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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Julien Abboud and experimental couture

By Admin I : And the journey of introducing fresh fashion talents to a dry advertising audience keeps going! This time it’s all about “Julien Abboud”.

This post was originally written before this talented designer’s exposure due to his “Haifa Barbie” innovation, which is quite sad to us, since it’s not fair for such a creative mind to have its local exposure because of a pop celebrity’s fame and not based on his pure genius creations. (Just ignore me, you all know i like to dramatize issues..)

So, I was actually a fan of this designer since I followed his journey in the arabic version of “project runway” and predicted such a  successful career for him (I’m such a good luck charm, I know!!). Specialized in ready-to-wear yet passionate in Haute couture, Julien is flawlessly introducing a fresh new spirit to the fashion industry based on true inspiration and research, which is the essence of its original appeal.

From medieval structured silhouettes to organic safari prints and exquisitely embroidered fabrics, Julien seems to be a very experimental designer, focused on his approach and successfully creating distinctive pieces that all together form a cohesive line.

Finally, being a pattern freak myself, is not the only reason that made me appreciate our designer’s talent, but what fascinated me is the fact that Julien was never afraid of colors or shapes or forms, was always ready to experiment and delayed what i call “too-soon self-branding” that makes young emerging designers stuck in their own boxes, afraid of breaking the rules and setting their creativity free!

Keep up the inspirational efforts Julien!

 

 

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We’re all eating it* with Castania!

What is an integrated campaign exactly?

Google defines it as: a multidisciplinary approach which uses a number of marketing communication techniques in order to deliver a consistent set of messages. The aim is to achieve seamless communication with the audience […] Using a variety of media i.e. TV, radio, press, online, outdoor and direct mail.

By Admin N : In more simple words, it’s when an advertising agency comes up with a concept to advertise and market a product and applies it in different forms and through different media (tv, radio, print…)

So one day, I was stuck in traffic and I saw the following Castania ad (picture courtesy of beirutdriveby.com) :

For some reason, I had a gag reflex (go figure!).

I remembered the previous ad where the snowman was behind the window with that sad look on his face craving some Castania *lol* and I thought ok, so this is the sequel, the snowman was finally able to reach the Castania nuts, but is caught by a camera. I overlooked the cheesiness and decided to humor it, that was until I saw the biggest atrocity and that is the headline: “el kell rah yekela hal eid” which holds a double meaning in our Lebanese dialect, it can mean: everybody is going to eat it this holiday or it can mean: everybody is going to get screwed* this holiday. I mean seriously? Can it get cheaper than this? and another question : what if Castania was a brand for another product like chocolate for example, what would the headline become !? “el kel rah yekl* hal eid” ?! Despite all the messed up headlines we see everyday, I have never seen a headline with such an amount of negative connotations (or have I?! )

But the atrocity doesn’t stop here, a week later, I heard their radio ad. And it was revealed to me that these peeps have no clue what an integrated campaign is. Yes, they kept the same headline and offer (the free cams) but they completely altered everything. There was no more snowman but decided to get inspired* from clorets and go “social media”, thus altering the whole concept. The ad went something like this:

Woman: 1200 like aala sourte? Aya soura?

Man: hayed elli kente ghatsa fya b kees Castania

Woman: yiii akalta yaaneh!

Man: hal eid kelna eklina maa Castania!

(the wording is not accurate, but you get the picture).

Enough said?!

Lebanese expressive Graffiti

By Admin N : One of many self expression platforms that have boomed recently in Lebanon is the art of graffiti. As you are driving by, you see them briefly, for a second or two, but that’s enough to generate a kind of emotion in you. You might feel confusion, disgust, admiration. Graffiti has long been considered by society as a form of vandalism. People putting vague or abstract shapes and form on a public wall. And as far as I could tell it was somewhat associated with gangs. But then, last year, I started to notice these drawings and writings on the streets of Beirut: hamra, gemmayzeh…and I was very intrigued by them, some were pretty obvious, and others were more abstract.

It wasn’t until last Friday that I was able to really grasp the meaning of graffiti/street art, or at least why they do it. It was a class trip, and we had Rana Jarbou as a special guest. See rana is a graffiti researcher who has been studying graffiti all over the arab world for the past five years and will be publishing a book about it soon.  Our first stop was tabaris, a place I pass through every day and yet completely oblivious of their existence. And these graffiti handled different issues, from socio-economics, to political, to art, romance or just plain satirical. We also found a lot of tagging, all done by the same artist: PHAT2.

