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Levant Edition • The marketing and advertising resource • February 2011 • Issue N°10 • communicatelevant.com In symphony: ­Memac Ogilvy’s Eddie Moutran on teamwork Page 38 in agencies

Awards And the winner is... We see which ads picked up the most Lynx, Lions, and Cristal awards in 2010, and find the region’s highest-ranking campaigns. We also find out which agencies rose to the top of the pile. (Page 24)

Digital Pitching in We speak to Bob Debbas, whose Mygraphicstudio.com lets designers at home and abroad bid on projects from around the world. Some say it’s unfair, but Debbas insists it levels the playing field and (Page 34) lets talent flourish.

Opinion Question time We ask a cross-section of the media, marketing, and ­advertising community to name one thing they could never say no to. (Which has nothing to do with our lead story, of course.) Challenges, chocolate, and causes all make an appearance. (Page 16)

Shake it up: Y&R’s ­Karim Elias says we must rethink the way Page 43 we advertise

On the road: Omar Christidis explains why ArabNet went Page 32 on tour

Forbidden

fruit We get under the skin of Lebanese advertising’s sexual side

Campaign Cheesy does it

(Page 46) Cover Image: Getty

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Letter from the editor | FEBRUARY 2011

Free Willy D

o you know Bigas Lunas? This Spanish film director was one of the artists behind Spain’s Movida, a cultural movement in the early 1980s. And, in my opinion, no one can talk about sex better (except maybe for Jean-Jacques Annaud – but hey, I’m partial to anything linked to Marguerite Duras, and her novel, The Lover, in particular, on which Annaud’s film of the same name was based). Bigas Lunas made Penelope Cruz into a European sex symbol well before she became one of Hollywood’s sweethearts; and well before he married Cruz, her co-star Javier Bardem was strolling from one hilarious Lunas character – the flamboyant macho man of the must-see Huevos De Oro – to other, darker ones. The Ages of Lulu is certainly not a movie for the whole family, but after surviving it you’ll never watch Bardem in Hollywood’s gentle Eat, Pray, Love through the same eyes. And you’ll have learnt a few things about love and sex, too. But it’s with Jamón, Jamón, where Cruz and Bardem met, that Lunas best made his point that sex is ubiquitous, fun, and not something to be hidden. The film’s title is a fun, food metaphor. I would love to copy-paste the dialogue that

explains it, but I’m not sure it would make it past our local censorship authorities, so I’ll let you look it up on your own. However traditional and conservative Spain’s society may be (and it is no different from most Mediterranean countries), there is always room for sex in its culture, as part of life’s daily joy. (No wonder it’s often associated with food.) This is because artists and directors have dared to tread the fine line between sensuality and pornography (Pedro Almodovar is another good example of this), often with a healthy dose of wit and irony. So I cannot help but wonder why we have such a hard time achieving the same balance in Lebanese cinema (Nadine Labaky’s Caramel may be one of the rare exceptions; its success was fully deserved). From what I gathered during my years writing the sexuality section in a local women’s magazine, people in Lebanon actually yearn for more respectful and well-intended sex talk. All the same, at the time I was writing my articles, I felt a bit like the Voice of America talking to people behind the Berlin Wall. Our cover story this month (see page 18) is about sex in advertising. We’ve timed it to coincide with Valentine’s Day. We find

that, like awkward young lovers, the industry alternates between fumbling in the dark and laughing at crude innuendo. That’s not to say that talking about sex is always easy. Wait until you have to buy your eldest daughter her first sexual education books, as I had to this Christmas, and you’ll know what I mean. But, as a parent, not buying them didn’t seem very responsible to me either. Similarly, Lebanon’s advertisers need to learn to talk about sex in a mature, grown-up way. Sweeping a tricky topic under the rug may seem like the easy way out for a while, but it’s not like ignoring the issues will suddenly and magically make them disappear. After all, if pigs could fly, bacon – or jamón, as they say in Spain – would be airborne.

Nathalie Bontems, editor editor@communicatelevant.com

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Contents

FEBRUARY 2011 | Contents

COVER: Hot topic 18

THE COMMUNIQUESTION

Communicate Levant takes a close look at the intimate side of advertising. How do Lebanon’s ­advertisers sell sex, and how can they use sex to sell?

16

FEATURES 32

SPECIAL REPORT: Top ads of 2010 24 28 29

The prize is right: we see who won Lynxes, Lions and Cristals, and work out the most awarded ads of 2010 Top shops: Which are the most awarded regional agencies? Show your workings: The rankings tables, and how we found our winners

NEWS 6

8 10 12 13 14 15

We ask the industry: What’s the one thing you could never say no to?

Outdoor. Syndicate condemns signage construction following storm Advertising. MENA Cristal program unveiled Television. VIP Films produces new TVC for Dubai Sports Production. City Films shoots ambitious Batelco spot Print. Medialeader acquires representation of Al Watan newspaper Agencies. Robin Smith takes top creative job at OgilvyAction Digital. Survey finds iPad users prefer advertising to pay model

34 36

Digital. Spreading the Net: ArabNet digital ­conference’s founder Omar Christidis on why he has been touring the region in a bus for three weeks Digital. Pitcher perfect: A new website allows graphic designers around the world to pitch online beyond borders. Could this be the way of the future? Production. They’re rolling: TVC producers’ ­association is officially born

DEPARTMENTS 38 42 43 44 45 46 50

Q&A. Words of wisdom. Memac Ogilvy’s Edmond Moutran on how we can make the industry safer and saner Guest Opinion. Needs must: Frida Chehlaoui says it’s wrong to believe that technology changes consumer desires Guest Opinion. New order: Karim Elias says it is time to adopt a new approach to advertising by really paying attention to the consumers Blogosphere. What the Web is saying Media Work. Balls in the sky and a flash in the eyes Work. Selections from the regional and ­international creative scenes Drive-by. One blogger’s take on Beirut’s billboards

FEBRUARY 2011 Medialeader SAL, Azar bldg, 5th floor, Dimitri Al Hayek st, Sin el Fil-Horsh Tabet, Beirut, Lebanon, Tel: (961) 1 492 801/2/3

CO-CEO Alexandre Hawari CO-CEO Julien Hawari Managing Director Ayman Haydar CFO Abdul Rahman Siddiqui General Manager Simon O’Herlihy creative DIRECTOR Aziz Kamel Online Director Rony Nassour Distribution & Subscription Director JP Nair, jp@mediaquestcorp.com Country Managers Lebanon: Nathalie Bontems,

nathalie@mediaquestcorp.com, (961) 1 492801/2/3 Saudi Arabia: Tarek Abu Hamzy, tarekah@mediaquestcorp.com, Tel: (966) 50 814 50 90 North Africa: Adil Abdel Wahab, adel@medialeader.biz, Tel: (213) 661 562 660

Founder Yasser Hawari Managing Director Julien Hawari editor Nathalie Bontems Managing editor Austyn Allison Group Managing Editor Siobhan Adams senior sub editor Elizabeth McGlynn sub editor Salil Kumar contributors Ibrahim Nehme, Rania Habib creative DIRECTOR Aziz Kamel ART DIRECTOR Sheela Jeevan ART CONTRIBUTORS Aya Farhat, Mohammad Al Ali External Affairs Manuel

Dias, Maguy Panagga, Catherine Dobarro, Randa Khoury, Lila Schoepf, Laurent Bernard Responsible director Denise Mechantaf PRINTERS Raidy Printing Group ADVERTISING The Gulf MEDIALEADER, PO Box 72184, Dubai Media City, Al Thuraya Tower 2, Office 2402, Dubai, Tel: (971) 4 391 0760, Fax: (971) 4 390 8737, sales@mediaquestcorp.com Lebanon Peggy El Zyr, peggy@mediaquestcorp. com, Tel: (961) 70 40 45 44 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Tarek Abu Hamzy, tarekah@mediaquestcorp.com, Tel: (966) 1 419 40 61, Ghassan A. Rbeiz, ghassan@ mediaquestcorp.com, Fax: (966) 1 419 41 32, P.O.Box: 14303, Riyadh 11424, Europe S.C.C Arabies, 18, rue de Varize, 75016 Paris, France, Tel: (33) 01 47 664600, Fax: (33) 01 43 807362, Lebanon MEDIALEADER Beirut, Lebanon, Tel: (961) 1 202 369, Fax: (961) 1 202 369 WEBSITE www.communicatelevant.com

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FEBRUARY 2011 | Regional news

Outdoor syndicate condemns sub-standard practices following storm Damaged locations didn’t adhere to regulations and suffered from poor engineering, says industry body

Beirut. Following the storm that damaged outdoor advertising locations in Lebanon on Dec. 11, 2010, the Syndicate of Outdoor Advertising Companies of Lebanon (SOACL) has issued a statement saying the damaged unipoles and rooftop hoardings had been installed without respect for regulations or studies by engineers. “Most of these damaged unipoles and rooftops … were big formats that didn’t conform with the sizes specified in the decree law that regulates outdoor advertising; and many of these unipoles and rooftops were installed by individuals or companies that do not have adequate

professional know-how, skills, or experience,” the statement reads. In the interests of public safety, the SOACL asked its 26 member firms, and companies that have not yet joined the syndicate, to not install large-format (unipoles 14-meter-byfour-meter billboards, and rooftop signs) without consulting a civil engineer. The association asked the companies to keep copies of engineers’ studies in a safe. They should show the installations can withstand wind speeds of 150kmh on the coast and 125kmh in cities. The statement also says insurance policies should cover sites for a total of $500,000 for each panel.

The SOACL asked municipalities that grant outdoor permits to make sure each request for a license is accompanied by a study signed by an engineer. They should also ask for reports for the large panels already installed. “The SOACL is concerned to make clear to the public the professionalism of its members, and is keen on public safety and the environment,” the statement adds. “We are lobbying to modify the decree-law regulating outdoor advertising by adding several articles related to safety specifications to prevent a recurrence of what happened.”

V I ADVERTISING

site, Dothefish.com, where they could enter pictures of their pouting into a competition. A new TVC for Lebanese winemaker Château Kefraya aims to give the brand a new image based on wine-making. The film depicts the journey of an artist, who makes his way into three Château Kefraya worlds (rosé, white and red) using a magical stone,

where he meets three muses. A press campaign with a similar theme ran with three visuals. A print campaign was launched for Audi, inviting owners to get their vehicles checked. The ads showed three vital parts of a car: the spark plug, battery and fuel filter, each blocking the road. The copy reads, “Don’t let your car get in your way.”

Impact BBDO’s January work Beirut. Three major campaigns came out of Impact BBDO last month. Seafood brand Siblou’s campaign ran across multiple media outlets and showed people of different ages and backgrounds making fish faces. The above-the-line operation sent viewers to a micro

V I ADVERTISING Memac Ogilvy holds week-long meeting in Lebanon Chtaura. In late November, Memac Ogilvy gathered its tier-one and tiertwo managers from across its Middle East and North Africa network for a combined management and creative conference under the theme “Tomorrow starts now.” The conference was held at the Massabki Hotel in Chtaura, and was attended by the managing directors of Memac Ogilvy offices in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, the regional heads of OgilvyAction, Ogilvy Public Relations, OgilvyOne, planning, finance, and HR, and advertising senior account management executives. Ogilvy’s chairman for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Daniel Sicouri; Ogilvy’s EAME general manager, Ralph Clementson; and executive creative director of OgilvyAction EAME, Howard Smiedt, made special appearances. Other speakers included Ramsey Naja, the chief creative officer of JWT MENA.

Adrenalin launches BBAC campaign Beirut. In December, BBAC (Bank of Beirut and the Arab countries) launched a media campaign with advertising agency Adrenalin. “Your Caring Bank” aims to “promote awareness of our banking values that match words with actions and support the strong presence we have achieved since the establishment of the bank in 1956,” says Ghassan Assaf, the bank’s chairman and general manager. “Through this campaign we wanted to emphasize that meeting the needs of our clients comes at the top of our priorities.”

