corporate identity

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Advertising and design companies around the Middle East have always worked on Ramadan greeting cards, which hold corporate messages and link back to the brands of their clients. Every year, the challenge gets even more interesting with a focus on creativity and visual impact that would surprise and inspire. But as globalization takes over the Arab world, interesting developments are easily noticed.

Starting with the design phase, all creative’s scout around for inspiration and ideas to create a card that is visually interesting, modern and creative. An essential part of “Islamic design” is the integration of old and modern Arabic calligraphy, the “star” of the visual, coupled with a layout design including interesting die cuts and new cardboard treatments and rendering the card an interesting design to display.

In the past few years, the display factor has become essential. With designers creating cards that would “stand alone” and display the message without necessarily being an actual physical card. Ideas range from regular cards to developed boxes that would hold two main messages: first, the company name, which would link the message to a specific brand and second, the actual message, which is a heartfelt wish and portrays the “humane” aspect of a caring company.

Recently, we can notice the introduction of Latin and Arabic texts at the same time, something never done in the past, a symbol of adaptation to the world and a way of sending a clear message and communicating the “Islamic life” to countries and people who do not necessarily understand the Arabic Calligraphy.

Similarly, the calligraphy, which is also a beautiful graphical element, is coupled with modern Arabic typefaces, an interesting thing to note. Calligraphy stays a visual link to the traditional Arabic past, a visual and historical story developing over time. In Ramadan, as people read and remember God’s word, they are reminded by its beauty and form (calligraphy is the Islamic expression of the beauty of Allah’s word).

I view this period as a form of advertising the Islamic world brand. All Arabs from around the Middle East unite in a similar manner (the everyday lifestyle adaptation to rituals). This unity creates a global brand forcing itself on the global audience. These greetings, given out to clients and businesses around the globe, are a simple form of communication. On one side, a certain company promotes itself (as noted above) on another side, it promotes the Islamic world, the religion, the people as one group, one complex identity, one brand.

This brand is currently evolving, integrating itself on a global, massive scale (Arabic typeface development is a simple example). On another hand, the global audience is more open to the Arabic language (with so many interested in learning it, and so many learning how to draw Arabic calligraphy) there seems to be surprising developments awaiting us in the years to come.

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Gabriel Ghali

Art Director, Blogger, Columnist, DJ

Blog: http://gghali.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @gabrielghali

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I want to thank Gaby for jump-starting this great collaboration and  his wonderful and insightful review of trends in Islamic art and the development of what is know as an “Islamic brand”, based on his many years of experience in branding and advertising in the middle east. Gaby has also provided the great gallery of cards, which we would like to contribute to as well. Just send your company’s corporate greeting card to contact [at] theidentitychef.com or add a link to it in the comment box.

Do not forget to subscribe to Gaby’s Blog and follow him on twitter for his amazing daily doses of positive vibes. While you are on Gaby’s blog download his Exotic Sensation’s Tracklist, which is simply divine.

Ramadan Moubarak My Dear Readers, I wish you Warmth, Empathy & Spiritual Uplift in this Holy Month.

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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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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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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.

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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!

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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. :)

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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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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 :)

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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?

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