Saturday, March 28, 2020

What Coronavirus has to do with right-hand driving in Sweden

Lifebuoy ad during the Spanish flu
On September 3rd, 1967 Sweden changed from left lane driving to the right lane driving. Prior to the move the government did a massive campaign to warn people of the switch. Fun fact: That day was the breakthrough performance of one young singer, Anni-Frid Lyngstad who won a talent competition live on TV (people were discouraged to drive that day so everyone was home watching television). Lyngstad would later become one of the As in ABBA insuring her place in the pop pantheon.
The campaign was so successful the accident numbers dwindled during the first years, then about four years later people became lax forgot about the switch and accidents rose again steeply.
What does this have to do with the Coronavirus?
I assure you, when all this commotion subsides people will forget the basic hygiene rules such as - washing hands. Do I do this 20 times a day? Surely not, but then again, those who are doing it now are the ones who almost never did it before. Just to be clear, it was the second wave of the Spanish flu/H1N1/1918 pandemic that wiped 50 million people - not the first benign appearance of that disease. Meaning it is the aftermath of the pandemic that is worrying me.
Again, in order not to appear hypocrite, I am not obsessed with hygiene - but again to be clear, I studied enough biology to know what I am saying.
Washing your hands is not just for these dire times.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Parazar - Coronavirus edition

Well, Parazar gets it right. It is not about you! You, the healthy, young, in love, the bride, groom, youngsters, bridesmaid, best man, the friends from university and colleagues from work... It is about your elderly parents who were waiting for your marriage, your grandmother who dressed up and who wore the family heirloom, your grandfather who put his special tie for the occasion - "so that we may celebrate again" let us stay home now. See the touching film here (taken from the Parazar real marriages they shot with permission).

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

All brands are riding the Coronavirus wave, now what?

Well, celebrities are doing boring workouts online, brands are milking this Coronavirus to the last drop, directly or indirectly, officially or through fans (the above composite has the work of designer Ashif Mohammed for Pringles among agency-led work for other brands). OK, now what? All brands are claiming #stayhome and preaching #socialdistancing - some are putting their money where their mouth is: Armani donated 1.25 Million Euros, Prada started with donating six intensive care units and is now manufacturing masks and overalls for the medical staff, Zara is doing the same in Spain, LVMH turned its perfume division to produce and give away sanitizers, and so on and so forth... But make no mistake, take away the fanfare - some of it real, some of it marketing, everyone is asking "now what?" and "where do we go from here?".
How will governments balance the difficult act of maintaining the health of people, to the economy at large. Already in the US there is fidgeting about the shut down, whereas Denmark is promising to pay 75% of employee salaries in the private sector as long as companies do not lay off their employees. But naturally, all this is an abstract equation.
In Lebanon, you need to add our monetary crisis, our capital controls, a devastating storm, social and political unrest, and the equation is honestly overwhelming. But this brings us to the same question "how long will this persist?" - a maddening question as thankfully, Lebanese seem to be taking this seriously despite a few corny aberrations.
Interestingly, the further this goes, the more people and societies reveal what they are made of. Hey even the Young man who originally said "If I get Corona, I get Corona, at the end of the day I am not going to let it stop me from partying" has issued an apology (his name is Brady Sluder and you can read his apology - which to me reeks as a statement by a PR company - here) at the same time Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick said that grandparents are willing to die to save economy for their grandchildren.
My readers are now confused, am I talking about Lebanon where I am based or about the world at large? Psssst, it does not matter anymore. A Chinese company donated tens of thousands of masks to Italy and on the boxes it wrote "We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden" which is a quote from Italian philosopher Seneca.
Indeed, we are.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Milk Innovative launches Coronavirus initiative "Together Alone"

