October 2009

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The last AFDC ad was so magical , beautiful and mysterious. It grabbed you and engaged you , but most importantly it stuck! And I was so disappointed to see this!

afdc new adafdc new ad0001

Sometimes I feel like an overly critical person. I especially hate criticizing good causes, but I can’t help it.

One of my hobbies is going to random trade fairs and collecting marketing materials, and the most common mistake is too much text in combination with a non compelling design. Brevity is the soul of wit, especially in the modern advertising world, admittedly you can and must use text , but you must know how to make your reader want to read it. My favorite mental exercise is taking such marketing materials and thinking of ways to make it more compelling. Sometimes it is very simple, using more, or better images and using some text formatting techniques that break up the text and increase white space to make the overall impression less daunting.

Don’t push your message, because then your reader will just react by :”I don’t want to read this!”. And a lot of the time, when I see brochures, though I know that I need to read them, professionally , on a personal level that message flashes in my head, and even if I do read, I do not concentrate hard enough.

On the other hand, I do realize how hard it is to achieve that perfect balance between  design and content, I faced it in my work on too many times. And the designer in this case, most of the time, has a bigger role in making it powerful, than the content/copy writer. And such ‘communication artists’ who grasp this concept and work together with the content producer are very rare to find in my experience.

[Images published in 24:30 Magazine]

*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…


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!


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

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I found this little beauty in last month’s Executive Magazine. I am half certain that I have seen this concept before in some design handbook, but one must admit its interactive and very effective!


After you take off the business card you, the message reads:

“If not you can remain in a business of wasted opportunities where clients complain which will lead to your employees resigning. You won’t get any bonuses. You wide will stop hosting dinner parties. You will sell the Chalet, the sports car and the golf kit. then before you know it your family will be living on discount coupons.

The only thing that I don’t like is that it does not convey the fact that Terra Biz is part of Terra Net and the services they offer are internet related.

If you’ve seen any of its predecessors , tell me!

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Did you know that smoking in public places was banned in Syria?

And it is about time we stop chain smoking, or second hand smoking, in Lebanon as well.


Over 1700 have already signed this petition, but that is not enough, join in the forces!

On another note, 35 bars & pubs in Gemmayze will be having a non-smoking day tomorrow, 28 October.

[Image Courtesy of Maya Zankoul's Amalgam.]

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What I love about Beirut is the Multitude of various cultural events that happen haphazardly and are free to the general public.  For the second year the League of Lebanese Graduates from Greek Universities are organizing a Greek Film Festival at Empire Sofil, with a Free Entry. Isn’t that cool?



You can check the program below, but the names of the movies and the actors, would not say much to you:) The organizers are also promising round table discussions, and film critique at the event.



Wednesday 28 Octobre
Thursday 29 Octobre:
20h:00 “WHEN FISH FLY de Vilka TZOURAS”
Friday 30 Octobre:
20h:00 “HAPPY NEW YEAR,MOM! de Irina BOÏKO”
20h:40 “EL GRECO de Iannis SMARAGDIS”
Saturday 31 Octobre:
16h:00 “HAPPY NEW YEAR,MOM! de Irina BOÏKO”
19h:05 “EL GRECO de Iannis SMARAGDIS”

Source: League of Lebanese Graduates from Greek Universities

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I hate for books to sit around unused, makes me feel guilty that they are not fulfilling their ultimate purpose. I got this book as a present from one of my colleagues who is really into mind maps, and decided to get me a book of my own instead of lending me his. And since I was too lazy to exchange it at Virgin, and naively thought I would read it, it has now been proudly perched on a shelf for over two years.

Tony Buzan, is said to have groundbreaking techniques that will expand you consciousness, but his techniques did not work for me, because my mind does not work that way, simply. But,  maybe you’ll get more out of it. As I said, the book is almost completely new, besides a small crease in the corner of the front cover, which is inevitable for paperbacks.

For a chance to get this book just leave a comment on this post. There’s only one condition, the pickup of the book needs to b either in Beirut or Tripoli (well I’ll go as far as somewhere in Lebanon).

So try out your luck, if you don’t like it, you might also pass it on to a friend.

Read full book review here.

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Tabbouleh & Hommos ( World's largets plates

There has been a lot of criticism towards the reasons behind this Guinness record, but, as frivolous as they may be, I’d rather see Lebanon making the headlines on such lighthearted grounds rather than news of bombings, wars and terrorism. That is why, regardless of the stubborn competitiveness of the Lebanese Industrialists Associations I say: “Make Tabbouleh, humus, kebbeh… or anything you may, but DON’t make war!” And maybe we all should look at it that way.

Our country needs the extra positive promotion, now more than ever, and despite all of our political differences, food always brings the Lebanese together.

The Tabbouleh

Yesterday, I passed by the Largest Tabbouleh, very shortly. I do not think Chef Ramzi was very proud of this Tabbouleh. The parsley was anything but finely chopped, and the remaining ingredients were floating inside the lemon, olive mix. Hence, I called it Tabbouleh Soup.

I can say that a lot of good ingredients went to waste, 1600 kg of parsley to start with. You can check out all the ingredients that went into the giant Hommos & Tabbouleh plates, as well as classical tabbouleh & hommos recipes here. What I did not understand how 1600 kgs of parsley plus 1500 kgs of tomatoes plus all the other ingredients, make for only 3000 kgs? Is there so much waste?

Some nice photos of the ‘making of ‘ on Star Scene.

Final Words of wisdom off the record

Waseet: It is great that you are planting trees, but its un-cool to distribute flyers, printed on virgin paper (without ecological certification) to promote it.

People: Littering is un-cool, even if you know there will be someone cleaning after you. Would you act like that in your homes?

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coaching for parents

What do you think of this?

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I am developing a particular liking to the fact that not a week passes by, when there isn’t one or two twitter related events. Twiendships are formed on the basis of like-mindedness, and geographical coexistnce allows for the next step! I hope to see one day the extend twiendship goes as being a support system, but so far we’re having a great time, aren’t we?

Well this time we met over at Cafe Younes.



Then a small fraction of us went on to Pecha Kucha.


This is LaraZ taking her picture of the day! [that is how magic is born]


And let me tell you something, well you already know that, but I’m gonna say it anyhow – Maya in the comics is really Maya!  I do not know how she does her magic, she has tremendous introspection to convey every bit of her, including her mimics ( yes really the body language of Maya the cartoon is Maya’s), onto her character. It startled me a lot this time around… it really startled me and I developed a new found fascination! So she’s really a communication artist!


Well anyway, here’s Maya’s take on all of this:)


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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.

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