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how not to use facebook advertising lebanon

 

 

 

how not to use facebook advertising lebanon

UPDATE: Apparently someone is impersonating the Wissam Fares with this profile. Based on a comment by fellow blogger Elie on Blog Baladi. 

I was pretty shocked to see this facebook ad. I was intrigued. Could it be some interesting social media campaign? I clicked. It landed on a personal profile as you can see. The guy has been in the game ( registered FB user ) since 2010. Hence, most probably he is following the Lara Kay path, and trying to get some extra attention, or is just plain bored and playing with facebook advertising.

 

For those of you who can not understand Lebanese slang this ad says: “I am in Beirut now and I want a girl to spit in my face … and I am not kidding”.

 

In any case for a marketer, especially one that works in social media, such occurrences really put an interesting perspective  into our industry. Traditional billboards are overtaken by people posting Birthday wishes and love messages, while on Facebook, Sayfco ads come hand in hand by a guy who wants to find a girl to spit on his face. And I suspect, since facebook can’t really filter out Lebanese slag his ad got approved.

 

This definitely beats politicians promoting their facebook pages. Have you seen weirder Facebook ads? I am dying to know!

 

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With the great number of creative submissions by both celebrit designers, professionals and amateurs for Bras for a Cause, it was really hard to make a choice. But my absolute favorite is the one above, the design by Millniece Pinto is really empowering and absolutely beautiful, I just wish it really gets to be made into real life.

 

Many women wish they could show off their bra, either because of the colour, prints or various other design aspects. I have designed a bra,taking this into consideration,by using a basic U-plunge bra and adding a yoke to it. I have designed this bra to be worn either under or over garments. Keeping in mind, women with breast cancer, the bra is designed as a pocket bra, where a prosthesis can be put in, if needed. Sacagawea being a symbol of women’s worth and independence, I have used her culture as inspiration whilst designing the bra. The Lemhi Shoshone culture has a lot of earthy colours used, that are sombre, yet bold. I have also used tribal print, found in the Lemhi Shoshone culture, in the design. The print has been inspired by a beaded necklace. To keep with the sassy, feminine appeal, I have chosen a combination of lace and cotton fabric. The bra is designed for women who are bold and young, and women who want to rediscover their youth.

 

 

What is your favorite? Vote Now and help in spreading awareness about breast cancer.

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Bras for A Cause – Funstany.com

While companies are trying to trick the social media users to talk about them , Fustany.com* is really trying  to do some social good, partnering with the wonderful Loryne Atwi from One Wig Stand for a project aiming to provide cancer survivors with sexy and accessible lingerie, whilst doing breast cancer awareness and fund-raising.  Watch the video above to find out how the idea was born and who the judges are.

 

And the guys are pretty well organized, they recruited a team of ambassadors, they are churning out fresh shareable content within a set calendar,  they are passionate about their cause and most importantly they are active online and very quick to respond. So companies out there trying to figure out how to operate social media stay tuned to the guys begins Bras for a Cause.

 

And if you are a designer, Bras for a cause competitions not for fame and fortune, but because THIS is what will really empower women with breast cancer and make their life much easier.

 

 

Don’t forget to check the Bras for A Cause website, twitter and facebook page .

 

 

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*its not the first time fustany.com are doing something to help with breast cancer awareness either

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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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Ameinfo asks members to answer survey in return promises to donate to their charity of choice

Ameinfo asks members to answer survey in return promises to donate to their charity of choice

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creative corporate end of year and christmas greeting cards middle east , cartoon

I receive a lot of e-greeting cards and I am usually more than happy to share the most interesting ones with you, because I believe that seasonal greeting cards are an important touch-point within the overall marketing communication strategy.  Among the many cliche and uninspiring greeting cards I have received so far, the above is just beguiling in its quaintness, naivete and absolute personalized depiction of the business.

Have you seen any enthralling corporate e-greetings lately? I would be ecstatic to take a peek.

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Lately I am going to so many events , most are tech or social media related, but … well… a lot of the time… the digital me feels at unease and disappointed, unable to share the event with the world or growing a grudge against the organizers, so I decided to write this simple guide declaring openly to all event organizers that anything less would be a disappointment, and ,well if they do the things I mentioned, they will make the online community more involved in their events and expand their reach and visibility. Don’t they all want that?

Ah well, as my main objective is self centered I mainly focused in things that need to be going during and after the event. (Plus most of them score well on before event stuff after I corner them with my questions in emails) .

1. # – Have a HASHTAG!

This is an out most basic, but then again most event organizers forget to make it short enough, announce it publicly more than once and most importantly forget to register it at a hashtag repository like twubs or  wthashtag,  so most of the time I am livetweeting from an event my followers start asking me “what is this and that #xyz … any links…  ?”

