Monday, February 6, 2023

Tide - when we have to rely on advertising to light up the streets

The other day I had to go from Sassine square to Monot - a trip normally that takes 20 mins on foot. It took around 105 minutes for me to get there. Why? Because Achrafieh was - post ABC mall - completely plunged in the dark. What's with government electricity coming at barely an hour a day, and generators only covering apartments (with exhorbitant prices so the residents pick and chose which rooms to light), I almost tripped twice, thankfully found a hair salon still open to at least "see" something in a dark street.

All this is to tell you that Tide has actually instigated billboards that light up - and if this is not a sore need in Beirut at this point I have no idea what else is. So the billboards which alternate other ads during the day became exclusive to Tide starting 7 PM - an idea which came about from our friends at Leo Burnett Beirut.

Of course, when advertising brings lights to streets in Beirut it basically tells you of how things are lacking on all respects.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

And yet, it is Sunday

February 5h, artwork by Tarek Chemaly

And it is Sunday.

Today I don't feel like writing about advertising - most of it bad or silly or superfluous anyhow.

I don't feel like writing about Lebanon, which - believe it or not - at this point is bad or silly or superfluous anyhow.

And yet it is a Sunday, a stormy Sunday. From my office where I write this on an orange retro metal desk from the 50s or the 60s, my back porch shoes nothing but misty rain falling, unrelenting, unstoppable, in the country's first major storm of 2023. Is the house cold? Yes. So am wearing a beanie indoors. Our house help an overcoat, and mother in her bed because it is the most heat controlled place in the house.

The sky is overcast and pregnant.

As I said, I have all reasons to write bad and awful things. But a feeling of - pace of mind envelops me.

Not happiness, happiness is too fleeting, too circumstantial.

Peace of mind is different. "We all did mistakes" told me Jihad Hokayem (yes, that Jihad) when I explained to him how much I keep kicking myself for still losing all my money despite all the precautions I took. I think the reason why it was the start of my healing (knowing how hard I am on myself) because of all the empathy he injected in the sentence. 

By the way, when someone tells me "yes, but everyone lost their money" I literally roll my eyes (here). But today is not a time for worries. I am indoors, wearing a beanie, calculating the amount I can spend from my solar panels (here) because mother's hairdresser will drop by tomorrow and the system needs to be full.

Today is a Sunday. And it's a day for peace of mind.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Aïla chocolate - a new kid in town

So there's a new chocolate in town! Aïla - yes with a ï rather than an i.

The campaign on OOH is humongous and covers almost all the coast. Which is interesting because it means their production is a serious affair. They even have a website - which of course ditched the ï in favor of an i - here.

It is a local made-in-Lebanon product which thankfully is a trend which is picking up as of late. I did not get to taste the chocolate yet, though there is a sugar-free version as I am diabetic. Their website is clear as to the presence of 7 different varieties along with 2 block options.

The ad itself says "a new love" simply to indicate the novelty and the taste. Even if I am told the chocolate has been present in the market for at least two years. Price wise I discovered it is sold at around 28,000 (at least by today's prices - here) for its 40 grams version.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Tiffany & Co teams up with Nike for a cringe collaboration

I have spoken about the new Tiffany & Co before (here).

The good news? Post LVMH acquisition Tiffany & Co saw its valuation climb by a billion, the bad news? The Tiffany and Nike collab - you never knew you needed and judging by the photos you certainly did not want.

"Cringe" has a new lower bar. There, I said it.

OK, Dior did an Air Jordan, and Louis Vuitton shattered auction records with their Nike (late) Virgil Abloh collabs, and luxury brands are going full ape for collabs with sports brands. So it's nothing new.

But honestly, as they say in French - "tout ca pour ca" (all this for this).

In the photos above basketball superstar LeBron James is seen wearing the shoes, and what seems to be a jacket (still no word is this is a limited offering for friends and family, or one-off, or something Kanye West might have "designed" so much it is - to go back to the word again - cringe).

Now the shoes. Yes, what about the shoes? Nothing to write home about yet here I am writing a full blog post about them. Seriously, if this is what they were able to come up with, I honestly wonder why bother inject the effort. Truth be told I am wondering if any effort at all was injected in this.

When Fendi did their baguette with Tiffany, they came up with something truly beyond. But then Nike is certainly not Fendi. And now I am wondering if Tiffany is Tiffany. But hey, they said it themselves "not your mother's Tiffany", it's your LeBron James' Tiffany. 