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FEBRUARY 2011 | Regional news

MENA Cristal Awards 2011 program unveiled

Beirut. The program of the sixth edition of the MENA Cristal Awards, to be held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, has been revealed, and looks loaded. Christian Cappe, organizer of the festival, expects more than 600 participants this year. Five hundred attended last year, and the number of entries has also increased by 20 percent, to reach 1,200 campaigns from 25 countries, Cappe says. As usual, the festival will feature conferences. Among others JeanCharles Decaux, the general manager of JC Decaux, will talk on “Outdoor media: innovation, modernity and the impact of digital developments;” Akira Kagami, global executive creative advisor at Dentsu will speak on I PRODUCTION FFF shoots TVC for 2011 AFC Asian Cup Beirut. The Fantastic Film Factory was behind the 2011 TVC promoting the AFC Asian Cup that was held in Qatar from Jan. 7 to 29. The production house, approached by Impact BBDO Qatar, shot the ad in December over three days in Marrakesh, under the direction of Spanish director Alejandro Toledo. Three cameras simultaneously filmed the cast and the 500 extras brought in to tell a story of warring factions preparing for battle and finally turning into football players after meeting a little boy in Qatar. “We brought in horsemen, camel riders and stunt people, and crew from California, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Casablanca, Qatar and Lebanon,” says Hiram Na’man, from FFF, adding that he was amazed “we were able to shoot, edit, do the special effects and deliver in just 11 days.”

the topic of “Stranger from a strange land;” and Simon Gosling, from postproduction company Framestone, will talk on “3D in your face: the Avatar experience.” Debate topics include: “Controversial creativity,” “Is TV back?” and “How to create a dream team.” French actress Emmanuelle Béart will give a cinema master class, and the owner of Rotana, Prince al Waleed bin Talal, will be presented with an honorary Cristal. Following last June’s launch of the Production Cristal Academy, a series of events will be held including a Web TV channel for the occasion and the broadcast of short movies. A special award will also be given

as part of the Cristal Creative Club, also set up a few months ago. The jury, headed by Walid Kanaan, executive regional creative director at Impact BDDO, made up exclusively of members of the club, will award a prize for the best visual Arabic art and copy, in order to honor the expression of Arabic culture in advertising and give more of an Arabic identity to the festival. Participating agencies will also be requested to write a “Manifesto for quality in advertising,” on how to help advertising evolve. There will be a working session during the festival to publish a first draft of the Manifesto, which will be presented at the end of the event.

Leo Burnett releases new campaign for Exotica

Beirut. Every year, flower retailer Exotica uses Valentine’s Day to launch a campaign, and 2011 is no exception. The latest release, designed as always by Leo Burnett, is based on the idea that repeating “I love you” too often can make it a cliché, but offering flowers – particularly red roses – is an elegant way of expressing feelings beyond words. “Flowers have always had a special meaning, from depicting middle names to representing a specific importance for a unique occasion,” says Lea Daoura, senior communication executive at Leo Burnett Beirut. “Our campaign consists of creating the language of flowers, assigning one letter to each red rose so one can use flowers to write instead of letters. The visual is reinforced with leaves representing quotation marks. Finally, we went with a poetic signature, ‘the language of Valentine,’ where a new language has been invented with the use of flowers.”  I MEDIA ITP to launch regional Cosmopolitan

Dubai. In March, Dubai-based publisher ITP is set to launch the 63rd – and first Middle Eastern – edition of women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, under license from US-based Hearst Magazines International. The magazine is already published in 32 languages and distributed in more than 100 countries. Cosmopolitan Middle East will be published in English, with an initial print run of 15,000 copies, and will be circulated throughout the GCC and Lebanon. “The Middle East has one of the youngest populations in the world, so introducing a local edition of the world’s best-selling magazine for young women seems an obvious decision,”

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www.menacristal.com 31 Jan. / 4 Feb. 2011 - Mzaar Kfardebian, Lebanon

Call for entries!

Competitions are open for the MENA Cristal Festival Enter your best campaigns to the “Cristal”

BEFORE FRIDAY 22ND OCTOBER: Cyber Media Direct & Promo International Production

BEFORE FRIDAY 7TH JANUARY: Film Radio Outdoor Daily Press Magazine Print Craft Corporate Integrated


FEBRUARY 2011 | Regional news

VIP Films produces spot for Dubai Sports

Continued from page 8 Walid Akawi, CEO of ITP, says. The publisher’s portfolio already includes Harper’s Bazaar, Viva, L’Officiel, Ahlan, Grazia and Shape. Anagreen launches “green media” Beirut. Anagreen, a firm established in 2010 by Anthony Younes and dedicated to sustainable development products and information, has launched its first product: FreeBlocNotes, described by the company as “the first green media in Lebanon.” In March 2011, Anagreen plans to distribute 80,000 free copies of these notebooks – made entirely of recycled paper and printed with vegetable ink – at the entrance of Lebanese universities. Anagreen invited institutions – including restaurants, sporting clubs, and stores – to advertise in the notebooks. Books are “the best way to communicate directly with Lebanese students,” Younes says. InfoPro publishes Chamber of Commerce’s magazine

Beirut. VIP Films, a production company that has been working on branding for the Dubai One television channel for seven years, has released its latest film for Dubai Sports. “Tough concepts were given to us as an opportunity to push production beyond what is challenging,” says Diana Maatouk, head of communications at VIP Films.

 I MARKETING Nissan and Bank Audi join AUB to monitor traffic emissions Beirut. The Atmospheric and Analytical Laboratory at the American University of Beirut, in partnership with Rasamny Younis Motor Company (RYMCO,) Nissan’s exclusive dealer

In four days of shooting, the production company used the latest equipment, she says. This included underwater cameras and extremely high-speed ones for slowmotion effects. Maatouk says VIP employed “world-class visual effects supervisors, 70 talented and passionate production crew, and a cast that had

in Lebanon, and Bank Audi, have launched an environmental study to monitor air pollution caused by traffic. The project will measure particulate matter generated by sources including vehicles, through a real-time device installed in a Nissan Urvan van. The van, offered by Nissan for this project, will travel along the busy

not to act, but to live their actions on set.” The project also involved 3D animation and compositing work. “The Dubai Sports campaign, just like much of the other branding work VIP Films has produced for Dubai Media Inc., has gone beyond filmmaking into a partnership marked by commitment,” Maatouk says.

road connecting Beirut to Jounieh over the next year. “Being part of the automobile industry mandates that we take a responsible role in developing strategies to help address air pollution and its consequences, one of the highest priorities of environmental issues,” says RYMCO CEO Abdo Sweidan.

Beirut. Publisher InfoPro, which owns Lebanon Opportunities and the Arabic edition of Bloomberg Businessweek, among other titles, has been mandated by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon to publish and market the institution’s monthly, 60-year-old magazine Al Iktissad Al Lubnani Wal Arabi. The magazine has been revamped and will have a circulation of 10,000. “We intend to make out of this publication a platform for economic dialogue, which is urgently needed in our country,” says Ramzi el Hafez, head of InfoPro.

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FEBRUARY 2011 | Regional news

City Films shoots people’s dreams for Batelco

 I Marketing District S says Merry Christmas Beirut. In December, District S, a massive real estate development project in the center of Beirut, put a fence around its 13,000 square meters of land under construction, on which Christmas wishes in five languages (Arabic, English, French, Armenian and Spanish), amid trees, gifts and decorations, were displayed.

“We wanted to enhance the Christmas spirit and inject a little magic into the capital by setting up a fence dedicated to the holiday,” says Namir Cortas, chairman of Saifi Modern, the company that owns the project.

Beirut. With more than 200,800 fans and counting, City Films’ latest production, a Facebook-based film named Infinity and produced for Bahrain telecom provider Batelco, is generating a buzz from the public and in the international media. The campaign, which took a year of work with FP7 Bahrain, marks the global expansion of Batelco

 I digital

Shankaboot launches new multimedia platform Beirut. In December, award-winning Lebanese Web series Shankaboot launched Shankactive, a new mul-

under its slogan “Bringing ideas to life,” and aims to invite viewers to take “an epic journey through people’s minds.” The special effects-ridden threeminute-20-second film unveils the dreams of ordinary people, and invites Facebook users to share their own emotions through webcam shots that are posted on the brand’s page.

“We came up with around 60 ideas and had to select only six or seven,” says March Hadife, head of City Films. The shoot took place in Toronto four days before the G20 summit, and Hadife says up to five cameras were used for some of the sequences. “It was quite complicated. A total of 4,986 e-mails were exchanged between all parties involved,” he says.

timedia platform that aims to showcase multimedia projects inspired by Shankaboot and tackle social issues in the Arab world. The platform only hosts usergenerated material and offers creative people from across the region the opportunity to reach the Web series’ international audience. Shankaboot has nearly 20,000 fans on Facebook, and the website currently attracts around 1,500 unique visits per day. Some of the videos in Shankactive were produced through a media skills workshop run by Batoota Films and the BBC World Service Trust in October. Participants were invited to make short films on the subject of

domestic workers in Lebanon. One video, written and directed by Wissam Al Saliby, notched up more than 14,000 views on YouTube in less than a week. Organizers also ran a creative competition for youth across the country. The challenge was to produce a short video, animation, photo-gallery or blog to show what the author would miss most about Lebanon if he/she emigrated. Shortlisted submissions were screened at the Shankactive Awards Ceremony held in Beirut at the end of January. The best entries won Nokia N8 mobile phones, which can shoot HD video.

ABC supports Lebanese Autism Society Beirut. At Christmas, the ABC mall launched an online campaign under the theme “Small bear with a big heart,” in order to raise awareness about autism and raise funds for the Lebanese Autism Society. On the website Smallbearbigheart. com, people were able to play games, write wishes and buy teddy bears. The campaign was designed by Cre8mania. Training firm launches in Lebanon

Beirut. Starmanship & Associates launched in December US-based training and consulting firm FranklinCovey Co, with a full-day event that included an introduction by Susan Dathe-Douglass, a master trainer and senior consultant, to “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” a training scheme based on the international best-selling book by Stephen R. Covey.

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Regional news | FEBRUARY 2011

Medialeader acquires representation rights for Saudi Arabia’s Al Watan

 I AGENCIES

Communicate’s parent company to focus its marketing efforts for the newspaper in the GCC and Levant – and further afield

Dubai. Medialeader, the media representation arm of Communicate’s parent company, Mediaquest Corp., has obtained the rights to be the sole media representative of Al Watan newspaper, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading Arabic dailies with a circulation of 210,000. Hatim Hamed Mouminah, CEO of Aseer Establishment for Publishing and Printing, which publishes Al Watan, says, “We have chosen Medialeader to help us tap a grow-

V I ADVERTISING Leo Burnett wins Rainbow Milk Dubai. Dairy firm FrieslandCampina has appointed Leo Burnett Dubai to build and grow the Rainbow Milk brand across the GCC and Yemen. The

ing list of advertisers who want to exploit the huge potential afforded by the Saudi market.” Alexandre Hawari, co-CEO of Medialeader, says his company will focus its marketing efforts for Al Watan in the GCC and Levant, as well as markets further afield. “We will provide advertisers from all over the world the opportunity to target consumers and businesses in Saudi Arabia,” he says.

Another Mediaquest Corp. company, Dotmena, meanwhile, has launched its new website, Dotmena.com. Dotmena is a network of more than 30 websites, with nearly 200 million page impressions per month and 14 million unique users. Dotmena recently added Spreadmycv.com to the sites it represents. That site bills itself as “the region’s first free job board for both job-seekers and employers.”

agency scooped the account without a pitch, and will be responsible for all Rainbow Milk products, including UHT, evaporated and sweet condensed milk, and instant milk powder. Burnett will provide a full-service account, including strategic brand

planning, creative development, and digital capabilities. Kamal Dimachkie (pictured), managing director of Leo Burnett Dubai, Kuwait and the Lower Gulf, says in a statement, “Rainbow Milk is a brand that people have grown up with in the region. It is always challenging to work with an established brand because the bar is that much higher, but Leo Burnett brings to the table its human lens.” “We have used this lens to show FrieslandCampina that by breaking down the categories of the consumer, by dissecting the consumer’s hopes, fears, aspirations, and inherent competitive streak, we can give the brand’s advertising a new direction,” he adds.

Andrew Pound appointed Mindshare regional director Dubai. Mindshare has announced the appointment of Andrew Pound as regional director of strategic business planning. He will be responsible for officially launching the “business planning” function of Mindshare’s services. Samir Ayoub, CEO of Mindshare in the MENA region, says, “The appointment of Andrew is to add value to our clients’ business beyond the traditional media services, and also to further improve the strategic thinking of our client leadership directors across the region.” Pound has previously worked with Mars, Kraft and Unilever across Europe, North America, and the Middle East and Africa region.  I MEDIA

Afghanistan’s Moby Group opens Dubai operation Dubai. Dubai Studio City (DSC) last month announced that Moby Group, an Afghanistan-based privately owned media company, has established its regional headquarters in the free zone serving the film and broadcast production industries. A statement from DSC says, “Established in 2002, the Moby Group has spearheaded significant changes in the media landscape and continues to drive innovative development of projects that reach, educate, and entertain through its media, content, and production companies. “The Moby Group dominates the Afghan media market with a

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FEBRUARY 2011 | Regional news

Continued from page 13 combined 80 percent market share. Its Tolo TV and Lemar TV lead the Afghan television market with more than 60 percent audience reach, while Arman FM is the most popular entertainment radio station in Afghanistan.”

