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grafitti "Keep your coins, I want change"So you may have had enough of hearing this word, or are probably immune to the meaning behind it. Let’s see how powerful it would be to apply the same in the world of Advertising and Communications.

Anyone who worked in Advertising/PR will probably drone for hours about how clients think they know what s best for them , and how frustrating it is when campaigns do not generate expected results, or simply how thin the line is between a great success and miserably failed Ad.

I ve presented this solution to different Advertising/PR professionals, and it has never been met with anything less than an “AHA!” reaction. Reason being: it is simple yet profound: Change things up.

Benjamin Franklin wrote:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…

Advertising folks like to admit that they’re outside the norm. Crazy, you say? Maybe. More like non-conformists. We live by the only code which is: NO CODE.

But when it comes to generating results, attitudes are different. You can t afford to be too crazy (or Insane as Ben Franklin quotes above). Simply put, if you keep applying the same method /concept / approach you should not expect to get better/different results.

In a broad sense this has several implications for Ad folks. For example, if Brand X uses the same general platform for too long it risks two things: people get bored quickly or people simply get attached to the platform and will refuse the new platform.

Solution: Change things up.

If your research is not bringing you closer to the consumer, change your tools. Go out and be the consumer.

If your brief is not inspirational enough, break it down and use a different template.

If your media choice is not generating interest, explore alternative media.

If your client refuses to invest in a bigger campaign, change your selling technique or upgrade your negotiation tactics.

Simply put, same behavior generates same results.

The next time you feel inertia against a new idea by a client, just remember Ben Franklin’s statement – it is simply insane to expect your results to change if you continue doing the same things.

Go ahead. Change it up.

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BIO: Khaled Itani is an ex-AdMan with an MBA in Marketing from the American University of Beirut. With years of Advertising/Communications experience from Grey Beirut and JWT, Khaled is currently a Client Services Manager for a leading North American e-Commerce firm.

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Read Khaled Itani’s Previous Guest Posts:

And also, read other Guest Posts on the Identity Chef.

For some weird reason, I do not know how he does it, but Khaled always ends up sending emails into my inbox with precisely the answers to the questions that are on my mind, drawing from his personal experience and whatever rubbed off on him during his years as an Ad-man. Thank you Khaled for inspiring me and unknowingly satisfying my curiosities. It is an honor to share it on the Identity Chef.
So guys I am interested in what you think, what’s your perspective?

via ivysays.comToday, IVY was giving dating advice on twitter and asking people for feedback on her make a move rose giveaway and planning a tweetup dinner.

Yesterday, at the table, we sat arguing for around 20 minutes whether IVY is real or not.

The whole week before, people were passionately interacting with IVY on twitter…

Two weeks ago, Ivy registered to attend a tweetup and blogged about it.

And the truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t care if IVY is real or not. We should be happy that companies have finally understood the language of digital natives and is creating campaigns that resonate and interact with us, as well as the other poor mere mortals. After EXOTICA’s  unexciting Different Christmas campaign, that even failed to point us to the blog on their billboards, Leo Burnett, Exotica’s ad agency,  reviewed all of its mistakes and came up with something with a phenomenal snowball effect. Yes, as I said before my friends, social media marketing is sparking to life in the middle east and you are either with us, or eaten by the competition.

Things to learn from Exotica’s IvySays Project.

1- Give and you shall receive

The IVY we have come to know and love is a giver. She started by giving us dating advise, which though we may not all apply, but we all loved and we felt compelled single people everywhere felt compelled to try out Ivy’s moves and then… Ivy slipped a rose into our hands and made it all the more easier. Think about your clients, think about what they need. And even if you are B2B business, think: Do your they need education, help, comfort, care, empowerment? All of us do, don’t we? Now how can you use all that your expertise to help them, regardless of your product?

2-Engage and you shall be engaged

Before IVY got to her first post, she got a twitter account and after that, she did not just re-tweet her own posts, she replied to people, she talked to them, shared her opinions on outside issues, gave them advice and encouragement. There was no pushing her message or asking for anything for herself. That is why, when IVY asked questions she got enormous feedback, even from those who were in doubt about her true identity. And that is value you will not be able to leverage unless you create a genuine online persona [not to be confused with a retweet bot].

