Sunday, November 23, 2008

So this is what it means to be a man?

Apparently Birell know what it means to be a man, and have decided to educate us ignorant masses on exactly what that is. "Estargel" (be a man) is the direction Leo Burnett Cairo have taken in their new Birell campaign. Birell is a non-alcoholic malt beverage produced by Al-Ahram Beverages Company.

You know what? I'm not going to discuss the blatant idiotic sexism of these ads, because well, it would be a waste of my breath and an insult to your intelligence. This is because the most prominent TV ad for the drink proceedes as follows: a few guys hanging out, a gorgeous woman passes by, recognizes one of them and makes eye contact. The rest look at him enviously and he explains that he likes her personality. We are then told that a woman's personality is the last thing that should be noticed, drink Birell and be a man. Not like that idiot who, heaven forbid, is actually taking a girl's personality into consideration.

So the way to be a man is to demean women, belittle somene else so you can feel bigger. Yeah real manly. Oh and just to be unbiased I also sought out male opinions on this campaign. Result: yes ad was shot nicely, was visually appealing etc, but revolting all the same. The entire direction was in very poor taste. And before you say anything don't give me that market insight bullshit, because it was a cheap shot and a clear underestimation of the audience.

Want to be a man? Don't let an ad dictate what masculinity is and go drink a real beer...
In the meantime stop polluting media outlets with elementary crap that not even a perverted teenager with an inferiority complex would dream of coming up with..


  1. i've been going through the site. nice job guys. its great to have a "vault" finally, where we can have a sort of archive of egyptian ads and middle eastern ones. and its a great place for all of us adpeople to meet. but one thing i will mention. the 3000 word thesis essays accompanying each ad are a bit tiring. i'm going to make this SHORT and SIMPLE (i know these words are new to you.... but hey)

    a)Egypt has a market of its own where PAPYMAMY'S don't survive and balls do. sorry.

    b)the way you write. gives the impression. that you assume. the audience is familiar with who you are.

    c)they aren't.

    d)"it would be a waste of my breath"
    "very poor taste"
    "stop polluting media outlets with elementary crap that not even a perverted teenager with an inferiority complex would dream of coming up with.."

    i'm sorry. but who are you again? because judging from this you must (3al 2a2al) an award winning creative director who puts out gold every month.

  2. Thanks Youssef for that. Glad you're on the site. I agree with you. Our 'essays' are harsh and long, and honestly, we have nothing to prove that we can do better.

    But really, how many Egyptians have won at legitimate and respected awards festivals, like Cannes or the Lynx for example? Not that many dude. Does that mean, only their creative directors can say what they think of ads? No sir.

    AdBasha is a place where if you have something to say, please go ahead and say it. If anyone has a problem, they can take it up with the contributor of that piece. That's what commenting is about.

    So I respect your opinion, we will try to be less harsh, and finally, it would be an honor if you would become a contributor, and show us how it's done. Ya basha.

  3. Really appreciate the feedback. I do. But I just want to clarify a few things.

    I never claimed to be an expert, nor an authoritative figure in advertising. But that being an issue kind of misses the point doesn't it?

    I generally don't write long essays but that particular ad offended me as a person and as a female. So I expressed it, regardless of who I am because I'm entitled to that as a member of the viewing public. And I apologise for seeming to assume that people know me, wasn't my intention. But impersonal commentary just lacks flavour.

    Besides, look on the bright side. If my commentary hadn't created this controversy, we wouldn't have heard from you.

    So it's good to hear from you...and I promise next time I'll try to tone it down.

  4. ok.

    first things first.

    clearly i got under alot of peoples' skin. i apologise to those of whom i know personally.

    now... secondly....

    "how its done" i can't claim and say i know. but i assume if you were confident of the traffic coming on the site you'd just put the ad up, enable comments and post yours just like "ads of the world" but hey... what do they know?

    . but to go ON and ON and ON and ON like that only displays cultural illiteracy and a big chunk of bitter. anyways. guys. really i wasn't shitting on your ride at all. i think its a great website. and i'm not going to say that "childish last line".
    oh wait. was that it? hehe.

  5. Firstly, I respect adsoftheworld fashkh.

    Secondly, we just started the site, so we are not confident of the traffic coming, but since you've bothered to return, thank you.

    Finally, why should I do anything like adsoftheworld or anyone. Is there some hidden rule that that is the only way to post ads? No I have something to say, I want to say it on the front page, it's my choice. And at the end of the day, we're all learning anyway.

    Cultural illiteracy and bitterness? I think you're the one with an issue dude.

  6. I don't think bitterness factors into any of this. What I got from that was that Youssef meant we're, quite bluntly, menafseneen. Our opinion on whether an ad is good or not is just that, our opinion. Frankly, that Birell ad just didn't do it for me, either. There's nothing "mamypapy" about respecting women. If you think that Birell ad shows what it means to be a man, then your idea of masculinity is quite skewed. And if said market, where only balls survive, is inherently the kind where being demeaning and shallow (which is basically what Birell is promoting) makes you a man, who's the one with the cultural problem? The market.

    I personally think a lot of good things come out of agencies localized in Egypt and the ME, it just happened that the recent stream has been less than satisfactory, when compared to other international output. Not to mention the innate human urge to criticize.

    Then again, that's just my opinion, and I'm not some CD putting out gold each month (even though that's not a requirement for having an opinion). But at least I'm not putting out blatant disregard either.

  7. What's all this, then?

    I kind of sense someone feels that we've been doing something wrong. Last I checked the contributors here do what they feel's best: we like an ad - or don't - and post it up with an explanation about our likes or dislikes. Where's the wrong here, exactly?

    That we act as if we're advertising superstars? So what? We're speaking from the point of view that we think is the most important: the consumers'. Just cause I work here doesn't mean I don't buy shit like everyone else. And that means that I have a right - an obligation, actually - to have an opinion about an ad. I didn't say you should agree with it, though; if you don't, then feel free to explain why. You know what Larry Flynt said about opinions, Joey? Sure you do.

    But no, it seems you have a problem with the mere posting of any opinion. All respect to adsoftheworld, but why the hell would we make a blog like theirs that would only be considered a copycat at best? You seem to have a rebellious streak Youssef, so please answer that. Unless the streak's more like a 'Be special, just like everyone else' thing. And the odds of that, from what you've been writing, are alarmingly high. Please prove me wrong.

    Next, assuming that people know who we are. We don't assume that, because we know they don't. What better way to get familiar than voicing our opinions? It's called interaction, my boy. In fact, we're doing it right now, you and us. Isn't this nice?

    Lastly, I speak for myself on this point: I am culutrally illiterate. And I don't have a problem with that. Why do you? How literate are you, by the way? Do share. Minus the 'non-existent' childish last lines, if you please.

    Oh I forgot one last bit. That applies both to the cultural thing and your belief that our posts (like this one) are too long. My answer to that's remarkably short. Read closely: That's our business.

    You don't like it? Here's another short answer: DON'T. FUCKING. READ IT. Do we have to lead you by the hand for that one, Josie?

    Looking very much forward to your response. I expect it'll be entertaining, if nothing else...

  8. 福~

  9. I love the ego proxy cock fight stirred up here. The problem with this god forsaken business is that every one is opinionated.

    Some insightful lloyz quotes:

    "you judge a country's personality by it's advertising"

    "Sell it to yourself, then sell it to the world"

    "A big idea is like a big piece of shit exiting your anus. It needs time and patience"

    "Always watch your clients hand gestures, you may use it later to your advantage"

    "Find a word that you use very often and use it in your tagline"

    - watch out for more coming soon -


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