Sunday, November 30, 2008
Agency: DDB, Cairo, Egypt
Didn't your mother tell you not to play with matches? DDB thinks otherwise. Trying to light the fire of creativity is acceptable...and encouraged.
Not the most original of ideas (in terms of print), if they had been actually created however that would've been a whole other story.
It's nice, not amazing, but nice.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Well here's an idea I haven't seen before. It kind of seems so simple now after these ads; the changes you make to the home, intended to improve its appearance in general, can be better phrased as cosmetic. Not a bad way to put it at all.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Abu Dhabi International Airport
"Enjoy Free Wi-Fi Connectivity"
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why advertising in the Middle East is not progressing as fast as it should. Because of lazy-ass ideas like this one. I'm not even remotely impressed, it is in no way catchy and does not attract my attention even at a distance of 10cm from my face.
I have one word for this, and it deserves nothing more: overkill
So this was a finalist in the last London International Awards, and I think it was a fully deserved honour. It's also, I believe, my first post with a Qatari ad (this is a FP7 McCann production btw), which is pretty cool.
What amuses me the most about the ad, is the subtle sense of humor in it that I doubted existed in any Middle Eastern country. I won't spell it out for you cause that'd ruin the point - it's a cat food ad with zebras running from something, that's all I should say. It may be that not everyone will get it, but then my respect for FP7 will just rise all the more. Good job kids.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
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..
Agency: Impact BBDO, Beirut
Via: ArabAd Zone
I really want to be offended by this but I can't bring myself to. I can't help it, I just think it's brilliant. Simple and visually appealing, playing on a very familiar idea with a new twist (no pun intended).
Just goes to show that one good idea can easily carry an ad without fancy artwork or elaborate copy. Me likey...
And then I was graciously pointed out to that this is a copycat of a Dole ad. Tsk Tsk. Plagiarism is an awful thing especially in a field that is supposed to be so creative. Shame on you Impact BBDO, I am deeply disappointed...
Ok so it may not be the first time we see a "wazzup" granny (budweiser for example) but put the concept in an Egyptian context...and omg rofl lmao lol etc etc...
Almost all Egyptian teenagers have heard that lecture about the grades and the bad influence of crappy friends blah blah blah, so pretty much everyone can relate. Enter ringing telephone of seemingly harmless grandma and yes it is Usher's "Yeah"...
Funny ass shit...the last shot particularly poignant, with the pool hall and all. Let's just overlook the fact that she's using the wrong musical signology but she still makes it gangster. Keep in mind that that woman is actually a relatively well known actress that generally does play the docile granny, so as you can imagine the contrast is hilarious.
Keep them rolling whoever it is who made this, we love it...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Agency: Leo Burnett, Beirut
Via: ArabAd Zone
Now we all know sex sells, undeniable 101 advertising
principles etc. So yes, theoretically speaking bright pink
boobies would be appealing right?
There's stuff coming out of them...ew!! oh and is that
what we're calling cleavage now? Balconies?
It also doesn't help that the flower company is called
Exotica, it sounds like a porn company just wanted
to diversify its business...
Well anyway, the art direction is kinda funky, the top
has this retro art feel to it. Problem is, the thing as a
whole is inconsistent (points deducted for that).
So final point to be made: there should be a stomach
between bush and boobs, thank you very much.
Agency: Impact BBDO
Yet another Middle Eastern ad that couldn't push further than the Finalist group at the IAA, but I rather like it. The sheer weirdness of it's probably the reason, but then again most of the crap ads don't try to risk an erratic approach. Here it's done subtly and with good effect. You guys can judge it any way you want, though :)
Agency: Grey Worldwide Dubai
Here's another of my picks from the MidEast Crew at the IAA, this time for Audi.
Now there's only one grip I may potentially have for this ad: the details are too small and obscure for a print ad. It'll be very difficult to keep a viewer focused on this for too long. But then again my gripe's nullified, cause this here's an outdoor ad. And in that case, this ad's great.
No dramatic camera shots of the automobile roaring through the plains and savannahs (and come on, who really does that who isn't Saudi?), no ultra-dramatic tagline that may only be properly uttered by James Earl Jones with a sinus infection - just a map. Which shows you why you'll be buying the car. And if I'm anywhere that isn't Cairo, my roadmap just might have a similar line drawn in it. And now I'm thinking of that map being in an Audi glove compartment.
What does that all mean? It means the ad works.
This here's one of a few posts I'll be making after checking out the Middle Eastern winners at the last International Advertising Awards in New York. The ones I'm putting up aren't necessarily the most decorated but I personally like them. So there.
