Monthly Archives: March 2012

PLASTIK* a Lebanese visual pioneer

By Admin I : To be honest, it was a love at first sight. I got my hands on Plastik* in its 2nd issue, and everything dazzled me and made me a loyal reader (until few months ago). Plastik* is a Lebanese visual magazine, featuring a wide selection of topics from fashion, design, art and music with a fresh art direction and an exclusive well thought of photography.

Talking design, Plastik* is designed to have a strong presence with a heavy use of fluorescent colors and a tactical reach for pastels, an energetic layout and themed issues complemented by the most interesting masthead (logo) that helped the magazine build an impressive reputation in the market, being the first to present a creative visual solution, and fill an empty creative space, and that was before the flow of Plastik* wannabe magazines.

Being a party pooper myself, I cannot deny that the publication went through ups and downs, or what i thought were “hangovers” after every huge success. Some issues tried to reach a wider market by featuring an Arab celebrity, while others went all the way elite. Some issues, were taken “à la légère” with numerous retouching flaws (Plastik13) and many typography weaknesses (ligatures specifically) as well as a monotonous style that sometimes felt “dejà fait”.

Despite all the imperfections, we salute this magazine’s journey, especially that it’s a Lebanese visual pioneer, art directed and designed by Lebanese talents, a point that should be a subject of further investigation, by a more “local” Plastik*, simply because the magazine reached international markets 2 issues ago, and should find its unique selling proposition to compete with international publications, which could briefly be a more authentic approach, with minor international tweaking because In the end:

Plastik is a real creative collective
of imagery and thought,
and whatever the Fu*k we want.
And that’s what makes Plastik such a fantastic publication.
Well that,
and the fact that a plastic tan never fades*
Just ask Barbie,
that bitch has everything!
And if anything,
we are always learning that there is always something new under the sun,
with every issue we put together.
And with every issue that comes out
we understand more and more
that Plastik is a state of mind.
It is the mind in a state of perpetual beauty, void of vanity.
It is the tendencies, and glamour of fashion,
minus the icons and designer names.
It is that lost trail of thoughts between
the artist and the artwork,
the camera lens and the light,
the writer and the muse.
But we lied to you when we said
that Plastik is a fantastic publication.

Clearly it is beyond*

Proud, and truly rethinking of filling the gap in my Plastik* collection with the 2 latest issues that proved to be worth more than “a love at first sight”!


Photo credit:

Trident gum and a creative flow

By Admin I :   We’re finally reviewing one local campaign that captured our attention since a long time but didn’t have the chance to blog about it for many reasons (it’s one reason actually, we didn’t have a blog!) It’s Trident with a series of successful campaigns, for two approaches: “Longer than forever” for Trident everlasting, and “The flavor you can’t get rid of” for the other Tridents, mainly the ones without the pretentious impractical black package.

The flow started with 3 visuals falling under “Longer than forever” addressing a young hip generation, with one of all time copywriting hit approaches: “A boyfriend playing video games, girlfriend getting ready and of course Med school!” The result came fresh and dynamic and very very smart.

Under the same concept, and also based on copywriting, another approach was launched, this time even smarter but with a minor malfunction: “Type was too small to be read on streets, and maybe too smart for the mass” talking life narratives from birth to senior years to illustrate an endless time, but again, Trident proved successful!

“The flavor your can’t get rid of” was based on a fun colorful visual approach with a clean art direction, easy to decode and very interactive with the use of a giant fruit’s mascot sticking to the human figure and getting engaged in every activity. The approach came out to be a hit and had several seasonal releases, even though the use of a mascot came a bit repetitive with another local brand using it simultaneously (Tanmia Chicken by Grey Beirut).

The new campaign for Trident coated gum always by Leoburnett Beirut, was not by any means less successful especially with the coating/winter coat association, just the right amount of fun poured onto this interesting advertising journey. This season’s campaign was complemented with a controversial radio ad, causing a positive buzz between the fun and the obnoxious which is in its essence the main concept of it: A flavor you can’t get rid of!

Great job!!

Photo credit:

By Admin I : Having a walk in the beautiful streets of Hamra during this sunny day of March, makes you feel the positive vibes of the city’s energy, despite the fact that you’ll curse endlessly due to the traffic and the overflow of people and their annoying derivatives/kids. (Such a lovable intro isn’t it?!)

So back to our “brofessional” mission of reviewing Lebanese poster design, and this time we can truly see good design work getting spread throughout the city.

Starting with one of my favorites, a retro pop poster for a show at “Metro el Madina” inspired by the old movie ads with a fluorescent solid pink invading the background. The unusual format and the retro feel totally made this poster a winner.

“Ghathayan” is another favorite, with a  very straight forward message and an unusual associated photo along with traditional arabic type treatment, far from the GE typefaces flooding the market (Don’t get me wrong, I love GE typefaces, easily pukable over any layout!!) . AUB outdoors auditions is not by any chance less interesting than all AUB-Architecture and Design department posters, with a striking colorful presence and a fun layout reflecting the event’s main purpose.