Robin Smith gets top creative role at OgilvyAction

MBC 1’s Kalam Nawaem talk show hosts US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Dunhill rolls out global advertising campaign in the region Picture agency Corbis Selects ArabianEye as representative in the Middle East and North Africa Abu Dhabi Radio Network launches iPhone app to let users tune in from their mobiles Twofour54 tadreeb signs memorandum of understanding with Bahrain Information Affairs Authority Dubai. OgilvyAction MENA, the brand activation network of the Memac Ogilvy Group, has announced the promotion of Robin Smith, creative director of OgilvyAction in Dubai, to the newly created position of regional creative director for the Middle East and North Africa. The network has offices in Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Jeddah, Tunis, Riyadh and Dubai. Claus Adams, regional director at OgilvyAction, says, “Robin has played an enormous role in raising the reputation of OgilvyAction in the region. He brings a wealth of big brand activation expertise, a proven track record of awards, and the eagerness to play a major

role in creating big ideas that sell. With him on board, we have the very best candidate in place to strengthen our creative product in a growing number of offices.” Under Smith’s leadership, the Dubai team developed award-winning ideas like the BP Visco’s Dustvertising campaign, which won a Grand Prix at the Dubai Lynx 2010 in the Direct & Sales Promotion category, and the agency won two Gold Effies for the launch of Ponds in 2009. Ben Knight has taken over Smith’s previous job. Knight has been with the agency in Dubai for two years, after transferring from OgilvyAction UK.

Mouzannar has worked on campaigns such as the Hariri Foundation’s “Khede Khasra,” Pert Plus’

“Stop the suffering,” and flower shop Exotica “Make a move.” In 2009, the Big One report ranked him as the 29th most awarded executive creative director worldwide. Raja Trad, CEO of Leo Burnett MENA, says in a statement, “Farid has been a long-standing pillar of inspiration, instrumental in shaping Leo Burnett in the region and elevating the standards of creativity in the industry.” Trad calls Mouzannar “a gifted visionary, a powerful strategic thinker, and a natural creative leader.”

 I AGENCIES Bechara Mouzannar named new chief creative officer at Leo ­Burnett MENA Dubai. Bechara Mouzannar (pictured) is the new chief creative officer at Leo Burnett MENA. Previously regional executive creative director, Mouzannar replaces Farid Chehab. Chehab, who founded H&C advertising before it partnered with Leo Burnett in 1981, will assume the role of honorary chairman and adviser to the MENA management board.

Al Hurra launches Best of Al Youm Limelight Middle East wins Ethos Consultancy PR account

Redundancies at ADMC Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Media Company, the government-backed corporation behind The National and Al Ittihad newspapers, and Abu Dhabi TV among other media, has laid off several members of staff. The exact number hasn’t been revealed, but a company spokeswoman says it is fewer than 100. Staff received an e-mail from Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, ADMC’s chairman, on January 6, warning the redundancies were to be announced, saying, “To continue to be successful we need to evolve as an organization, which is why the board and myself have mandated the senior management team to continue to develop the company as a commercial business.” Carat wins Deutsche Bank Dubai. Media agency Carat MENA has begun working with Deutsche Bank, and the first campaign recently went live. The above-the-line business-to-business campaign promoting Deutsche Bank in the Middle East targets institutional investors and high-level decision makers in corporate institutions. It works on Deutsche Bank’s global message, “Passion to perform.” Deutsche Bank is a global alignment for Carat, with a local client. This is the first campaign Carat MENA has launched. The campaign will be pan-Arab with a focus on Saudi and the UAE.

Very Briefs

Ipsos results underscore Arabian Radio Network successes for 2010 Farsi 1 TV scales new heights of popularity with international dramas and TV series ADMC’s Al Barq launches Doohinsights.com blog, dedicated to digital out-of-home advertising Brag creates “Freezer” from Heineken from used shipping crates Four Communications acquires BGB

Go to our Web site for the full stories: www.communicate.ae

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IPad users prefer advertising to pay model In a survey conducted by online research company Knowledge Networks, 86 percent of iPad owners said they would be willing to watch ads to gain access to free content such as TV shows or magazine and newspaper articles. In practice, iPad users download an average of 24 apps, and of those, only six, or about a quarter, are paid. “That was part of what was surprising,” says Knowledge Networks CEO Simon Kooyman. “Not as many people are willing to pay for magazine or news content as we thought would.” Only about 13 percent of those surveyed said they were willing to pay any fee to watch a TV program or read a magazine on the iPad to which they already have access, and they were only willing to pay an extra $2.60 on average for that content.

UK to tighten regulations for paid Tweets and sponsored posts The UK’s consumer watchdog agency is clamping down on endorsements by bloggers and social networkers, who will now be required to state any relationship they have with a product. The move brings UK Twitter regulations in line with those in the US, where the Federal Trade Commission requires that Twitter endorsements include the words “ad” or “spon” (for “sponsored”) to flag their status. The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has ruled that Handpicked Media, a company that represents the commercial interests of bloggers from the world of fashion, beauty, cul-

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Survey reveals 86 percent would watch ads to receive free content

Interestingly, despite the hype around the emergence of apps both as a form of content and a business model, iPad users primarily use the device like a home computer. The ture, food, and lifestyle, has been operating in breach of the Consumer Protection Regulations. The OFT does not give specific details of the case or cases investigated. Celebrities have so far been Tweeting freely in the UK about products they are being paid to endorse. Actress Elizabeth Hurley, who has worked with Estée Lauder for 17 years, regularly mentions the company’s products in her Tweets but without declaring her relationship with the company. Last month, Hurley defended her position by Tweeting, “It’s hardly a secret that I work for Estée Lauder. Love telling u about their products – they’re the best xx.” Lenovo selects Saatchi for new global branding campaign After a final-round pitch that included presentations at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, Lenovo has chosen a new global agency partner, Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi. According to executives familiar with the situation, the shop beat stiff competition from MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter & Bogusky and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, which has handled Lenovo’s line of “Think”-branded products since the computer maker purchased IBM’s PC division in 2005.

most commonly used feature is search, with 97 percent of people saying they regularly use Google on iPad, followed closely by Web browsing and e-mail at 91 percent.

Agencies referred calls to Lenovo, which confirmed Saatchi’s appointment to the roster, while also noting that it doesn’t mean a parting of ways with Ogilvy. “We selected Saatchi & Saatchi to develop a new branding campaign for us, and this is an additional piece of business for us,” a spokesman told Ad Age. “Our existing agency relationship with Ogilvy will continue as is.” Facebook books $1.86 billion in advertising

It turns out Facebook is a lot like Google after all. As the social network steams past 650 million global users, its business is looking more like Google’s in that the majority of its ad sales now come from small- and

Media apps, however, are used at a much lower rate, with 70 percent of people saying they regularly read books on iPad, 66 percent saying they listen to music on it. Sixty one percent read magazines and newspapers, and around 50 percent watch TV or movies. With regard to magazines, which in many ways have flocked to iPad more heartily than other media, the survey found that about 14 percent of users would be willing to pay to get a special iPad edition of a magazine they already receive in print. About 12 percent said they would be willing to pay a small additional fee for a magazine they already get, while only 1 percent said they would pay the same as the cover price of a magazine they already have for the iPad version. medium-size companies that make use of its self-serve ad system, a model that has turned Google into a $200 billion behemoth over the past decade. According to an estimate from eMarketer, Facebook took in $1.86 billion in worldwide advertising revenue for 2010, an 86 percent increase over the company’s estimated 2009 advertising revenue of $740 million worldwide. Not surprisingly, the majority of that, $1.21 billion, was earned inside the US. But what is surprising is the majority of revenue, 60 percent or $1.12 billion, was earned from smaller companies in 2010, those more likely to be using self-serve tools rather than work through a media agency. That’s greater than the $740 million coming from major marketers such as Coke, P&G, and Match.com. The estimate adds weight to the leaked revenue figures that came out of the company’s recent funding round with Goldman Sachs, which could put as much as $2 billion into Facebook’s coffers without an IPO. Reuters reported that, based on Goldman’s offering plan, the company had made $1.2 billion in the first nine months of the year, suggesting that an annual run-rate of $2 billion is a little high.

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FEBRUARY 2011 | OPINION

The Communiquestion

A winner every time

We ask the industry: What is the one thing you could never say no to, and why? Omar Christidis Founder of the ArabNet conference I’m not much into fashion or products, but I’m a huge foodie. One thing I can’t say no to is French fries: Barbar, Bliss House, Crepeway, McDonalds, I’ll gobble them up anywhere I can get them. That salty fried goodness with a dollop of bbq sauce; there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like it... except for maybe dessert. Antonio Vincenti Chairman and CEO of Pikasso The one thing I could never say no to within my work is a request from an NGO/NPO for an outdoor campaign promoting a great cause. The satisfaction I have to associate my name and the name of Pikasso to charity and to public interest campaigns is second to none. I am an active member of one NGO only and I feel that on a personal level, I compensate my wish to be more active in promoting the causes dear to my heart by billposting almost every single week of the year one free campaign at least within a program called “The citizen billposter.” The positive vibes I have in return from the outstanding interaction with the passionate and energetic leaders of the civil society is so important to me that I will never say no to any one of them. Sami Saab Co-founder and art director of Clementine I can’t say no to challenge. Challenge for me means a lot. Challenge is a very weird and momentary feeling; challenge pushes me to do the best; challenge makes me

do what the others cannot do. Challenge for me is a very subjective feeling that ends very fast. Therefore I’m always in need of a new challenge. Especially when it comes to communication. The challenge to communicate in a clever way. Testicles wanted. Liliane Assaf Blogger and founder of LebanonAggregator.com Pizza, a ride in a fast car and Swiss chocolate. But on a serious note, there are people and causes that I could never say no to if I am asked to join them. Of course,certain people in my life have earned this kind of trust. And sometimes, it is a combination of person with the cause or action. Then I immediately say yes, since I know they’re people who know what they’re talking about and are not just enthusiastic and excited for “nothing”, thus we prevent any time wasting. So yes, I would definitely walk from South to North for Civil Marriage in Lebanon, for erasing the presence of sects and politics in every single thing we do/have/ demonstrate for in this country, for no smoking in closed places (where owners of these places actually respect this law), for preserving the environment and especially water, and for anything that will help shape driving in Lebanon into a better and civilized experience. Oh, and blindly, a campaign to have a better internet bandwidth and speed, and for a 3G network in Lebanon. We need it to grow as people and as economy. Gabriel Chamoun CEO of The Talkies A pretty smile can be disarming.

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Cover Story | FEBRUARY 2011

Getting intimate Lebanese advertising is a sea of sexuality. Communicate Levant meets the marketers getting down and dirty by Ibrahim Nehme “

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ex sells” has long been a favorite aphorism of the advertising industry. Some marketers in Lebanon seem to have taken this to heart, to the extent that Danielle Baiz, a blogger from Miami who has been living and working in Beirut for the past year, wrote on an online forum that “even in an extremely liberal place such as Miami, you don’t have as many naked women on billboards.” Sébastien Grinsard, regional marketing manager at the outdoor supplier Pikasso, says his company faces censorship challenges over explicit material on average 20 times each year. “For each visual we receive from our clients, we run an internal control; if explicit content is present, the visual is sent back to the client to be adapted before it’s sent to General Security [the public office housing the censorship department] for approval,” he says. There are three main criteria Pikasso checks to make sure a campaign visual will be accepted by both the general population and the General Security: positioning of the body in the visual, the distance between men and women, and how much flesh swimwear or lingerie reveals.

According to Grinsard, it’s a common practice to run different artworks in different parts of the country. “Certain regions – southern, mostly – do not accept visuals that show explicit content,” he says. “For this reason, either the same visual is refused completely, or the client has to apply specific modifications that would allow it to place the visual in the concerned areas.” GLOW NO. Despite Pikasso’s internal control, 2 percent of the visuals it received in 2010 were refused by the General Security. No one is supposed to fool around. The Love Light campaign was one victim of the censor’s scissors. “Have you ever seen it glowing?” asked the unipole ad promoting a brand of condom that glows in the dark. The ad was controversial enough for the General Security office to cut half of the image (the half depicting a glowing crotch; see picture, page 20). The controversy didn’t stop there, though. Even the censored version was tendentious enough to

stir a heated debate in the local media and among the general public. The above example is just a micro-reflection of the social dynamics at play in a country where discussing sex is acceptable only behind closed doors and talking about condoms in public can be seen as crossing the line. International condom brand Durex, unlike Love Light, has had no major issues with the General Security office. But Dani Azzi, creative director at DDB, the agency that handles Durex’s advertising in Lebanon, recalls an incident last year when a Durex radio spot was censored. Listeners heard a woman seemingly having an orgasm, only to find she was just playing tennis. Azzi says there is no clear criteria for censorship in Lebanon. “I don’t even know how the decision-maker at the General Security office thinks or what criteria he uses to censor some ads. At some point it feels the decision is very subjective,” he says. Communicate Levant was unable to reach the General Security’s censorship department for comment.