Is the Lebanese government handling the COVID-19 well? Yes. Should people be going out? No. Are they going out? Yes. Are they supposed to? No. Milk Innovative thinks so too. An they launched a great initiative compatible with the social media world to really convince people they should remain indoors. "Together Alone" or the Arabic "مفرد بالجمع"  is a lovely, timely, needed effort because. Only with collective effort will we be able to beat the virus and stop its spread.
Here is how it goes:
It’s a good day to shake off boredom, spread empowering vibes and encourage people to #JoinIsolation!
All you have to do, from your quarantine, is:
Soap your hand and wrist
Photograph it (Hey! You can get creative here indeed!)
Copy Paste this caption
Pass on the torch to 5 persons you tag
Share it
I pass the torch to (tag your buddies
Together, but not forever alone, we shall #shakecoronavirusoff!
Until we meet again
#TogetherAlone #UniteForLife

اليوم بدنا نكسّر الضجر, بدنا ننشر طاقة ايجابية وبدنا نخبر العالم انو #عالعزلة_مجتمعين !

كل شي لازم نعملوا, بالحَجِر, هو:
نرغي صابون عإيدنا والمعصم 
نصورها (هون اكيد فينا نفجّر مواهبنا!)
منعمل كوبي بايست لكابسيون
منعمل تاغ ل5 اشخاص تنسلّمن الشعلة
مننزّل البوست

..انا بسلّم الشعلة ل
سوا, واحد واحد, رح ننتصر عالكورونا لأنو #حياتنا_مسؤوليتنا! 

Mersaco and a new perplexing selling line

Whomever came up, sold, or approved this should be fired and is a danger to communication. That this is done by an agency with a reputable track for a pharmaceutical high profile client is even worse. In English to be "beyond care" means not giving a damn. It does not imply empathy, affection or wanting to stand by someone. Please check it here.
People, if you do not understand English as agencies or clients get a grown up to help you, this is a disgrace. Just to be clear please do not defend with "beyond caring" is different than "beyond care" (in spoken English they are used interchangeably)- or that health institutions in the US already use it because it means you are appropriating other people's work (it also means that Americans are unaware of their own language).

Krikita - Coronavirus

Krikita joined the Coronavirus fray. Known for its mixed nuts bags, krikia is no claiming "bala ikhtilat afdal" (better without mixing). Well, with agencies working in remote one can see why no ads are being created, so having an ad to any brand these days is nothing short of miraculous. So indeed stay safe and distant, and no mixing.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sar Fina nodhar? (Can we break the quarantine?) - the site that gives you answers

Sar Fina nodhar?
Can we break the quarantine?
The site that gives you answers.
Please scroll though all the pages to get the possible yes/no answers to all situations. Thank you Patrick Chemali (no relation) for compiling all real-life answers and probabilities.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Kronfol - Mother's Day

Well, here's a cute one! Kronfol sells pizza. Kronfol wants you to stay home amid the lockdown because mother "badda salemtak" (a Lebanese expression that means "wants your safety" (a unusual answer to "want anything?"). See? Neat and simple and works extremely well. 

Ksara - Mother's Day

How about some poetry for lockdown on Mother's Day. Ksara brings it up and then some. A calm, collected, "the eternal giver" (both the vine tree and the mother) with a new leaf as a sign of hope amid all the drama. Here's to better days indeed.

Hallab 1881 does Mother's Day or helps you to.

Brilliant idea! Hallab 1881 is putting a recipe for people to do their own mother's day cake since people are under lockdown. As someone replied on instagram "now I want someone to bring me the material". Well, at least Hallab tried this year, much kudos for that.
In case you are interested here it is:

