June 2010

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Image showing second hand smokers as hoover heads sucking in smoke

The visual is AMAZING and spot on. So far this is the only visual I have been able to find related to this specific campaign, below is an image from an earlier campaign they did. What I would LOVE to see in the future is how would they tackle the issue of Arguileh second hand smoke, an issue not covered so far in any campaign, although it is a very serious issue in Lebanon.

These visuals are part of a campaign lauched by the Lebanese Public Health Ministry in collaboration with al Azem Wal Saade association. So far I have only seen these in a magazine, although the tobacco control website said the campaign will be across all media channels starting June, but we’re not here to talk about that.

Sercond Hand Smoke is deadly - Campaign by the lebanese Government

Let me know what you think, and read other posts I have written about the smoking ban.

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Lesson #1: Your audience is ever more demanding!


While watching the first football game of the World Cup:

- my father in Law: Damn this transmission has degraded, before they used to show the name of the player who has the ball and info about him, zoom into the player’s faces more when they replay, replay the goals better…

- my brother in law: Dad, this is on Playstation 2, not in ‘the real’  Fifa

Yes, we are getting more spoiled with new multimedia technologies, traditional media have to provide more information rich data, better interactivity options and more sharing opportunities. In short we want to be better informed and more involved and we expect you to do something about it!

Lesson #2: The Stakeholders Expect You to React FAST!

A day into world cup and everyone is complaining about these darn Vuvuzela’s. Three days into the world Cup and Germany filters out Vuvuzela noises to spare the fans. A couple days more Britain Joins and people start petitioning for banning the Vuvuzela( with over 300,000 fans on facebook and counting) . Add a couple of days and an app that adds vuvuzela noises to sites that filter them is created following the de-vuvuzelaing applets!

Needless to say, your clients will expect the same response rates from you!

Lesson #3: Do not forget about unexploited niches

For instant, women  have to suffer while their prince charming enjoys row after row of football matches day in day out for a whooole month.   So while everyone is gold mining the idea of the big flat screens to display the World Cup, why don’t you capitalize on the opposite – making your place a haven for football haters?

This Le Mall ad may be an attempt at just what I’m talking about, but I hate the fact that it belittles women. As a woman  I would not identify with it and will consider it an attempt to trick me into going to Le Mall and being stuck watching football, rather than showing me a clear exit path  – The “learn about football so people do not make fun of you” message VERSUS  the ” while he is watching football break loose and shop” message I would like to hear.

So you see, there is a real propitious niche there, that your competitors are not exploring. And let us not forget about children, where do people with children leave kids to go watch the games? You say grandparents, I say create a replacement product…There are a millions of ideas and campaigns buried in unrealized consumer demand in your market too-  Be creative, we’re expecting no less!

My personal favorites in this regard is the above Macy Gray video clip and this great post by Maya Zankoul.

Lesson #4: Shamelessly exploit trends?

I am not even gonna go into the myriad of brilliant and so and so ads, campaigns and offers linked to the world cup. Yes it is a good tactic. Yes, it will help you not stay behind, but if you truely wanna innovate, go back to point 3.

Lesson #5: We are watching You, and we have everything ON RECORD!

One of the first big time fxxx-ups in this world cup was the British Goalkeeper giving a slip to the ball, right after catching it. Man, it was a media circus at my in-law’s house. With the whole family lividly replaying his walk of shame and lively commenting how his career is over. And all of this replicated across millions of households in reaction to a slip of a man who by default can not catch all the balls shot at him. So Imagine what your Stakeholders will do if YOU slip up!

Have you learned any new marketing lessons from the world cup, let me know!?

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The Lebanese Centre of Human Rights (CLDH) in collaboration with other NGO’s, is organizing a HUMAN CHAIN in front of the Parliament building (Place de l’Etoile) in Downtown on 25/6/10 from 10:00hrs onwards to pay its respects to those who have endured the unimaginable” and raise public awareness on these human rights abuses.

All are welcome to join to make the voices stronger!

Stand together for a world free from violence and torture!

