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Monthly Archives: January 2012

McDonald’s Lebanon campaign: “I’m hating it”

Title by our friend Joseph: @Zoozel ! 

By Admin I : Sometimes a campaign makes you question all terms of franchising in this whole world; A concept that contributed in the globalization we’re a part of nowadays that should basically make the creative fields improve due to the massive competition in all fields.

Sometimes seeing a campaign like the new “McDonald’s” makes you wonder about the cons of globalization and franchising, not that the former McDonald’s ads have been genius or anything, since actually parodies have been done much better, but tolerating this local campaign is out of question!

Why does an offer need such a big campaign, if in itself was not relevant enough to the audience (1000 LBP deduction, really!?) and how can the overacting cast make me want to go and eat in the that specific branch, their Mansourieh branch, that looks like everything but a fast food place, lacking the main fun element that was associated with the brand since forever.

The song, the cast, the humor (in case it hardly made you laugh) it’s a no no assessment by all means, and we thought such approaches ended in the 1990s with the “Perlex” jingle ..

To wrap it up, we just had to feature this campaign, even though we’re dying to see some creative approaches that should be firstly introduced by international franchises instead of having a retrospective that does nothing to the brand but destroy its international appealing image.

We’re hating it!

Florence + the machine

By Admin N : Florence and the machine (or as stylized Florence + the machine) is my latest music discovery, an epic fusion of baroque pop, art rock, soul and indie. It’s simply magical! Florence Welch has this deep enormous voice that will move you and take you on a rollercoaster ride through joy and sadness, light and darkness, fear and bravery.

Florence and the machine’s music has been described as somewhat gothic “made of harps, choirs, drums, elevator shafts, bits of metal, love, death, fireworks, string quartets, stamping, sighing, strange electronic wailing, lambs, lions, sick, broken glass, blood, moon, stars, drink, coffins, teeth, water, wedding dresses.. And the silences in between”. Her lyrics are as crazy as her music, although she claims her songs are just about love, the words say different. Although the main theme is boys, it also includes sex, death, love, violence. Nonetheless, very emotive, you could easily see Florence is a hopeless romantic looking for love.

Her latest album “Ceremonials” debuted at number 1 in the UK album charts, it’s dark, heavy with big drums, big bass and big sound. A mix of celtic rock meets gospel meets blues and soul meets pure genius!

Although her latest video for the song “no light, no light” sparked controversy after it was accused of supporting white supremacy, the video sees Florence Welch pursued by a man in black body paint, practising ‘voodoo’. I personally failed to see the racism and saw it as purely artistic

And do check the song that got me hooked in the first place – shake it out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbN0nX61rIs

Just Falafel: Just the way it should be!

By Admin I : At least and after extensive research (bullshit), we’re sharing with you a fun entertaining advertising experience called “just falafel”.

Just Falafel is a specialized Falafel Retail Chain that offers the best authentic Falafel served with a variety of ethnic flavors in Sandwiches and boxes. Although Falafel is a basic everyday food item, the name Just Falafel defines its domain expertise and the homely atmosphere.

Deciding to go to youtube to hunt a “just falafel” campaign is not a very good idea, especially if you’re stuck at work with tons of assignments to do (not my case, boss) because you’d easily spend minutes and minutes looking at those fun vids that could hook you up to the “just falafel” experience and make you a fan of the brand even before having a taste of its products.

What caught my attention was their clever and extensive use of social media and online advertising, in the best cost-efficient way ever, and the clear understanding of online marketing that shouldn’t be too serious yet also shouldn’t underestimate the audience by any means.

Launching a competition for a scholarship by a falafel store could sound a bit over the top of cheesiness, but the team somehow managed to make the teaser and the revealer of this campaign a delight to watch and follow, eliminating all distances between the managing board and the audience, by showcasing the team itself explaining about the campaign as natural and spontaneous as bosses can be (no offense, boss).

Other campaigns also came out to be a success by using very gimmicky and fun stop motion animation techniques with the focus on the delicious falafels with a twist of humor and roughly animated 2d visuals such as the super fun Bollywood behind the scenes viral.

