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Monthly Archives: March 2013

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Designed & Signed by ABC: a triangle from the Brofessionals?

By Admin HY: so ABC decided to approach Lebanese designers and artists, and tell them “Hey, take our triangle, and interpret it your own way! Add to it, mix it, modify it and make a statement piece!”. By doing that ABC pushed the boundaries by using and manipulating their brand and taking it to the next level, yet keeping their consistent and unified symbol: the triangle. And it’s all for a good cause! Now that’s a smart thing to do. The full 100% of all donations are used to cover the medical expenses of underprivileged children suffering from CHD, those donations will go to the Brave Heart Fund, a charitable fundraising initiative established by volunteers in November 2003.

So far we’ve seen 3 and I can’t wait to see more.

Now as a designer to be, I’ve always been interested in processes and how designers and artists that we know, come up with their ideas …Where do they start? How do they evolve? Do they start with one idea and build upon it like Zena El Khalil? Or wake up one morning and visualise the whole thing like Roger Moukarzel? And that’s what I really loved about the videos released.

“Designed & Signed” will go on for one year (before the final auction), hopefully more videos will be uploaded and we’ll be introduced to more point of views.

By Admin I: for those who don’t know (or are too lazy to google), Zeina Khalil is a visual artist producing very pink, patterned and pop works for different purposes; Zeina is one of the ‘we do Arab pop art’ circle, mixing heritage with all sorts of glitters and feathers (the Rana Salam kill-me-now trend).

Roger Moukarzel is a talented photographer that started in journalism then moved to fashion photography *dollar sign blings* and is known for an orientalist eye to portraits.

Ashekman are two lebanese brothers that founded a rap band, a clothing brand and other graffiti-i-ish/we-are-cool westernized perception of the Lebanese slangs.

Hoping to see more interesting choices for designers, (I can smell Rana Salam, Nada Debs and other names from that sort of ‘I sell you your own heritage for a fortune’) but hopefully ABC can take a deeper look to what’s happening on a less privileged level, check local uprising artists, the ones that lack a business-oriented mind.

WE’D LIKE TO DO A TRIANGLE FOR ABC AS BROFESSIONAL REVIEW. CONTACT US.

That fun Siblou campaign! 

By Admin NK: As a customer (without taking part of the design community), I was never a big fan of Siblou even though I never bought any of their products. Their branding identity and previous campaigns never really attracted me and got me to say “hey I have to try this out”. (NK, dear, you were a broke noodles eater, and yes Siblou is overpriced, whatever!)

Now we’ve all seen their “Do The Fish” and “Fishfull Thinking” commercials, those were lame and pointless. But we recently spotted their latest TVC and I’ve got to say, this one was funny. True, you’ll find it cliché after you’re done watching it but when I saw that obnoxious woman late for dinner “transforming” into a French man chef, I didn’t see that coming. And the reaction on that old man’s face was priceless!
Unlike their other commercials, this one surely does make sense in promoting their products. We love witty humor when it comes to anything, so good job!
Going too literal does indeed become lateral and witty, not to forget the good art direction and the spot on sound effects and editing rhythm that contributed in its success.
But will that make me go buy Siblou now? Unless a Japanese chef comes out of the fridge and hands me Siblou frozen shrimps, now that’s an idea! (Again, NK, you wouldn’t settle down for frozen shrimps dear, and the chef is not a part of the offer).
GREY is kind of back, you know, kind of!

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An angry design post

Ex-xxx-clusive by the former Admin N, and the new ‘N’:

Disclaimer: no animals or self-proclaimed designers were harmed during the making of this post. However, if the design patterns in this country don’t change, I will hunt you down and I will kill each and every one of you.

Yes, this is an angry post.

I feel like our design schools are failing us, or maybe there’s a epidemic in this country that is hitting every “self-taught” Photoshop geek who wanted to be a designer but daddy wouldn’t let him (probably because daddy knew his kid sucks). But the point is, our city is being invaded by species who think they can design, they charge less and they are more desperate for work, so they don’t say no. Meanwhile, there’s a whole community of good designers out there who can barely make ends meet because they know a thing or two, and they have principles.

Fact is I can’t change that; I won’t even attempt to do so.

Before I start bashing the poster movement in this country, I have to admit there are a few people, or places, who are trying and we do appreciate it.

