Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buying climate change and hyacinths from Exotica....

Maybe I am reading too much into a simple ad... Bu then this is what Beirut/NTSC has always been about I suppose. Now, the first thing I saw in the new Exotica ad, was this alarming note about global warming and potential catclysms that might follow. Maybe the ad is simply about the advent of autumn that's why "nature's changing" and then below the logo - on the place usually reserved for the brand's signature - there's "hold on to green." It could simply be about holding on to a nature that is forever evolving....
But again, I just saw all of this from the angle of a warning, as if by not holding on to green, we are causing this major catastrophy in nature and hence that's why nature is irrevocably changing.
Here are some words I do NOT associate Exotica with: global warming, 2012, end of the world, greenhouse emissions, end of green life, species extinction and so forth.
Some words I DO associate the brand Exotica with are: Urban but outdoorsy lifestyle, event commemoration, bonding people, zen lifestyle, equilibrium of the senses.
The result? I am not sure lamenting the passage of the seasons and perhaps even the impending doom is the best strategy (and while I am at it, if you are going to say "hold on to green" in your tagline, I do not understand the repetition in the image of a "tree hugger" - although I love that melancolic tone the colors imply) - what I do think of when I remember Exotica is their very old tagline "Exotica plante la joie". Yes, there is something about Exotica that is positive catalyzer, and Leo Burnett got it so exceptionally right when they did that TV ad (shot on a dime) of the girl arranging pens instead of flowers on her desk.... All of this reminds me of that wonderful poetry line by Persian poet Muslih Eddin Saadi (or Sadi):
"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."
(which basically means, if you have lost all your material wealth, and only have two loaves of bread left, sell one, and with the money, buys hyacinths to feed your soul) which is why, instead of the lament and the wailing of "hang on to green" I propose (drums roll):
"Exotica, plants to feed thy soul."
Which also works so well with that stunning visual and the impeccable art direction... But then, what do I know? Had I been any good at greenery I'd have remained the agriculture engineer that I graduated as from AUB!
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