Thursday, August 1, 2013

Army day - Audi Bank ad: a theft?

August 1st is Army Day in Lebanon. And - believe it or not - there are actually people who contest the role of this institution. Still, if I am to focus on the ads which were issued by brands celebrating this event, I guess this year's crop is a little lame. Do note that from previous experience, I know it is hard to create ads either for the army or for brands talking about the army (still, in a previous life I managed to do something interesting).
Research credit goes to Najb from Blog Baladi (apart from the Clementine ad)
 First there's Al Rifai nuts "a salute to the army".... Tacky at best, irrelevant at worst.
 The Alfa, one of our two cellular providers goes with "teslam idak bi 3idak" - it rhymes which makes it even more silly (may your hands be preserved on your anniversary).
The Exotica ad I guess is marginally better with the flower's petal doing the salute - with the ubiquitous stencil pseudo-military typo in tow.
Now... I bring you this riddle....
 Audi Bank jumps on the bandwagon with "may you remain on top of our head" (a local expression to mean - may you remain in authority). Actually... A VERY similar ad was done by Clementine for the Army before and here is the proof (in the form of the pack shot of the TVC - the whole TVC can be found here)
The concept used by the Army was "3a rasna" which is close to "we bow down to your authority" (the kids are wearing military caps to indicate the concept of "ras" or "head")... Which is practically the same as
So did Audi steal this ad? Probably not, but it's too close for comfort at this stage, and it is bad research from the agency who did it (Leo Burnett up to my knowledge). Especially that the ad is not too old (2009). On another hand, they probably thought everyone would have forgotten about it by now and they might as well nick it....
UPDATE: In a private correspondence with Sami Saab who was behind the Clementine ad, Sami said about the matter "betse2eb" (it happens). Yes, maybe, but I still find it disturbing.
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