Then we went to our second stop, zkak el blat, where we got to see another type of street art, an installation done on a wall. on a wall in a very, very narrow street, different household materials were hung on the wall. I don’t really know tehe story behind it (I will do some enquiry) but I found it fascinating that this sort of art would exist in places like that (yes it was my first time in zkak el blat, and it was kinda scary).

So next time you come across a graffiti or any type of street art, I ask you not to judge them at first glance, but I implore to stop and ask yourself: why did that person do this? What socio/economical motive did he have to produce such a piece and what does it mean? You may be surprised by the answers you find. 

on new year’s eve, KUNHADI !

By Admin I : Kunhadi is a non profit organization playing a major awareness role in the Lebanese society whether by raising people’s attention to safe driving, road sign and many other problems, originally coming from a strong mother that have been through this tragic experience .. Hadi’s mom!

In their new year’s campaign KUNHADI also use an emotional approach to portray every parents’ situation on that eve. nothing preachy, nothing from outer space, just a beautifully shot scene with a mother that we mostly identify with, desperately waiting for her son to come back safe and sound from the super wild new year’s party.

Another success for KUNHADI, even though an irrational brainless creature that can barely drive won’t be affected by this emotional appeal, since being cool in that country doesn’t involve caring for our mothers.

KUNHADI brilliantly chose “Claude Baz” for the role, after the huge success of Nadine Labaki’s “Where do we go now?” where she plays a leading role also as a mother losing her son; a breathtaking performance that is still grabbing well deserved international awards for best actress till our day !

TAKE A CAB !! and Kun-hadi !

Afkart 2011, a surprising Beirut jewel

By Admin I : Being a “free events” addict (not suitable for a diva, but anyhow..), I try not to miss what’s happening in Beirut, yet sometimes things get hectic especially by the end of each year. While prestigious local designers launch private events (aka. Nada Debs) others believe in the design field’s solidarity (or they’re just broke) and participate in collective exhibitions such as the underestimated “Afkart” exhibition that was held from the 17th till the 22nd of this month.

Why underestimated ?! simply because an event with such an advertising campaign is not by any means promising .. Being called “The Lebanese designers’ Christmas week” the event should’ve had a whole better visual approach to show at least the creative side of Lebanon in general, and of the participants in particular.

It had everything .. creative food, accessories, fashion, furniture, design, art, crafts and all what should fascinate every visitor and bring the design community to a more engaging relationship with the mass.

putting all the pop-up brands of accessories aside (clearly compete in copycatting each others), one stand has totally put me in shock; entitled “Nawal Akl” this crazy space with hundreds of featured items made my day ! she had everything, from vintage – I mean really vintage – outfits with the real 80s bling blings and volumes, to the extremely kitsch accessories and handmade crafts and objects !! a great find, with items ranging from 5 to 40$ which is a very considerable price for real vintage quality items !

Another good catch in that exhibition, is Dragonfly a great example of “handmade” accessories, and by handmade, we mean work evolving creating pieces from scratch, and not assembling motifs from copycatland as well .. It is finally noteworthy to mention the immense presence of “Kashida” the known product and furniture design brand merging Arabic typography with modern lifestyle.

Great fashion attempts were also exhibiting in “Afkart” showing a promising side of this city’s fashion industry, making this fair hugely successful and highly recommended for the upcoming years.

Christmas COMBO !

By Admin I : Merry Christmas Ho Ho Hoo, whatever whatever .. we at “Brofessional Review” don’t believe in the whole clichés greetings, we’re more into the real deal baby !!

So to wish you the best holidays ever, find above 3 FREE HIGH RES Christmas post-cards to use whether online or as prints, and send them to your loved ones !!

Lots of love, and candies and fat-full delights 😀

(The illustrations above reflect my own personal opinions, and not necessarily the whole team’s. Christmas is about being real (1st illustration), about rejecting diverted consumerism behaviors (2nd illustration), and about accepting cultural diversity (3rd illustration)).

MTC’s Speedy & Amigo Christmas !!

By Admin I : It seems that this campaign won’t get boring easily ! while others struggle to come up with one mini concept for their outdoors, M&C Saatchi brilliantly launched one of the best campaigns of the year: “Speedy and Amigo” for MTCtouch !

After the big positive buzz that this campaign was able to generate after its launch a while ago, MTC comes back with the Christmas version topping all other festive campaigns in town.

What is even better about Speedy & Amigo Christmas is that they simply wish you happy holidays, with a  very well filmed and art directed TVC, without their “dreamy” 3.9G promise that was as true as Santa’s exsistance !

Thumbs up .. Again !