مكونات الجاتو
- ٤ بيضات (الغير مبرّد)
- كوب زبدة (٢٢٥ غ غير مبرّد)
- ٣/٤ كوب لبن عيران - ١/٢ كوب زيت - كوب و نصف سكّر
- ملعقتين صغار خلاصة الڤانيلا
- كوبين ونصف طحين منخول - ملعقتين ونصف صغار baking powder - ١/٢ ملعقة صغيرة من الملح
حمّو الفرن على ١٨٠ درجة مئوية
ضيفو الزبدة والسكر بوعاء واخلطوهن على مهل لدقيقتين
ضيفو البيض على مراحل
من بعدها العيران والڤانيلا
اخلطو المزيج على سرعة عالية لدقيقة وضيفو بقية المكونات: الطحين، الملح وال baking powder
كملو الخلط لدقيقتين لحتى كل المكونات تمتزج على الاخير
ضعو المزيج في صواني الجاتو على ورق زبدة مدهونين زبدة
خبزو المكونات لمدة ٣٥ ل ٤٠ دقيقة
مكونات الكريما
- كوبين كريما - كوب ونصف سكر ناعم
ضيفو المكونات بوعاء واخلطوهن جيداً لحتى الكريما تشتد وممكن اذا حبيتو اضافة لون لتصير الكريما زهرية
للحشوة، استعملو الفراولة والتوت البري

This has been the winter of our advertising discontent.

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly from the series Abou Fouad 3 bi 1.
How do you know advertising is not going well? When there is an occasion and not everyone jumps on the bandwagon of stupidity. As soon as advertising started to meagerly get back on track (in the shyest most vulnerable way) bam! On comes Coronavirus and its lockdown. Lebanon celebrates mother's day today and it has been eerily quiet on the advertising land. Usually such celebrations illicit a tonne of corny ads, but today "all is calm on the western front" as they say. Normally, I should be throwing a fit as this is the bread and butter of my blog. Paradoxically, am cheering. I truly think we are looking at this from the wrong end, much like Venice (the city in Italy). Well, Venice wanted to curb down tourism for a long time, and now that the city is suffering the lack of tourists they are up in arms (I will go down in history as the only human who went to Venice by mistake! A long story for another time). Same with advertising, too many people in Lebanon were complaining about the ad scene (too many useless ads, people hanging ads like the city was a jungle) - then came the lack ads.
Here's a word for you: Strategy.
In the hassle of producing social media friendly ads for every occasion, brands forgot to look within themselves for what truly makes them what they are and how they should stick to a central message which is their ultimate soul and how they should communicate it to the public. Now is the time to go back there people. Let ad agencies talk to their clients while practicing social distancing a d really think: Aside the corny ads for every occasion, who am I as a brand, and how can I as as an ad agency help you portray that?
This has been the winter of our advertising discontent. But today spring has sprung, it is Mother's Day (in Lebanon and several other countries) and I extend my wishes to all mothers, advertising will survive this for sure. In what shape and if "older and wiser" remains to be seen.

Friday, March 20, 2020

B.Khabsa: Coronavirus and Mother's Day

How about this for an exceptional ad. B. Khabsa jewelry is telling you not to buy from them! Why? Because your health is most precious for your mother, so postpone her gift and ensure your safety and hers.... Seriously a stroke of genius that gets two birds in one stone! Excellent.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

AM Bank - Coronavirus edition

AM Bank has toyed with its logo in social distancing act influenced by the Coronavirus. The move is brilliant - OK to be honest I wonder if it was influenced by Slovene artist Jure Tovrljan which went super viral I know not. But the AM Bank attempt is a good one nontheless.
Mastercard - Jure Tovrljan

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

On prayer and Coronavirus (and owning cats)

Before I begin: There is nothing wrong with people praying for the Coronavirus to go away.
But here's a story I've been told:
In a small village parish in Mount Lebanon, a woman goes to the priest and asks for him to pray for her because she's got mice in her house. "Well, lady, I will pray for you, but there's nothing wrong with owning a cat!".
Which brings us to the many people imploring the Christian Maronite Saint Charbel, or the Shiite holy figure Imam Ali (I am not sure what other sects or denominations are imploring) to help them rid of the problem. Once more, I have no issue with that, but there's "nothing wrong with owning a cat" - meaning staying indoors amid the curfew to "flatten the curve" of the disease and stop it from spreading further etc... Naturally, it looks as if I am negating the power of prayer, to me "if it works for you, great, but please wash your hands and stay at a considerable distance from me". As someone who is diabetic, I don't need further complications, so prayer or no prayer, you can catch me at home. Better yet, don't catch me there, we will meet once all this is over or at least more calm.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Lebanon is under Coronavirus lockdown, mostly