Heaven help us.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Fakhry broasted & grill - après moi, le déluge

Well, if you can't beat them, join them!

Today a video was heavily circulated of a major - major flooded road. The video starts right in front of the "Fakhry" broasted & grill chicken shop in Hazmieh and on it goes with water clogging the street. 

Fakhry not to be drowned in the cacophony of the voices (har har) went on the attack launching an ad that says "but we're coming over to you" indicating that even with the incredible water flooding, they were ready to deliver orders.

Well, that's really one way to look at the situation but the ad is super timely and within the circumstances well done.... 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Blynt Concepts vs Guy Bourdin - compare and contrast

I am not saying they did, I am not saying they didn't, but people please - this is the iconic (and I am measuring my words) Guy Bourdin photo for Charles Jourdan shoes. The original reference is just.... too easy to spot.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Beirut Beer finally a grown-up positioning

Way back in 2017 I wished Beirut Beer would... just grow out of the shadow of Almaza (here). In 2022 it almost did (here). Could 2023 bring us the shift the Beirut Beer actually deserves? Apparently there is hope.

Their latest ad, again in Dora, which is literally a stone's throw from the Almaza factory marks a serious move. A grown-up one. How so? It goes in Arabic "ma bada 7aki" - which means "it needs no talking" but figuratively "it goes without saying". But as De Gaulle said "it goes without saying, but it goes better saying it" so did Beirut Beer. By "not saying anything" they finally said a lot, a lot that is not related to their main competitor, and words (or lack of thereof) that actually make the brand suddenly... have its own positioning, its own legs and its own "pair".

How tis will go further into the future I know not, but I do see it as a major selling line proposition (caugh, ahem!) whereby this will become the solid signature of the brand, a brand which sadly stayed too long in the shadows.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Almaza goes Fairouz for winter.

Almaza goes Fairouz.

Well, after celebrating summer in all possible ways, Almaza is now going winter time where beer drinking is much less ubiquitous. Interestingly, I'd love to see exactly how much units Almaza shifter as compared to before the crisis to see if people are considering beer as a luxury drink or not these days. But I digress, so back to Almaza in winter time - so they went back to the Fairouz staple and misquoted it saying: "I loved you in summer, I shall love you in winter". Does it work? Yes it does. 

For some reason I see this also as working for an air conditioning brand.... (looking through my archives to see if any done it prior).

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Nancy Ajram now a Persil spokesperson - a masterstroke!

Nancy Ajram. Yes, her. I already spoke about her as a "brand" (here). So let's go back to the very beginning, in the mid-aughts when Miss Ajram as she was back then was fronting Coca-Cola. Full of innocence, exuberance, and displaying her infectious giggle - she was the perfect representative of that young, feminine, cool and fresh brand. I truly think at the time they were a perfect match - and to be honest the brand milked their linkage to the extreme.

Hop to 2011, suddenly Ajram - still an incredibly popular singer - was doing an ad for... Nissan Micra? Yes, because by then in 2008 she got married to Dr. Fadi El-Hachem and was already a mother (her eldest daughter Mila was born in 2009, her second Ella in 2011). Micra was a car aimed for a female audience, you know: women who had to drop their kids to daycare or school, who had to do supermarket runs, who had to park easily and so on and so forth. Again, despite the difference with the original Coca-Cola tie-up Ajram was still a good match - a young mother of two, a busy person, a very aspirational character that other women would emulate.

And now? Persil. The clothing detergent. So once more, we are very far off from the Coca-Cola brand. But not far at all from Nancy Ajram herself. She now has three daughters - Lya being born in 2019 - and well like any other mother, she must have a very busy laundry day with a family of five. Which makes Ajram, with her age, daily life, marital status and family life, once more a perfect tie with Persil.

It is interesting that as Ajram ages, brands still find her profile to match different angles. And all of them work.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Kylie Jenner, her son, and branding

Aire Scott - Artwork by Tarek Chemaly

"Nike" -well, when the brand really started getting momentum in the market in Lebanon in the 80s people would always eyeroll. In case you don't know it, nike is slang for "screw" - you know, the sexual act not the tool (sorry, no pun). Siri means penis in Georgian and Lumia is slang for prostitute in Spanish and the list goes on. 