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Sébastien GrinsarD. Regional marketing manager, Pikasso

LEEN HACHEM. Editor of KherrBerr

dani azzi. Creative director at DDB

BLUSH STROKES. Another issue lies in the fact that the majority of the population in Lebanon lacks proper sex education, and this keeps the topic a taboo, Azzi says. Many men are embarrassed to ask for condoms in pharmacies and supermarkets. “They are aware of the fact that they have to use a condom, and of the dangers of not using one, but they tend to think that if they’re seen buying a condom, other people will know they’re going to have sex,” Azzi says. “After all, why buy a condom if you’re not going to have sex? And sex can only take place behind closed curtains here, without society knowing.” Earlier this year, Durex repositioned itself globally, moving from a focus on safe sex to an emotional message. The new tagline, “Love. Sex. Durex,” aims to highlight the brand’s focus on “the magic of sex” instead of “the mechanics of sex.” But Azzi says it’s too early for Lebanon to make such a move. “We still have a lot of homework to do on the mechanics part – why, when, and how to use a condom. There is a big chunk of the market we still need to educate before we move to the magic-of-sex phase.” GROW UP. Sherif Boutros, a distributor of vaginal contraceptive gel VCF, agrees. “We can’t say the market is 100 percent mature,” he says. Back in August, Boutros launched an ad campaign – quite technical and sober – to promote his spermicidal products. Although sales increased, Boutros says he should have explained the product better. “The objective of the ad campaign should have been educational, to educate the market about vaginal contraceptives, before attempting a hard sell.” Azzi says Durex didn’t undertake any educa-

tional activities last year (DDB started handling the Durex account at the start of 2010) either, due to lack of budget. Last year’s marketing spend went into promotions such as buy-two-get-one-free offers, but Azzi says that, with a higher budget in 2011, a lot of educational initiatives and CSR programs are in the pipeline. These activities will educate people about various sexually transmitted diseases and the consequences of unprotected sex. Durex will focus its advertising on youth, mainly high school and university students; Azzi says they constitute the most open-minded consumer group. Samer Ghniem, distributor of the Love Light glowing condoms, says 60 percent of his sales come from men and women aged 15 to 25. Twenty five percent is from those between 25 and 35, and 15 percent from consumers over 35. FLESH OUT OF IDEAS. In the meantime, Leen Hachem, editor of KherrBerr, a monthly supplement published with Kazamaza magazine that critiques ads it considers offensive to women, believes the taboo on sex in advertising (as opposed to advertising about sex) has been broken. Ads often use provocative images of women to promote products that have no relation whatsoever to sex. She questions a society that doesn’t accept sex in real life, but is fine with it in advertising. Hachem says, “What’s especially enraging for me, being a women and a feminist, is that ads that are offensive to women are allowed, but ads designed to address and help sexuality aren’t. [The General Security is] busy cutting condom ads and giving them limited time on air, while ads featuring naked women are allowed to pass just like that. The value of a female is just too insignificant to them. They don’t see the effects of ads telling 15-year-old girls that ‘plastic surgery has made me fabulous.’ But a condom ad is, in their opinion, harmful to kids.”

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RIGHTEOUS ISSUE. Sami Saab, creative director at local agency Clementine, has come up with ads that have courted controversy: “Mon bijou mon droit” (My jewelry, my right) for Moukarzel Jewelry; “Sois belle et vote” (Look beautiful and vote) for the parliamentary elections; and the latest Cable Vision ad (see above). Paradoxically, none of them promoted a sex-related product. Saab argues sex is a fact of life and should, therefore, be used in communication. Every ad should be sexy in the sense that it should be visually appealing and aesthetically beautiful, he says, and “if the use of sex feeds the concept of the campaign and helps in getting the promotional message across, then it’s totally righteous for advertisers to use it.” Cindy Gallop has a lot to say on this subject. Advertising Age’s 2003 Woman of the Year thinks she can “change the world through sex.” In 2005 she resigned from her job as the chairwoman and president of advertising giant BBH in the US and launched MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a platform for social change through which she hopes to inspire a more open and healthy dialogue about sex. “The term ‘sex in advertising’ is greatly misunderstood,” speaking from the States, Gallop tells Communicate Levant. “When you say ‘sex in advertising’ or ‘sex sells,’ people immediately see in their mind's eye images of naked, naughty, X-rated women.” But sex “should be like anything else we leverage in advertising to emotionally engage consumers and interest them in a particular product, and from that sense it is legitimate and potentially a very powerful emotional force when leveraged, understood and used in the right sense,” she adds. “When, in the advertising world, we talk about the fact that great brands and great advertising are based on fundamental human truths and insights, then sexuality – which

in itself is a fundamental human truth and a fundamental human dynamic – is there to be worked with in communication and advertising as much as any other fundamental human truths.” Sex isn’t any more relevant today than it used to be, Gallop says. “Our sexuality informs how we feel about ourselves, how we feel about other people, and our relationships with other people; it’s a fundamental part of humanity. It always has been. It always will be.” POSTER OR PORNSTAR? It’s a fact that there is a lot of sex in Lebanese advertising, but there’s still a question of whether sex can actually sell. Is there as simple a formula as putting a scantily clad woman on a billboard and expecting sales to soar? Walid Kanaan, regional executive creative director at Impact BDDO, is convinced sex still sells. “We shouldn't forget that advertising didn't mix up sex with our daily lives; the great marketer in the sky did that,” he says, adding, however, that sex can be a recipe for marketing disaster, especially if it’s misplaced, vulgar, and out of context. The power of sex as a selling tool has decreased over the years because of its overuse in marketing, and also because consumers’ maturity levels have increased, Azzi says. Consumers can’t be fooled by advertising any more. They’re more sophisticated, exposed and educated now. “You can’t manipulate today’s consumers by adding a picture of a naked female to your advertisement,” he says. Even if the ad is seductive enough to sell a product once, that doesn’t mean a consumer will buy the brand a second time, especially if it doesn’t live up to expectations. Bare skin has a place in ads for lingerie and some beauty products and fragrances, and when

cindy gallop. Owner of MakeLoveNotPorn.com

walid kanaan. Regional executive creative director at Impact BDDO

sami saab. Creative director and founder of Clementine

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Cover Story | FEBRUARY 2011

taboo. Talking about condoms in public can be seen as crossing the line selling sex-related products such as condoms. But the same visuals may look wrong, or at least ill-devised, when selling jeans or washing machines. There’s a debate over which brands can be sexed up, and how this can be done. TATS THE WAY TO DO IT. A couple of months ago, Clementine developed an ad that ran on billboards nationwide. The visual featured a sexy, exposed woman to communicate a promotional offer for Cable Vision (see picture, page 21). The campaign was criticized on blogs such as Plus961.com, and Twitter was buzzing about it when it launched. The ad was slammed for its gratuitous sexual content to sell a category with little to sex up. Saab says he wanted to employ the concept of tattoos. “I wanted to communicate the logos of the different TV channels included in the offer, and I found that tattooing the logos on the body of an attractive woman would be a nice thing,” he says. “We see tattoos in our daily lives; why not use them in advertising?” Despite the harsh reactions garnered by the ad, Saab doesn’t feel it was offensive, but is glad it attracted so much attention. Gallop says sexy ads are “entirely appropriate for brands where some aspects of our sexuality lie at the heart of how we might choose to interact with and use that brand.” She gives an example from her BBH days, when she worked on the UK launch campaign in the late 1990s of ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs. The agency carried out focus groups among various consumer segments, and found respondents were describing ice cream in sexual terms. So the agency positioned the brand as an indulgent, sensual product.

“To my mind, this is a good example of rooting a brand positioning and a marketing program in the sensuality of the product,” she says. Although the idea of a bank, for example, using sex in its advertising sounds peculiar, the approach may have sound grounds, adds Gallop. “What banks and financial services sell themselves on is another aspect of our sexuality, which is mating,” she says. Financial brands often play on the understanding that one day you will get married, settle down and have children. “What produces children? Sex. But obviously banks are not talking about this, and that’s what I mean when I say sex is a fundamental part of human life that underpins everything.” CONFUSED SEXUALITY. All the usual marketing principles apply when using sex in communication, Gallop says. “You identify the fundamental human truths that are relevant to your product and the ways in which your product is used – just as Volvo, an automotive brand, very cleverly and quite rightly based its entire brand positioning on the fundamental human desire for security, and articulated and manifested that in the context of driving.” The golden rule, says Kanaan, is to make sure sex is selling the brand, and not the longlegged model in the ad. And Azzi agrees that “the line between wit and vulgarity is very thin.” It’s not easy to tread. Sex is a fundamental part of who we are and of our lives, Gallop says, but we tend to be mixed up about it. It seems Lebanese advertisers are no exception.

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DECEMBER 2011 FEBRUARY 2010 ||ADVERTISING Cover Story

2010’s most awarded

We tally up campaign wins from last year’s awards shows and see who did best by Rania Habib

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t wasn’t a year wrought with scandal, but 2010 was nonetheless interesting for the regional advertising industry. The 2009 awards season was marred with ghost ads and scam ads, but 2010 advertising awards season saw some funny, engaging, non-traditional, and effective advertising in the region. While Egypt seemed to be the dominant force this year, there was healthy competition from

the rest of the region – from Lebanon, the UAE, and even Tunisia. Communicate has compiled the Most Awarded Campaigns of this year by looking at how regional advertising did at the Dubai Lynx Awards, the MENA Cristal Awards, and the Cannes Lions Awards. See page 30 for an explanation of how we scored each campaign.

There was a clear winner with Leo Burnett’s “Mother of all Foreign Films” for Melody Aflam; the campaign catered to almost everyone’s sense of humor, even though it was a localized, culturally specific campaign. The rest of the top scorers were an eclectic mix of funny, creative, and engaging campaigns. Here’s to an even more interesting awards season in 2011.

Arabic Films, The Mother of all Foreign Films Melody Entertainment Leo Burnett Cairo Mohamed Hamdallah Executive creative director Leo Burnett Cairo When we were given this brief, the first thing that came to mind was to make fun of Arabic films. It’s easy to make fun of Arabic films when you’re used to watching American movies, but what help would that be? It is important for us that the work we do has a positive impact on our viewers – who are Arabs – so we decided to look at the problem from another perspective. The thing that Egyptians have that the West doesn’t is our incredible sense of humor; an Egyptian can make fun of anything in good spirit – even if it’s a flawless Hollywood picture. We then needed to understand that the Arabic films

we were promoting (even though they might not be to our taste) made many generations happy, so we had to give them the respect they deserved, and we had to be proud of them. That led us to our selling line: “Aflam arabi – om el Agnaby,” which means, “Arabic films – the mother of all foreign films.” We wanted to remind everyone that we are a great people and not ashamed of who we are, and we really believed that when we were working on this project. The last thing on our minds was winning awards; that was just a bonus. But because it won awards, this campaign gave everyone in the industry a taste – for the first time, we believe – of authentic Arabic humor and advertising. It wasn’t a foreign ad translated into Arabic. We just hope this inspires every talented creative in the region to embrace our culture and make something beautiful and Arabic out of it. Om el Agnaby.

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Ehkineh Interruptions Alfa Leo Burnett Beirut Bechara Mouzannar Chief creative officer Leo Burnett MENA What was the best part about working on this campaign? Imagining and planning the whole process of guerrilla advertising on a traditional media such as radio. And the worst part? The fear that the guerrilla process would not go as planned, or would stop at some point in time. That did not happen, yet the anxiety was there. I’d like to dedicate this award to... The innovative team at Leo Burnett Beirut that wrote and acted this campaign, and hijacked the nation’s radio waves. Also Aline Karam (our Alfa client) and her team, who were prepared to grab the opportunity of using traditional media in an unconventional way in order to communicate a specific product benefit.

