Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Joe La Pompe celebrates 20 years "en grande pompe"

Clint Eastwood (Actor/Director) - John Hegarty (BBH)
Peter Graves (Actor) - Maurice Levy (ex worldwide leader Publicis)
Joe La Pompe famous copycat catcher since 1999 is celebrating 20 years "en grande pompe" - he sees copycats everywhere in the advertising industry! I mean, can you blame him - not just that the same festival gives prizes to ads which won it several years back (Hello Cannes!) but creatives looking at previous ads and copying them thinking no one will notice (in Lebanon some reach to students' portfolios, preying on the creativity of innocent kids! What a shame!). The above are a firm proof Joe La Pompe is correct, would you be able to tell these people apart? Luckily, we can tell copycated ads however, my own site is full of them. So happy 20th anniversary Joe La Pompe, and here's to many more! Enjoy the complete campaign here!

Did Nida Al Watan just go publicly anti-Hizbollah?

Nida Al Watan, now has a new campaign rolling - with the "pen" breaking down so many ills in the Lebanese society, things like "fasad" (corruption), "mou7asasa" (power division due to sect), and other things including "sila7 ghayr char3i" (illegal weapons) which is code-word for Hizbollah arms. I went back and searched on all platforms if there is any wink (overt or otherwise) about where they stand politically and there was none. Their manifesto says nothing about it. So it is intersting they jumped the fence so early in the game declaring themselves as anti-Hizbollah. This in itself delimitates its audience and who reads it and follows it online (sorry could not get the said unipole in a photo because I only saw it once).

Saturday, July 13, 2019

August 1st, Red Cross fundraiser at The Gärten!

Join the Lebanese Red Cross - Gemmayze for a party that will get your blood pumping!
When? August 1st
Where? The one and only: The Gärten
With whom? Bring yourself and your buddies to see acts by LaToya, Ralph Nasr Music, Rea B, Rolbac, Eli Atala - ELI and DnK
Drinks? All tickets include premium open bar
Rides? Free Uber rides!!! (you see with the premium open bar we do not want to need the Red Cross should you get an accident on the way back!) 
The noble cause? All proceeds will go towards the expansion of the Emergency Medical Services' station - Gemmayze
How to book? Here!

Dine with strangers, a new social concept in Lebanon

A long long time ago, when a restaurant in Lebanon wanted to put itself in an old house, they had to renovate it as it was pseudo-torn down. When they encased it within an iron cage, which is the classical method of rebuilding, a light-bulb lit inside the investors' heads. Why not transform this into a mock prison with a gigantic solo table on a first-come first-served basis where strangers simply were forced to mingle with one another simply by the virtue of geographical proximity. Alas, the idea did not last. But here we are, in 2019, someone else trying to pull a similar feat to an audience which hopefully is more receptive. Introducing "dine with strangers" the concept where people who do not know each other go book a place around a convivial table with limited places, where a nice menu is set, where they enjoy the venue, with people they do not know, and indeed - the food. Places are limited it seems so it is quite an intimate affair. Find them and book the on their instagram account.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

ISF - no shooting: using humor works. بتقبل_تقتل#

Civic campaigns share a similar trait in Lebanon - they are all glum and on dark menacing backgrounds so much they become indistinguishable, boring, and to be honest - not noticeable. This new campaign from the ISF against shooting (which is not uncommon in celebrations making them tragedies, and in tragedies making them tragedies due to stray bullets), marks an interesting departure. The background is colorful, the message is funny - "even if he invented gun powder, do not shoot for him" (with the image of a proud graduate). The tag used بتقبل_تقتل# (do you accept to kill) is just a usual add-on. I do like the ad a lot, as I said it marks an interesting departure from the prior attempts which all governmental organizations and NGOs were using. Maybe it is time someone used humor!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

McDonald's simple does it.

Well, McDonald's used the easy way out, and it worked. The summer is hot, the temperatures soaring, you want a refresher badly, and it helps it is photographed on a sandy background. "Keep your cool" - again a lowest common denominator copy - helps spell it out. The ad has almost no concept, and it works in its favor, because well - all McDonald's had to do is just show nice, appetising things one wants to eat in the summer. I think I am calling 1297...