Which brings us to Kylie Jenner and her son (from rapper Travis Scott), when the baby arrived it was called "Wolf" - except that the parents decided it was not a fitting name for the boy. After a long debacle the parents decided the boy's name - and it was revealed with his face only very lately - is "Aire". The issue? 

If Nike was not enough, Nike Air was a literal double whammy. "Nike" - I already explained what it was, "Air" well this is what you do the nike with... So the poor boy - and I mean the Jenner/Scott offspring - has a very strange name in Arabic. Not to pick on the boy or harass him or what not but seriously....

My heart goes to all the Arabic news anchors who had to talk about former prime minister of France Jean-Marc Ayrault. Because in slang his family name literally means "his tool".

All this reminds me of French author Marcel Pagnol - in his lovely "la gloire de mon pere" (my father's glory) - he tells the story of how his aunt Rose forced her husband to be called "Jules" rather than his original name "Thomas" because she heard that in the countryside people called Thomas their chamber pot, not knowing that Jules is an even more widely adopted euphemism for the same object.

So if Wolf did not work, and Aire did not, I wonder what the boy's third iteration will be.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Good and bad news: Lebanese ad agencies are expanding elsewhere

Cover of "The Story of Middle East Advertising" by Ramzi Raad

During the Lebanese war, and I mean the long 1975-90 war (as there has been others), Lebanese ad agencies found themselves caught between a rock and a hard(-shelled) place. Stories of ad people almost losing their lives during the war were not uncommon - snipers, abductions, explosions, shelling, all these were truly very close encounters with death.
This meant that at some point Lebanese ad agencies, no longer able to serve their international clients from Beirut what's with electricity, telex and phone line cuts, had to immigrate elsewhere to do it. That migration is fully detailed in Ramzi Raad's book "The Story of Middle East Advertising" of which I have had a copy. Please note the book is for free, it was supposed to be distributed to ad agencies and universities but many did not claim theirs. So there are, sadly, extra copies of the book if you wish to get hold of one. It is indeed a very exhaustive and very well-detailed and researched book.
The reason am writing all of this is because whereas there are elements of similarity in today's landscape, there are also major signs of difference.
Let's start with the similarities. In today's Lebanon, we have the same elements of chaos - barely any electricity, major hurdles in payments, incredible logistic nightmares, the presence of well-trained and experienced talents on the market. 
The local market has been in total chaos especially since late 2019, the crisis deepened and turbo-charged in 2020 what's with banking problems, and ultimately with many agencies losing their places of work following the devastating August 4, 2020 explosion.
This blog alone has written and documented many times the dismal state of affairs.
So many, many agencies have been trying to expand their businesses considering not just that the local clients have become too far and in between, but also that said clients have themselves liquidity issues, payment problems, are barely able to pay their own employee salaries, and literally look at marketing/advertising as a major luxury. And please, spare me the-client-who-invests-when-the-market-is-down-remains-top-of-mind because what Lebanon is going through right now is now just "when the market is down" but rather a literal economic existential crisis where all the indicators are off the charts and barely continuing month to month is in itself a miracle to many companies - and also individuals. 
So finding themselves in such a dismal state of affairs said agencies have been trying to expand. Sure, many agencies are already multinationals - so the Beirut hub has been handling the international accounts. It's a win-win, the local bureaus remain active and the international accounts get served. Of course, no one wants to admit it, but with inflation being what it is, local talents are paid a pittance so clients are having their work done on the cheap from Lebanon. Sure, all advertising managers would wish to sidestep this issue and not speak about it, even if it is true.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are usual places where such agencies try to land. Naturally, the laws of the countries dictate that this must be done with a local partner - who usually has more than half of the shares. But also Oman and Africa are places where other agencies are trying to secure places in such markets. A few days ago a local agency owner told me "I am trying to open a branch in Lagos, Nigeria. Sure it is just a front, the work will be done from Lebanon but the market there is enormous and it will bring in cash - a lot of cash - if done correctly". The presence of a large Lebanese diaspora in Africa - with some of them owning huge conglomerates of companies - is also of major interest to the agencies in question.
Now, of course, the idea is - it worked once why shouldn't it work twice?
Here's the issue. At this point, the markets in the GCC area have completely changed. Meaning that to begin with, large accounts are already spoken for. Here's a small anecdote, in Ramzi Raad's book he ends up meeting  a young Saudi Youth at a coffee shop, the man in question turns out to be the son of Abdul Latif Jameel, the man who has the Toyota license for the kingdom and the agency in which Mr. Raad was at the time ends up scooping the account. Such adventures are now totally out of the equation - already Abdul Latif Jameel owns its ad agency (Drive Dentsu) to do the work in question (I know so because I was part of said agency - full disclosure).
Now that we covered the major large accounts, the other issue is that, when the first big migration of Lebanese agencies and talents happened, there was basically almost no one else there. Today, to be able to charge an account for a certain amount of money, there are talents already established in the said countries who could it for less - and in order for you not to think I am hiding behind my finger, I am specifically thinking of Indian or Pakistni talents who charge less, still make some profit and the profit can be sent to their original countries for their families to subside on it.
Also there are at this point a different local landscape for talents. Meaning? Since then many local talents have been educated abroad in the said countries and combined their knowledge with what they know from local customs and idioms and slang to establish local agencies and are able therefore to speak to the markets in ways only they can. Such talents, let us be honest, did not exist at the time - or almost did not.
Just to be clear, I am not saying that expanding to the Gulf does not work, or that the Lebanese agencies do not have their own flair or know-how or expertise. They do. But also, as I said this is not the original market that was "virgin" back then waiting to be conquered by the intrepid Lebanese breed of advertisers. 
Far from it. Lebanese advertisers are now faced with a totally different landscape.
But if history proved anything, our local communication professionals are undauntable. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Arak Touma, back when being expensive was a badge of honor