3-Go where they go, do what they do!

Ivy blogged about various creeks and corners in Beirut, be in Kayan, Greedy Goose or Le Grey, and that is what made her connect and resonate with her audience. Ivy did not blog about flowers she blogged about fashion, make-up, glamor, plastic surgery, national pride, chocolate- SUGAR, SPICE and EVERYTHING NICE – and we all like nice things.  Then again, she went to twitter to reach digital natives and, mind you,  she even guest blogged and re-blogged it on her own site. Did IVY ask girls to go to EXOTICA to get the flowers? No, they went out to  the most up and coming place – Gemmayze, Achrafieh and Hamra. The only thing that could’ve been done differently would be  giving out roses all around Lebanon, and not just Beirut.

4-Empower and you shall be empowered

Even if they did not comment, retweet or send emails, thought they actively do, with every dating tip IVY empowered ladies to take actions. Girls, being the gossip machines they are, would discuss it – which means GOING VIRAL offline. And then again with every rose given out to a guy Exotica created a positive sentiment, that is teh first step to along lasting relationship, not with the guy, but with the brand. And come 2011 I expect more girls to send out flowers to beau’s, and now, not because they[roses] are free, but because it makes them feel good. And this is the golden key to any successful brand. And did I mention the publicity, Ivy’s campaign is getting from mainstream media?

5-Going against the current and bringing the currents together

There are two stakeholders in any relationship – MAN & WOMAN. Exotica’s outdoors visuals empowered men, by teasing them with images of women they could have had in 2o09 if only they were brave enough. While Ivy, took a less traditional approach, and she looked to empower women. Mind you, women are not traditionally the ones we think first of when we think about selling flowers, right? But then again, I have seen countless times flowers being delivered to men at our offices from girlfriends, wives or wanna-bes. And then again, think of it, if a girl gives a guy one rose before valentine, and the guy likes the girl, on Valentine he will get her no less than a bouquet and what will his 1st choice be? Certainly EXOTICA. So you see, by bringing people together and spreading love Exotica may actually have record sales on February 14.

Finally,  I want to congratulate Exotica on the Brilliant Initiative and hope that IVY , whoever she is, continues blogging even after February 14, otherwise the digital natives all around, both those who think IVY is Real and Fake, will feel beguiled and disappointed.

Googling I found this song called IVY SAYS, I wonder if it had anything to do with the origin of the campaign.

HSBC world's local bank business adHSBC world's local bank business ad

Check out the previous installment where HSBC addresses the traveler in you.

Last week, when we were in Jordan, my prince charming  and I had a whole 15 minutes prowling around the hotel room and shoving out camera and mobile chargers into all the three-wholes sockets with hope of energizing our appliances. And hasn’t every traveler gone through that?

And that stretch to the inner ‘aha moment’, that establishes a positive interaction and sentiment is what makes this ad simply genius!

HSBC think local act global ad electrical switches hsbc the world's local bank advertisement sockets

Eid Al Adha, in unfortunately one of the feasts disregarded by a lot of corporate marketers, in their communication strategies. Nevertheless, if you do concentrate on it your PR you will receive larger exposure and sentiment for that same reason.

This time around, unlike Fitr and Ramadan, the collection of cards is small but elegant.

Brand Embassadors Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

Corporate Adha Card

I don’t know if you have noticed, but Blue is always the prevalent color in corporate communication. Of course, partially that is due to the fact that many companies’ corporate identities are blue.  But i believe there is also a psychological reason for that.

If you have received any other greeting cards, please forward them to me.

A Belated Happy Adha to all my Readers!

