Saturday, December 5, 2015

No ends, only middles. A blog migrates.

“My dear,
It’s who first thought the thought. You’re searching, Joe,
For things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings.
Ends and beginnings—there are no such things.
There are only middles.”
Thank you for having followed me here all of you for a bit less than nine years. If you want more, please go here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Porsche Design restyles the hooka/shisha

I heard the remark before, this is not a rebranding, nor is it a repackaging, neither a redesign when a product is simply restyled. Which is what Porsche Design did to the Shisha/Hookah. Is it a beautiful object? By heavens yes. But it still gives you cancer - albeit if you can afford to buy it you probably have premium insurance. This is not something to entrust a delivery arguileh (those scooter driving boys who go and deliver shishas all over town) with, but well, if you want to die, might as well do it in style and put a high price tag on it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Patchi goes Jeff Koons for Christmas

Patchi has gone Jeff Koons for their Christmas windowshop. Ever the upscale boutique Patchi manages to inject a dash of panache in their decorations, this Christmas is a prime example of that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Jaguar XF so cliche proof it hurts!

Oh my, color me impressed! The Jaguar XF ad is beautiful simply because it plays as a pastiche for the ads for such cars in that segment. Look at the marvel here, and be warned it includes every "creative" idea about high-powered people you could cram in an ad (the business lunch, the motivational speaker, the city trader, the business-deal in a gym class and so on!) - in a different context it could have been a regular ad for cars in the same segment. You know the type, the ad's copy goes and by God we know the type! We've seen it in hundreds of ads, the "man of the year" corny man that middle executives aspire to, the braggers, the egocentrics, the high-power borkers with their imagined sterile life, their trophy wives and sexy secretaries. Except Jaguar plays this so suavely because XF is "cliché proof". Teehee, funny as hell!

XF TVC 60sec
It's time for something new, something cliché proof. This is not business as usual. This is the all-new Jaguar XF. See Jaguar's luxury business saloon in our exclusive film, or find out more about the all-new XF here:
Posted by Jaguar on Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

On why my respect goes to L'Armoire De Lana

So it is now "official", l'Armoire de Lana is in the top 10 of fashion bloggers in the Middle East. Mind you every other girl who has a skirt in her closet calls herself a fashion blogger, a brand ambassador (I was asked to be a brand a brand ambassador just for attending an event - a non-fashion one mind you), they claim to be doing "collaborations" while they are simply wearing clothes (no more, no less, this is not a collaboration - this is mercantilism), etc.... Lana herself got attacked by another blogger (although she might not be aware of it) when she said she was "founder of l'armoire de Lana" and "content provider" (I measure my words as I have seen the tweet that attacks her!).
Please note, apart from an archaic tweet conversation with Lana, I do not know her personally, nor for that matter her so-called "competitors" (which they are not). And if I am writing this today, it is from what I specialize in - the marketing/branding/image angle. Once more, in the crowded field of blogging where everyone is aiming for the same target audience, it is difficult to make a stand. And no, the "age" of the blog does not matter a lot, because after some point no matter how "popular" you are on Facebook (or paid to buy fans or whatever) if there is no interesting content your audience dwindles down.
Also let it be known, when bloggers move to an independent platform (i.e. their own blog) I am not impressed with the results, and sadly in that respect, I am not a big fan of her site (PS: I told her before, if her website is in English why is the "presse" section title is in French), but you see, most blog audiences come from the "here and the now" and if anyone wants something from the archive they will use Google to get to it without resorting to the "sections" (Fun fact: This is how Google was invented when the founders were creating a search engine which would let them look for their own references as they wrote their thesis).
So why am I writing this? Because Lana turned herself into a brand. Which is no mean feat in a field where everyone is vying for attention. Yes, I can see people now saying, "Oh if I had her money and connections I could have done much more" - really? How come not every society girl is blogging tastefully about fashion then? "If I was invited to the Paris Fashion Week like her, my reviews would be better", seriously? NY Times critic reviewed the Saint Laurent collection all while being banned from attending the show by Hedi Slimane, so the attendance itself could be superfluous, but still if attendance there is, how many can secure a selfie with the lead designer of a fashion house such as Lana did.
She did this all while remaining above the fray, she just does her own thing and does not go into the "she said" "she said" thing which is rampant in the blogosphere in Lebanon. Here's a hint, Lana managed to secure a sure footing in a very competitive field, she knows her strengths and capitalizes on them, she turned her name into a sure brand (styling Nancy Ajram, doing windows for ABC, cresting a shoe collection for Poise design), she did that all while remaining the sweet attainable girl next door (I once saw her shopping in downtown Beirut and even if I did not approach her, I really felt I could have and that she would have met me with that charming smile she flashes frequently in her photos).
Making a brand is tough, creating one that lasts is even tougher, still Lana did this with charm, grace and elegance. Honestly, what's there not to love?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

B-Qa de Marsyas the genius of naming

Out of nowhere comes a beautiful surprise! For a long time wine advertising was synonymous with earth tone colors, boring as hell names, etc, etc... Then Ixsir broke the mold, and now Chateau Marsyas is calling its new offspring B-Qa should you not get the funkyness it is simply a rappel of the Bequa'a valley where vineyards are grown. Oh and if you think it is an easy name, how come no one came up with it before?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Abaad the anti-Vileda ad from Lowe Pimo

Remember that silly misogynistic ad from Vileda? Thankfully Lowe Pimo are more enlightened than that. The Abaad NGO for women's rights has this beautiful ad above "men are for politics, women for logistics - Say who?" (or for brooming) shows how had women are treated through popular sayings. The "badda maw2ef" signature doubles as both "needs a strong stand" and "needs a parking" something they used in the "Parking for men only" TV ad. The campaign for parking reminded me of this one by 05 Amam but in a different context. But the Lowe Pimo effort for Abaad is laudable following fiascos such as Vileda!

Smurfette doing things behind Papa Smurf's back

Smurfette has been caught doing things behind Papa Smurf's back and in Maameltein, Lebanon, no less (locals will understand the insinuation!). Smoking shisha or hookah that is!.... Kids these days!!