Lebanon is under Coronavirus lockdown, if you take away the people who were strolling on the corniche yesterday, or those who have hopped off the AUB beach fence (which to be clear is closed), or those interviewed on television saying that "Corona did not reach us", or those that chimed "Lebanon has always lived with germs so what's new?", or the doctor I know who is saying that it is much ado about nothing, or the popular singer Ragheb Alamah who advocated home-staying one day only to do bicycle in the open air the next when he was supposed to be on the skyping with a journalist about the importance of staying home. So yeah, Lebanon is under Coronavirus lockdown basically. Between capital controls, an incredible storm, the Coronavirus, the political upheavals, 2020 has been such a challenging year! And we are still mid-March.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Areeba - Coronavirus edition

Areeba seems to be living in the Lalaland. It wants Lebanese to use contactless cards to avoid the Coronavirus. Ahem.... 1) the damn cards do not work in Lebanon 2) banks are allowing a maximum of 50 Dollars per card. Ergo, the ad is pointless, superfluous and idiotic.

Kfardebian - the logo that works

I saw this logo on a backdrop of snow the other day and it really felt at home. I saw it later on a darker surface and it still worked albeit less but it still was distinctive. The Kfardebian logo, where there is a tad too much happening, somehow uses its minimalist effect to its best advantage by counter-balancing with minimal elements. And just in case you did not grasp the degradation of the leaves "a village for all seasons" is there to explain it all in terms of mood. Obviously the ultimate test for a logo is social media these days, and this one works, even if it could have benefited from the omission of the selling line as it gets unreadable in avatars (instagram as an example).

Hallab - Coronavirus edition

And on it goes! Illustration galore to tell clients of all measures taken for their safety and Hallab goes the extra mile in theirs. Well, these are incredibly paranoid times and so it is understandable how much effort everyone is exerting to prove their worth!

Audi - Coronavirus edition

Well, it was just a matter of time! Audi is now offering to sanitize your car for a germ-free ride along with Boecker. I got no idea how much it costs especially with capital controls in full swing. But hey, what's more bragging if you are Lebanese!

Ksarak - The Coronavirus edition

Someone did their copywriting homework. #ksorel3ade -  "change the habit" and stay home in reference to the quarantine imposed on the Lebanese, but the ad goes further "ksor keis Arak" (break an Arak cup). The double use of the word ksor is very smart. Interesting fact: the word ksor is the basis of word elixir in English!

Malak al Tawouk - Coronavirus edition

Well, a Coronavirus frenzy is sweeping Lebanon, Malak al Tawouk is there on the wave with a deep, detailed and exhaustive explanation as to the measures it is taking to ensure the safety of its dine in and delivery. In these very confusing times, people really want to be morally reassured of what they ordering in or what they are consuming. As I said, there is a pseudo hysteria about the topic and rightfully so.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Pornhub has the funniest answer to the Coronavirus

Even the worst situations need lightening up. Here is the case of Pornhub and the Coronavirus. Yes, you can touch yourself. In these bleak times, a little cheering up goes a long way. Yes, I know, the atmosphere is suffocating - Lebanon is in the middle of a financial default, a capital controls situation, a storm and Coronavirus on top.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Lebanese government is handling this Coronavirus well

Make no mistake, the Lebanese government is handling the Coronavirus well. Right now, we are on pseudo lockdown. Meaning unless they have to, people are discouraged from going out. The idea is to minimize interaction to slow the spread of the virus so that by then the immune system would be able to fight the virus on its own. Also there is an incredible amount of transparency from the government giving out daily updates on the cases, and the fact that cases are still traceable in origin means that there is no real spread. Whereas we can be incompetent in many areas, it seems we got this one right.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Epica Sri Lanka successful debut!

