Thursday, February 19, 2009

This has been the winter of my political discontnent

This winter, it seems those who got it right are getting it wrong and vice versa!... But with election time approaching everyone is testing the waters with some pre-emptive stike. Let's start with the new kids on the blog, the so-called Green Party. It is the brainchild of advertising man Philipe Skaff, who not content anymore with running civic campaigns, wants to do the next big leap for an adman in Lebanon: The political arena (Well, in Lebanon advertising is very political, but at least it remains unofficially so until you get the ego boost!) Their ads say "Join us before geography becomes history" and the other "Join us because earth knows no religious sect" (Maybe, I am not sure, but there might be a double entendre with the word "tayfe" also meaning "flooding" so there might be a reference about global warming.) I am not very impressed.... Then we continue with the Lebanese Forces who, surprisingly, come up with a decent ad. After the many recent ambiguous messages, they come up with "You have the force, and Lebanon has the (Lebanese) forces." A little bit dipped in Darth Vader sauce (May the force be with you) but at least they deserve credit for the effort. Moving on to the flop of the season. Sadly the Free Patriotic Movement gets it wrong this time around... After many, many great ads, comes this! "Fakker sah taysoh el watan," which reads both "think right for the country to go right" and "think right for the country to heal." I think the play on words is interesting but as good as they used to be, the visual quite pathetic, and worst, the tone of voice is patronizing. Especially that the same ad has different declinations, one of them reading "whatever your color, think right" and instead of the trademark orange color associated with the CPL as a background there is a blue and green one (In reference respectively to the Future movement and to the Lebanese forces). CPL and Sami Saab who does their campaign ought to know better than to try to convince other parties of some obscure message making the campaign a waste of funds and energy. We wrap the landscape with the 14h of March movement, a disparate coalition which was celebrating the commemoration of Rafic Hariri's death on February 14th 2005 with this year's theme being the launch of the international tribunal in Lahaye. One of the ads features the eight people who died during the so-called cedar revolution as a background and reads "they are the martyrs and you are the witnesses." (Witnesses of the crime and also the witnesses at the international trial)... Actually, a very good ad!
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