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Israeli ad inspired by Dubai assassination

By Paula Hancocks, CNN
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Tasteless ad campaign?
  • Commercial pokes fun at video showing assassins stalking Hamas leader in Dubai
  • TV ad features actors dressed like suspects seen in surveillance footage
  • Dubai authorities blame Israel for hit; Israeli marketing minds see business opportunity

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Grainy surveillance footage picks up a woman wearing a large hat approaching the freezer section in a supermarket.

She looks around furtively before picking up what looks like a bag of frozen peas. A simple shopper looking for low prices? No. It's a scene from a new commercial inspired by something more serious: the now infamous surveillance video showing suspected assassins stalking a Hamas leader in Dubai.

"We call it an assassination of prices!" said Sefi Shaked, the director of the TV ad for Israeli supermarket chain Mahsaney Kimat Hinam. "We are shooting everything through the security cameras of the supermarket."

The new commercial features actors dressed like the suspects seen in surveillance footage released by Dubai police, who say their video shows assassins following Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel where he was killed in January.

Video: New suspects in Dubai murder
Video: Dubai plot thickens
  • Israel
  • Dubai
  • Hamas
  • Palestinian Politics

As Dubai authorities blamed Israel for the hit, Israeli marketing minds saw a business opportunity.

"The objective is to get sales from excellent prices as well as to put a smile on the customer's face," said supermarket marketing director Yossi Maimon.

"I hope they will also start buying our products in Dubai," added supermarket owner Adi Zim.

A spoof of the Dubai hotel security footage would not be complete without the men in tennis gear. In the supermarket ad, the two men seen following al-Mabhouh as he checked on his room turn into a man with a tennis racket over his shoulder checking out the frozen food section.

This marketing campaign is unlikely to go down well in Gaza or Dubai, but in Israel it's fair game.

During the recent Jewish holiday of purim where people traditionally dress up, one of the favorite costumes was none other than tennis gear.