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UPDATE: Leo Burnett won Cannes Lions silver for this campaign.Check the full campaign recap video below. Thumbs UP!  (The reach numbers seem a bit high to me though)

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Initially Published March 18

After an extremely dull strain of flash microsites and lame sweepstakes comes a completely refreshing SOCIAL social media campaign from Leo Burnett, that provides a unique and personalized message and is also 100% related to the cause at hand. To think that all of this time when I was raging that ad agencies DO NOT GET IT that influencers want to be ENGAGED they got IT !!!

 

It all started a few days ago when I found a friend request on my facebook from a “Darine Sabbah” who also had MY profile photo. Immediately I posted for all my friends to report this person and reported him/her myself. Friends rages, some said its a spam bot and that others have been hit too, a friend called me to check if I am OK, another said I must be pretty famous to be impersonated…  whilst I stayed bewildered that the profile is still up.

And a few minutes ago I found what it is all about and it is so bewilderingly brilliant, that after my long round of silence and amidst my crazy commitments to Twestival Beirut (and instead of writing a post about that) I am writing a post about this.

So the secret was revealed when I got the following two Private Messages on Facebook.

brand protection group campaign direct message one - the closest thing to you may be fake brand protection group campaign - direct message

Do I need to rave more about how insightful this campaign was?I would’ve probably created you some nice bullet list and a great deal of reasoning packed into 500 words or so, if I had the time, but I think you guys can go ahead and build it on your own, in the comments below.

 

So be ware “The closest things to you might be fake”. It’s time to take action.

P.S. What I did not like though that the PMs came from a from Brand PGs facebook user account and that that account is a closed account with little info and there is no Facebook Page for Brand protection.

 

P.S.2 The funny thing is that I got a Press Release from Leo Burnett a few days earlier about what they were doing for the campaign and tehre was a slight mention of facebook, but i completely disregarded it thinking it will be same old ads + page. I almosty feel like calling this “guerrilla social media” …

 

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You all remember Samer Karam’s brainchild @cooki3man, which was the first twitter based business model. Through @cookieman you could order cookies baked according to Samer’s secret recipe via DM ( and later on via email). And whilst the business was quite successful and many were jumping to place orders and batches were running out fast, legend has it Samer’s oven broke down and he moved back to more serious and less sugar rush inducing endeavors.

 

But it seems there is another business that is willing to explore the power of twitter’s word of mouth business growth.

 

Having been punked by the Brand Protection Group Campaign recently, having @taxilb adding near April 1st, did not speak in their favor, as I am as cautious as ever.  But indeed I am curious and have been watching them interact online stirring quite a commotion amongst the twittershphere with their value proposition.

 

Taxi Lb order a taxi via twitter

 

 

 

And some of their posts are plain hilarious:

Taxi Lb order a taxi via twitter

 

It does not seem that any one has tried them out yet, but their rates sound very reasonable and their online persona is very bubbly.

Quite interestingly, the business started with an twitter account before even launching the website.

Taxi Lb order a taxi via twitter

 

Well that is all I know for now, but of course  I am full of questions wanting to know who is behind this service and how the business is going so far and if anybody has used it.

 

Lets keep looking, maybe next time I have to take my car for maintenance I will try them out!

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When I was little, I would ask my parents to buy me a horse. In my opinion, ponies were not real horses, plus you would never see musketeers or Zorro on a pony, would you? So we never talked of ponies. One time, when I asked for a horse, my mom said, we had nowhere to keep the horse in our three room apartment in Minsk. I objected that we have the balcony. Then my mom said that the horse will need a lot of food and would feel very cold in the negative temperatures in the winter. So I made a compromise, and told them they could get me a camel, since a camel endures a long time without food or water and is more resistant to severe weather conditions.

Needless to say, the closest  I got to having a horse was a “mechanical horse carriage/bicycle”. It was the point of envy of all the kids around, and got stolen several times, but still me and the metallic white horse never connected.

When I saw these new version of mechanical ponies in Dunes Verdun my heart skipped a beat. I had a half a mind to rent out a mechanical pony for myself. Plus you should have seen how this adorable kid kissed the pony and bid her goodbye when his session was over.

So tell me, what kind of weird pets did you ask for as a child?

Mechanical Pony in Dunes VerdunMechanic Pony in Dunes Verdun

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I guess there was a high demand from clients for using plastic bags, as opposed to the paper bags. And I gave great Kudos to Souk Tayeb for researching greener alternative, but I would have still loved them to use Paper bags with a combination of eco-totes. But then again Consumer is KING!

 

souk tayeb returns to using biodegradable plasic bagssouk tayeb returns to using biodegradable plasic bags

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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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coaching for parents

What do you think of this?

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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.

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 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.

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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!

Untitled-3 copyPV-22PV-12PV-12L (black)PV-1RPV-1M1PV-1 Creative speakerPV-5Untitled-2 copyUntitled-1 copy

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Kazuza Grenadine & Watermelon soft drinkThis is our new found discovery in the soft drink niche. One day prince charming simply noticed these in the local ‘dekkane’. There were three flavors: Lemonade; a bottle of which has mysteriously disappeared, Watermelon; as you can see from the photos we did not have much restraint with that either, and the last survivor – the Grenadine & Lemon Flavor. If you like variety in your soft drink Kazouza is a great equivalent to Freeze, especially with its unique Watermelon flavor. But I am sure you’d agree that it is also a great feast for the eyes, great Kudos to the designers who created this hip concept!

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Kazouza bottle top

Kazouza is truly a mystery drink. The label hints it’s been there since 1941, but asides from this little shop near our house, we couldn’t find it anywhere. And as for the manufacturer- Cedars Premium Food & Beverage SAL (definitely Lebanese) , I couldn’t find them in any listings or directories and their website is still under construction.

Kazouza logo

Kazouza Grenadine & Lemon and Watermelon Bottles, Lebanese Soft DrinkI would definitely recommend you to grab any of the bottles, that is,  if you get your eyes on them. I have dropped the manufacturers a line and hopefully I’ll get the mystery solved soon. Nevertheless, if you know more, or see more, tell me about it! This has got me real curious!

Kazouza Grenadine & Lemon Bottle

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