Monthly Archives: November 2011

Illustration by Admin I

An unemployed interviewee’s journey 3 : 

By Admin H : What is an advertising degree?! Once you send your CV, if you get a call back, they will ask you first to do sales, if you think you are over qualified, they will offer you client servicing! If your head is over the clouds and you think that you have the creativity that it takes, they’ll switch the direction into graphic or web design. Now looking at all these, I’m thinking that by the age of 40, my boss would’ve understand what my degree qualifies me to do and I might finally get a job related to my major!

So in conclusion if each qualified person was doing another one’s duty, we’ll end up having a very low quality range of visual work just like the majority of the work done in Lebanon.

So being desperate, you start thinking of launching your own business; here’s the almighty manual:

How to start a costless design business ?

We should all give credit to those great minds building companies around interns’ hard work and effort. They take all the credit for their creativity and talent, drain their minds and destroy their ambitions. Thumbs up for these agencies that actually make you think that they are doing you a big favor and giving you a once in a lifetime chance of interning for 3 months at their company before even considering giving you a job offer which you’d never see. But yes, you’ll benefit a lot when you accomplish every single task at their offices, and kill your creativity with their twisted minds that still believe that a good visual is the one with a billion Photoshop layers mixed with some brushes and vectors, and the perfect copywriting is the cheesiest one with some sexual hints!

So, after all the above, I can only wish you a good luck, or some 6 packs (a mini skirt is becoming old fashioned)  that can guarantee a position there … it’s either luck, or steroids. And you decide.


Moe Khadra, “uncasually casual”

By Admin I : In our third fashion post, we keep investigating the Lebanese fashion scene – again, we mean, the “real deal” of fashion, and not the mainstream copycats.

Moe Khadra is a young Lebanese fashion designer, with a rich background in performing arts and TV production, studied between Hong Kong, Madrid and Amsterdam, participated in Future TV’s version of “Project Runway” and is currently celebrating an abundant flow of creativity in his hometown Beirut, where he works on his collections, and many other design related projects.

The focal point here is not fashion design as a commercial field, but a whole shift towards “design” in its essence. MOK as labeled, succeeded in making this shift and raised people’s awareness to fashion design by releasing hit projects, such as the “Nada Debs” floating stools made with his designed prints, and many other conceptual art direction projects, whether his personal exhibition “9 QUEENS”, or the cooperation with the famous Makeup artist “Fady kataya”.

Making a long story short, there’s nothing “casual” about such kinds of fashion artists, Moe Khadra is another talent that promises a prosper future to our local fashion industry and reclaims the need of “true designers” that are rarely found in a city that imports everything, and neglects its inner beauty and creativity.

Enjoy a selection of MOK “uncasually casual” designs !

Exotica Christmas “Feel the tragic*” campaign

By Admin H : Tears flooding, almost about to faint, you keep on hitting your head to the wall, starting to become pessimistic and stepping out of the advertising field. Well you must have seen the 2011 Exotica Christmas campaign! “Feel the magic” of a retro looking plant related in no logical way to Christmas (talking about conceptual characteristics, not the formal ones only) just embracing that lighting star, with rocky snowy mountains adding nothing but a very deja vue Holiday atmosphere.

We grew up watching Exotica ads with enthusiasm, picked this major believing that creativity exists in Lebanon and that campaigns such as Exotica’s are going to save people’s taste, raise the level and set higher standards. Suddenly Exotica’s creativity, excellent work with fabulous art direction and intelligent copywriting disappeared. It must have been kidnapped by the evil Christmas ghosts or something, because all what we can see is a one degree concept, often stringing along with a very “usual” Christmasy art direction; A concept after another such as the “You’re the final touch” and the “strange freaking out Halloween campaign”.

With sorrow and sadness we present to you Exotica’s new campaign featuring magic and joy*; Enjoy!

Photo credits : TEDxBeirut by Nadim Kamel

TEDx Beirut 2011 Reviewed

What is TED? According to their website, TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.  TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

By Admin N : The TEDx program gives communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently.

This year, back in September, Beirut was lucky enough to host its first TEDx event that took place in Berytech Mansourieh. The event featured 21 talks from 21 different people from different sectors. media consultants, designers, doctors, accountants all came together to share their experiences and maybe inspire us to do the same.

The talks were very interesting and exposed the audience to a whole different kind of people, different from the politicians, the TV hosts and the wannabe barbies you see every day on TV. They were people who you can really aspire to be like. If it’s Ziad’s love story with garbage, or mazen’s spark of inspiration that pushed him to become a brewer, and even najat’s story on how she, an “Ashrafieh -trallala girl”, ventured into the world of Hezbollah,  and many more….

Thumbs up for TEDxBeirut (although some talks were kind of boring, and others just made no-sense at all) but overall, I’d consider it a success, really inspired here (especially by Hala fadel’s god is an entrepreneur).  Looking forward to attending the next one!

