Lebanon – Business

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Flipside beirut on Foursquare - using locatiob based marketing

Was tweaking through foursquare for businesses section when this stopped me in my feet. I felt so ecstatic with the idea I wanted to share with you what Flipside Beirut are doing, by pioneering location based marketing.

I will try to contact them to find out more, in the meantime let me know if you’ve tried the place before.

And Check:

- Their foursquare page

- Their twitter page

- Their Website

- Their Facebook page

It is obvious that the promotion is quite new, but let us keep watching to see where it gets.

So, do you know of any other businesses in Lebanon that have effective foursquare promotions? Or any ones in the Middle East per se.

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Bala Nom - Kaffi 3a Platinum.

While putting up this billboard costs a small fortune, Platinum, have not put much into the design and copy of this ad. And yet it is a cute example of Naive advertising, just as naive art is considered a great form of art. And as it is, I would not be surprised if the ad proved to be a money turner for the business.

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Today I got a very pleasant surprise in my inbox, which I wanted to share with all of you out there looking for a job in Social Media Marketing & Online Community Building in Lebanon. It’s Time to celebrate!

Social Media Marketing Job in Lebanon - AM Financials Flyer

Anyway below the job description for this job, and follow the link to apply:

+ Social Media Marketing Director

DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manage the corporate division social media strategy and execution.
  • Coordinate with internal team, to execute the strategy.
  • Create, facilitate, and participate effectively and authentically in key conversations about the company on blogs and other online social media channels.
  • Develop and execute a blogging communication strategy, including:
    • Become accessible to the blogging community
    • Manage responses to negative and positive feedback
    • Generate buzz and interest in various forms of digital media such as online videos, blog posts, news articles, images, and more
    • Monitor and analyze social media trends for company brand
    • Develop, execute and manage the online content to drive organic search engine ranking
    • Create and maintain visible Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg accounts and other social media profiles.
    • Report on the effectiveness of social site placement and conversations on the web.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer organization
  • Social media experience Deep familiarity with social media, viral and word of mouth online marketing practices.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.
  • Experienced builder and executer of online social media strategies.
  • Experience moderating group discussions and managing community leaders.
  • Bachelors degree in Communications, PR, English, Marketing or other related field.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.

+ Social Media Marketing Director

DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manage the corporate division social media strategy and execution.
  • Coordinate with internal team, to execute the strategy.
  • Create, facilitate, and participate effectively and authentically in key conversations about the company on blogs and other online social media channels.
  • Develop and execute a blogging communication strategy, including:
    • Become accessible to the blogging community
    • Manage responses to negative and positive feedback
    • Generate buzz and interest in various forms of digital media such as online videos, blog posts, news articles, images, and more
    • Monitor and analyze social media trends for company brand
    • Develop, execute and manage the online content to drive organic search engine ranking
    • Create and maintain visible Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg accounts and other social media profiles.
    • Report on the effectiveness of social site placement and conversations on the web.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer organization
  • Social media experience Deep familiarity with social media, viral and word of mouth online marketing practices.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.
  • Experienced builder and executer of online social media strategies.
  • Experience moderating group discussions and managing community leaders.
  • Bachelors degree in Communications, PR, English, Marketing or other related field.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.

+ Social Media Marketing Director

DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manage the corporate division social media strategy and execution.
  • Coordinate with internal team, to execute the strategy.
  • Create, facilitate, and participate effectively and authentically in key conversations about the company on blogs and other online social media channels.
  • Develop and execute a blogging communication strategy, including:
    • Become accessible to the blogging community
    • Manage responses to negative and positive feedback
    • Generate buzz and interest in various forms of digital media such as online videos, blog posts, news articles, images, and more
    • Monitor and analyze social media trends for company brand
    • Develop, execute and manage the online content to drive organic search engine ranking
    • Create and maintain visible Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg accounts and other social media profiles.
    • Report on the effectiveness of social site placement and conversations on the web.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer organization
  • Social media experience Deep familiarity with social media, viral and word of mouth online marketing practices.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.
  • Experienced builder and executer of online social media strategies.
  • Experience moderating group discussions and managing community leaders.
  • Bachelors degree in Communications, PR, English, Marketing or other related field.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.

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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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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.
PO BOX 11, MINET EL HOSN • BEIRUT, 846 • LEBANON
Telephone: +961-1-369100


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

Images used via @uxsoup & @meinlebanon



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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.

