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This is the perfect timing for the campaign as expats are returning to Lebanon for the summer and touring around it, sadly leaving more than just their footsteps in the sand.

The concept may be a bit Deja Vu and yet it does not miss the point, still instantaneously projecting the message and (hopefully) embedding it into your consciousness.

You know that I am a big sucker for this type of social and environmental ads and I am loving that this is being done to preserve Lebanon. Luckily enough, I got lost on the road ( still getting used to the trek from new place so this is happening often) and saw this great ad on a unipole but could not snap it. Then, as the all knowing google did not have it in its digital reign, I emailed the Ministry of Environment and the UNDP and both responded and were very helpful. Big Thanks for that.

A special thanks to MS. Rola Khazen, Senior Marketing Advisor at UNDP for providing the images and giving me the below background stats regarding the campaign.

  • The campaign was launched by the Minister of environment on June 4,2010, in the press syndicate. Ragheb Alameh was present because he is a goodwill ambassador. In addition to all the press.
  • The campaign consisted of TV and radio spots, 5 bus wraps, Digital panels of Pikasso, magazines and dailies as well a unipole on the airport highway.
  • The campaign will last as long as the media place it because  they are free of charge and it is up to the media to decide how much they put it depending on their availability.

NOW I am hoping for:

- more action driven campaigns in the future, from corporate entities.

- more exposure for such campaigns online ( as you can see above no online digital agencies were involved in the campaign)

- the ads will appear throughout Beirut and Lebanon, not just at the edge of the city

- Tweet me if you spot the add somewhere else, I only saw it that one time when I got lost on the old airport road, and today in Executive Magazine

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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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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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AFDC Forest Fires Awareness Campaign

The Association for Forest Development & Conservation (AFDC) has aparently launched a new media awareness campaign aimed at reducing Forest Fires across Lebanon.

I like the fact that the girl is the photo is very natural and has green eyes, but I do not understand the Mona Lisa smile.

[Image published in 24:30 Magazine]

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Waseet BirdBear

First I saw the banners on the streets, then the Ad in Al Balad, and now today’s Waseet came in a plastic (!) bag with a bird and a bear…

So it is confirmed then, Waseet, the Arab Classifieds’s newspaper & webportal, is the latest to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Waseet is  pledging to plant a tree with the publishing of each issue, which is about two trees a week. Waseet’s ‘partner in crime’ is Akhdar Deyim who has had a lot of hype this year, as I have found out, receiving donations from BBAC, MTC & Casino du Liban, to name a few.

The copywriting of the ads is very successful and roughly translates to: “Our nature loves the mediator (which in arabic is ‘Waseet’), with every issue out a tree goes up.”

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Cedars Forever is commited to the preservation and reforestation of Lebanon’s cedar reserves to make sure the cedar is not spiralled into existing solely on our flag.  Cedar Nation is their ambitious project that allows individuals  and companies to partake in the upheaval of Lebanon’s natural cedar heritage one tree at a time.

 As a preliminary step, Cedar Nation will be based in Barouk which is the major part of the Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve - the biggest, best maintained Cedar forest in Lebanon, home to 3 million Cedars, 524 species of plants as well as a considerable number of birds and mammals.

On a personal level, I was overwhelemed when I learned of this. I already got through the first approval stage, and hopefull soon enough our copmany will be adopting at least one tree in support of our ‘Go Green’ moto.  Additionally, I am very excited to visit the Shouf Natural reserve and will be planning a trip really soon.

Let us hope that others will catch up to this whether it is for patriotic or ecological reasons.

Adopt a Cedar

Adopt a Cedar

  

Adoption Facts
When you adopt a Cedar you receive:

 

  • A membership card
  • An adoption certificate
  • Regular updates on the status of your tree through newsletters and photographs
  • Invitations to Cedars Forever’s private functions and festivities

But adopting a Cedar means much more than that as well.
The knowledge that you are contributing in the reforestation of Lebanese mountains and making Lebanon a greener and healthier place is gratifying enough on its own.

Adoption includes:

  • A 10-year guarantee: If for some reason or other your Cedar does not survive, another one will be planted in its place.
  • Pure breeds: Cedars Forever respects genealogy and only plants true, home grown Lebanese Cedars.
  • Accreditation: All of Cedars Forever’s activities are accredited and approved by the competent authorities.

 

Get involved, visit Cedars Forever website.

Spread the word:)

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