Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Les voix du Liban(s) and the Marlboro story.

For my money, the Kataeb got it so completely right with Voix du Liban. Once more it is not the political feud per se that is of interest to me, merely the media aspect. As a brief round up - there now two "Sawt Loubnan" (Voix du Liban), one that has been reappropriated by the Kataeb party (originally it was theirs) and one that has been relaunched elsewhere (in Dbayeh) by the heirs of late Sheikh Simon el Khazen.
However, the stroke of genius that the Kataeb did was not going back to the old logo or changing the frequencies of broadcasting or whatever - since this is a radio, the "visual" aspect is much less important that if it was a television - their genius was in keeping the... selling line! Indeed, they kept the "saw louban, sawt al 7ourriya wal karama" (Voice of Lebanon, voice of freedom and dignity) one of the most trusted and celebrated claims in Lebanon. The "new" Voix du Liban" is signing "Al iza3a" (The radio) - a very unoriginal claim if you ask me.
All of this reminds me of the story of the businessman who went to Phillip Morris and wanted to buy Marlboro, the story is fictional and the figures have been gotten from an online chart. But the story goes like this:
A man goes to Philip Morris and wants to buy Marlboro - the factories, the plantations, the whole lot - he asks Morris how much it is worth. Morris tells him "it's worth 21 Billion Dollars." He comes back a week later and tells Morris, "forget the factories, the plantations, the whole lot, I just want to buy the name and the logo," to which Morris answers, "it's STILL worth 21 Billion Dollars."
So by taking the only thing that matters in a radio - its positioning - the Kataeb have effectively reappropriated fully their radio station - and they did it by the use of just one sentence!
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