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This week Smex Beirut was kind enough to invite all of us to their new offices to announce their plans for 2010 and socialize. I know the guys have cut out for them because:

Prince Charming: ” So what do these guys do?”
Me: ” Basically they teach NGO’s how to use social media for change and to reahc their target audience”
PC: ” Did not know you need to have training for that, isn’t it natural?”
Me: “well yeah , but most NGO’s don’t even know why they should have a website, leave alone, what they should post on it…and think of all the help and exposure they could get if they work on it using Funraising’s model…”

So below is their monthly newsletter, with their plans for the months to come. Obviously, SMEX is branching otu to reach greater audience and enable all citizens, which is even better. Social Media novices, get involved with SMEX

February 4, 2010 • Volume 1 •?Issue 3
SMEX Re-Launches with a New Website and Open Office Party

SMEX Re-Launches with a New Website and Open Office Party

On February 2, SMEX opened its offices to Lebanon’s growing social media for social change community to celebrate its relaunch as a full-time organization. Visitors were treated to a tour of the colorful offices, which include a social space for intimate events and screenings and a training room.

The open office coincided with a launch of SMEX’s new website and official registration of Social Media Exchange as a Lebanese NGO. We also took advantage of the opportunity to ask visitors what they want from SMEX in 2010. One suggestion: A workshop for parents and children on the responsible use of the Internet. What would you like to see? Let us know at ideas@smex.org or by calling 01-380-553.

Thanks to all those who made it, and for those who couldn’t, we invite you to pass by anytime.

Workshop: Social Media for Jobseekers

In February, Social Media Exchange, in collaboration with recruitment specialist Mary Roepke, will host Career Development with Social Media. Delivered in two half-day workshops, this training will introduce you to the world of social media for networked professionals and show you how the Web and social networking can help you reach your goals.

The workshops will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, Feb. 25. The cost for each half-day course is 60,000LL per participant, or both courses for 100,000LL. The course will be given in English.

For more information, visit our website or you can RSVP now.

NOTE: We will also be hosting two half-day workshops for human resources professionals on how to use social media to recruit better candidates and diversify their talent pools. Please get in touch at training@smex.org or 01-380-553 for more information.
Workshop: Basic Internet Privacy and Security

Have you had enough of computer viruses and malware? Are you worried about identity theft or what might happen if your Facebook details get into the wrong hands? Well, If you aren’t, you should be. SMEX is launching a pilot internet privacy and security workshop for select participants on February 15, 16, and 22.

The first two sessions will cover the basics you need to know to keep yourself and your data secure. The third session will take place a few days later and focus on troubleshooting and answering specific questions. All sessions will be given in Arabic. For more information about how to sign up for this free training, please email training@smex.org or call 01-380-553.

Screening: 10 Tactics for Turning Information into Action

English with Arabic subtitles.
On Sunday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m., SMEX will screen a 55-minute video on how to turn information into activism. Case studies from Lebanon and around the world are presented by activists working on a wide range of issues. The documentary, which was shot during the InfoActivism Camp, India 2009, is brought to you by the Tactical Technology Collective and was translated into Arabic by Rebecca Saab Saade at SMEX. Watch a preview. Activists and NGO representatives who attend the screening can purchase the DVD and companion toolkit for 15,000LL. Proceeds will go toward shipping taxes and refreshments. Please RSVP to let us know you’re coming.
***

That’s all for this edition of the SMEX newsletter. You can also keep up with our upcoming workshops and events on our calendar. We hope to see you soon!

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Empire popcorn box design competitionWhy limit yourself to your internal pool of designers when you can hire an agency? But why would you limit yourself to an agency, when you have thousands of designers with explosive ideas, right? And, oh , they will give you their ideas for free hoping to expand their portfolio and win a substantial prize.

Moreover, given the needed exposure the campaign will raise overall brand awareness and will give people a sense of ownership in the brand as well as hype their curiosity.

I think it’s brilliant and as a cinephille and popcorn addict I will be watching the result closely.

If you are young designer, why not give it a go, you never know what will happen!

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Resisting Change

Photo by the fantastic Naeema Zareef (twitter.com/naeema)

Two events have been the highlight of the last week of 2009 for me. One of them was my darling’s stiff resistance of the flu and the other was a live encounter with a typical Marketing Manager 1.0. And , eventually, yours truly got to celebrate the assent of the new year in bed with fever as well… making the lessons learned from these two encounters all the more vivid.