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Ticket Stamp Promotion Berlitz Memac Ogilvy & Mather, Dubai Ramzi Moutran Creative director Memac Ogilvy & Mather, Dubai What was the best part about working on this campaign? Winning such recognition for such a simple but effective campaign. And the worst part? None. I’d like to dedicate this award to... All the people who think large investments are needed to make award-winning work. Small can be so big. Boga Cidre Société Frigorifique et Brasserie de Tunis (SFBT) Memac Ogilvy Label Tunisia, Tunis Nicolas Courant Creative director Memac Ogilvy Label Tunisia What was the best part about working on this campaign? In a way, we were charting a new course for advertising in Tunisia; going out with a viral in Tunisia was completely new. We were delighted to see the strong reception of the audience. And the worst part? The biggest challenge was to manage people’s expectations: the client, staff, consumers, and the media. I’d like to dedicate this award to... Our actress. She’s the one who made it seem real.

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89 Fans from ‘89 The Coca-Cola Company Elephant, Cairo Ali Ali Creative director Elephant Cairo What was the best part about working on this campaign? For the first time in our careers, it didn’t feel like we were making an ad. It’s the closest we’ve ever come to producing a film, a true documentary, where nothing was staged. And the worst part? Not knowing how it would turn out. And at times, not even knowing what it was we were filming. We lacked a format – a familiar structure – around which to work, which is why it turned out so nicely. We also had a very small budget to work with, because Coca-Cola hadn’t planned this project in their annual spending. We had a friend’s old 16mm camera, and since we couldn’t afford any locations, we had to shoot each fan in his home. I’d like to dedicate this award to… CocaCola, for believing in the idea. And to the fans, for making it happen. Le Mall launch Le Mall, JWT Beirut Iyad Zahlan Executive creative director JWT Beirut What was the best part about working on this campaign? The fact that the Le Mall launch campaign was initially a pitch presentation. Its success is quite dear to our hearts. Moreover, seeing it all come to life and unfold after months of hard work was quite rewarding. But if I were to single out one thing, it would be the people’s response and reaction to the campaign: it was phenomenal. And the worst part? Creating and implementing big campaigns is always quite an endeavor, and we all know it has its ups and downs. Luckily only the sweet memories remain. I’d like to dedicate this award to… Everyone who contributed to its success. Lika Gum Sima Food Industries Elephant, Cairo Ali Ali Creative director Elephant Cairo What was the best part about working on this campaign? Having to produce this campaign on a shoestring budget. We shot the entire thing at my sister’s house. And the worst part? Having to produce this campaign on a shoestring budget. I think if we had the financial means to get this shot in the right locations, with the right photographer, it could have landed a Silver, or maybe even a Gold Lion at Cannes. I’d like to dedicate this award to... My sister, Sally, for helping us out and letting us destroy her house on the shoot.

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Safe & Style Volvo/Massimo Dutti Memac Ogilvy & Mather, Dubai Ramzi Moutran Creative director Memac Ogilvy & Mather, Dubai What was the best part about working on this campaign? The simplicity and power of the campaign idea. Making a relatively boring but necessary contribution to the automotive industry both exciting and fashionable, and making it more noticeable. In a time where everything is changing, something that remains constant is noticeable. That was the heart of the campaign. And the worst part? The most intricate part of the campaign involved co-ordinating and liaising with all parties to ensure we faithfully and carefully represented their perspective. I’d like to dedicate this award to… Clients who are willing to push the work as much as the agency is. Keep up the good fight; we need more of you.

Sticky Posters Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) Wunderman Dubai Pooja Chandani Creative director, Wunderman What was the best part about working on this campaign? Sticky Posters gave us the results on the spot; that was the best part. We could see the effectiveness of the campaign right there. And the worst part? When you get such fantastic results and even win awards for it, there can’t be anything bad about the campaign, can there? I’d like to dedicate this award to… Our EEG client, Habiba Al Marashi. It was her support that helped us make this campaign a huge success. Stop the Suffering Pert Plus Leo Burnett Beirut Bechara Mouzannar Chief executive officer Leo Burnett MENA What was the best part about working on this campaign? Areej Mahmoud (associate creative director): Coming up with the idea was fun, but the characters were the most fun. Drawing them, imagining their stories, creating personalities, and then when they started to move, to bring the idea to life – it was magic. Seeing how the whole campaign worked together was extremely rewarding. A n d t h e w o r s t p a r t ? Ya s m i n a B a z (associate creative director): All the bad hair days. I’d like to dedicate this award to… All the families of the hairs who fell in the making of this commercial. God bless them.

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DECEMBER 2011 FEBRUARY 2010 ||ADVERTISING Cover Story

Confessions of corporate spies GM SMG Dubai Rayan Karaky Regional general manager of digital operations What was the best part about working on this campaign? The single-minded focus on delivering outstanding work despite the level of involvement from different parties. From Leo Burnett to Core to Starcom & StarcomIP, there was a lot of clarity on everyone’s role and what we were trying to achieve. What was the worst part about working on this campaign? I wouldn’t say “worst;” there was only a hard part, mostly when it comes quantifying the results. I’d like to dedicate this award to... The SMG team at the most awarded agency in the region for two years, the client, and Leo Burnett who conceptualized the TVC that everything was built around. Most importantly, Core, our branded entertainment unit for bringing new levels of innovation that propelled the campaign to be a huge success. – Editor’s note. This article was originally published in the GCC version of Communicate, and due to a calculation error, this campaign was left off the most awarded list, and Starcom was left off the list of most awarded agencies. We apologise.

Highest-ranked agencies

Which of the region’s ad shops have accumulated the most metal over the past year?

T

he year’s top campaign may have beaten others by a mile, but Melody Entertainment’s “Arabic films – the mother of all foreign films” couldn’t put Leo Burnett Cairo in the top spot for Most Awarded Agency. While JWT Dubai’s individual campaigns didn’t make as big an impact on the advertising world as the Melody Aflam campaign did, they did put the agency at the head of our table. With 22 awards from the Dubai Lynx and the MENA Cristals, JWT Dubai was the regional

agency with the most awards in 2010, having done work for clients including Aldar Properties, Virgin, Johnson & Johnson, The Times newspaper, and Nestlé. Leo Burnett Beirut beat its Egyptian counterpart to land second place with its guerrilla radio campaign for Alfa, its overly dramatic TV ad for Pert Plus, and its print ads for Exotica winning several gongs at all three of the award shows we looked at. SMG Dubai came

third, helped by its GM Corporate Spies campaign. Overall, the networked agencies took the top spots in Communicate Levant’s top 10 most awarded agencies, but there was room for one little agency from Egypt, which made a big impact in 2010: Elephant Cairo is number 10 after winning awards for its Lika Gum and Coca-Cola campaigns. SMG Dubai was the year’s most awarded media agency.

Agency scores – based on awards at the Lynx, Lions and Cristals (see page 30) RATING

AGENCY

SCORE

1

JWT Dubai

48

2

Leo Burnett Beirut

38

3

SMG Dubai

33

4

JWT Beirut

27

5

Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai

25

6

Leo Burnett Cairo

24

7

TBWA/Raad Dubai

23

8

SMG Dubai

21

9

Wunderman Dubai

20

10

Elephant Cairo

18

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Under the patronage of the President of Lebanon, H.E.

General Michel Sleiman

arabnet

DIGITAL SUMMIT

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BE IR U T // M A R C H 2 2 - 25 Explore the latest trends in web and mobile Meet industry leaders Get funding for your start up or business plan

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LIONS BRONZE (2)

SCORE

2

LIONS SILVER (4)

CRISTAL (2)

1

LIONS GOLD (6)

GRAND CRISTAL (4)

LYNX BRONZE (1)

LYNX SILVER (2)

LYNX GP (4)

Top-scoring campaigns

LYNX GOLD (3)

DECEMBER 2011 FEBRUARY 2010 ||ADVERTISING Cover Story

1

1

22

campaign/client

Agency

Melody Aflam

Leo Burnett Cairo

2

Confessions of corporate spies - GM

SMG Dubai

1

Alfa - Ehkineh

Leo Burnett Beirut

Berlitz

Memac Ogilvy & Mather

3

1

10

Boga Cidre

Memac Ogilvy Label Tunisia

1

1

2

9

Coca-Cola

Elephant Cairo

1

1

Le Mall Launch

JWT Beirut

Lika Gum

Elephant Cairo

Safe & Style - Volvo/Massimo Dutti

Memac Ogilvy & Mather

2

Sticky Posters - EEG

Wunderman Dubai

1

Stop the suffering

Leo Burnett Beirut

Always - Check Check

Leo Burnett Beirut

The Valuable Dumspter - Take my junk

Wunderman Dubai

1

Aldar Properties

JWT Dubai

1

Audio books - Virgin

JWT Dubai

Be a man - Birell

SMG Dubai

Doritos - Guess the mystery flavor

OMD KSA

2 2

10 2

10

1

9 1

1

1

2

9

1

1 2 2

8

1

8 1

2

1

2

8

1

7

4 1

7

1

6 1

1 1

9

1

6

1

1

6

2

1

6

Eat off the floor - DAC

TBWA/Raad Dubai

Fatafeat TV - Dish

Leo Burnett Beirut

2

6

Key in the ignition - Mercedes

JWT Beirut

Meet Dubai - Emirates Airlines

SMG Dubai

Papers worldwide - Neenah Paper

Y&R Dubai

Stress Ball - FOCP

JWT Dubai

Audi Q7

Impact BBDO Beirut

Dubai Metro

Saatchi & Saatchi

Reach dental floss - J&J

JWT Dubai

1

1

5

The Times Newspaper

JWT Dubai

1

1

5

Touchsmart - HP

OMD Dubai

1

1

5

Ahlan MSN - Microsoft MEA

Wunderman Dubai

1

1

5

Dustvertising - BP Castrol

Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai

Maxfresh Toothpaste

Y&R Dubai

1

Nestle - Kit Kat Chunky

JWT Dubai

2

4

Polo - Nestle

JWT Dubai

2

4

Save Christmas - Acres Holding

JWT Beirut

1

Six Stars - Aircon Maintenance

Grey Dubai

2

Sonic Power 360 Tooth Brush - Colgate Palmolive

Y&R Dubai

2

The Fridge

TBWA/Raad Dubai

1

Emirates Take off Mercedes

Impact BBDO

A real 3D experience - A&H

JWT Beirut

1

1

Be Heard - du

Leo Burnett Dubai

1

1

Black Abaya - Henkel

OMD Dubai

1

1

6

2

6 1

2

1

2

1 1

1

6 6

1

6

1

1

5 1

5

1

4 2

4

2

4 4 4 1 1

1

4 4 3 3

1

3

Distronic Plus - Mercedes

Impact BBDO Dubai

Exotica Valentine’s

Leo Burnett Beirut

Hotspots Instore - The Economist

Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai

Scatter your senses - Skittles

Impact BBDO Dubai

Chili’s

Memac Ogilvy

1

3

Toblerone

Memac Ogilvy

1

3

Spread the word - AD Awards

Zed Communications

1

3

Majid Magazine

ADMC

1

3

1

3 1

1

1

1

1

3 3 3

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SCORE

LIONS BRONZE (2)

LIONS SILVER (4)

LIONS GOLD (6)

CRISTAL (2)

GRAND CRISTAL (4)

LYNX BRONZE (1)

LYNX SILVER (2)

LYNX GP (4)

(Numbers indicate the number of awards won in each category)

LYNX GOLD (3)

ADVERTISING | FEBRUARY 2011

campaign/client

Agency

Little red riding hood - World Black Belts center

Memac Ogilvy dubai

1

Le Mall Ramadan

JWT Beirut

1

A little push - Jamjoom

TBWA/Raad

A smarties world - Nestle

JWT Dubai

Airfree Air Purifiers

Brandcom ME

Aveo 5 - Totally street

SMG Dubai

1

2

Bandana Crowd Pleaser - Mobily

OMD KSA

1

2

BETA - escaping dog etc.