Mastercard installation ad in istambul airport

This goes to show that even if you work in marketing, even if you are remotely involved in any of its functions, your mind gets rewired. And now you are always on the lookout for how others are grasping their branding opportunities. At around 6 in the morning, after a 3 hour flight to Istanbul, while my prince charming was simply looking for our bag, which would later turn out to be lost somewhere in the hidden dungeons of Turkish Airlines’ storage facilities…I was thinking of how to get a good snap of this installation to put on my back then non-existent blog…And now that i’m frantically jamming that same suitcase for an impeding trip to Jordan, I thought I’d break my silence and, hopefully, entertain you. 🙂

*Male readers,  passionless for shoes, do comment about subjects that move you & I’ll try my best to find a guest blogger on that matter… but take a peak I believe you’ll still be interested…

bianco

Remind me to someday show you a photo of my [our, technically, but over 75% of the closet and the floor and the boxes over the closet… belong to me] shoe closet! In the last two weeks I became the proud owner of not one, not two, but FOUR pairs (!!!) bianco shoes and two clutch bags… And I must say in my defense that, usually, I shop in moderation (one pair every 2-3 months) but massive amounts of sales and good shoes put together are just like absinthe to me!

So anyway I decided to check out what this brand is made of marketing wise, because usually it is hard to find clever shoe advertising, and ,my oh my, I was up for a treat! I’ll let the gallery and movie speak for themselves now!





Another thing I loved is the bianco shoes contest that has the ultimate shoe lover’s dream prize : ALL THE SHOES YOU CAN CARRY OUT F THE STORE! The contest asks participants to submit their feet’s photos! And there are a lot of interesting entries you should check out! The contest closes in end November so await an update!

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You can buy bianco shoes in Lebanon in Sports et Loisir and  Dunes Verdun. If you know other places please share.

marcelline5o12

Kept wondering about the origin of this creative e-mailer, then I saw the Billboards and my curiosity was spurred even further. The answer was simple the Dbayeh* Marcellina is a franchise to a successful Australian chain. Anyway, if you happen to be in the area print out the above voucher for a free desert (up till November 09) and share your impressions.

 I praise the internet Gods for this  age that we live in! An age  in which one can extend a call-out to anyone and be answered. Remember I sent out an inquiry to Cedar’s Premium regarding their Kazouza drink? … Well graciously, Mr. Joseph Najm , the AGM Cedar’s Premium SAL, has been very helpful in giving me full disclosure & replying to my nosy questions throughout a series of emails. And not only is the Kazouza mystery uncovered,  but I have also been able to get a sneak preview of his company’s plans for the future and the overall brand philosophy.

 Turns out the are 3 more elusive flavors, which we haven’t stumbled upon yet, totaling to a magical octagon: orange, lemon ice, pink lemonade, watermelon, strawberry melon, grenadine lime, tamarind and berry mix. And Mr. Najm says that the drink can be found in many supermarkets and minimarkets, however it will be a while before it will be distributed to all shops. So you’d better watch out, and inform me of locations of sightings 🙂

 As we all were guessing, the product’s mission is to take us back in time with a twist, ” Kazouza 1941 is the nostalgic, yet renewed,  Lebanese product/brand with varied and innovative flavors and a unique bottle shape differentiating it from available products in the market. It was decided to name the brand Kazouza 1941 to be true to our positioning of an authentic Lebanese product.” But what we did not know was the source of the magic numbers 1941, but be clueless no longer as Joseph explains, “1941 was the year “Kazouza” product was launched under the “Najem” brand; it was the first bottled soft drink in Lebanon, as the Sprite or 7Up lemon lime today.  And Cedar’s Premium is a new company owned by the descendants of Najem in 1941.”

 And with an eye on the future and a proud smirk on his face ( I can only presume that this is what was taking place behind his laptop’s screen), Joseph leaves us expecting more by adding, “Cedar’s Premium will launch in the near future other typical Lebanese products/brands such as but not limited to Jalloul which will have a different target segment and packaging.”

 

I think it is a beautiful story of rebirth of a family business, especially that I am a sucker for all nostalgic products. And I would once again like to thank Mr. Joseph Najm, for the attention he has given me, by taking his time away from strategic planning and marketing to satisfy a blogger’s curiosity.

 

P.S. I know I have been a bad blogger lately, as I am being drawn back to my work routine and the tasks are building up.