The very first Epica Awards Sri Lanka was deemed a “huge success” by its organizers last week. The two-day festival was hosted by the country’s 4As (Accredited Advertising Agencies Association) in partnership with the Paris-based competition.
The conference and awards ceremony on March 5-6 attracted more than 500 attendees on both days.
Leo Burnett won the Grand Prix with its “Petal Paint” campaign for JAT Holdings. The campaign was originally entered for the competition last year, but its eligibility period was extended when the event was postponed after the Easter 2019 attacks.
Leo Burnett was also named Agency of the Year after reaping the greatest number of points in the overall competition.
The awards jury was moderated by Epica Awards editorial director Mark Tungate, who also hosted the ceremony. 4As president Sugibun Sathiamoorthy commented: “Sri Lanka has been hungrsy for a platform to showcase our creativity and be judged by international standards. Creativity cannot thrive without critique, so Epica Sri Lanka is the ideal opportunity for us to learn and up our game. Epica Awards Sri Lanka’s promise of ‘unbiased creativity’ cannot come at a better time.”
As an Epica juror who went harakiri and judged all the ads online, I can tell you these guys are remarkable at art direction and excel when they do ads coming from and representing their culture and heritage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Teacher's Day in Lebanon this year advertising wise.

 Interesting, Teacher's Day came as a muted and low key affair in Lebanon. Few brands did the effort and those who did barely injected any creativity. Which made the El Estez (literally - "the teacher") stand out by offering teachers a free lunch (with a ceiling of 30,000 LBP but the gesture and the ad are both nice).
And Lipton came with a short but nicely copywrited animation (watch here) to celebrate the occasion.
Otherwise, not much to write home about. Interestingly, schools are closed as a precautionary measure against Coronavirus.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Hershey's Women's Day - a tailor-made campaign

Let's face it, no other brand could do this. Why? Because it is tailor-made to the name of Hershey's. Her/She bars were released withe name of trailblazing women to honor Women's Day. There you go - so specific to the brand it cannot be duplicated. Smart! This was done done in Brazil by the way...

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Lebanon defaulted, now what?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
I hope and wish there would be someone who knows what will happen now. Banks had their assets frozen and unfrozen, they were asked to buy back the bonds they sold as these bonds give extra leverage when restructuring to the entities they were sold to. Oh and we decided to default on our international payments, with some saying the Lebanese gold is at stake and some saying it was just a tactic for banks to get their dues. Which really means there is a lot of scenarios, too much speculation, incredible amount of info - but also uncertainty by the bucket-load. Are banks going to play the "too big to fail" gimmick? I doubt. This time they are really on the edge and no matter how much they benefited from previous financial engineering gimmicks in the past this is a different ballgame. Still, here we are "standing calmly at the crossroad no desire to run, there's no hurry anymore when all is said and done" to quote ABBA. A decision was taken, a very serious one at that.

Friday, March 6, 2020

IDM tackles Coronavirus

True story: In the year 2000 a virus was propagating online. The news broke on the weekend. By Monday a colleague rushes to my office and asks "if I open my computer, will I be infected?". The man was an engineer by the way. Which brings to the lovely IDM ad which basically protects you from Coronavirus. How? Interact online. Smart indeed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Advertising goes back slowly to OOH in Beirut

The Spinney's trolley
Hmmm ads are back slowly in town on billboards. Whereas said billboards were covered with white paper in January and February, they appear now with several campaigns which advertised, not in full force, but not on a couple of billboards either. What is even more interesting is that the fact that the ads were mostly from fast food chains advertising fish-based menus for lent (without using the word as they skirt around the issue every year) but actually while reusing last year's creative ads. Obviously the creative input of their agencies was not needed this year. Or perhaps the cut-down budget was directed towards media buying. Just to be clear, this isn't business as usual yet, but a jump from the bleak October 2019 to February 2020 period which was total and complete crisis. Pictured above is the Spinney's trolley on Dbayeh (which was in the Guinness book of records) and which for decades was a Pepsi ad placement surrounded by white curtains waiting for the market to pick up again.