Leo Burnett Beirut

1

2

Buckle up safely - GM

SMG Dubai

1

2

Capture hi-def - Samsung

SMG Dubai

1

2

Domino’s

TBWA/Raad Dubai

Dress different - Coins for Charity

Expression

1

2

Emirates LA premiere

SMG Dubai

1

2

Eviction - J&J

JWT Dubai

1

2

Fear - Tide

Leo Burnett Dubai

1

2

3 3 1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

Front Hook Bra - K-Lynn

JWT Dubai

1

2

Galaxy falling in love again

SMG Dubai

1

2

GMC Acadia

Leo Burnett Dubai

1

2

Healer - Beiersdorf

TBWA/Raad beirut

1

2

Heinz Heritage

Leo Burnett Cairo

1

2

HSBC New branch red line

JWT BEirut

1

2

Momken Deqeqa - Vodafone Egypt

JWT Cairo

1

2

Nissan Altima

TBWA/Raad Dubai

1

Rev it loud - GM

SMG Dubai

1

Reynolds Fine Pens - Shamart

JWT Dubai

2 2 2

2

Save Zahra - Exotica

Leo Burnett Beirut

Sotuchoc - Club Chocolat

JWT Tunisia

1

Stick Anything - Henkel

TBWA/Egypt

1

The Chunky Boys - Nestlé

JWT Dubai

1

2

Visa - Bluetooth aquarium

OMD Dubai

1

2

Vows - Helen Bamber Foundation

JWT Dubai

1

2

World Gold Council - L’Or Accessories

Leo Burnett Dubai

1

2

Ziebart frying pan - window tints Randa Rubik Cube - Berlitz Be Still - ADTA Resize a room - IKEA Wolves - Harvey Nichols

Percept Gulf Wezign Tunis Memac Ogilvy dubai TBWA/Raad Memac Ogilvy Y&R Dubai

1 1 1

2 2 2 2 2 2

1

2 2 2

1 1 1

Top-ranked ads – methodology To find out which were the most awarded campaigns in 2010, we looked at three big awards shows: the Dubai Lynx, held in the UAE; the MENA Cristals (Lebanon); and the Cannes Lions (France). We tallied up the awards each campaign won. For the Lynx, we gave four points for a Grand Prix, three for a Gold, two for a Silver, and one for a Bronze. For the Lions, the Lynx’s international big brother, we doubled those scores. At the Cristals, we gave two points for a Cristal and four for a Grand Cristal.

We gave points each time a campaign took a prize. So if several executions were cited in the winning of one Cristal, Lynx, or Lion, we awarded points only once. (At the Lynx, there were occasions when single executions won Gold, and campaigns of related executions won the Gold Campaign category. In that case, we awarded three points for the Gold, and three for the Gold Campaign.) If a campaign won in more than one category (Print and Outdoor, for example) we gave points for both awards.

At the end, we tallied up each campaign’s points. You can see our list above (it doesn’t include all the campaigns we looked at). As many of the campaigns scored the same over all, we worked out our rankings in a way similar to the awards shows. So we have awarded a Grand Prix, three Golds, four Silvers, and three Bronzes. Working through 2010’s winning campaigns, we were reminded how much good work there is out there. Congratulations to all who created it.

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© Getty Images

FEBRUARY 2011 | DIGITAL

Cross-border communication

As the ArabNet organizers wrap up a three-week regional roadshow, the man behind the conference tells us he just wants to bring people together by Nathalie Bontems

T

here’s something relentless in the way Omar Christidis, aged 28, and vice-president of the International Business Alliance Group, the events management, marketing, and promotions company founded in 2000 that organizes the ArabNet digital conference, has been working on and with the MENA digital sector. “ArabNet emerged as I noticed two things: First, the Arab Web market was fragmented, and many experienced industry professionals weren’t connected with their peers in other countries. Second, there was a disconnect between young entrepreneurs with ideas and startups, and investors and business leaders who have the experience, resources, and relationships that can help those entrepreneurs succeed. I decided to try and bring all of those people together in one place,” he says.

Omar Christidis. Vice-president of the International Business Alliance Group

BUSY SCHEDULE. Christidis has not remained idle since the first ArabNet conference in Beirut last winter, which brought together more than 500 attendees and 45 speakers from around the world, generating 10,000 Tweets along the way. While preparing the second edition of ArabNet, scheduled from March 22 to 25, and holding a workshop for start-ups at the ICT Forum in October, the ArabNet team organized from Dec. 8 to 21 a three-week, 4,381km roadshow that took them by bus to seven countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Egypt). In each, workshops were organized to train young digital entrepreneurs in how to

start their own businesses. The project, on which Christidis started working in September, was quite a technical challenge. “It felt like we were putting on seven conferences in seven countries. Not only did we have to manage logistics across some very challenging borders, but we also had to really understand the diversity of the local markets and customize our approach in each city. Visas were a particular challenge, and in some countries we were missing team members because we could not secure visas for them, despite our best efforts,” he says. But it proved quite successful: More than 1,500 people participated in the various events, which were streamed live and blogged for the whole journey, the ArabNet bus being equipped with high-speed mobile Internet. Visitors to the site could see in real-time where the bus was. “One of the keys to the success of the roadshow was working with really strong and engaged local partners in each city, who helped us understand and reach out to the community, and supported us with logistics. We also had really active community members in each city who were excited about our trip and helped spread the word, both online and offline,” Christidis says. Participants “were given the opportunity to connect with and learn from lawyers, investors, experienced entrepreneurs, and business leaders from their communities. Under the banner of ‘Entrepreneurs without Borders,’ the roadshow helped connect the scattered pockets of entrepreneurship across the region and establish a wider sense of community,” he adds.

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DIGITAL | FEBRUARY 2011

success stories. The events also helped unveil some local Web success stories, such as that of 23-year-old Hassan Hamdan. The Palestinian started his company, Optimal Technology Solutions, under Resalty.net in Saudi Arabia when he was 17. The firm now employs 85 people in eight offices in five countries. “The most inspirational success stories for me were those of Hassan Hamdan and Maria Mahdaly, both of whom started their companies when they were teenagers,” Christidis says. “Maria founded Fainak.com, a youth community site in Jeddah, and part of Rumman Company, which was ranked in 2010 as the fastest-growing Saudi startup. Maria’s story is doubly impressive, as she is a young female entrepreneur working in a conservative and male-dominated society in Saudi Arabia. The two demonstrated that vision, tenacity, confidence and hard work can overcome the ageism that I believe is a significant cultural challenge for young people trying to start their own businesses in the Arab world.” In each country, the initiative received support from several public and private players, from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority in Riyadh, which recently launched the Saudi Startup Community to boost digital entrepreneurs in the kingdom; to GamePower7, a Syrian online gaming company in Damascus; ICT Qatar, which is in the process of launching a comprehensive incubator program focused on digital content projects; and the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, an NGO working to strengthen the ecosystem of entrepreneurship. Educational institutions tagged along as well, including the American University in Cairo, which recently launched its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. In Syria, 90 students from the University of Kalamoon took a two-hour bus ride in order to reach the workshop in Damascus, and in Egypt, students came from as far as Minufiyah and Alexandria for the Cairo workshop. “There is a strong agreement across sectors that entrepreneurship, especially in high-tech, is one of the most important drivers for moving Arab countries into the knowledge economy and creating high-skilled jobs for young people. This is why institutions across the spectrum, from NGOs to governments to the private sector, have supported the ArabNet roadshow,” says Christidis. More importantly, the creation of a vibrant digital industry depends on a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurship, with players from the different sectors each fulfilling their role – whether in incubating, funding or supporting projects, or spreading the word about or doing business with these young startups. “Finally, it was important for us to build these relationships across different countries, because we believe there are tremendous synergies that can be leveraged when we bring these organizations together at the conference in March, where they can develop new avenues of collaboration to foster entrepreneurship and grow the sector to everyone’s benefit,” Christidis says.

Getting engaged. The roadshow helped connect entrepreneurs across the region

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© Corbis

FEBRUARY 2011 | DIGITAL

Crowd’ you do?

Mygraphicstudio.com allows graphic designers to pitch online for jobs around the world. The site’s founder, Bob Debbas, hopes it will help reshape the industry by Nathalie Bontems

B

BOB DEBBAS. Founder of Mygraphicstudio.com

ob Debbas, aged 42, spent 10 years in the US opening online-only companies, including Wearelogos.com, which produces promotional items, Weareprinting.com, which creates business cards and catalogs, and Tradeboothdisplays.com, which sells booths and banners for trade shows. Most of his start-ups dealt with business-tobusiness marketing material – anything with a logo on it. So it’s no surprise that Debbas had online business on his mind when he returned to Lebanon last September. “Online isn’t simply about the fact you’re making passive income (that is to say, the Internet is constantly working, even while you sleep), but it also provides you with a unique freedom in your work, 24/7,” he says. “I can use my BlackBerry from anywhere – nobody needs to know where I am or if I’m wearing a suit or simply underwear.” It’s with his new venture, Mygraphicstudio.

com, that Debbas – who teaches marketing at some of Lebanon’s universities while also managing his American ventures from abroad – hopes to make an entry into the Lebanese market and hire local talent, even though the site will cater to international clients. CROWDED HOUSE. Mygraphicstudio.com is an online platform where thousands of graphic and Web designers from all over the world pit their creative powers against one another to win contracts from clients. “The concept is based on crowdsourcing, and the idea that the wisdom of the crowd is more important than that of an expert. I simply applied the model to Web and graphic design,” Debbas says. Designers register their names and e-mail addresses for free, and become part of the network. Clients also register for free, and upload

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DIGITAL | FEBRUARY 2011

briefs, including colors, target audience, format, and so on. Graphic designers interested in a job have five days to post their offer. Debbas says clients receive 100 offers on average for each tender. Once the clients decide which pitches they like, they get in touch with the selected designers through the website, who send them their files in the requested formats. “The higher the price tag a client puts on a job, the more he will attract designers; it’s an open system, very transparent,” Debbas says. He doesn’t intervene in the pricing, only making sure the client’s payment is made available beforehand. “The contest is guaranteed by us on the financial part,” he says. “And in case one designer copies another designer’s concept, it’s one strike and he’s out. We easily know if someone is plagiarizing, since we know the exact time each logo comes in. Our bread and butter is the protection of designers’ copyrights, because we want them to keep coming back.” RECRUITMENT DRIVE. Debbas has spent the past year recruiting designers from around the world, talking to professional associations and universities, and adopting social media strategies. “We now have more than 6,000 designers from around 40 countries, and we want to keep on diversifying as much as possible,” he says. “That’s the beauty of it: The client can pick designers from very different creative backgrounds and sensibilities. We want to tap into China, India, and the Middle East. There’s a need for design in Arabic, but so far we are lacking talent from the region. That’s what I hope to find in Lebanon.” The concept has raised questions and doubts, Debbas says, mostly among established designers in the US, who complain about unfair competition. “But it’s the same logic as any other pitch,” he says. “When an agency is pitching to a client, there’s no guarantee it will win the deal and that it won’t have worked on a proposal for nothing. On the contrary, the fact designers from different backgrounds can compete with one another should help enhance and stimulate creativity. Of course, it pushes people out of their comfort zone, but that’s not a bad thing, is it?” The website officially launched last month, targeting managers, chief marketing officers, CEOs of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and anybody else who needs to communicate visually. Mygraphicstudio.com already boasts some 300 clients, including wineries and restaurants – mainly US-based clients of Debbas’ other online companies. “Each company is separate, but we crosspromote one another and work on complete vertical integration, from creating the logo to providing the material on which this logo will be featured,” Debbas says. “Actually, we have used the website to create some of our own logos. We’ve also put a system in

talent pool. The Mygraphicstudio.com concept is based on crowdsourcing place for all of our companies, whereby a contributor who gets a client onboard receives a five percent commission on any other deal that client makes with any other website of ours. This should entice designers to work with us.” joining in. Some advertising agencies have registered with Mygraphicstudio.com as clients, asking for designs that they later submit to their clients. “I see this as a possible future for advertising agencies: Designers within an agency may help clients to pick a logo, not doing the design themselves, but acting more as consultants,” Debbas says. “This would make the agency designer more relevant and important in the eyes of the client.” Debbas describes himself as a serial entrepreneur and says his aim is to contribute to progress. “I got into online right in time for the beginning of the digital revolution,” he says. “Mygraphicstudio.com is not a get-rich scheme. I won’t make a fortune out of the $29 fee we charge our clients when they get a job done through our website. What matters to me, particularly as a teacher, is that when you’re working in such technologies, you meet people who are changing the world. “I simply want to be such an agent of change in my own little way.”