This one for Nivea only managed to get on the finalist roster, but I really like it. There's always something about ads without a human in sight, or indeed any living creature; they usually turn out to be really good, or horrible. This one though, fits comfortably into the former. It's not too flashy, and gets its point across almost instantly. What's best is that the product's - theoretically - a cosmetic one - and you know full well how I feel about those. So this ad doesn't follow the same revenue-making nerve cosmetic companies have grown to adore, which makes me very happy and hopeful that the world will change for the better... now I'm getting sentimental.
Then of course there's the art direction. I personally would've preferred the castle to be a little less dramatic but I suppose that'd ruin the point - and hey, it's still a cosmetic company so I shouldn't push my luck. And it looks very good anyway so I can be a bit more forgiving this time around.
Good job people. I'll try and build the Pentagon next time at Sharm.
2 weeks ago, I gave up my Sony Explode Car Cassette/Radio. Why? Coz the radio on it is bust. Yes, lame as that sounds, I enjoy listening to ads on the radio. Here in Egypt, most of my life is spent in my car. So I try to make use of it as much as I can. My mp3 player is an exhibition of music ranging from Mozart to Metallica, TED Speeches, advertising shows and Coffee Break Spanish lessons. And sometimes, even that is not enough. Enter original Kia Cassette/Radio player with working radio, that’s been hanging out with the dust balls and few giant ants underneath my desk.
Now that i'm in radio heaven again, here are my views on some of the radio ads airing in Cairo at the moment :
2 very annoying and unconvincing gals saying something like this:
Girl Number 1: Wow, I like your top, where did you get it from?
Girl Number2: Springfield Women (women pronounced wimeeaaaan)
Girl Number2: They have a new Autumn/Winter collection, it’s so cool. Check it out.
One of the irritating Girls: Springfield Women. Casual wear for men and women. Check it out
Please. If anyone knows who did this or if the person/people/agency responsible is seeing this, please contact me now on 0105355624 so I can personally swear at you. Thank you.
Kattameya Sports Something or other
Starts off with a description of what the club offers and then this happens:
Managed by smash.
Call 0900 lalala 77
Call 0900 lalala 77
Call 0900 lalala 77
Managed by Smash
Call 0900 lalala 77
Allright. I get the point already. They repeated it so many times I forgot the name of the damn sporting club, the number, and now I hate Smash.
Another jingle hitting the airwaves, straight from Tarek Nour. Nothing original about the ad or song, but I gotta say it’s damn catchy. Based on a latin/samba progression, I’m singing it all day.
Efta7lak 3elbit Sunshine. Efta7laaak 3elbit Sunshine….
Advertising Agency: Creative Circle, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
I'll redirect our more metabe3 readers to a post I made earlier about another Saudi TV commercial for a moment. As you could've guessed I was less than impressed with what I was seeing at the time, and as a result FP7 Jeddah had to put up with being the butt of what promised to be a long line of Saudi 'jokes' on my part.
Cower no more, Promo boys. Creative Circle's taken the weight off you.
Now I'm going to try and be objective for once rather than just reacting instinctively. There may be a few numskulls who actually like the concept of grinning well-to-do Saudis uttering gibberish to promote some mayo product, but even they would agree that this has to be done while following some kind of system. Listen closely, Creative; I'll give you the secret. Here it is... [dramatic pause]... if you're going to go for humorous, what really makes the approach work is HUMOR. You wanna make a funny ad, make sure it's fucking funny! Doing it in such a robotically fake manner doesn't count (look at the actors' eyes and tell me that for a single moment they're buying into this bullshit). And another tip for any kind of humor: never, EVER make your characters do the laughing for people. Here it sounds like the actors are filling some kind of void to make up for the silence coming from the audience. What's not so humorous about that void, is that it really does need filling up.
That's the objective view, the caring side of me that wishes to see people learn from their errors and develop... so of course it's the more time-consuming side of me. If you want it a bit shorter then here's the unrestricted opinion: Stop wasting money, shut your firm down and go into real estate like everyone else is. You're obviously shit at this advertising thing.
Whew, that's better.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Saw this on Jazarah. According to the Internet World Stats, Egypt has the highest amount of Internet users in the region. Yaaaay! Go Egypt. That is partly due to the successful implementation of a free Internet strategy in 2002, and partly due to us being excessively horny gossip mongers.
Our Internet penetration compared to the rest of the Arab world is lacking however. Yes.. According to that very ugly black and white figure above, we need to penetrate more.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Client: Dr. Suhail R. Saiyad Dental Clinic
Agency: TBWA/ZEENAH, Oman
Creative Director: Vikram Reddy
Copywriter: Jack Samaha
Art Director: Jack Samaha
Illustrator: Jack Samaha
Enter Oman in the playing field. Ok so I haven't entirely
decided if I like it or hate it. (NB: I didn't say love it or hate
it, doesn't have enough potential for the 'l' word).
