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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.

Haven’t we all got used to the “one page of content / one page ad” ratio in all our periodicals. Most of the time you start subconsciously to focus only on the left hand side pages, completely ignoring the sponsored content. Sometimes we just glance at the photos, as a visual distraction to text and completely ignore any content. As a believer in new media I often wonder about the returns of ads in print media. Do they really justify the costs? Don’t get me wrong, I love the print, the glitter of colors on pulp, the slithering of leaves… * But it does not get as many eyeballs as it did before. Your executive / target buyer is really buying the magazine for content, he has no time, he reads the content he wants to read and then goes off to his emails, rss feeds, reports… even fashionista’s are not so easy to seduce these days…

Oh well, I have veered from the subject, the second best way to get people engaged in your ad, besides giving them a freebie or a discount, creating a teaser ad. Curiosity is a drive and people will readily flip to the next spread just to see what’s going on. Works on all of us, even the snobbiest execs. And this what EFG Hermes are counting on.

Now, Tell me what you think!

{some see aim for the top}

{We consider it as our launching point}

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* But the environmentalist in me wants the print dead or at least wants to see it be more sustainable, and the rationalist in me says that digital natives will take over the world in the upcoming 20 years which will drastically change the Print Media. But of course the consumerist in me LOVES the Print as it knows far too well all the intricacies of what it takes to Print and to Print well.

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. 🙂

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.

Interesting Recruitment ad Speed In

It might not be as creative aslast week’s ad but it certainly is a nice teaser! And when looking for unique talents companies need to play naughty to be noticed 🙂

rbeiz1

I think this ad will have a great response rate, as it enhances engagement and eliminates any reservations a respondent may have .

It is obviously screaming at you : ” We will give you creative reign, we appreciate creativity and humor, we have a very friendly atmosphere…”

 

This is one of a kind, don’t you think?

It is that time of the year when companies must decide on their end of the year gifts. Gifts which will enhance the company’s brand identity and stay a constant reminder to its receiver of the company’s message and generosity!

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Waseet BirdBear

First I saw the banners on the streets, then the Ad in Al Balad, and now today’s Waseet came in a plastic (!) bag with a bird and a bear…

So it is confirmed then, Waseet, the Arab Classifieds’s newspaper & webportal, is the latest to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Waseet is  pledging to plant a tree with the publishing of each issue, which is about two trees a week. Waseet’s ‘partner in crime’ is Akhdar Deyim who has had a lot of hype this year, as I have found out, receiving donations from BBAC, MTC & Casino du Liban, to name a few.

The copywriting of the ads is very successful and roughly translates to: “Our nature loves the mediator (which in arabic is ‘Waseet’), with every issue out a tree goes up.”

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