Ah I picked up this ad for Arak Touma from the front page of Annahar newspaper dated December 29, 1974. "Scotland is famous for whisky, and France is known for wine, and we are proud of the king of Arak, Arak Touma, the most expensive, the highest in quality and the best". 

Apart from the fact that the ad is well-written what struct me was that way before Stella Artois marketed itself as "reassuringly expensive" - being the most expensive was a badge of honor in the ad. The brand put it as a proof of what-you-pay-is-what-you-get. Note that the brand is - thankfully - still active in the market and as far as I know still owned by the same family (contrary to another landmark Arak brand which was sold to someone else).

Bacardi 1995, looks like rain....

Ah another flashback.

Not sure why. But this is the kind of ad that got stuck in my mind even if I am not your Bacardi drinker.

Apparently this is a "stereogram" (this means "a diagram or computer-generated image giving a three-dimensional representation of a solid object or surface" - I looked up for you, you're welcome) - most likely I saw it in Q magazine or Empire (Q is dead as a publication by the way) and it got stuck in my mind. There's another one about Lemons - but who knows why the mind favors one and not the other!

The thing is, whenever I feel it is going to rain my brain goes "Looks like rain. Large Bacardi please."

One day I might even taste Bacardi. Who knows, most likely it would be just about to rain.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Piaget, the 1988 ad that whispers rather than shouts.

I miss those days. Heck I miss 2012 - back when, you are not going to believe it - but D&G came up with their last collection before shuttering their brand (and incorporating it in the mother company Dolce & Gabbana) with that spectacular show (here).

But no, this is earlier, much earlier - 1988 to be specific. "Magazine" - yes, the Lebanese publication (here) and no, we did not buy it (Sylvie, our neighbor's friend, whose husband was a dentist (Sylvie's husband not our neighbor's haha!) gave them to us) and in them that gem of an ad.


All right, truth be told I had never heard of the brand prior. But that ad, a small rectangle at the bottom of a page (on the right) arrested me. "La plus belle facon de porter une Piaget c'est de n'en rien montrer" - the most beautiful way to wear a Piaget is not to show anything.

Actually the ad I saw must be from the same campaign because it was of a man and a woman drinking champagne and - you guessed it not showing their Piaget. Because, unlike certain "other brands" (here's looking at you Rolex!) this is not for the show. But more the appreciation. The self-appreciation to begin with.

In an era where "the wheel that squeaks gets the grease" where everything is a shouting match and everyone is out there out-screaming one another, it is a comfort to know there was a time where whispering won out the shouting - this advertising being the ultimate proof.

Monday, January 9, 2023

So was I "islamophobic" by discussing ideas?

Archangel Gabriel revealing the Coran to the prophet

Have you heard what happened at the university of Hamline in Minnesota? 