Sunday, July 7, 2019

AUBMC - WISH: don't silence sexual health

The above is but one visual from the AUBMC and WISH (Women Integrated Sexual Health program) - all tackling taboos and unsaid words with the line that goes "don't silence sexual health". Interestingly, all ads seem to be in English and I am not sure why is the case as it seems to speak of women belonging to a certain socio-economic class as opposed to women at large in Lebanon. Still, at least there is a start of a something going on, so every little helps.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Bankmed - using Latino-Arabic to sell a new account

Before Arabic was used for chatting because it was non-existent, Arabophones used to chat on MSN (yes, MSN!) using latinized Arabic, and the missing letters which could not be written was replaced with an Arabic numeral closest to it - ء by 2 ح by 7 and so on. So BankMed is capitalizing on this slang to write "Me7rez" (worthy) which is an account which offers 7 free services (and 1% cashback). I am assuming, youngsters are the target of the ad and the account though I am not sure as I do not know the eldest category of people to whom such an ad appeals while written this way. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Kotex #هي_تقدر a revolution in how sanitary napkins are advertised

"Some believe that there are days in the month that hinder the women from doing their job
Yet I am sure that there are some who are unaware of that"
So begins the ad. So far, interesting, but wait - the Arabic language demarks clearly between male and female and so when the copy says "Yet I am sure" it is said in the masculine mode which clearly implies that the "some" at the begining are a bunch of ignorant men who know nothing about periods! The ad continues with two examples - a female chef and a female film director.
Interestingly Kotex has one of best transpositions of their selling lines from "Kotex fits. Period." to
"كوتكس بتناسبك. متل العادة"
The ad above ends with a # that goes: #هي_تقدر or #she_can - yes, indeed she can! 
Watch the ad here!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Ksara and the taste of the Lebanese summer.

From the Santa Monica pier colors to the almost not-available activity of paddleboarding with their ultra sexy bodies (he does not have a protruding gut!), the "Lebanese summer" that Ksara shows is a mix and match of things not Lebanese, paradoxically and ironically, that is why it works. The whole ad, with all these imported things does reflect what "Lebanese summer" is. I actually like it to be honest! Now, "strawberries cherries and an angel's kiss in spring, my summer wine is really made from all these things"... Bonus points to anyone who knows where these lyrics come from.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Nida Al Watan a new printed newspaper in town.

So there's a new printed newspaper in town. No wait! Listen, my position about the issue is well-known and documented so how will a new printed newspaper survive the trend when others are closing is interesting to see. "No just a newspaper. A cause" so says its bold headline. Today marks the first issue - so let us see how things go. On their Facebook they say they intend to be the voice of the silent majority, an echo of the "the voice of those who have none" (sawt allazin la sawta lahom) which was the selling line of the Assafir newspaper which now ceased its printing operations. 

All Lebanese politicians are stupid except the one you follow


No matter what the real or official or agreed upon version about what happened in Lebanon yesterday one thing is for sure, there's so much foreplay the Lebanese population can handle before and excuse the term, ejaculating. The last thing we need is another war, thank you very much.
Every politician is now issuing his unasked for two cents about "keeping calm" and "restraint" and all those flat platitudes which we are used to. As the former correspondent of the New York Times Bill Farrell said "there's no truth in Beirut, only versions" which I transformed into an art installation under the title "there's no truce in Beirut, only virgins" because I deeply believe we are not at peace-mode in Lebanon but rather at non-war mode, and because everyone is a "virgin" from wrong-doing since it is someone else's fault, or as  said in the title of this post, "All Lebanese politicians are idiots, except the one you follow" which - when looked at collectively, they all are.
People, no matter what you hear, and take it from someone who lived the entire Lebanese war - no, we cannot afford to start another war. I work deeply on the collective memory through my art, and I can feel the trauma of it being transmitted from one generation to the next as trauma often happens.
Sadly as skirmishes escalate, and due to our checkered past (a large war as ignited in the past between the Druze and Maronites in 1860 because of two children fighting while playing, and as the uncle of two nephews and a niece I can tell you that children fight and reconcile and gang up on you when you try to break it up!), so anything - and I mean anything - can become a trigger, and when the trigger happens the politicians will realize we are at the point of no return. And the crowds they thought they could ignite and calm down repeatedly, or what I called "foreplay" earlier will can easily turn into an "ejaculation".
So there, that's my unasked for two cents, because everyone is doing it so why can't I?