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FEBRUARY 2011 | TELEVISION

Action pact

TVC producers hope to present a unified front by Nathalie Bontems

I

t took them more than 15 years to get there, but they did. The Association of Lebanese Commercial Producers (ALCP) was officially announced on Jan. 12, 2011. Although they legally established the body some time ago (see “Lebanon’s first TVC producers’ association established,” page 6, Communicate Levant, Sept. 2010), the eight founding members: Laser Films, The Talkies, VIP Films, Fantastic Film Factory, Intaj, Independent, Zoe Production and City Films – wanted to be fully ready before making the announcement and, more importantly, inviting the other 30-odd production houses in the country to join them. “Bringing together all the production houses in order to simply establish the grounds of the association was impossible,” says Gabriel Chamoun, treasurer of the ALCP and head of The Talkies. “We had to make it exist first. It took us a whole year with just the eight of us. With all of these 30-odd companies, how long would that have taken?” Although members are expected to meet on a monthly basis or so, a general assembly will be held every year to prepare the program and budget for the following year. The assembly will

also elect a five-member board, with a mandate of three years. With an entry fee of $2,000 per member – plus an additional annual fee that will vary according to the following year’s budget, and that hasn’t been defined yet for 2011 – the founding members hope to attract as many companies as possible and gather enough financial resources to allow them to take real action. “We are here for good and to do real work, make a real change,” says Rafic Tamba, vicepresident and head of VIP Films. “We’re not here to be a cartel or impose anything. On the contrary, we want to, and must, have communication with one another. This is only the start.” The core group identified a list of issues it expects to work on, such as promoting the production of TVCs locally and abroad, improving industry standards, and defining rules and regulations between agencies, clients, producers, freelancers, suppliers, and so on. It has already worked on a contract format to define work and payment terms between producers and agencies, as well as another format for casting. A website is in the works and a

coordinator has been assigned to follow up on future developments. The meeting was only a first step in preparing the ground for team work. Everything still needs to be done, from setting the agenda for 2011 to establishing the list of priorities and means of achieving them. To have the ALCP present a unified front of Lebanese producers at the next Cannes festival is high on the list. Making sure that the association stands for quality is another. But all of this lies in the hands of producers. Depending on the number of people who join, the association will be able to take steps toward solving the industry’s numerous woes. “The more members we have, the more efficient we’ll be,” says Jean-Pierre Sikias, president of the association and head of Laser Films. “The ALCP was born from a spontaneous need to establish a dialogue fruitful for the whole industry,” he adds. Many, not all, have answered the call and some – Wonderful Productions and ne. a Beyrouth to start with – have already joined. Only time will tell if a majority of production houses will join the association and how much credence they will give it.

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FEBRUARY 2011 | DEPARTMENTS

Q&A

Love among savages

Edmond Moutran, founder and chairman of Memac Ogilvy, tells Communicate Levant there’s room for friendly competition in the advertising jungle by Nathalie Bontems

E

ddie Moutran, head of Memac Ogilvy, says life would be easier for agencies if everyone got along. But the founder of one of the Middle East’s largest – and most awarded – agency groups says that even in the vicious world of advertising, he’d like to be thought of as a gentleman. Perhaps that’s why he invited the creative head of a competing agency to deliver a presentation at Memac’s management meeting in Chtaura in late November (See News, page 6). This is the first time Memac Ogilvy has held such a large management meeting Why now? We have management meetings twice a year. But this time, Ossama [el Kaoukji, Memac Ogilvy’s chief creative officer] asked if he could invite managers to the creative meeting he was planning to hold, because the partnership between creative and managing directors is very important. It just so happened that I was thinking about holding the management meeting at the same time, and I had in mind to invite the creative people. So why not do it together? Then the head of PR also suggested inviting his people. Thus it became a 360-degree meeting. The 360-degree concept is about how to better serve a client – whether to sell a prod-

uct or promote a service – by working together to seek better ways, rather than pulling in separate directions. Is there a particular need, in today’s context, to join forces that way? More than ever. A lot of things have happened over the past three years. We never had an easy time in this industry, but money is much more difficult today than before. When clients felt the repercussions of the world recession, they came to us asking us to work harder and charge less. We had to quickly adjust to continue to be beneficial to our clients. We’re not in a service industry any more. We’re in a partnership, to make sure our clients do well. And once they meet their targets they make sure we’re okay as well. If our client is suffering, we can never make it. So our focus today is to ensure our clients’ products and services are sold better than their competitors’. One of the high points of this meeting was a presentation by one of your competitors (Ramsey Naja, chief creative officer at JWT), which came as a surprise to many participants. Why did you invite him? The conference had many facets. To get our juices

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flowing a little faster, we had a day and a half of training and team-building with an outside consultant. We got outside speakers and Ogilvy speakers from Europe and Africa. So why not have somebody from the Middle East? Obviously, my first choice would have been one of my people. But a priest can never preach in his own home. We’re partners with JWT in Mindshare, and in the Arab Market Research Bureau; Roy Haddad is someone I trust with my life. Last year at the Lynx Awards in Dubai, JWT was the Network of the Year and we came second, and this year we were the Agency of the Year and they came second. We kind of swapped positions. We’re still very strong competitors, but the respect we have for each other is something I cherish. So I invited Ramsey Naja. I wish players in the industry understood that you can be competitive, but it doesn’t have to become ugly. Do you mean a competitor doesn’t have to be an enemy? It doesn’t have to be that way, but unfortunately it is. Before, I never poached people from other agencies. People had to prove to me they had actually left their job before I’d interview them. Every year, 30 people pass out of our postgraduate training program, and although I know that within five years I will lose 70 percent of them to the competition, I continue to do it, because 30 percent will stay, and that’s good enough. But after we won the Lynx Agency of the Year Award last year, my own son, who is our creative director in Dubai, received three job offers. We lost nine creative people within two months in Dubai. So today, if somebody comes from the competition, I interview them. But I don’t like it. I’d like to be remembered as a gentleman. I thought that with my generation slowing down, the young generation would have more peace. But they are much fiercer and there’s a serious lack of respect. Nobody has a kind word to say about each other. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the generation gap, maybe I’m old-fashioned. But, you see, this industry gave me and my family a better life, and this industry cannot only be Memac. It is for everybody. If we keep killing each other, no one is going to win. At a time of crisis, does it have to be about survival of the fittest? It was a jungle in times of peace; now, at a time of crisis, it’s worse. It’s much more savage. People are cutting prices more than ever before, to [a level of] stupidity. Clients tell us about some of the offers they receive from competition – it’s suicide. Everyone needs to cover costs and make a little profit. Otherwise, how to train people, how to buy better equipment, how to get all the marvelous web facilities that are happening in the world today? But it is greedy to want too much profit. Sometimes we are the victims of our own actions. When competition comes and offers the same service for a much cheaper price, I don’t

roundup. Edmond Moutran gathered his regional team for a week-long 360 degrees meeting last November blame the client for taking it. Clients today are under tremendous pressure. What’s sad is when we meet, we’re all hugs and kisses, and the minute we come back to our offices, we sharpen the tools, swords, knives and wait for the attack. Does this have an impact on quality? It does have an impact – if not today, definitely soon. It’s a shame, because if we all tried to add just a little bit of value to this industry, if we dedicated only 10 percent of our energy to building this industry, it would be the best on earth. We have the talent. We are now competing in every single international award, and we’re making it. Out of the 475 entries at the Cannes festival from the Middle East, 47 were short-listed. Naja said he doesn’t believe this is the end of networks. Do you agree? Totally. Not because I’m a network man, but because you need to be everywhere to be able to serve your clients the way I think they need to be served. This is why I started a network. When I used associates 25 years ago, they were simply not good enough. Whenever I asked them to make sacrifices for the benefit of our clients, they were reluctant – unless they were getting paid for it. But sometimes in our business, we don’t want to charge clients for everything we do. We’ve got to show them we’re investing in their business as well. How do you see 2011 faring? I can talk about Memac Ogilvy. The years 2008 and 2009 would have been good if it weren’t for the bad debt situation. Last year was very much like a plateau on 2009, with maybe a 10 percent increase, which, coming from where we were (double-digit growth), was not much – but in Europe, they would have been very happy with a 2 percent growth.

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No dummy. Memac Ogilvy’s campaign for Dar Al Amal raises awareness about the physical abuse of women We look at 2011 with cautious optimism, because I honestly think we learnt a lot over the past three years. We thought we had learned before, in 1984 and in 1989 and1990, but this recent crisis was a huge setback. However, we have learnt on how to cope with it. The lessons are that you must always be financially sound, you must always keep an honest dollar for the dark day, and maintain a much closer relationship with the client than we had. It taught us to understand our clients’ problems more in depth because they went beyond marketing issues. When you see a client get desperate, and I mean really desperate, you find yourself in a completely different frame of mind. You burn the midnight oil, you bring your top people, and you stop the clock ticking. It broke our back, but we did it because we’re not just partners in good times. And when clients were able to put their heads above water, they helped us back. How do you see 2011 for the Lebanese industry? I think we will see a little bit of growth. The industry in Lebanon is not a typical Middle Eastern one. Figures are seriously inflated. I don’t believe the industry’s size is more than $100 million, although surveys say it is way above that. And it hasn’t grown much recently. We need to accept our size and be proud of it. Lebanon cannot be the hub of the region again. When it was, there was no industry elsewhere. Today, how can Lebanon compete when one Saudi client is bigger than its whole industry? We can compete on quality, but not on quantity. Still, I’m very optimistic about Lebanon because it has this treasure that nobody else has – this endless flow of fantastic, creative talent.

What do you think of the flowering of boutique agencies and hot shops we are currently seeing in Lebanon? It doesn’t make sense. I can’t say I don’t encourage them – I wouldn’t be preaching my own gospel [if I said that], but they need to know what they’re doing. A young lady, just graduated from university, opened her own agency five years ago and I tried to help her in every way I could. But it closed down last week. She didn’t have enough experience to survive the bad times. To me, it’s like someone going to medical school and opening a clinic without getting any practise. But Lebanese are entrepreneurs, and some of them have got more ambition than brains. There’s nothing you can do about it. Some 10 years ago, my friend Antoine Choueiri advised me to start a “superagency” in order to prevent the many local agencies in Lebanon that were in trouble from collapsing. These small agency owners would own a share in the agency equivalent to the size of their existing business, we would provide the offices and equipment, and all would work under one name and under clear rules. But it never happened because most of the 11 men I talked to asked us to pay them for their names. And eight of the 11 went under in the following years. That’s the Lebanese mentality. If that’s the case, what can be done to improve the Lebanese industry? Improve what? You cannot improve perfection [laughing]. It’s perfect as it is. People have got used to it and everybody’s in their comfort zone. If you try to fix it, you’re going to break it.

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Guest Opinion

Needs must Frida Chehlaoui, founder of strategy think tank Colorblind, says consumers are not changing. But technology is presenting new ways to give them what they want

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Frida Chehlaoui. Founder of Colorblind

e BBM, Skype, Tweet, tag. No wonder smoke signals are long gone: They’re messy, complicated, and exclusive to the select few who know how to make them. Or so I’ve heard. So I’ve watched, read, and been told. I can always surf the Net and refute, validate, tweak, analyze, and challenge what I know. I can choose instead to learn about dragonflies’ courtship rituals. They, too, communicate, and so does – almost – everything else. Monkeys, bees, hyenas, ants, wolves, us. All social species have found ways to communicate, to share their knowledge, to pass on their knowledge to their offspring. Except some species are better at it: Throughout history, humans have constantly found faster, clearer, more accessible ways to communicate. It could be because we aim for quality of life instead of pure survival. Could be. It could be because the diversity within the species means more knowledge to store and spread. Could be. It could be that, all this time, the Internet was just waiting to happen. Could be. Still, despite the consistency in the evolution of information sharing, most players in the communications industry seem stunned, confused, frozen even, by what they call “the new advertising model.” So they use buzzwords such as “consumer engagement,” “brand conversations,” “digital natives,” and “buzzwords.” They flood the Web with papers, articles, and thoughts on how to adapt to the consumer of the 21st century. As if the Web – and its democratization of knowledge – came as a surprise. As if blogs – and their role in the proliferation of opinion leaders – were unexpected. As if peer-to-peer recommendations – and their representation of true value – came out of the blue. As if “brands must learn to adapt to the needs of the 21st century consumer” meant everything. Something.

Anything? A sob7yeh [morning coffee get-together] was where a woman would tell her friends about how good or bad her experience of a brand was. If she was a reference on the matter, if she was trusted, looked up to, or known to be objective, her friends would believe her, and do what she said. The sob7yeh was the great grandmother of blogs. Workers’ unions were thought of, and organized around, common needs and problems. By pooling knowledge and experience, by sharing similar ambitions and aspirations, the union gained power: the power to be heard, and the power to rise above a bland reality. With the ongoing increase in possibilities, combinations become endless, and today we “join this group.” When touchpoints were scarce, they were costly. One needed good enough reasons to go through the hassle of getting a message across. One needed a drive – toward higher sales, for example – so a brand was publicly evaluated by the slightly biased brand itself. But when everyone can share their personal experience for free and with many, when most have nothing to gain but the satisfaction of being truthful, consumers’ reviews and forums become the most effective ads. Data has always been accessed by those who can read. When scribes alone were literate, libraries were perceived as the privilege of the chosen few who could benefit from them. Today, most people can read, so we have Wikipedia. Needs don’t change. When Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,” he was not questioning the need for transportation. He was looking to technology to create a new possibility to answer an old need. That’s all brands need worry about. Ride on.