An instructor displayed the photo of the prophet during an Islamic Art class course, online (the photo can be found in a 14th-century Persian manuscript, the “Compendium of Chronicles”, which is a history of Islam) while explaining exactly what she is going to do and allowing anyone who was to be offended to turn their cameras off. A Muslim student chose to see the image, got offended despite the warning, raised the issue, and the teacher was suspended (it helps that the teacher was on a limited contract, meaning easy to suspend or sack).

So what does this have to do with me?

Remember the Danish cartoons issue in 2005 (here)? They prompted such a huge reaction so much there were manifestations in Beirut. For the anecdote, the mob was so furious, they asked where the Danish embassy was - someone pointed the wrong building (the one before the embassy) and an advertising agency was completely destroyed in the process by the mob all while the embassy had zero issues.

At the time I was giving a course on current events at a university in Lebanon. It was scheduled to be on a Wednesday (while the manifestations occurred on a Sunday). I came with the cartoons in question and when the department secretary saw what I was about to photocopy she strictly said "no, pick another topic". Remember, I had about 35 students, so I immediately researched another topic, printed it and photocopied it. But secretly I also photocopied the cartoons as well.

I went into class and asked the students - "I have two stacks of papers, the Danish cartoons and another topic, which do you want to discuss?" the answer was unanimous - the cartoons. What followed was a smart, educated, civilized conversation about religion, representation and free speech which was way beyond the students' age. I was very impressed. Please note that among the 35 or so students I had 7 Muslims.

At the end of the session I asked "was anyone offended by the talk?". No one raised their hands.

Friday morning I get a call from the administration. I was working then in a company not too far off and the directive was to come "immediately". I indeed showed up and was ushered to the office of the university director. A man who literally embodies the motto "a hand of steel in a velvet glove" - tender, kind eyes which hide a very robust determination.

He briefed me that a student lodged a complaint about me for not respecting her religion, Islam. I immediately went on the attack, told him that yes, the department secretary told me not to discuss the issue in class, but that the discussion that happened in class was mature, respectful and certainly not biased. I also told him that (my literal words) "we should not hide behind our fingers" and that - all students including the 7 Muslims (yes, the girl in question included) thought they were better prepared to discuss the issue with their surroundings following the class.

The director looked at me with his kind eyes - which meant nothing - because the next sentence could have been "please no longer show up at university" or "you were right". Actually the next sentence was "Mr B. come here". The B. in question was the department head who was outside the office door. B. comes in smiling, obviously thinking that I was to be sacked. The director simply deadpans "please go up to the classroom and tell all students that any person who does not wish to discuss ideas is simply not worthy of being in this university, thank you." Then then reverts back to me me and asks "a coffee?".

I truly and unquestionably side with the teacher in the Minnesota incident. Just for your information, banning the representation of the prophet only gained traction after Wahhabism (sponsored mainly by Saudi Arabia) became the dominant intellectual strain in Islam, which was exacerbated by the events of 11 September 2001 as a reactionary measure.

 If I go back to this incident - whose end result - thanks to that incredibly lucid director was in my favor, I cannot but think of that poor professor who - in the name of "diversity" had his or her contract terminated. 

Again for the anecdote, when the furor of the Danish cartoons erupted the next day a Swedish newspaper depicted another cartoons of Jesus and God having breakfast and Jesus holding the Jyllands-Posten in his hands saying to God "they have no sense of humor".

Pity it is no longer an issue of "humor", but of basic respect for discussing ideas. As I said the Sunni strain does not hinder the fact that there are other interpretations in Islam itself which do not fordbid showing the prophet. And by using the pretext of "diversity" the university of Hamline totally eviscerated the word from its meaning. 

These days I wonder if there is any difference between ultra-liberals and super-fanatics.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Halabi Nuts - trying to unsee a phallic symbol

Halabi Nuts.... All right, I am trying to unsee what I saw.

And what did I see? "I-tawt-I-taw-a-puddy-tat" to quote tweetie bird.

I thought I saw a pussy(cat)... And now trying to unsee it with all my might.

Look it could be the case of a "an art director trying to do a stylish image" as my friend said, or it could be - heaven help us - a phallic symbol all the way. Please see the ad here (a little at your own peril).

Look am as liberal as they come but this is an ad for the general public for nuts! (and this is not a double meaning!)

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Dear Prince Harry, families are complicated, get over it

Jacket for Prince Harry's "Spare" memoir - credit: Penguin Random House

The scene happens inside one of Beirut's wealthiest families.