For more info about June 26 campaign:

You can join the World Without Torture Facebook Group

or you can check IRCT website

If you are a Blogger you can consider joining  the International Day in Support of Torture Victims network on Bloggers Unite

SPAM on Linked IN

Hasn’t taken them that long, has it?

Link to me on Linked In

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Tomorrow, Parliament is scheduled to vote on a new E-Transactions law that could have terrible implications for the Lebanese economy and for professional and personal privacy. To date, private sector and civil society have not been allowed to comment on the the law.

Among the articles of concern are:

  • Article 92, saying anyone providing online services must apply for a license. Result: More paperwork, more bureaucracy, more delays, less revenue.
  • Article 82, allowing for the warrantless search and seizure of financial, managerial, and electronic files, including hard drives, computers, etc. Result: The government has pre-approval to seize your company and personal assets and information, without cause.
  • Article 70, establishing the Electronic Signature & Services Authority, a new regulatory and licensing body with practically unchecked powers. Result: Another agency, who can make or break your organization at their whim.

We may need some regulations on doing online business in Lebanon. But, unless the key stakeholders can comment on the law, it will be one-sided, flawed, and dangerous to the economic prospects of Lebanon and the privacy of your daily life.
ACT NOW! Many deputies are rallying against this law but want to hear your voice. Ask your MP to postpone the vote on the E-Transactions Law, pending a public review.

Here are quick and easy ways you can help:

  • Call your Member of Parliament and urge them to postpone the vote, pending a public review period.
  • Forward this message to your colleagues, family, and friends—anyone who uses the Internet will be affected!
  • Post on the Facebook Pages of your MP, calling on them to postpone the vote, pending a public review period.
  • Join the Stop This Law Facebook Page.
  • If you’re a journalist or blogger, consider writing a short post highlighting the potential pitfalls of the law.

image via mayazankoul.comimage via mayazankoul.com

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memoirs of a housewifeMemoires of a housewifememoires of a housewife

Last week end Lara has visited us at our new apartment to take photos with the vintage items left behind by the old apartment owners. Little did I know that I will be part of the photo shoot too.  Anyways, here are a couple of the photos from the shoot, and this is what came out of it. I am n love with these old items, and their design and wish i could keep every single thing in that house frozen in time. They just do not make things that way any more… right?

And do not forget to subscribe to Lara’s photo stream and follow her on twitter.

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dogshow in beirut on june 19th 2010dog show in beirut june 19 2010

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Green Interventions Nadine Feghali and Dima Boulad decided to take their frustration with the lack of urban planning and green spaces in Beirut to the next level with a “Green Intervention”. In 9 spots around Beirut, the installations shout out their call for change.

The public intervention was up 6am on friday june 4th 2010, for World’s Environment Day.

Check it out for yourself ! Here’s a map of the 9 spots in Beirut.
The Two Designers - Dima and Nadine with their creations - Green interventions

Big props up for the girls on their fabulous idea, which breaks up the space giving us the little piece of green we need. I am hoping to see many more green interventions  and interesting projects :) But in the meantime, help spread the word to help get them across to those in power and melt through their complacency.
And keep your fingers crossed no one will decide to nick these lovely creations :)
Imagine if every person contributed just 4 meters of green, be it a a balcony, a flower pot…
So what have you been doing to create a better environment?

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So you walk all uptight past that revolving door, get your bag from the security scan, up the escalator you go stepping on that posh weird carpet Phoenicia Intercontinental has and someone points you to a really insignificant glass door, a typical hotel glass door really…. you open it… and everything turns to purple, and it is a completely different piece of cake… That’s Amethyste!

The Atmosphere?

