vampires, aliens) can be interpreted as equating to God, and therefore their demonstration is prohibited. In addition, the words “create” and “greatest” should be used really cautiously as they are also associated with God.
Drugs, alcohol (even an empty glass of champagne) can not be used in advertising. The only exception – social advertising. Homosexuality and any hints at a non-traditional sexual orientation are also under the strict prohibition.
Any forms of crosses are considered as violations. Therefore the organization “Red Cross” is called “Red Crescent” here.
In the most conservative Asian countries it is prohibited to show open eyes in the advertisement. Thus advertising agencies have to be very imaginative when showing people. The most popular solutions of the problem are:
– Wear glasses
– Close eyes with pleasure
Nudity is prohibited in any form. Islamic culture is very conservative. Skin can be shown only on face, hands and feet.
In order to protect their citizens from the depraved West, censors had to make extreme efforts. That’s when Photoshop and other available means like a black marker, paper and glue come into the play.
Gisele Bundchen acquired a modest white shirt.
Particular attention is paid to advertising of films. It has to be retouched in order to comply with strict cultural expectations. Legs, chest and even shoulders must be covered. Compare before and after.
Parody to muslim advertisements:
To write the name of a product in the Arabic script keeping at least some hint at the world-famous style of the brand is very difficult.
These pictures were taken in some malls of the UAE. By law of most Arabic countries an Arabic name must go first. But in this case both, the East and the West are content. As the West reads from left to right and the East reads from right to left. So everybody reads the “right” sign first.
The Body Shop
The Coffee Bean