The eldest brother is furious that his sister in law (the wife of his youngest brother) is pregnant. How come? Without a heir to his brother the families' meatiest property (literally, a Beiruti landmark) would revert back to him. With a child, his brother can keep it. Now the "eldest brother" in question is married to a foreign woman of excessive wealth (I cannot reveal her family name, obviously) so basically he has no need for the property in question. 

Do I need to elaborate? 

I come from a very very large extended family - from both sides. As times goes by people you were close to would no longer be close, cousins you were very tight with you only speak to biannually. Just to be clear, this does not mean bad blood, it's called "life". I mean, imagine the scene: My cousin passes literally in front of me at a funeral, and does not even say hello. well, considering the last time he saw me was practically 35 years prior, it only makes sense. 

Actually, at this point, there is "something" happening in my nuclear family which I still did not tell my eldest brother about. My middle brother knows. There is no point sharing it with my eldest brother (both my brother and myself agreed on that) at this level, so I am postponing this.

If I am writing all this it's because Prince Harry just gave gruesome details about his fight with his brother, the current Prince of Wales, or Prince William for us commoners. Here's the issue, I think it was idiotic for him to share it.

How come? Listen, yes, my brothers and I have had our differences. Major differences. And this is where I will stop my sentence. The rest is private. If we had any "fights" it's no one's business. What we agree on or what we do not remains our internal business. There is no interest for anyone to know what happens behind our closed doors.

I am not playing saint and saying I do not share snippets with a close friend (I have the grand total or 2-3 close friends so it's not like I am writing a book about it and calling it "Spare" har, har) when things get extremely difficult. But still, even such sharing is kept to a minimum. 

I still have this idea, that no matter how much it ebbs and flows, I still consider a brother, a brother. In Arabic, so many people use the sentence "mitl khayye" (exactly like my brother), also these days the notion of "chosen family" is also very rampant (particularly in the west). 

I tend to disagree with both notions. 

Friends, no matter, how close, might tend to go away, or were not with you since birth and have shared things only family members remember or are aware of. With family you are bound to them - whether you want it or not. 

Of course, this notion might be childish, but believe it or not I tend to stand by it. 

So yes, explaining to the whole wide world about a fight that happened with your brother - is not really how things are done in my dictionary.

Long story short, Prince Harry needs to understand that families are complicated.

And eventually he needs to get over it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Beirut Beer - the ad that fell through the cracks.

OK, so I was kind of mad at Beirut Beer for their blatant Almaza redo (here) but they earn extra points by doing a great "don't drink and drive" ad for the end of year celebrations (sorry this fell through the cracks and only noticed it beginning January). Of course the smartness of the ad is that it immediately refers to the beer dispensing machine, which reverts automatically to the brand itself (smart move, cannot stress it enough as to how difficult it is for brands to insert their line of business in ads) and this then becomes a "gun" (drinking and driving is a bit of a Russian roulette)... Again, a smartly done ad indeed. Sorry did not spot it on time.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Balkis... Goes for the word play.

 Balkis... A national brand of juice has always relied on word play. Pity I do not have their first ad - which is not present in my archive - which simply said "3a fekra" which translates as "by the way" or "here's a thought" and it was simply introducing pure natural juice. So here's Balkis today with 2 ads (on the 2 sides of a mupi in downtown Beirut). 

In one of the ads - the orange flavor (which is their first and their flagship one) - they go "it's not natural how fresh it is". OK this hits two nots the "not natural" is because it is a "natural" juice, and "fresh" as a wink to the "fresh Dollars" as opposed to the "Lebanese Dollars" sitting rotting in accounts at the banks. In the second as - the mandarine flavor - they go "charraf el afandi" (Afandi is a title fromt he Ottoman era which means "Gentleman" or "sir" and still used in Lebanon as a valuable way of addressing someone, the word also means "mandarine") and "charraf" means "he is here" (do note in my archive I have and ad for Balkis Afandi flavor since 2004 so I guess this is a reissue of an old flavor.

3a fekra indeed.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

McDonald's Lebanon brings on 2023

So here we are, no rest for the just. Or no rest for the blogger who posts about ads. Right bang in the middle of the night, McDonald's perfectly integrates its logo in its 2023 wishes. And it works... I said it before, it is difficult to integrate one's offering in terms of brand in one's own ads, especially when it comes to festive moments.