Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Has the diamond lost its sparkle?



Almaza (Translated into "The diamond") is our national beer - actually, one of the two national beers we have.... Some of its ads have already been covered in Beirut/NTSC but it is their 75th year commemoration which is subject to this post.
The idea is that they took four key dates in the history of Lebanon - accompanied by four changes in logo on the bottle - and umbrella-ed everything under the concept of "celebrating."
First they go back to 1933 (2008-1933=75!) with the line "We now have a beer... We celebrated", then moved on to 1943, "we now have independance... We celebrated." Then came 1971 when Miss Universe was Lebanese Georgina Rizk (Later to be elected the Miss of "Miss Universes"!) with the copy "Miss Universe is Lebanese... We celebrated." Eventually, they fast forward all of the Lebanese war and then go back to 1991 "It has calmed down... We celebrated again."
The four visuals were all across billboards as "teasers" - then the revealer was "2008, whatever happens, we will still celebrate." Which actually is an embodiement of that Lebanese defiant spirit.
Thomas Friedman said that "hope in Lebanon is like a weed" - just give it some sunlight and it will grow.... So in all objective terms this campaign hits the target, except for one thing: It is boring!
After so many years now of seeing the same layout, the same grid, the same poor art direction, the same typography, the eye grows lazy on the "Almaza" ads. Maybe their messages are right on the spot (translating into respectable sales), but then, maybe no one is looking on that spot anymore (On the advertising front)!
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