Which leads me to my first point: Memes were funny once, a long time ago, like when they first came out, like before the Lebanese people milked the hell out of them. But then you check facebook and BAM! A meme poster, a meme poster SO BAD that makes you want to gut your eye sockets with a fork. THE HORROR! Tsk tsk tsk and I had expected better from you. Yes, you know who you are. I’m talking to you, event host with usually awesome posters. (Yukunkun, so stop guessing.)

Now everyone repeat after me: I WILL NOT USE MEMES IN MY POSTERS.

(And don’t get me started about that hideous layout.)

Just remember, every time you include memes in your poster, grumpy cat will have multiple seizures and get paralyzed for 24h. haram!

Second point, if you’re doing a poster about a certain era, a certain theme, or a certain subject that has specific characteristics, you freaking research them! Google is magical, and it’s free, learn to use it for the love of god (or yoda). I understand you have a liking for a certain style, a certain movement or a certain Photoshop effect (pukes-a-bit), but please spare our intellectual knowledge and get inspired by what you are designing for, not what you like (or simply know what to do). If you are, for example, doing a poster about 80’s night, and you get inspired from the art nouveau movement and apply its characteristics onto that poster, I will hunt you down, and may the universe be witness, I will hunt you down and will lock you in a room and make you listen to nails screeching on boards all day!

Third, it has become apparent to me that the people doing posters for those glittery parties are glitterophobic themselves. I mean, why else would they undermine the whole glitter loving community by making such hideous posters for them. Or is this some kind of corporate agenda testing people’s response to such things. I mean I’m trying to make sense out of things, give them a little credit even though they completely disregard our own.

Everyone, repeat after me:

I SHALL NOT USE DAFONT-ish TYPEFACES

(If I don’t know what a proper typeface is and how to kern it)

I SHALL NOT BOMBARD THE POSTER WITH…

You know what, no, I don’t even know why I bother, this is a hopeless case. I guess I’ll have to just learn how to deal with it in the hopes that it won’t make me anorexic or worst, BULIMIC!

And please do not let me start talking about those facebook posts with pretty pictures and Paolo Coelho-ish quotes (barf!)

In the end my dear readers, all I have to say is, if you think you’re a good designer, please think again! Ask around; take feedback on your posters or anything you design. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover that you have wasted half your life in this stupid field where as you could’ve been fulfilling your true destiny of becoming a door-to-door encyclopedia salesperson. It’s never too late!

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Meet Admin HY, an old/new contributor as he was there since the idea came up. Found in a basket next to the trash by Admin I and Admin N, a very loud person with increasing levels of happy hormones, chicken-related steroids and indecisive decisions. Admin HY is an aspiring designer with a fresh eye, and a never changing ‘basic’ fashion taste (though he thinks he’s a trendsetter). Welcome to Brofessional Review!

Copycats in disguise 

By Admin HY: It’s known, it’s out there and it’s almost a fact. Brofessional Review has proved it so many times that it’s not even questionable anymore: Our advertising and design scene mostly rely on copying from abroad! Yes, we copy, but what we’re tackling in this post is a different way of copying, stealing, reworking and getting inspired*.

After the news about Clementine’s latest scandalous copy from an intern (the smart YASA ad line), we got another story, and this time, the copy comes from a field where creativity is a minimum requirement, it’s not a blah advertising scene, but a Lebanese cinema festival!

Meet Stephanie Richa, a Lebanese Graphic designer, an ex art director, who’s currently doing her masters in Italy. Back in 2010, Stephanie shared her final university project online, sent it to some festivals & some design houses in Beirut (that’s her full right, not even debatable) and of course, showed it to some friends. Her stop motion ‘Rab el Banadoura’ is super cool, humorous and well done, an experimental time-based (you know, a la ALBA and stuff).
Now try to watch the new TVC by “Blackbird FX” (software geeks that lack conceptual work, as shown in their website ) for Ayam Beirut Al Cinema’iya Arab Film Festival, you’d notice how similar both approaches are: the idea, the music and of course the dramatic ending. Although the TVC is absurd (not in a cool way) and leaves you with a “what the hell” moment by excellence, you can’t but realize that it’s a rip off.

Note that looking at these people’s previous work, another copy comes to mind: a music video for Lebanese singer Elissa, a direct rip-off of a known ad. (Director’s responsibility, but still).

