Saturday, February 16, 2013

Arab(B)Ad man of the year: Tarek Chemaly

Artwork: Arab(B)Ad man of the year by Tarek Chemaly (my logo with my "trademark" eyeglasses was done by Miled Issa)

It is only belatedly that I knew of Eli Khoury's "man of the year" at ArabAd magazine. Sure, if I congratulated him he wouldn't even know who I am and therefore it would be empty and hollow like that "Lebanese advertising great" - currently a "dormant giant" (i.e. a has-been) - who keeps in his office a photo of himself with a former president of the republic of a European nation. In other words, ask that president who that man next to him is and he most likely will score a blank! So, now that we have established that Eli Khoury doesn't need the credentials of Tarek Chemaly, I still think I should be the "man of the year" for Arab(B)Ad.
To begin with, I think "person of the year" is more appropriate - it implicates this "inferior species" called women who play the incredible role in advertising of selling products to both genders, and who also manage to convince unwilling (but drooling) clients to sign huge bills for un-creative ideas with the use of mini-skirts and cleavages.
So, what have I done to the advertising world? First, I have bashed everyone left and right - I am an equal opportunity basher - no one is safe specifically those who try to bribe me with free hummus dinners (thankfully they have stopped a long time ago). Then there was this small issue of uncovering stolen ads. This did not sit down well with advertising agencies paying their creatives to rummage the internet for long-forgotten stuff only to have someone like me rummage the internet and find them out (with a little help from my friends, I must admit!).
Let me see what else? I basically - through silence and dismissal - stopped reviewing ads which were neither too good or too bad. And I believe nothing can kill an "average" ad faster than ignoring it. I have also reflected long and hard on the state of the industry, I have decoded social, psychological and anthropological messages in advertising, I have taught a new generation of people Mr. Khoury will employ (actually he just employed four of my former students!).
And I have edited and compiled the encyclopedia that has become the ArabAd 25th anniversary issue - making sure some of the gems Mr. Khoury has said throughout the years were there (and for this HE should thank ME!).
The above are just some of the things I have done for the advertising world. Arab(B)Ad owes me big - the least they can do is name me "person of the year". They didn't, so I did it myself. I owe it to myself...

Breaking news: Sorry to interrupt this post as the author is preparing his acceptance speech.


Unknown said...

You just blow my mind off. Congrats on your "Person of the year" title. You earn it... unlike those getting it :)

Tarek Chemaly said...

I think the award got lost in the mail or something :)