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Guest Opinion

New order It’s time to re-think the way we approach marketing challenges, says Karim Elias, regional planning director of Young & Rubicam

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ou may pause for a minute of silence. Advertising, as we know it, is dead. There will never be another Don Draper. We all know that today we need a new generation of Mad Men, that we need to revisit the way we work, broaden our horizons, and look at what is best for the brand, rather than the financial sheets in the short term. And to do this we must ask ourselves: Are we about producing TVCs, print and outdoor campaigns, and Web banners? Or are we about growing brands and sometimes creating them? Should we remain the executioners of ideas or move up to the next level and come up with creative solutions to business challenges?

We all want change. We have the ability to love, digest, and get amazed by worldwide campaigns, and cry out for an advertising revolution. We all wish the likes of Strawberry Frog and Fallon were present in our markets. Why? To educate clients, or to fortify ourselves, the brand guardians? The way information is created, published, and distributed has changed. The terms and conditions of the way we engage with consumers have changed. The complexity of the consumer has shot up. Keeping track of the evolution of consumers has become an almost impossible game. They are becoming a mass of personalities whose behavior is defined not by content, but context.

But pushing the limits and exploring new ideas are at the mercy of what sells and what makes the client happy, when the signature of brands should be derived from actual experiences delivered by the brand – rather than an empty, larger-than-life promise. How can we move up to the next level and start creating brand advocates? Brands today need to create experiences that will push people to talk about them – not through being solicited, but as an act of advocacy. Long gone are the days when advertising used to be a one-way information flow. It is the conversation with the consumer that creates a product with a story to tell – or, as I like to call it, a brand. Assessing the purpose of the brief is also an essential step away from spending money without a clear objective. The solution to every problem is not always in a print ad. Online is important, certainly, but don’t jump on it just because it is an “in.” Shouting messages in a cluttered outdoor scene, or even producing the best TVC, doesn’t always achieve the desired results, either. Too often we try to understand and answer briefs without questioning the content, thereby missing the problem. So break out of the comfort zone. Challenge the purpose of the brief. Face up to conventional media, and don’t get stuck with the mainstream channels. Our job is to help clients overcome business challenges, even to avoid them altogether. We should not work only to fill up airtime. When was the last time we conducted a fullday (or two-day, or three-day, or however long it takes) workshop with the marketing team and heads of units on the client side, to update ourselves on our brand status and reputation, and then agree on a strategic plan to move forward? We should not limit ourselves to communication, but naturally evolve to commercial creativity. Product extensions, creating new business lines, and enhancing store experiences are all part of our contribution to overall business performance. Consumer, oh dear, I understand your frustration. You have been misunderstood, underestimated, and let down. Unfortunately, keeping in touch with you and answering your needs requires a visa. Let’s talk, listen, film, and sketch those needs. The target audience is not always reached through strong consumer insight. A winning idea can be derived from a cultural insight, a product advantage, a category advantage, or by even bridging a communication gap.

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Blogosphere L

ebanon’s blogosphere is probably one of the most vibrant digital scenes in the region. Lebanese bloggers are many, dedicated, and very, very outspoken. Agencies are now turning to social media and online communities, listening intently to this direct feedback on how they are perceived. Here is what increasingly influential Lebanese bloggers – inside and outside our borders – have to say about local work and news.

They’re listening, and watching. The new year is off to a great start in the Lebanese blogosphere. It is evolving – bloggers are leaving, and new ones joining – with increasing interaction between participants, such as the contest on blogbaladi.com offering as a prize a book by fellow blogger Maya Zankhoul, who also provides cartoons for fellow blogger qifanabki.com. As the community builds, common interests keep arising: This month, the shutting down of the famous Gemayze Glass Café made the headlines on many blogs, unfortunately to no avail. On migh.info, Mireille Raad ends 2010 with a bang, venting her frustration at the Lebanese authorities for not being part of the regional Internet cable agreement. “Imagine it – it is going around us,” she fumes. http://migh.info/2010/12/ lebanese-govt-fuck-youlebanese-internet-userstake-another-blow/

Najib on blogbaladi.com (yes, them again) stumbled upon a curious board game going by the name of Lebanopoly. He would have bought it if it were not for the fact that “it is full of ads instead of reflecting all of Lebanon [...] so you go shopping at Fiordelli or pass by Byblos Bank, etc …” Advertising is indeed everywhere in Lebanon. http://blogbaladi.com/najib/ lebanon/lebanopoly-at-virginmegastores/

Nothing gets past plus961.com Rami’s eye undetected. The latest deal by mobile phone providers MTC Touch and Alfa, on their “Friends and Family” service offers customers a 30 percent discount. Rami just did the math and concluded “the decrease is in fact 23.6% instead of 30%. Couldn’t they have just advertised a decrease of 2025% instead of playing smart on their customers?” http://www.plus961.com/2011/01/05/

Mustapha on beirutspring.com informs us that broadcaster LBC officially announced it will “stop accepting ads that promote and market smoking, as of January 10, 2011.” If actually implemented, such a move is surely worth a follow-up, as it would be a first in the Lebanese media landscape. http://beirutspring.com/ blog/2011/01/06/lbc-banssmoking-on-premises-and-willstop-accepting-cigarette-ads/

Liveinleb.com, like several other Lebanese blogs, followed the latest Johnnie Walker campaign launched online by Leo Burnett, “Walk with [architect] Bernard Khoury,” and apparently fell head over heels for it. http://livinleb.wordpress. com/2010/12/14/go-viraland-keep-lebanon-walkingwith-johnnie-walker/

Krikor Ohannesian says on his eponymous blog he has been on Twitter since 2007. So he dissected the way Lebanese Tweet, coming up with a fun and “typical time line out of my imagination.” Spot on. http://krikor.info/?p=4454

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Media Work Saatchi & Saatchi’s Clay Pigeons shot: Clay pigeons have been shot at, struck by arrows, and kicked out of frustration. Thanks to Saatchi & Saatchi London, the latest attack a clay pigeon has faced is by a golf ball. They’ve done it in Dubai, and they’ve caught it on tape. In December 2010, the agency launched a follow-up challenge for the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) European Tour’s “Every Shot Imaginable” campaign. Second in the series of stunts aimed at testing golfing pros, this one

challenged four professional golfers to hit clay pigeons that were fired through the air – with a golf ball, of course. The series’ first stunt, the “200 Yard Gong Shot,” took place in Ireland in August. Golf pros had to hit a nine-inch target that was 200 yards away. “The European Tour hosts golf tournaments across the globe, with courses so varied that for a golfer to really succeed they need a special combination of imagination and shot-making ability, hence the

campaign idea,” reads a statement from Saatchi & Saatchi. With Dubai’s desert sand between them and a clay pigeon trap, professional golfers Thongchai Jaidee, David Horsey, Johan Edfors, and Simon “Chaka” Kahn battled it out to see who could hit the moving target. The stunt video captures the golfers’ attempts (mostly failed), reactions to the almost impossible challenge, and Kahn’s winning shot. “The focus was on creating content so compelling people can’t help but

share it,” says Saatchi. “For this reason it was essential that Clay Pigeons was 100 percent authentic, with no post-production trickery.” “Saatchi & Saatchi is actively seeding the Clay Pigeons content through social media platforms to target both broad and core audiences without any initial media spend. It was also featured on all Sky Sports channels and Sky Sports News,” it adds. The video is available on Everyshotimaginable.com and Every Shot Imaginable’s YouTube channel.

BMW’s subliminal message: BMW Germany is getting inside consumers’ heads by burning its logo onto the insides of their eyes. Using pioneering “flash projection” technology, BMW is testing a cinema spot in Germany that does not feature a visible logo. Instead, a bright photoflash occurs during the ad, and a few moments later viewers are asked to close their eyes. At this point, the audience sees an after-image of the brand that has been created by the flash. The letters “BMW” appear, in the same way you might see a bright spot if you’ve been looking at the sun and then closed your eyes. The flash projection spot was filmed in English, and BMW plans

to show it in other markets after the German trial, but has not yet decided where. The black-and-white ad, for the car’s motorbike division, Motorrad, stars BMW motorcycle racing driver Ruben Xaus, who came second in the world Superbike championships last year. As dramatic footage of Xaus riding a motorbike is shown, he talks about the questions people ask him about his daredevil racing, and explains he is living his dream. During this sequence, the audience experiences an unexplained and unexpected flash. Then Xaus tells the viewers, “Just close your eyes. Look deep into yourself. Maybe it’s your dream,

too. It’s in you. Close your eyes and you will see it.” He looks directly into the camera and commands, “Close them. Now.” As the audience obey, they see the BMW letters hovering inside their eyelids. The company says the flash is completely harmless. A BMW spokeswoman says, “We literally got inside people’s heads, involving them instead of boring them, and generating a more intensive connection to our target group. Our brand should be innovative, emotional, and dynamic.” German agency Serviceplan worked with BMW on the project, which is part of BMW’s “Welcome to Planet Power” campaign, targeting young potential bikers.

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Regional Work

Client: Siblou. Advertising Agency: Impact BBDO, Lebanon. Art Director: Zeina Nawar. Production and Post-Production: The Fantastic Film Factory.

Dubai Aquarium Client: Emirates NBD. Creative Agency: Fortune Promoseven, Dubai. Art Directors: Alaa Demachkie and Amr Aly. Copywriters: Sabeen Ahmed and Kamlesh Shankar. These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com

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Regional Work

Client: La Vache Qui Rit. Agency: Leo Burnett Dubai. Animation: Optix Digital Pictures. Dubai Producer: Andreea Gurbina. Creative Director: Sebastian Puhze. 3D Animation: Amin Faramarzeyan, Ramtin Ahmadi, Nicholas King, Geoffrey Dela Cruz, Firas Ershead.

Samsung: 24x optical zoom Advertising Agency: Impact BBDO, Lebanon. Executive Creative Director: Walid Kanaan. Creative/Art Director: Nancy Timani. Associate Creative Director and Copywriter: Florence Basseux. These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com

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International Work

Fresh and bright superheroes Client: Diesel. Advertising Agency: DoubleYou, Spain. Photographer: Robert Bartholot.

Never stop biting Client: Allianz Supplementary Dental Insurance. Advertising Agency: Atletico International, Germany. Creative Director: Waldemar Konopka. Art Director: Ron Oemus. Copywriter: Christopher Hoene. Designers: Wenke Schliesch and Kai Krause. These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com

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International Work

If you see an animal, you’re missing something. Client: WWF. Advertising Agency: Y&R, Milan, Italy. Executive Creative Director: Vicky Gitto. Art Director: Alessandro Stenco. Copywriter: Gabriele Caeti. Photographer: Maartje Jaquet.

Vintage denim from Killer. Advertising Agency: Grey, Mumbai, India. National Creative Directors: Amit Akali, Malvika Mehra. Art Director: Karan Rawat, Suhas Panchal. Copywriter: Rohit Malkani.

Builders of tomorrow. Client: Lego. Advertising Agency: Serviceplan, Munich, Germany. Executive Creative Director: Matthias Harbeck. Chief Executive Creative Director: Alex Schill. Creative Director: Oliver Palmer. Art Directors: Sandra Loibl and Julia Koch. Copywriter: Frank Seiler. Stylist: Frank Niedorff.

These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com

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Drive By One anonymous blogger critiques Beirut’s billboards. All these examples and more can be found at beirutdriveby.blogspot.com

read my Lips Many women appear to have “fish lips” after trying to make theirs plumper – but really, that’s not a reason to make fun of them.

sign language Let’s hope you get it right or you may get a different finger with a whole new message.

Bon temps Bonne chance convincing her these bonbons are better than the bijoux she wanted.

fire starter Do you miss the days of burning tires in protest? This is the perfect fireplace for you. Renew your hate with every blaze. Throw in a few rubber tire chips for that authentic aroma. RPGs sold separately.

Developing country Luckily, the resources of the Lebanese people are deep-rooted.

Verbal abuse Is briding? Was briding? Will be briding? Has been briding? Had been briding? Will have been briding? Verbal abuse hurts everyone. Please don’t abuse verbs.

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Communicate Levant | Feb 2011  

Communicate Levant is a regionalized edition of the five-year-old Communicate magazine. It is a monthly magazine covering media, marketing a...

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