Thursday, January 11, 2007

I love life (Intricacies of the Lebanese politics)




Those of you who have not been in Lebanon lately, have not witnessed the enormous "I love life" campaign (Check www.lebanon-ilovelife.com). Orchestrated by Saatchi, this campaign was supposed to be a celebration of life and even if not signed the word soon spread that it was initiated by the "14th of March" group now in power. Financed by billionaire Saad Hariri (Son of slain prime minister Rafic Hariri) it cost millions of Dollars as no billboard was left unused, no media unattacked, and it was frankly nauseating in the end. Unfortunately, as an advertiser, I found the claim "I love life" to be over-generic, empty, and worst of all - the campaign was not signed (There was nomention of who did it and why)! Enter the opposition (Aoun, Hizbullah etc...): A rival campaign is now hitting town, which used the same "I love life" motto (With the same logo, typography, etc...) and yet adding substantial additions to it such as "I love life... In dignity" or "I love life... Without taxes"...In my opinion this is without any doubt a smart marketing coup: Let the competition spend all its money (An obscene amount was spent by Hariri), let them build the momentum, let them abuse of the error of an empty claim which is unsigned... And then at the height of it, interfere and hijack the benefits. Is it ethical? Of course not, but by God, "everything is fair in love and war!"
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