Friday, January 18, 2008

Un-single minded



Rifai nuts - premium taste (But in a blind survey conducted came out second after Hamasni) and distorted ads. Once more TBWA/Rizk graces us with a multi-language, mutli-message, confusing ad. Al Rifai started with "Drives you nuts" which was cute but alienating to the Arabic speaking audiences who can afford their low end products (The most upscale of Rifai costs 22 USD per kilogram), so this changed to "Kil habbe bi kil mahabbe" (One of the usual words plays in which TBWA/Rizk specializes in and which means "every kernel done with all the love.") The TVC that accompanied the campaign had no concept whatsoever, and judging by how much the cast resembled one another, there's a tendency to believe that it was a mere excuse to show the Rifai offsprings more than anything else.
Now, for the holiday campaign (One of the strongest nuts and kernels selling seasons) the selling line has become "Hal habbe habbetna" (This kernel is ours, and also doubles as: This kernel fell in love with us), which is boring as all hell. Of course, why the headline would be in French whereas the selling line in Arabic beats me, and trying to make the "almond-shape eyes" remind us of almonds and cahsew nuts refer us to smiles is truly a rock bottom in terms of concepts - but at least this time they dispensed the Rifai children from gracing the billboards.
Maybe, the Rifai toddlers were shooting the new TV ad that would go with the campaign - a TVC still not aired during the holiday season - and which was replaced by a very old version which sported the selling line "Drives you nuts." So much confusion and inconsistency in the image does drive one nuts, I must say!
The second photo is about my highschool basketball team - one that competed in the McDonald's world championship (After winning the Asian Basketball cup). But as usual, politics tends to interfere in everything in Lebanon, including sports. To cut a long story short, the team is now headed by a media giant (Mr. George Chehwan) and seeing how few fans are supporting the team these days (As opposed to the masses who used to flock in the golden days - with many waiting in the rain outside to see if there were black market tickets) a campaign of envigoration was due (It is to note that since Mr. Chehwane has an access to free billboards and that the current climate is not encouraging advertisers to plaster themselves, the availability of the space was too tempting), and so the product was: A fan-tastic team. Emphasizing that what makes the team so great are the fans.... But is it a fan-tastic ad?
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