Yeah ok, so I get the idea behind it. Yes its straightforward, simple,
and to the point. But a little too much so? Possibly.
But I mean seriously come on how many of us have seen piano keys
as teeth on various comedy shows and cartoons? (Show of hands please)
I can't take it seriously anymore...
Or maybe that's just me. Whatever I suppose I can just call it 'nice',
and you can figure out the rest.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Advertising Agency: JWT, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Executive Creative Director: Anas Sarraj
I want to be nice, but this seems like one of many ideas they
had and they decided to go with the safe option. It's to the point
but the dialog bubble is a little too drab for my taste. The
execution is nice no doubt, but visually speaking it isn't
what I'd exactly call attention-grabbing.
Minimal effort with boring copy. Again, *yawn*.
It has to be said though, it's not criminally bad. But I guess
I was just expecting a bit more from such a big company.
Via: AdNation Middle East
Bet you're wondering why'd a company release three such identical ads at the same time, eh? But some of the more observant of you would notice the company names and realize they're three different brands entirely. Yes people, these are three completely unrelated ads by three companies who just happen to be in cars, that use the Touareg tribe (translated as 'People of the Veil') in a way that seems... similar.
The bottom one's for the Chevy Lumina, released in 2003. The middle pic's for the Nissan 4x4, released in 2005. The last, for the VW Touareg (yes, that's its name), was released in 2007.
I really have nothing to say. For once, I'm quite speechless. Can this sort of thing really happen? Does it have a point? I don't even know where to begin the insults cause I can't put my finger on the crime. Is this excessive 'borrowing' undertaken by fools who didn't bother to look at what their direct competition has been up to? Or is it straight-up stealing on the part of Nissan and VW in the hope that their ads somehow improve the image's message? (Nissan: "Well ours looks nicer!" / VW: "Well at least we named our car after the damn tribe!")
I don't know... I'll leave the theories and judgements to you. Give me insight, people. I really need it on this one.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"What's your mood today," 2allak. It was actually quite nice until I saw this junk. Thanks a whole damn lot.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Advertising Agency: TBWA\RAAD Abu Dhabi
Creative Director: Martin Lever
Art Director/Illustrator: Sherif Galal
Copywriters: Martin Lever, Farrukh Naeem
We now reach the conundrum that surfaces when worldly events make a good ad campaign obsolete. Here's the deal in this campaign: the photos are designed to show how a gruesome and stupid social problem like domestic violence can be so torturously subtle. And they do that well, good job TBWA.
The problem here is, these ads were uploaded in March. A rather funny thing's happened since: a few top Muslim scholars and Sheikhs in Egypt, Saudi Arabia (!) and Turkey have stood up in the summer and said that if a wife is assaulted by her husband, she's got a right to fight back. A very positive step in Arab culture I feel, but it ruins the point this campaign wanted to make.
Why am I so sure of that? Because if I were a woman now in the Middle East, and am getting hit by my husband, then I see an ad for a place called the City of Hope, I wouldn't be thinking that they're there to give me solace or peace of mind or whatever; I'd be thinking that they supply a rather crude (yet stylish) assortment of blunt(ish) objects that can be 'utilized' upon my misdirected man. Oh I wouldn't use them to hurt him, Allah forbid - they'd merely aid my cause as I very calmly explain the errors in the notion that violence is an exclusively male pastime, and proceed to advise hubby that by understanding my perfectly logical point he'd avoid several inconveniences in his short-term life... such as having to eat through a straw, forcing oneself to sleep on one's back, and screaming forever more at the sight of a bottle of Pepsi (those last two are linked, think about it...).
So maybe the ad hasn't become obsolete; perhaps it's the City itself. But don't worry boys, I've given you the perfect deviation in merchandise which will help you maintain your noble cause and, more importantly, stay in business! You can thank me later :)..
Monday, November 10, 2008
I hate to be spreading this sadistic piece of visual pollution,
but misery loves company damn it and if I had to go through
the torture of seeing this then by god you will too! Which brings
me to my utter professional critique of this disgrace of a website...
Holy &*@%$ shit! What the ^(#% were they thinking when they designed this piece of manure website...*pukes*
I don't care if this is more informative than Jon Stewart or as
entertaining as David Letterman, the content could be bloody
amazing for all I care. But the thing is I don't care, simply because
I can't get over how fugly this site is. This is what would happen if
Shrek and Rosie O'Donnell decided to mate in a pile of pigsh*t.
Alright fine, enough of the obscenities, I don't have anything else to
say about this crime-against-humanity of a website.