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The critical condition of hospitals goes public

"Our condition is critical - hospitals towards closing down" this according to the Snydicate of Hospitals in Lebanon. I am not sure which hospitals are being talked about to be honest, I am simply looking at the ad as is, with a doctor sitting on the patient bed with a deflated attitude. Do note that usually hospitals are being seen in Lebanon as cash cows, so I am not sure there will be a lot of sympathy from the public towards them, plus - the other intriguing question is - why is this ad being targetted to the average Joe on the street and is being plastered publicly. Shouldn't the matter be taken on a political level? With the Lebanese knee deep in problems at this stage on all fronts, I doubt the desired reaction will be produced.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Sohat goes for a safe option

These days, I am starting to differentiate between two things: Client intentions and capability of carrying out such intentions. All clients want kick-ass campaigns, when offered such a camapign, they tone it down to - well, what Sohat has done. You see, there's nothing wrong with it. And that may be the problem that there's nothing wrong with it. Just like the content of the bottle it advertises, it is "incolore, inodore" French for bland. And the line "from our source to your bottle". Again, too safe to be noticed.

Teleferique eventually advertises

Teleferique (or cable car) is a highly enjoyable, panoramic, and yes - romantic, trip between Jounieh and Harissa (Our Lady of Lebanon). But this is an institution that rarely, if ever adertises. Does it need to? I know not. Up to my memory, only did I see an ad for it.
In an episode that happened a long time ago, a couple was riding one of their cable cars when the power broke down, normaly emergency generators take over but these failed. The couple stayed above the highway several hours, and the girl was given a pseudonym in the news Chadia Harissa. One person who was close to the situation told me, "if this institution was on better terms with journalists and media, they would have covered this under a better light". Which brings us to - an ad for the teleferique - funnily right next to the highway exit that leads to it (which makes me wonder, does anyone spontanuously say, "oh let us take a ride and go up the mountain by cable car?") but still, it is such a rarity that it is worth reporting.
"See the world from above" - it could be interpreted as "look down on the world" but that would make it a bit snobbish which I doubt is the purpose.
Still, an ad for the teleferique! Yay!
And before I go - enjoy this image from 2011:
That beats any wedding limousine!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

CTS hits summer with a "chill pill".

Straight on the heels of their incredible father's day ad, CTS travel and tourism hit the summer stride with an assortment of "chill pills" - what could have ended up a silly litteral ad is actually quite funky accompanied by a cute copywriting:
We've got the cure for summer fever!
If you're experiencing the urge to go to the beach, mistake your work bag with your beach one, get sunset blues more than 5 times a week then our beach packages are the right prescription for you! Hurry up and call our travel consultants on 01395600 to get diagnosed.
There are two other variants: Seashells and croissant. Check them below.
Here's a sweet gimmick, in 2007 and ad for the new electoral law appeared with a line "so as the (elctoral) fever would subside" which had a mock Aspirin bottle in it.... Here it is below.
  Naturally, the two ads got nothing to do with one another, it is just a sweet "rappel" this blog is famous for.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Ministry of Labor doubles down on "hire Lebanese"

If it was not clear from the other ad, the ministry of labor is really doubling down on the hire Lebanese thingy. "Settle your situation before the time window ends. Only hire legal workers and benefit from the grace period before July 9th". And to those wondering, yes, there is a real crackdown on Syrian-owned businesses, so this is not some empty rhetoric - things are moving in a certain direction that is sure. Now the question is - should the Syrian refugees go back and can we say they went back "home", considering there might not be homes to go back to?

Sunday, June 23, 2019

CTS travel and tourism - a small gem on father's day

CTS travel and tourism comes up with a small gem on father's day. One of the most difficult aspects of linking your brand to an event is how to make it happen organically without just sticking your logo on a nothing. So CTS managed to say "a tribute to th dads who travelled for good". Neat, simple, expressive, zen, touching without being overdone or overly fake emotional. As I said, a real gem.

Questioning history - Zest (97)

Artworks by Tarek Chemaly
A memory that still smells of lemon.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Al Wadi al Akhdar VS Fakhani on father's day - compare and contrast

Al Wadi Al Akhadar (2015) - Fakhani 2019
On the left Al Wadi Al Akhar 2015, on the right Fakhani 2019. Same joke and gimmick - "ghannouj" means "someone seeking attention". Since baba ghannouj is make of eggplants this explains Al Wadi ad. Same trick used by Fakhani in 2019. Compare and contrast.