Here are some videos for you to check. Go on, be inspired!

God is an entrepreneur – hala fadel

Imagination Studio: Co-creation for social integration – Joanna Choukeir

A garbage love story – Ziad abi chaker

I chose ‘C’ – Reine Abbas

By Admin I :  I personally attended this successful event, and was really impressed by the overall efforts and rich content of the talks. Being a very picky person, I could say i was a bit disappointed by the design related talks that came a bit lame, or let’s say “inspiration-less”. What is super special about someone who found a way finding solution in Beirut (isn’t that a very basic skill of a graphic designer/visual communicator/problem solver ??) or the other “design talks” that started with i have a baby child, or a super cute niece (Awwh)

In general the event was a total hit, despite from the overdone comedy, or the “over the top” theatrical expressionism … I was personally taken by the business related talks even though am religiously biased to design as a field.

Thumbs up to Hala Fadel (links mentioned above), and my personal favorite Halim Madi :

A piece of advice to the president of the world – Halim Madi

(Just a little silly comment, I loved the goodie bags and the social space but would love to be hosted in a bigger space, by a more natural energetic host for next year’s event; adding food quantities would be as delightful! Looking forward…)

(Youtube links for the two ads with an egyptian slang voice over)

Clorets goes social media

By Admin R : It is weird how recently gum ads are flooding the streets and Tvs with hugely designed campaigns, especially that the product itself is considered mainstream, which adds to the exposure of those campaigns that could easily become cheesy and overdone.

Many gum ads are worth featuring especially the Trident outdoors, that will be reviewed in an upcoming post, focusing currently on the unexpected TV commercials for “Clorets” : Socialize!

Well, Clorets did make its way to the mass by its brilliant  social media concept for it’s new TV commercial, that still deals with that “eternal gum USP : “the fresh breath” but with a new approach driving people to socialize; The very well art directed commercial features teenagers stuck in their facebook/twitter yet social killer medium, afraid to face   the world with a dreadful breath.

When you first watch it, you get attracted by the visual approach, yet you still wonder about the product until you reach the final scene, the revealer, which tells everything, and breaks the rhythm (mainly breaks the creative flow) and ends as most of the gum ads do. kudos to the copywriting and the execution, besides everything has already been done anyway, right?!

An interesting Jelly beans stop motion

By Admin D :

*288,000 jelly beans

*2,460 frames

*1,357 hours

*One Greg Jardin and One Kina Grannis!

Greg Jardin directs countless jelly beans for Kina Grannis’ song “In your arms”. This music video is a vivid testament to the vibrant visuals that can be made by extreme patience and 288,000 jelly beans! Unique idea that made the song standout even if the song itself had nothing special, or let us say in other word, had nothing different, on the contrary it’s a little too sugary, but we can’t neglect the fact that its visual effect turned out to be exquisitely interesting.
I guess anything that took almost 2 years of work is at least worth 3 minutes of your time.
Check out the making of and the song itself. Enjoy folks!

other jelly beans art : 

Bank Audi and the wannabe “vox pop” 

By admin I : If you ever tried to document the best of the Lebanese commercials, it’s a sure thing that the Bank Audi Tvcs will take the list by a storm. It has been a while that commercials for banks and real estate have diverted into a more pop humanistic approach, dealing with the individual as a potential client whether a young student or an adult business person, simply because the whole banking experience became open to any audience.

It would be unfair not to credit the Audi bank campaigns for this positive approach, simply because the creative team behind those campaigns knew how to shift the classical bank experience into a more enriching journey, filled with memories (we all remember the” Loubnani card” campaign and its old authentic stories) and of course the enchanting “Grow beyond your potential” Tvc that kept people talking for weeks.

“Go out there” is the campaign that was launched few months ago, making a total shift from the emotional “Lebanese” approach to a more dynamic, innovative stop motion tvc targeting a younger audience. The ad was meticulously executed between Lebanon and Europe and the music was successfully tailored to fit the concept’s spirit.

Last but not least, a new Tvc for the leading bank, designed to be a “vox pop” featuring different people talking about the Lebanese individual’s qualities, abilities and capabilities; the ad seems a bit structured, and far from the spontaneity of a real street “vox pop”. It starts funny, yet ends with a sarcastic laughter on the “perfect cast” and the “very scripted” lines, neglecting the fact that such ads should be totally transparent and driven by people’s natural way of talking, without the severe intervention of a copywriter trying to take lead. In this Tvc you see all sorts of visual clichés : a teenager with a guitar talking about being “cool”, a sophisticated woman talking about culture, a fisherman talking about uneducated Lebanese and the cherry that tops the cake : “EDRA” as if those Lebanese youngsters would use such a word, or even talk a whole sentence in Arabic.

Too bad, this very well thought of campaign got drained from its true essence to become another Bank’s campaign, with a whole set of deja vues and forced ideas. Wishing you a bigger “Edra” to be more creative in the next campaigns!