YASA – May’s true story campaign

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YASA – May’s true story campaign

Intro by Admin I: This blog is officially crazy! One campaign can easily stir things ups between admins, cause a big controversy and give birth to this below schizophrenic post. So Admin R (the ‘nice’ right wing of this blog) was totally touched by Clementine’s YASA ad, while HF, a friend and supporter found too many problematic loopholes in the approach. Honestly speaking, both points of view make sense, so you decide!

Admin R: An edgy new campaign by Clementine for YASA aimed at distracted drivers, is being rolled out across social media “betheb el seraa, ma tmout fiya”. The idea is to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road and lessen the amount of accidents.
These types of awareness campaigns were done once by Lebanese actors such as Georges Khabbaz, Carmen Lebbos and others for ‘Kunhadi’, but didn’t make sense back then.
This time, May Sahab, a Lebanese actress & an anchor carried the flag; she stated a true story, her painful experience. May lost her husband, whom she waited around 14 years to get married to, the Father of a 1year old girl and a baby coming to this messed up world soon, (I have seen her bump in the ad, Admin I didn’t, he thinks it’s a missing link, whatever, talk to the hand!)
There wasn’t acting (although i never miss noticing it, #Lebanese series #lousy acting).
Nobody in this campaign is attempting to use “tears” to sell a product; there was real burning non shed-tears on the ultimate verge of a heartbreak.
This approach is touching and authentic, making a buzz because it’s using a famous person’s sad story as a testimony, but does it minimize the rate of car crashes and loss?

HF: You would expect to be touched by an awareness campaign in a way or another, but unfortunately, when I watched the new ad by YASA, I just sat there with a poker face and I got a bit confused. Regardless if you know May Sahhab’s story or not (I personally didn’t), You can’t but notice how broken hearted the woman is, but the problem is the confusing script, I mean, what the hell was she talking about? To someone that doesn’t already know the details, the ad looks like a weak staged performance with a lot of glitches in the copywriting/scriptwriting itself.
After tweeting the ad and expressing how useless it was for me, I got a DM from a fellow tweep, explaining to me about May’s tragedy that happened last year. To be very honest, I got emotional just by reading the message and knowing the details. I had to know more so I watched her interview on MTV’s Talk of the town, I got goosebumps during the whole thing.
The TVC, although revolves on story telling (pff, the new trend) doesn’t explain much, and it could have been any woman out there who lost a husband, child or brother…The story is touching, especially the pregnancy part (that should’ve been highlighted smartly, but it’s Clementine in the end), I had to do my own research for a clearer insight.
On another note, we’ve had enough of these kinds of ads, yes it might be touching but what’s next? Are these ads effective? What is awareness without a change in behavior?!

See? You guys should be the judge!


  1. josef said:

    This woman lost her husband, no acting there so we cannot question the strength of the script as long as the authenticity is delivered.
    I am against you guys posting negative notes on such campaigns, I am a strong believer that if social awareness campaigns manage to convince 1 person it means that it succeeded, obviously we are 2 sold on the message so far.

    • Admin I said:

      I personally think the idea of using her true story in an awareness campaign is very smart, though the script (and yes what she’s saying is scripted) should be more real.. maybe letting her speak her mind would’ve sounded more authentic than using a confusing language.

      Josef, we’re not spreading negative thoughts, but starting a debate that will help spreading the message.

  2. EsteemedAdCritic said:

    Yes, it’s emotional and whatnot, but we’re judging ads here, which brings out the question: where’s the creativity? Sounds more like a regular testimonial to me.
    On the other hand, I do believe that the choice of celebrity was appropriate this time.
    I have no idea why Kunhadi chose Carmen Lebbous and George Khabbaz to promote their campaign. It was very random and ill-thought.

  3. Another TVC that makes people cry but not act. We are saturated with such kind of TVCs… yes it is touching but what is next? Do you think the person who speeds watch it?

    What’s better & effective is to create a lobbying force to implement the law, this is what we need and this is what YASA Lebanon For Road Safety should be. We need policemen on the roads stopping people and issuing fines if they don’t have their seat belt on, if you are using your phone, if you are speeding.

    Let people pay for the damage they create for the roads and other people. Let them feel pain by paying their money for the damage they create. We need police patrols if they see someone speeding to stop him before he creates damage. We need people to be taught what driving ethics means. This is what we want, if Police Force need cars, I guess the whole community will help them getting it.

    Lots of families have lost a loved one in a car accident, and have created organizations but where is the law in all that? did this stop people being killed? Does those organizations work together for one goal one plan, each works on its own, where is the effectiveness in this?

  4. I am totally with HF on this one.
    Clementine had a “use it perfectly or lose it” idea, and they obviously lost it. The story is already dramatic, why over use the drama by adding that lebanese fake drama act? I respect May’s story and the message behind it, but overall it’s another epic fail.

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