Monday, March 2, 2020

STC buys back its twitter handle

Not sure where to begin.
STC just bought back its Twitter handle from an American citizen who was using it for the last 12 years, the film done is pretty cheeky and you can watch it here. I liked the film which should have cost a bundle.
The problem is that, when your company is being sued for copyright infringement (due to the  new logo) your Twitter handle should be the least of your worries.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Shish w shi does lent (reheats an old wordplay)

Shish w shi does lent - playing on the word "2ate3" which means both "meatless" and "thinking of". Yeah nice wordplay. Throwback to 2017 with these two ads:
I hope Shish w shi does not reheat its food like it does to its ads.

Sigvaris Group - finally someone understands diabetes

Please look at the ad here. Finally, and I mean finally, someone understands what diabetes is and what it does to a person's life, and speaks about it candidly and with empathy and values. Sigvaris group does so in a low key, respectful but also with an ad that reeks sympathy to the patients. Diabetes changes your whole life and pace and outlook and risk and the way you perceive each activity. Someone, and that's the Sigvaris Group understood that. Respect.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Mr Brown does lent

Well, added to the brands that mention lent by name, please welcome Mr. Brown. "Le(n)t's salmon" which indeed is a nice try. OK, they did try too hard to be honest which deducts bonus points but considering McDonald's still would not mention the word lent.... and hey, salmon is a good idea.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ksara - the excellent Carignan ad

See the film here! The best ads are those that do no try. Or perhaps try hard but you do not notice. Carignan the wine that stretches across generations. The visual, animated in a silly slow frame per frame motion (I looooooove this animation so much that use it in practically all my video art) is the Carignan bottle that comes from the ground. Honestly this is as close to genius as I can think of!

8% of Lebanese youth are in political parties: Statistics, bias and errors

Try as I might to find the original link to the story above which appeared in Annahar newspaper and which was relayed by Daleel Thawra I could not.So I magnified the image and tried to read the text as best as I could. I think the main flaw and the sensationalized headline of this study lies in a simple word: Statistical bias. The study seeks to find how many youth are officially in political parties. Yay 8%! Obviously this disregards the reality on the ground, which is the clientage system. Meaning you are "mahsoub 3ala" (assumed to be voting for) so an so family/political party (as they are interlinked) without being officially in the said party (which, without subscribers can still draw a bucket load of money from international sources). I seriously think the above study and results are flawed and biased.

Al Wadi Al Akhdar goes digital.

Remember when Al Wadi Al Akhdar went on a gigantic campaign outdoor in 2019? Well, what happens in 2019 stays in 2019, because it seems Al Wadi has now gone completely digital and who would blame them? More cost-efficient, targeted, easier to assess and manipulate. They came up with a catchy copy for each occasion. Indeed, when life gave them lemons.... They did advertising lemonade!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

M2 goes anti Coronavirus

And you thought Lebanon did not have enough issues? OK my first reflex was to ask if the mask was anti tear gas for manifestations or anti Coronavirus because in Lebanon one never knows. You can purchase the mask on this link. PS; You better ask if it works for tear gas. Justsayin'....

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Marlboro and Baalbeck - the oddest tie-in in history

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly based on a vintage ad
Remember when Marlboro tied itself to Lebanese oranges? It was certainly one of the oddest tie-ins in all history. But hold my beer, it seems Marlboro continues the same campaign with tying their cigarettes to Baalbeck columns. "In the whole wide world, these columns are the symbol of Baalbeck, in the whole wide world, the symbol of cigarette quality (is) Marlboro". Yes, I know...

Monday, February 24, 2020

Crepaway does lent.

So Crepaway is advertising an incredibly appetizing lent meal. Interestingly, their ad says "if you are fasting or don't feel like eating meat" a clear nod to vegetarians (or even vegans a a vegan burger is present on the menu). The menu is fantastic to be honest (mozzarella burger for me, thank you!), and marks another year where brands are using the word lent in their ads. Just to give credit where credit is due Classic Burger Joint was the first to do it in 2012 in the ad shown below.