After sunset, you step into candle light and submerge into wonderful purple light… the music is soft and relaxing, but not sleep-inducing, rather entrancing. I guess my love of all things purple and its use in color therapy makes you slightly biased. It is not the place for wild partying, or coming all dress upped to check who is doing whom, wearing what… It is a good place for intimate … “me” and “us” time…

The areas is divided into different seating formats – there is the pool side, the area with the breathtaking sea view, the shisha couches, the bar…

The place is good for talks as the music, though mixed by very famous DJ does not overpower, and allows you to fill it in with your own lyrics… Special smells envelope you in a mixture of the plants growing, the sea breathe and a light caramel residue of the shisha tobacco whiffs (unlike the awful ones commonly encountered)… The staff are very amicable and friendly, so no up-tightness there either.

Amethyste lounge in phoenicia intercontinenetal beirut Amethyste Lounge Bar via @uxsouphttp://thisisbeirut.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/amesthyste-space-28.jpg?w=405&h=302

The Tastes?

I guess I should start by saying that at Amethyste, the food is served as though it were a performance. Final steps of some dishes are performed right in front of your eyes, the kebab comes with a small mangal with coals and is unraveled by a waiter from  underneath a sheath of markouk bread all in an theatrical and yet subtle manner. with  All of this adds to the magical atmosphere.

As you can see the presentation of the dishes is very nontraditional and colorful, with great pops of color. The table set and the cutlery is also extremely intricate with wonderful surprising twists…
When it comes to the taste though, I expected it to pop more and surprise me with flavor boldness. But it did not. Nevertheless, I need to say that I dropped in after a dinner at Chopsticks… Then again I would guess you would go to Amethyste for the atmosphere rather than the food,because no one would go to White after tasting their bland overly priced food. And still my expectations after the great presentation were so high that I could not help feeling a bit disappointed. The meals are quite small, so once again it is an experience rather than a dining place.

The drinks were pretty cool, and the ice cream deserts were quite good too. Have also been told that the shishas  served at Amethyst have very special blends and flavors, so try it if you are into that kind of thing.

The food at Amethyste Lounge - Mozarella and WatermelonSalmon At Amethyste lounge via @uxsoup Shisha Lounge space at Amethyste

When should you go there?

Go to Amethyste in the evening to have the full experience, as I doubt it will be as magical in day light.

If you are in Lebanon for a vacation, this the place to visit on your last evening in Beirut, it will help you amass all of your experiences in one final exotic punch.

If you are at very important stage in your life when you have a very critical decision, drop in to see the world in perspective.

When you are meeting old friends, whom you have not met in a really long while, this is a very intimate place for conversations.

If you are ready to pop the question, to your better half, do it gazing into the sunset diving into the sea, and no matter how commitment phobic your partner is, their guards would most probably be down in Amethyste.

And finally, don’t disregard the place for critical business meetings, especially for business partners from abroad, so far this is one of the best places for this kind of thing it the Beirut nightlife scene, and I am always on the lookout for these.

You Can check all the Amethyste Menu’s Below:

The Pool Menu:

The Cocktail Menu

The Main Menu

Also check reviews by fellow bloggers:

- This Is Beirut: The Opening & Hump Day at Amethyste

- Uxsoup’s Review of Amethyste

- Lilo’s Review of Amethyste

- Star Scene Photo Report from the opening night

I will leave you with the “official” description of the lounge from the Phoenicia Intercontinental Site:
Améthyste pool lounge will soon become the number one night destination in Beirut with an artistic vibe and Oriental international influences fused together in a purple haze. Locals and visitors may feast in the visual vista, quench their thirst and delight their palate in a relaxed and vital atmosphere. Améthyste features the largest selection of unique Tequila and Rum from all over the world.
Location:  In Hotel – Main Lobby Level – Outdoor Pool & Terrace.
Telephone: +961-1-369100

And don’t forget to let me know what you think :)

Images used via @uxsoup & @meinlebanon

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Ted X Green Beirut on June 4th

Where: Green Party of Lebanon Offices in DT Beirut, Building of TGIF, 3rd floor
When: Friday, June 4 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The event promises to be very interesting, showcasing the most interesting TED environmental talks, as after all it will be happening on the World Environment Day (WED). See you there!

Follow @tedxgeenbeirut on twitter and  Facebook .

You can also follow livetweets from the event with the #TEDxGB hashtag.

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