1)Ignore it, Maybe it’ll go away

Years of evolution have not killed the breadwinner’s instinct in men, which even stands above the instinct of self preservation. When your man falls sick, he would always keep on going to work, as usual, doing all his house chores in an exemplary manner, without admitting that something is wrong. I suppose in ancient tribes, the sick were isolated or cast out of the villages & left to die alone. So God forbid for your man to admit that something is wrong. But what goes in the manager’s 1.0′s head is beyond my understanding. M1.0 says that the marketing has not changed and that the foundations and underlying rules still remain valid, he has a moment of truth when he condescends to admit that advertising has changed, and then he switches back to denial by saying that advertising is only a part of marketing, he goes back to touching on changing customer needs, but breaks off at specifics… And, of course, in the same manner that prince charming audaciously refuses to take a sick day and stay in bed, M1.0 would say, – “We do not need a website now, we’ll start working on it in a couple of months, we’re studying our competition for now.” But by the time they are weakened and overpowered by their disease, the first would’ve plowed through a week of 20% productivity at work and then lying in bed for 2 days to recuperate and another week and a half of insane coughing, which is a significant trade off for staying at home for two days, as I did, and then going back to work a 100% recharged.  And our M1.0 Would greatly benefit said competitors by not having a significant online presence by as much as he will frustrate his prospects, who would be unable to find a way to contact them and find out more about their products. And no, a Facebook page is not as good as Corporate website (if you disagree with that, let me know, I’d be more than happy to share my views!).

2) Time Heals everything

Mon Beau will tell you that it takes seven days to cure a flu anyhow, so why bother and put your life on hold? M1.0 says that brand awareness will come with time, after my comment about missing opportunities 5 months after market entry. Well, in my dictionary, one week equals, on average, 70 tweets, 3 blogposts, and a possible email marketing or other online campaign. Multiply that by 5 and you will have thousands of touchpoints with your clients that come at a fraction of a cost of traditional media. Maybe our generation is too aggressive, but less than a month in my new job, I am already feeling unproductive for not bringing in more value and having to cram up on literature/research 50% of my time and that is precisely why, I use the remaining 50% to make actionable change NOW. In my eye, less is more in the long run, and little things done now, be it a greeting card, sms, news release… may not just prevent you from LOSING an existing client, but also get you a new client TODAY!

3) Expenditure = ROI

When hubby does reach a pharmacy, after 5 days, he’ll sweep off the shelves everything  that can remotely help him, or at least that is what he thinks. But by that time, the poles have shifted and all he needs to do is really wait, sip orange juice and rest to recover, instead of ingesting antibiotics which will further drain his life -resources. M1.o will also go to extremes, after 5 months, hiring top models, pampering them and doing runway shows, publishing ads in glitzy magazines… in two words maniacally spending!  But same-same, time would’ve done its thing, and that extra investment would’ve been too little too late! But that does not mean that you shouldn’t still take in your vitamins regularly. Don’t wait until you get a soar throat to take action. Act now, act always! Because,

4) Nobody Cares about YOU, as much as You!

Your boss is not going to give you a day off when you are saying you are a little sick but already came to work, and your clients are not going to run 20 google searches, searching for your coordinates if you landing page, facebook page, twitter handle or corporate website have not been SEO and keyword optimized. And if your marketing campaign does not relate to me, your target client, and if I do not find what I want about you, no money in the world would buy you my consumer’s sentiment and loyalty. And beware, I am too studying your competitors, and so far , they are ahead of you.

5) Birds do it, bees do it…

Men have this secret solidarity pact about enduring illness at the office, when I used to take a sick day at my previous job, I sometimes felt my boss took it as a personal offense. On the other hand, my spouse’s boss can call him while he’s sick saying, – “Aren’t you man enough, chuck on some pills and get on going!”. Bizarre and unacceptable, but, nonetheless true! But, even if denial is the trend, you should take advantage of it. While everyone is “hachooing” at the office, retreat and come back rosy cheeked and productive. And while your competitors are stuck in their old ways, you have the time to experiment, innovate and advance! Your mindset is your only handicap!

Post Approved for publishing by Prince Charming, M1.0 feedback pending. What about you?

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This was sitting in my draft folder for an eternity, I’m gonna just quick post it since the issue was brought up @twitter.

Dunkin Donuts Fire Fighter's campaign

From mid-October until the end of November, Dunkin’ Donuts customers will be able to donate 1,000 L.L. to the Beirut firefighters’ brigade with each purchase of 1 small Dunkalatte or Dunkaccino and 1 Donut. The Beirut Fire Department will use the amount collected to purchase severely needed equipment that will enable them to better save and preserve the environment and thus, to benefit the society at large.  Source : Executive Bulletin

 

Where Dunkin Donuts Fails?

- The guys does not look like a Lebanese Fire Fighter.

- The posters only started appearing recently, while I was stalking shops all of last month to find one.

Lessons to be learned

If you want your campaign to succeed, have images that your audience can identity with.

IF you want a campaign to succeed, campaign in advance agressively.

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