Pizanini the perfect example of how ads are morphing

Well, a nice, clean animation - not award winning, but should it be? - this is how Pizzanini is the perfect example of how ads are morphing. Ads with low budget, targeted online, towards people interested in them. No more OOH or fancy display budgets. See the ad here. It drives home the point, does it at a small budget and in a visual language accessible to most.

Friday, February 21, 2020

IDMgo - a perfect gem of an ad

And sometimes the best ads are those that do not try hard. "The atmosphere is one to get bundled with IDMgo 4G". "Kankane" is the local Lebanese equivalent to Hygge. The visual illustrates perfectly the cold weather we are having (when it is not raining, it is incredibly cold!). See? No extra gimmicks, no idiotic words. Just a simple wonderful ad. Whomever came up with this has my respect.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Typography Day 2020 Amman, Jordan.

Typography Day will be organized for the Thirteenth time on 28th, 29th February and 1st March 2020 at The Faculty of Arts and Design, The Applied Sciences University, Amman, Jordan with support from The Lebanese University, IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, India Design Association (InDeAs) and Aksharaya.
The theme for this year's event is 'Typographic Dialogues: Local-Global'.
The Typoday 2020 venue originally scheduled to be held at Beirut, Lebanon is now being held at Amman, Jordan.
The event will feature a day of workshops on Typography and Calligraphy followed by two days of conference dedicated to 'Typographic Dialogues: Local-Global'. The international conference will be devoted to addressing issues faced by type designers, type users and type educators. The conference includes presentations by invited keynote speakers, eminent academicians, blind juried papers, industry professionals, research scholars and students. The event will also host an exhibition of selected posters and typographic works of students and faculty members from Design Institutes.
Registration Open on this link.
Do register as early as possible, and for all queries contact

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Kiehl's Lebanon - when good intentions go astray

Kiel's  Lebanon has a new initiative - it will donate 5000 Lebanese Liras upon your purchase to IRAP. The initiative the laudable. The problem is how they portrayed it. Please look here. This is exactly how hearing people imagine how non-hearing people live and behave. Oh and getting "influencers" on board irritates me as hell.
I have 57 and 62% hearing loss. I have been wearing a hearing aid since 2007, lately I had to replace it by two such aids, which were exorbitantly expensive, and after installing them I was told that they will only allow me to regain 80% of my hearing.
So no, Kiehl's and your influencers (who suffer no hearing disabilities) this is not what hearing loss is.
It is having a fight with a family member because, after making them repeat the same sentence three times, you still don't know they want, it is stopping driving and reducing mobility because other drivers are no longer predictable for you (especially in Lebanon), it is decreasing your socializing because all sounds mix together at the pub, it is to have someone quasi illiterate laugh at you when you graduated from three reputable universities like me, it is to unconsciously look at anyone talking to you because you are reading their lips without realizing it, and the list goes on.
I repeat, Kiehl's - your initiative is laudable, but this "snobbish" way (for lack of a better term) of illustrating it which lacks empathy, respect and compassion really insults people who have hearing disabilities like me.
And by the way, anyone who wishes to reply to me on this article, unless you have a hearing disability I am not listening - yeah that's a pun.
And I am really pissed now.

D Does Business vs OMT: Compare and contrast

D Does Business has  published tips as to how to survive in the current times... Here they are here. OMT just published a suspiciously similar list. Hmm, well, this is a little odd considering the points of intersection.

Monday, February 17, 2020

StarzPlay and thematic renewal cards

StarzPlay were one of  the last campaigns that ran prior to the revolution and the whole OOH getting almost completely shut down. Their ad at the time was quite nice:
The idea of "rakkeb floume" - means "invent crafty scenarios" - and it works as this is a film app. And now they are back for more with the specific recharge card - Arabic (dagger), Horror (ghost), Comedy (chicken feet), and Action (bullets). Interestingly the price is now in Lebanese as opposed to the original ad which was in Dollars.