May 9, 2012, Updated May 15, 2012

It’s 1997, and Men In Black‘s Tommy Lee Jones tells Will Smith: “Don’t touch the red button.” Which, of course he does, because who can really resist a red button?

Fast forward to 2012, and Belgian ad agency Duval Guillaume takes the ‘red button’ theme to a new level. To promote the launch of a new cable channel in Belgium, they create a brilliant viral video campaign featuring – you guessed it – a red button.


Without giving too much away, a red button is placed on a podium in the middle of a typical Flemish town square. There’s a sign that reads “Push to add drama” pointing at it.

Curiosity eventually overcomes passersby and once the button is pressed bystanders unsuspectingly find themselves in an action-packed Hollywood scene.

Sirens. Gun shots. Police. Laughing bystanders. An outstanding ad campaign.

Which brings us to the Israeli connection. Spoof video artist Roman Buchatsky and his brother Vitaly are surfing the web when they come across this video. “In a flash of a second,” he tells ISRAEL21c, the idea of a parody came to them.

‘A DRAMATIC SURPRISE ON A QUIET SQUARE – ISRAEL’ starts off the same way. But anyone who has lived in Israel will immediately find the original wording of the advertisement not quite in synch with life here.

No one needs to push a red button to add drama in Israel.

“It is not hard to notice that drama and action are part of our daily experience, whether it is on the news or on the street,” says Buchatsky.

In the Israeli send-up, the ‘quiet square’ has been replaced by bustling Magen David Square in Tel Aviv. Bystanders don’t take the bait so Buchatsky presses the red button.

Talkbacks to the Israeli video were quick to come. While many offer kudos, the anti-Israel/anti-Zionist comments are prominent as well.

“We are all human beings and we all want peace,” Buchatsky tells ISRAEL21c. “It doesn’t matter what our political views are, how observant we are or what our religion is, we all want to raise kids in a safe place, with good neighbors and live in dignity. I didn’t intend to talk about justice, politics or the price we have to pay to achieve peace. We only want the same things that every person in the world wants.”

And that is no drama. Unlesss someone pushes a red button.

More on Blog

Fighting for Israel's truth

We cover what makes life in Israel so special — it's people. A non-profit organization, ISRAEL21c's team of journalists are committed to telling stories that humanize Israelis and show their positive impact on our world. You can bring these stories to life by making a donation of $6/month. 

Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

More on Pop Culture