Another poster to note, is the Lebanese-Norwegian cultural week with its unconventional design treatment, a rough brush effect, with a watercolor feel illustrating a cultural fusion between the two ends of the subject matter.

Our mission this time ended positively with a quite good range of poster designs, dominated by high intensity colors and very systematic grids with a lack of experimentation. A step further in the visual scene in Lebanon, hoping for more innovation and an even busier cultural pattern!

So let’s see, what do you think of the rest of the featured posters?

Wadih Jreissati and Sons campaign finally breaking the rhythm!

By Admin I : We’re finally done with the mother’s day cream cheese/sun-dried tomato brown baguette and back again to the real deal!

When I first saw the Wadih Jreissati and Sons campaign on I honestly had mixed feelings; Between the thrill of witnessing a new local campaign reaching international advertising platforms, receiving good reviews and the fact that it did not fascinate me on the spot.

But it totally did afterwards.

Between the very witty copywriting, the multi-visual approach that never gets you bored, and the super interesting photography and art direction. Being a design freak and totally not a fan of handwritten gimmicky typefaces, i found it extremely weird to like such type treatment. The rough typography looks meticulously customized and adapted to fit the direction and contrasts very well with the edginess of the photos. The whole visual fusion came out looking interesting and “new” even though the tiles version looks visually off series. Copywriting, copywriting and copywriting! Fun and makes you read till the end, just the right amount of “easy” that appeal to all classes of audience. Finally, (you know i can’t but burst the bubble) the headline “For all this and more, thank you” sounds very whipped-cream-ish and totally falls into mother’s day ads.

For all this and more, Blitz is recently showing very big potentials adding a fresh new twist to the market, a new favorite to be added to our list of town’s best agencies (and let me tell you, that list is not that crowded!!)

Good job!

Advertising Agency: Blitz, Beirut, Lebanon
Creative Director: Dalia Nahas
Art Director: Joseph Hajj Assaf
Copywriters: Dalia Nahas, Maia Bulbol
Photographer: Steve kozman
Published: January 2012

Oreo 100 years anniversary campaign

By Admin I :  Okay so we’re shifting a bit from the local to take a deep breath celebrating a campaign that was buzzing all around the globe, and no, we’re not out of local ads, believe me, we’re even fed up with the failing local attempts either playing on cliches or sexual hints except very few innovatives approaches.

To celebrate the 100 years anniversary Oreo is digging into the great inventions, discoveries and incidents of the past 100 years; Some are serious scientific moments and some are more fun bringing back good old memories to minds.

12 Visuals for print can alone declare an endless flow of creativity and experimentation done with the cookie everyone loves, and even the online approach focuses on the loose fun concept of “celebrating the kid inside” by simply stopping time and going back to memories with the brand:

“Is it our imagination or is the world moving too fast? For 100 years, we’ve worked to make life a little less hectic, a little more carefree. This year, Oreo invites you to celebrate with us and set your inner kid loose. Let’s all take a break and share 1 million moments right here together. Let’s make every moment count” . An interactive online arcade and space to share videos and play amusing games!

May the god of creative minimalism hit our country with a storm of productivity!!

Advertising Agency: Draftfcb, USA
Executive Creative Director: Darren Moran
Creative Director: Megan Williams
Group Creative Director: Jill Applebaum
Creative Director / Art Director: Megan Sheehan
Copywriters / Art Directors: Jill Applebaum, Bob Neuman
Executive Producer: Anthony Nelson
Photographer: Richard Pierce
Concept: Pierre-Marie Faussurier, Sebastien Zanini
Designers: Yego Moravia, Johnny Por Taing, Bangwool Han
Art Producer: James Kozyra
Published: March 2012


Home City New arrivals + Weddings, and a step further 

By Admin H (Not sure she was sober though!) : “Coming soon, new collection, new arrivals.. Seasonal campaigns that are by no means thrilling to any agency since it’s not usually easy to come up with creative approaches for such redundant occasions. After so many highly criticized ads from the one and only Clementine, here comes another campaign for Home City reminding of “Lebanon’s history of shipping, shipbuilding and the ancient Port of Beirut during Phoenician times”. When I read those words I started to appreciate (oh not that much, just a little bit) this ad; If their concept was that deep and their goal was to remind us of the ancient port of Beirut and the tremendous role of Lebanon, then someone is no longer acting deaf nor ignoring the online community, even though finding the right balance between the cliche and cheesy seems to be the hardest task for this agency!

But still: Does this ad actually trigger a purchase?! Is this really the image of Home City?! I kindly salute their concept switch (I’m sober as already mentioned above, or not!), trying to come up with something more decent and appealing than the latest “Do Re Mi Fa-Soldes!”, but I still have to point the weak art direction (retouching mainly) and the very weak type treatment; elements that could’ve brought the whole concept to a better level!

By Admin I : Another Home City new comer, a print ad for the wedding season, announcing a wide selection of choices for newly weds. Honestly, and for once “less is more” works well here, a well thought of concept yet badly retouched, no: horribly retouched!! (duplicated cushions, erroneous shadowing, etc..).

Seeing some progress at last!!

P.S: we didn’t google for lookalike approaches yet.