So what the hell is wrong with you people? Are you for real? Taking students work? Taking advantage of their portfolios and fresh ideas? Look, if you already have shitty attempts, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to take someone else’s work, build on it and reproduce, just because you have the resources. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Couldn’t you be a bit smarter and change at least the song used in the bus? I mean come on! And please, spare me the “it’s a coincidence” argument.

And you wonder why we’re so angry, and you wonder why we have so much hate to express, and you wonder why we end up leaving this country and it’s f’ed up design scene. *insert dramatic music* *violin and feathers*

Copy cats, I wish you burn in hell!

Dubai Lynx 2013: You agencies, we have to talk!

By Admin I: It seems like the Lynx this year were brutally honest with everyone; when we previously said it was a bad year in advertising, we truly meant it, and this award show made more sense of our judgement: no grands prix in direct, film, film craft, integrated, interactive, print & poster craft, mobile, outdoor or radio, making it one of the worst years since the Dubai Lynx began in 2007.

Look guys, we’re no big fans of those ceremonies and of Dubai being the center of advertising and communication, but this year’s results were generally fair. Few Weeks ago, Leo Burnett Beirut celebrated its ‘6th most creative agency in the world” title, we laughed so hard that you guys thought we have personal issues with the agency. 2 days ago our disappointing Leo, left the Lynx with very few wins out of 72 entries, and 1 gold only for, umm, Picon.

JWT’s win evolved around their hit campaign of the year, ‘Touch’ in my new world and MyPlan, an expected well deserved win in art direction, and music.

The biggest winner of the event, talking locally, is definitely Impact BBDO with their Dewar’s heritage-whatever-campaign, that is really a very conventional approach to a very conventional subject matter. The campaign won 2 Grand Prix and several other Lynx, it’s weird, very weird, but you know stuff happen and such events have lots of alcohol, so who knows what drunk people can do!

Our favorite Lynx win is by far the ‘Independent agency of the year’ that went for ‘Interesting Times Beirut’, known to be our spoiled brats at this blog and no we’re not going to hide that. Interesting Times still managed to grab some awards for the Lebanese Brew campaign, and managed to grab some huge spotlights at the event.

Copycats or not?!

This year’s shortlists included a big number of campaigns, 5 of which are for Republique Beirut, an agency that’s still struggling to shine locally. Unfortunately, 2 of those showed extreme similarities with previous works (not gonna pull the ‘copycat’ card here, we like small agencies)

1-Ejjeh & Sons is just too similar to a campaign coming from the Cannes Lions 2010 archive.
2- Mukhi Sisters – Never hide your jewelry coming from the earonic iPhone cases, which is not really an ad, but still you can’t just get an existing idea and find a client for it.

Originality is always questionable, ‘MyPlan’ wasn’t super original, and ‘Last Summer on Earth’ had a huge debate of such kind, still they managed to grab some serious awards.

In the end, congrats to the winners, the Lynx made more sense than other shows but still, some serious discipline should be implemented here, listen you big guys behind big offices!

Roundup:

Leo Burnett Beirut has 6 wins from 72 entries
1 Gold in Branded Content
2 Silver in Craft (ok, that doesn’t really belong to the agency)
1 Bronze in Film, 1 Bronze in Pr and 1  Bronze in Promo.
Impact BBDO leads Lebanese agencies with 2 Grand Prix, 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze
At second place is JWT Beirut with the same number of trophies as Leo Burnett but more shortlists.
Leo Burnett is third.
Horizon FCB is fourth with 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze.
Grey Beirut fifth with 1 Gold in PR
Lowe Pimo is at 6th place with a Silver in outdoor.
FP7 at 7th place with 1 Bronze in Film.
The lowest ranked agencies are Clementine, Ogilvy and Republique.
Republique walked home with 5 shortlists, but not a single prize.
Ogilvy and Clementine are the biggest losers with 0 shortlists.
And with 2 Silver and 1 Bronze, Interesting Times wins independent agency of the year, primarily due to lack of competition, rather than merit.
Drive Dentsu Beirut, Publicis, M&C Saatchi and TBWA did not enter the awards.

Some detailed results Below (GrandPrix and Gold for local agencies > more). Thanking our friend EAC for his/her help!