In the end, we can’t but wish that some other brands would learn from this fresh creative approach to online advertising, that could cost nothing but generate a very friendly brand-customer relationship especially when the customer is a part of the process and is exposed to every stage of the work!

Good job!

Bosses interact with the audience:

 

Nur Kaoukji: designing wearable narratives

 

About noon: noon is a socially-conscious fashion brand that is anti-mass production and anti-exploitation. We only work with handicraft workers in factories, which we have personally visited, where they are treated with dignity and respect.
We seek to revive and preserve handicrafts and in so doing will hopefully stop the flow of workers from moving into slum sweatshops where they go to work for big mass-producing brands due to people’s lack of interest in their craft. Our production and factories are based in India, and we currently work with handloom silks, organic cottons, and traditional embroidery.

 

Nur Kaoukji, a creative Lebanese mind and not only a designer; Nur is an example of a social activist by all means. This talented fashion designer emerged from a cultural fusion between her studies in London and work in Beirut and Jaipur, is successfully establishing a remarkable name in the industry; the design industry in its natural essence that deals with the human being as a starting point to all visual creations and not as the end of the consumerism cycle that usually refuses to end.

 

Nur’s distinguished pieces brilliantly showcase a unique personal feel that connects the artisan to the customer, designed with traditionally produced and printed textile, to form a narrative that gives clothes a dimension beyond materiality and mere aesthetics. Nur’s creations are experiences taking form and color with every possible aspect of that enriching journey.

 

Dramatic, mysterious and original is what mainly characterizes Nur’s works embedded with ultimate femininity that knows no subtlety but keeps moving and revealing more hidden stories.

 

It is weird how discovering such talents makes you feel ignorant in many ways and generates an endless flow of creative curiosity that I personally hope to be transmitted through this post to every reader that cherishes creativity and social awareness bound together in one highly interesting fashion experience called noon.

 

More to come from Nur and noon,  soon!


Exotica Valentine 2012: Love Ripples!

By Admin I : When we called their latest Christmas campaign “Feel the tragic” we were sure that the level released back then was a bit off their bright record of remarkable campaigns, and that doing the same seasonal approaches over the years, might be a super hard task to accomplish, tackling the same subjects with the same media at the same agency.

Exotica always managed to dazzle the crowds with creative campaigns whether based on human elements (for the good and the bad –  try carrying her for 9 months) or exclusively featuring their products (last year’s valentine’s campaign) yet it never got to a point of no return, until this year’s Valentine’s visual!

“Love ripples” to say that love spreads/duplicates – spread the love – love is contagious (feels like attending the dull brainstorming session) whatever this line is supposed to mean, it’s certainly coming out of nowhere, saying absolutely nothing, with a visual that fits the criteria of a cheap “constructed” advertising approach, tweaking petals to look like lips and hearts (cheesy, desperate, looks like a Lebanese mezze garnish, you call it!)

Not very proud of bashing a brand that I have cherished and appreciated for a long time, and would totally understand that such campaigns are not the typical “award-generators” for agencies, but was hoping for the minimum amount of standards aesthetically and conceptually, at least something to compare with student level works!!

 

“Metel ma shelta”, and the inspiration* goes on

By Admin N : A few days ago, I noticed a very interesting campaign being shared on facebook, an anti-littering campaign titled “metel ma shelta”. This campaign was done by graphic design students consists of slightly altered 10 000 Lbp with the following message written on its back: “metl ma shelta…fik tshil el zbele 3an el tari2” (like you removed it, you can remove garbage off the street). These bills were scattered on the streets as a sort of an anti-littering awareness campaign, and people were responding well with it. Everyone liked it and I personally thought it was brilliant!

Until I remembered that I’ve seen it somewhere before.

Let’s be fair now, we can say that the campaign may have been inspired but come on! One can’t help but notice the resemblance between this campaign and the Carlsberg littering campaign which itself consisted of throwing 5000 pound worth of 10 and 20 pound bills around the streets of London with a sticker on them that reads: “Carlsberg don’t do litter. But if they did it would probably be the best litter in the world”.

Have we reached a point where we can no more come with new innovative ideas? Has our creative well really run dry? Or are we just too lazy to come up with new ideas? I mean with the Lebanese trend of “getting inspired” by other international campaigns, who can really blame them?!