Sunday, February 18, 2024

On sexual innuendos in ads, and why Comin got it wrong.

Ah here were are again, still talking about that silly, trashy Comin ad. Well, is this a triumph for them? They do say "bad publicity is good publicity". If this is the case then Comin was a triumph - to be honest I don't think so. Also, now that the door for sexual innuendos has been open, even their name "Comin" is starting to resonate badly. My previous post has generated heated discussion on Linkedin, and to be clear no it was not a "translation" - this ad was done in Arabic. Also many called it "sad", which I tend to concur with. Also, there was people saying that it differentiated itself from what is already on the panels and therefore "made you look" - a must for any ad. The problem? In 2005 (circa) we needed 500 panels for our campaign to be seen in Beirut, now only half a dozen billboards is enough. There is not enough competition and - this I know from an internal source - OOH companies have prices so low they just tell agencies "just book please".

So where does this lead us? Comin had done an ad with a sexual innuendo. It was at best, idiotic. Because as a company they were incredibly innovative when it comes to the packages they proposed to clients (in case you want to see the ad again, please do so here). I shall refer you to what I wrote previously about the Vote for Tolerance Aizone campaign (here):

The smartness was to dress the models in colors that resembled the Lebanese political parties (orange for FPM, green for Lebanese Forces, blue for Future Movement....) but look deeper and you shall see it is about homosexuality and bisexuality and their acceptance. The body language in the ad whereas barely dissimulated was enough to get past censorship.

You don't have to go above and beyond for things to work. As I said the Aizone campaign is a prime example of that. We may be talking about Comin, but there is also brand value - now this is tarnished for Comin. I hope it was worth it for the sake of just one ad.