Branded Content & Entertainment

Gold: HAPPINESS HEROES  / BEL GROUP
PICON SPREADABLE CHEESE
LEO BURNETT BEIRUT, LEBANON

Craft: Film

Gold: TOUCH – IN MY NEW WORLD
TOUCH
JWT BEIRUT
LEBANON + Bronze in FILM – ANIMATION

+ Bronze CINEMATOGRAPHY + Bronze BEST USE OF MUSIC

Media

Grand Prix: A HERITAGE WORTH REVIVING
ETS. KHALIL FATTAL & FILS
DEWAR’S
IMPACT BBDO Beirut, LEBANON

Gold: LBCI DRAMA CAMPAIGN – WARD EL KHAL
LBCI & LBCI DRAMA
LBCI DRAMA
IMPACT BBDO Beirut
LEBANON

Gold: Media: Integrated Media
INTEGRATED MEDIA CAMPAIGN
A HERITAGE WORTH REVIVING
ETS. KHALIL FATTAL & FILS
DEWAR’S
IMPACT BBDO Beirut
LEBANON

PR

Grand Prix: A HERITAGE WORTH REVIVING
ETS. KHALIL FATTAL & FILS
DEWAR’S
IMPACT BBDO Beirut, LEBANON

Gold: SEPTEMBER CHRISTMAS / TAMANNA

TAMANNA
HORIZON DRAFTFCB Beirut
LEBANON
Gold: A HERITAGE WORTH REVIVING
ETS. KHALIL FATTAL & FILS
DEWAR’S
IMPACT BBDO Beirut
LEBANON
IMPACT PORTER NOVELLI Beirut
LEBANON
Gold: ACT FOR THE DISAPPEARED
ACT FOR THE DISAPPEARED
GREY WORLDWIDE MENA NETWORK Beirut
LEBANON

Special Awards

The Network of the Year Award is given to the agency network that obtains the highest score for entries in the Film, Film Craft, Print, Outdoor, Print & Poster Craft, Radio, Media, Interactive, Mobile, Direct, Promo & Activation, PR, Design and Integrated sections.

Network of the year: Leo Burnett

Advertising Person of the Year: Roy haddad

Independent Agency Of The Year: Interesting Times, Beirut

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Almaza inspires* Carlsberg

Research Credits: MG

By Admin I: it’s like ‘who would’ve guessed?’ right?! Who would’ve thought Almaza can inspire anyone to replicate a campaign done a year ago in Lebanon.

The Carlsberg campaign came out going for an almost identical approach (x1000 better plot and art direction): a phone call in the middle of the night: a best friend is in trouble. Would you go out and help him? Carlsberg is testing some friendships. What would your friends do? Are they true mates?

While a year ago, on Valentines, Almaza tested friendship vs. love (check the review) in a campaign that came too similar to a previously released Heineken ad. Okay, we’re lost here! are beer advertising creatives that dumb that they google competitors’ ads from around the world? Man, couldn’t you just dig out some other industry at least so you can get away with the copied work?

You might think it’s the right moment to be proud of Almaza being an inspiration for other brands, okay fine, you can take the credits, but guys really, work harder on local competition, you’re already steps behind.

*Burrrp* (Blame the beer).

BRecap: Touch Text&Talk: insightful ballvertising

By Admin I: it has been a couple of weeks since the release of this campaign that we missed reviewing earlier due to our messed up scheduling skills.

Well to be quite honest, it’s very logical to review campaigns after a while, being able to add an extra layer of temporal impact. The campaign failed to cause a buzz; people saw it once, had a fast laugh but the approach kept them passive.

Being as subjective as we always were, Text&Talk opens up new horizons for Touch as a brand from one side, and for local advertising from the other. The use of a silent movie, the art direction, the storyline, the cast, the acting skills, and the whole insightful approach related to our Lebanese habit of ‘miss-calling’ work together meticulously (disregarding the fact that we stopped this habit when Whatsapp hit us). The campaign is spot on, an eye candy that deserves both thumbs-up just because of the amount of ballvertising it evolves. Guys, it’s not easy to do such an ad, it’s even more difficult to convince a client to pay for such a risky job.

Whether effective or not (NOT), we can’t but encourage more experimentation on the level of guts in advertising. We need more campaigns that dare to be authentic, to lose the modern edge, the cliche art direction, the advertising trends and the useless nostalgia. We need to go experimental people!