Osmow’s is making what Canadian soccer star Cyle Larin is craving
The Canadian soccer star appears in a fun spot directed by Adeel Shamsi of Alfredo Films timed for the FIFA World Cup.
Nothing tackles hunger quite like an Osmow’s shawarma.
The restaurant chain is celebrating its status as the Official Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Restaurant Partner of Canada Soccer’s National Teams with an engaging commercial timed to coincide with the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Directed by Alfredo Films’ Adeel Shamsi, the 30-second spot “Habibi” stars Osmow’s newest brand ambassador, Cyle Larin. The Brampton, Ont.-born footballer is a forward with the Canadian Men’s National Team, plays his club football with Club Brugge KV of the Belgian First Division, and also happens to be a huge Osmow’s fan.
The spot opens with a shot of a referee blowing his whistle and Canadian fans reacting to the sight of Larin lying on the pitch. The team trainer shakes his head as he looks at the manager, who simply says “Send him in.”
It then cuts to an Osmow’s delivery guy exaggeratedly making his way onto the pitch, where he shoulders the trainer aside and perks Larin up simply by waving an Osmow’s shawarma under his nose. The spot then cuts to the announcers’ booth, where both are now holding a shawarma. “That’s Osmow’s, baby,” says one, as his partner contentedly chews on the mid-match snack.
The Osmow’s team created the concept for the spot, in association with Shamsi. “This spot is a perfect representation of Osmow’s love for soccer,” says President and Chief Marketing Officer, Bernadette Osmow.
“We are thrilled to partner with Canada Soccer as Cyle and the rest of the Men’s National Team makes its first FIFA World Cup appearance in 36 years, ” adds
Shamsi has previously worked on several Osmow’s spots, including a well-received 2019 ad featuring the Toronto Raptors’ Fred VanVleet and Norm Powell, and a follow-up spot starring just Powell (now with the Los Angeles Clippers).
The director says he didn’t have much of a chance to speak with Larin prior to the shoot, and knew he was only available for a short time on shoot day. “He was great to work with,” says Shamsi. “He was extremely easygoing, game for anything and took direction really well.”
The spot is being supported by a national media buy throughout the FIFA World Cup, as well during Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors telecasts. It is also streaming on DAZN during NFL games, as well on both specialty and conventional TV.
Founded in 2001 by Sam Osmow, the first Osmow’s™ store was located in Streetsville, Ontario, Canada and remains a successful operation to this day. Over 20 years ago, as a recent immigrant to Canada, Sam saw an opportunity to bring his Egyptian roots to the Canadian landscape blending traditional Egyptian cuisine balanced with a North American palate. Filling a void in the current fast-casual culinary marketplace, Osmow’s flavourful dishes with signature sauces such as the fan-favourite garlic sauce keeps bringing customers back to satisfy their cravings. Osmow’s™ has grown to 130 locations and is expanding across North America. Osmow’s continues to be family owned and operated run by Sam, his son Ben Osmow, and daughter Bernadette Farag.
Campaign Title: Habibi
Founder: Sam Osmow
Marketing Director: Marina Baric
CEO, President of Franchisee Operations: Ben Osmow
President & CMO: Bernadette Farag
Creative Director: Team Osmow’s
Production Company: Alfredo Films
Production Company: Imagine Nation Collective
Director: Adeel Shamsi
Executive Producer: Xavier St-Roch
Director of Photography: Matt Bendo
Line Producer: David DeRose
Online: Justin Stevenson
Editorial: Outsider Editorial
Editor: Cam Anderson
Assistant Editors: Nathan Olszewicki, Daniel Karan
Senior Producer: Kayan Choi
Executive Producer: Kristina Anzlinger
VFX Artist: Juan Manuel Quintero
VFX Assistants: Karen Palacios, Kyra Zelanda
3D Artist: Elliot Ollea
Producer/VFX Supervisor: Abraham Reyes
On-Set VFX Supervisor: Yousef Abdel Rahman
Colour: Artjail Toronto
Colourist: Clinton Homuth
Colour Assistant: Austin Tang
Producer: Alison Maxwell
Audio: TA2 Sound+Music
Sound Design: Adam Ive, Andrew Fumerton
Engineer: Adam Ive
Executive Producer: Dana Gadsden