A new Jean-Claude Van Damme commercial just released. So, because it’s my sworn duty, I have written about it. I realize this removes some weight to my previous claims that the Couch Petito isn’t a Jean-Claude Van Damme fan site, and that’s okay—this is important work.
Clocking in at 2:21 it really seems like more of a music video than a commercial. The last commercial I can remember seeing that was more than two-minutes long was probably a late night infomercial for minted coins or a new line of non-stick pans. Fortunately, this commercial is nothing like those. There’s a shoot-out featuring Van Damme’s machine gun for an arm, a few fight scenes, and some exceptional dance sequences; one of which will look very familiar to fans of JCVD.
Unfortunately, the commercial doesn’t star Van-Damme. It turns out that it’s actually an Egyptian advertisement, which made sense given it is in Arabic and features Egyptian actor/singer Mohamed Ramadan. Ramadan appears to be the Egyptian Jean-Claude Van Damme if Van Damme never did martial arts movies and decided to sing instead. The setup is something along the lines of Ramadan representing Etisalat—a telecom company advertising their mobile recharge card—and Van Damme an unnamed competitor. The fact that this isn’t a movie and is instead a component of a mobile telecommunication company’s advertising strategy is kind of astounding. The beginning of the commercial shows Ramadan asking about the person daring to challenge Egypt’s “Strongest card.” Then Van Damme shows up, and in an extraordinary fashion. Go ahead and have a look for yourself.
The song is actually pretty good if you only listen to it a few times. Since I’ve watched and listened well over 50 times I no longer like the song very much. What I still like, though, are the tiny spots of greatness sprinkled throughout. I clipped a few screenshots of these spots of greatness, which was basically anything with Van Damme in the frame.
And then there was the moment he fired a charged up Hadouken at Ramadan. If for some reason you don’t want to watch the whole thing you should at least skip ahead to 00:51. Please, though, watch the whole thing.
I think my biggest takeaway after watching this 50 times is that Egyptian telecom companies really know how to make commercials. Now we wait for Van Damme’s western opus with machine gun arms, Hadoukens, and spinning roundhouse kicks.