Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday candles 2015

I admit, compared to previous years my photos this year are rather less outrĂ©, still I managed to find some gems. For a full round up of previous years please go to the following link!

Friday, March 27, 2015

#Supercolor - Schopenhauer vs Pharrell

"A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills" says late German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the most ubiquitous interpretation of the sentence is that - whereas we decide what we want, the original choices are limited, so among the available choices we end up exercising our will to chose but one. Compare that, to what Pharrell Williams said about his new Adidas Superstar #Supercolor pack which dropped today: "Don’t decide your style based on my style or anyone else’s. What makes us all individuals is that we can all choose for ourselves". Which is fine and dandy, except there are 50 colorways in the pack, all of them previously decided by Mr. Happy himself. So basically, we are choosing among limited (but drool-inducing) choices determined by someone else, which means that - contrary to what Mr. Williams said - we are deciding our style based on someone else: His! When it comes to Adidas Superstar #Supercolor, I will have to go with Schopenhauer on that one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dude, where's my statue?

I suppose the tradition of shrines is a well-established one, for me one of the prime examples is this mazar (shrine) I have blogged about before. What is interesting about the two shrines above is that the statue of the saint they are dedicated to is missing. So we have the sanctuary but not the holy personage addressed to. Now that is interesting!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sami Saab steals Purple Martin for BLC

So the biggest thief in the advertising industry in Lebanon is at it again, this time stealing from his old employer Clementine, for a concept he did when he was partner in charge of creativity back them for Purple Martin. Now, as head of his own company Phenomena he repeats it again for BLC Bank one of his own clients. Either this is environmentally aware recycling of ideas or outright theft - I go for the latter. Oh and Sami Saab was present at the Joe la Pompe conference at the Antonine University, isn't that an irony to end all ironies?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Nawa3em/Comfort steals Metlife! (UPDATE)

At face value (sorry bad pun), the Nawa3em produced, Comfort branded video for mother's day is awesome - the cast is impeccable, the story plausible, the settings compatible with the socioeconomic class being depicted. I only have an online link to it, but no downloadble version.
So why am I raising red flags? Because it is a frame per frame copy of the ad above by Metlife - universally known and adored as - "my father is a liar". The creative concept is the same, most scenes and the copywriting are even too close to be independent!... In short, a beautiful movie by nawa3em (branded Comfort) but it s still a copycat and a theft.

I owe a direct apology to Johnny Abdo, director of the Nawa3em/Comfort movie, in the final credits, Abdo specifically mentions the creative source of his material, in his own words: "We contacted the original director and we told him we wanted to adapt the script and film a lebanese version of it."
In other words, the movie was not stolen, but the original holder of the idea was notified, and moral permission was granted and received. What do you know? Such people do exist in Lebanon! Once more an apology is owed and one is given.
Before anyone jumps to conclusions of how I am being biased, apologizing to Johnny Abdo and still Butchering BBDO for their Jeita ad blunder, the difference is that BBDO did not contact Steven Spielberg to obtain rights to adapt his work.
Below is the screenshot mentioning the credits.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sehnaoui and Maria Pino for Mother's day

 Uber cool former minister Nicolas Sehanoui is at it again, "the army is a father... and a mother" and so a salute to the women in the Lebanese Army on this mother's day (hint, he should have signed "the armed forces" in general as there are women in other departments too but I shall let this one slide by).
And Maria Pino plays it so cute with this look-at-me-am-wearing-high-heels that all little girls as they play pretend. Makes sense and plays the right notes!

McDonald's Jordan - this year's best mother's day ad.

Out from left field comes this brilliant ad from McDonald's Jordan right for mother's day! Based on the poem "Oumi ya Malaki" (my mother, my angel) by famed poet Said Akl, McDonald's substituted the M with their golden arches and scored what easily is so far the best Mother's day ad I have seen this year. Unless someone comes and bulldozes this, everyone can go home - we have a winner ladies and gentlemen!

Friday, March 20, 2015

#momyouwereright the Tarek Chemaly confession

A few hours back I got a call from Leo Burnett Beirut regarding the Alfa Telecom #momyouwereright campaign for Mother's Day tomorrow. Above and beyond all, after eight years of blogging agencies known better than to entice me to write something pre-packaged or some press release. But this time around I actually gave it a listening ear - yes, the one that had a hearing aid on it no less!
So I was supposed to give my own take on #momyouwereright - my creative mind went racing but the more I added the two words "Leo Burnett" and "mom", well, the more "you wouldn't believe what happened next" as the click-bait titles say.
A few years back, three rather, there was an availability for a very senior position at Leo Burnett Beirut as the person in question was due to maternity leave, the position had my name on it - I was the perfect replacement, but also it was to open doors swinging for future prospects.
I come back home excitedly to share the offer with my mother only to be met with lukewarm response. Flagger blasted to the reaction, I made it a point to engage in a conversation on the vast veranda as late afternoon sunshine soaked us.
Then she spit it out "Tarek you do see a pattern here, don't you? You get recruited in prestigious companies, six months down the line you overreach your job description, a year later you single handedly run departments, and then two years after the fact, you are so frustrated no one works up to your optimal speed and slam the door behind you as you leave and resign".
And so that was it, little did Leo Burnett know that by calling me they would end up having the reason why I am not among them. But #momyouwereright some people are better off friends rather than lovers, in a recent meeting with Leo Burnett Beirut, the parting words "oh, and just keep doing what you are doing with your blog, yes - us included!"
So there, #momyouwereright by not being enthusiastic about a job break I got - instead of slamming the Leo Burnett door behind me violently as I resign by listening to her advice I now gained powerful allies within the limits of mutual respect and deep appreciation.  

#momyouwereright by Alfa Telecom

How about that for gratitude from us brats! So when was the last time you admitted she was right? It takes guts, humility but also a lot of recognition and gratitude to do that. Alfa Telecom is encouraging us to do right that for Mother's Day (which falls tomorrow!). Details are on their Facebook page!
The best respondents were contacted and they went about recording the confessions on film. Then, some of the mothers were invited to a theatre thinking they were attending an avant-premiere, and right before the film, the confessions of their children was played and they finally got to admit to their mother that she was right. The moms were super happy and it was very emotional.
How's that for gratitude! #momyouwereright indeed.