And I used to be such a nice person...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Dubai, UAE
Creative Director: Ed Jones
Copywriter: Kalpana Chary
Art Director & Typographer: Carma Andraos
We now reach a very difficult area of advertising, one that involves far more ethical issues with me and others that it really should: the cosmetics business.
See, the main gist of cosmetics will always and forever be the same: Buy Me and I'll Make You Look Better. Some would argue that that statement should rather end in 'Younger', but that's just one of many subsets of 'Better'. 'Less Oily', 'Smoother', 'Brighter', the list goes on; they all imply that when this effect takes place, you'll be a better looking person.
I'm not gonna go into all these 'beautification symptoms' so I'll just focus on the 'Younger' aspect. I don't think, for a moment, that looking your age makes you look bad, no matter who you are. A 50-year old woman who looks 50 is nothing to be ashamed of - a 50-year old who drowns herself in blush and mascara in an attempt to look 30 is far worse. The problem is, so many people get that insecurity problem when they reach a certain age and begin to forget that looking younger than you are may indeed be a bonus, but it's by no means a necessity.
Only problem there is, we in the ad biz can't really go along those lines - unless it's done in some satirical way, which in a sense is still avoiding being serious about cosmetics not really being that vital. So I guess if we must play along with the Cosmetic Mantra I mentioned earlier, then we might as well do it with a minimal amount of that ultra-perky giggly celebrity "Honest as sin I didn't get this done at a hair salon" bullshit. And I have to admit, very very grudgingly, that this Olay campaign does that very well. Not too much fuss, just a clever idea with minimal effects and 'whoopie' visuals and yet gets its point across very well indeed.
So yeah I realise my verdict is a microscopic portion of this post but still, I needed to make my point. So I'll sum this up to the boys at Saatchi: Bravo, you evil bastards you, bravo.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Apparently, Pepsi has re-branded. The re-brand will probably take a good 6 months to a year to reach Cairo, giving us all enough time to (tear it apart) talk about it.
Rewind to last summer in Egypt, Sprite campaign showcasing their new logo, compliments of Memac Ogilvy. The headline reads “Ana Kida, ana Sprite” which off course translates to ‘I’m like this; I’m a fucking annoying ass (Sprite)”. Sprite spent loads and loads of money on this campaign. They were everywhere in Egypt, and it sucked big-time.
Please please Pepsi (Impact BBDO), don’t do a Sprite on us.
Anyway, here’s what Pepsi had to say about their new logo(s):
The Diet Pepsi logo has a 'slight grin', Pepsi's a 'full smile', while that for Pepsi Max expresses laughter. The font accompanying the logo will shift from a bold upper-case to a retro lower-case format, with the 'e' mimicking the white curve of the classic logo.
Why 3 logos? Smile, grin, laugh. Why not add buck teeth, braces, and an asscrack while you’re at it. What about the other Pepsi sub-products? And then there’s the laughing Egyptian PepsiMax. Mashi, di momkin 2a3adeeha fi sabeel masr we beta3.
Frankly, i’m just not feeling it. I'm not smiley. yet..
Brand: Trident Blancheur
Agency: JWT Casablanca
I don't think I need to explain this one. Which is very much a good point. It takes the message Trident ads have been using for centuries and turns it into something that would make Trident's major perk relevant. Which is another good point.
And it's bloody brilliant. Which, I think, is the last good point.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Agency: BrandcomLocation: DubaiClient: ETA Star
You may have to save the pic and zoom in on the text to see it clearer..
Advertising School: Fakd & European school of Design, Frankfurt, Germany
Creative Directors: Ralph Thamm, Mathias Gregorzek
Art Director / Copywriter / Post production / Photographer: Danilo Dick Farah
Other additional credits: Markus Morley, Stefan Mildner
Mmm... Interesting. These must be viewed large in order to really feel 'The power of the cross'.
Yes, it appears that Ariel Pocket removes stains in 10 seconds. This illusion works until you tune back to reality and the stain is still there. I hope for Ariel Pocket's sake, that reality is wrong. None the less, nice way of getting consumers involved. Basha.
"Say no to pornography in the Emirates"
Source: Bayan Newspaper
I think this is a bit hopeful to say the least. As clever as the
play on the playboy logo is, it's just a reminder of that
glorious creation that has helped adolescent boys (and quite
a lot of fully grown men) through some rough times.
So now I'm conflicted: I don't necessarily support porn
but I also believe that mass media should not try to influence
or control public morality (if such a thing exists). So despite
the fact that porn might not be the healthiest outlet for sexual
frustration, the ad is still a bit patronising; leaving me, personally,
feeling a bit iffy about it. All in all though it's interesting to see
a combination of two things you never want to think of together:
the Arabic language and Playboy.
Valiant effort either way.
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