2. Official LiveTweeting

That brings us naturally to livetweeting. I have already talked about the importance of livetweeting here but i just wanted to emphasize that event organizers need to keep on livetweeting from the official event account to update people at the event on what is happening, remind who the speakers are and what their handles are, tell them where the live feeds are (doesn’t hurt to do all that in parallel on linked in and facebook as well) … AND if you are an event sponsor, especially at an event centered around social media, especially if your produce is focused around social media, big thumbs down to you if you are not tweeting about the event and not quoting your guest speaker. Yes @zawya I am talking about you and your zero tweets at MediaMeForum and your replying only two days later to my tweets. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Answer & Engage Tweets

For starters, there is no fun for a hashtag without a livescreen. At MediaMEForm the guys did a great job of livetweeting what was happening, BUT [yes it is a big but] they completely dismissed the twitter community. The twitter Screen was live only during the panels and it was put in a place where no speaker can see what we were talking about, and even the moderator did not address any questions from the tweets, nor did their official twitter channel. Unlike ArabNET, where there were ginormous screens dedicated to tweets and speakers paying full attention to what was happening with one speaker undressing to get a wave of tweets. Still , I think the impact will be even more augmented if you have a dedicated moderator to pick at least two questions from the twittersphere for each panel/speaker and ask them at the event. Honestly speaking, the questions are more pungent, very well formulated and more daring and provoking more mindful discussions, isn’t that what you want? Aren’t your events targeted at identifying the trends of the future?

4. Live Ustream

I was on the peak of bliss drinking my Pepsi, eating popcorn in my PJs watching the pitches at Yallastartup weekend day 1 and working on the other laptop in parallel… but then, lo and behold once the pitches ended and we started getting some cool behind the curtains views of the audience, their feedback and interactions, seeing familiar faces….. THEN the stream turned off and a vigilant message told me that the stream will only resume after one day to show the final pitches and that all in between will not be documented… I felt that that was plain mean… YallaStartup weekend is a sort of non-commercial example.

So all of you event organizers will be saying :”why should we put the stuff live for free, when people pay to attend?”

And I’ll tell you. one has nothing to do with the other.

Most of us attend the events for the networking and has nothing to do with the panels and the speakers, who by the way we realize travel from one event to the other with similar presentations, who most of the time blog a lot and more in depth about the subject, or write whole books on the matter… So you putting up a live stream doesn not diminish your financial gain, which BTW you have reaped in full from teh event sponsors and paying attendees. So you may as well give the sponsor’s their money’s worth and help promote their brands and spread their messages and you event’s messages (while your at it) to even more people. People, who by the way are highly targeted individuals, who simply could not catch a flight, or whose bosses came to the event but left them at the office, or teh bosses who sent employees there and want to make sure that they sent them to an interesting event… People who would love to come to the event next year. People who would tweet about the event and talk and talk about it…

It was so amazing to watch the few panels I have missed (due to my weird trip schedule) at Media ME Forum on their UStream account and the quality of the videos/voice/ the nice music they put when nothing was happening – really professional! And ArabNet, they really understood that if they just empower the social media addicts, their event will be promoted across the roof and that’s what happened.

4.PHOTOS

We live in the now and like to see photos now, and share them and comment on them – ALL NOW! So do not make us wait two days for your flickr or facebook gallery upload. You can set up something extremely simple on site, like that photo booth Arabnet had (could not find link), that immediately sent all photos to their flickr account. Also make sure if you have something like that up & running, promote it well before and during the event.

You have a lot of room to be creative here and there are more wonderful ideas out there to engage people in crowdsourced photography at your event.

5. Icing on the Cake – Netvibes

So you do all of the stuff I mentioned above and integrate all of them into one awesome netvibes page that people courting your event could easily follow.  This is one of the more magical tools out there and one I really, really adore to look at when it comes to events I am not at and ones I am at (if they have one that is). For instance check the cool netvibes page SpotOnPR does annually for Gitex and while you are at it, check Spot On PR’s Netvibe’s page. Don’t you see how that will help your event to become more sharable and viral?

6. Social booklets

You lovely event organizers always give us those nice and creative booklets with all the info about the speakers, but why oh why don’t you mention the speakers’/moderators’ twitter handles, websites, blogs next to their names, so we can connect to them, address our questions to them, or just plain stalk them? and while you’re at it, dedicate a page at the beginning providing us with the event hashtag, livestream, netvibes page… et all

7. PLUGSSSSS

I always email event organizers about plugs, they always feel so happy when i tell them i am planning to bring my laptop to livetweet and welcome the thought and assure me WIFI and electricity plugs are available, but up till now, none of them have delivered on that. Do you expect our battery lives to be infinite? Do you expect us to have spare batteries for our iPhones? We want to enjoy the event all of its durations while checking on work email and tweeting or life-blogging YOUR event. Plain and simple, there should be a dedicated plug at least for every four attendees… Not that I mind making eyes to the camera guy to co-share his plug and carrying around at all times a multi-plug adapter, or stealing power for my mobile from a fellow attendees dying laptop…

8. GOOD WIFI

This probably should’ve been at the top of the list, but I consider it a basic and only as I reread the whole thing I decided to highlight it, just in case….

9.Screen & Screen Brightness

Also a little after thought: try to have several screens at the event and make sure that their brightness is optimal, so we are able to take good cellphone pics no matter how far from the stage we are without stealing your speaker’s valuable “top secrets”.

After Event Tips

  • Encourage us to send feedback
  • Send us all the lovely links for the photos, social pages, videos, slides … post event stats, news clippings about the event
  • It is also lovely to receive some post event answers to questions that were asked during teh forum but did not have enough time to be answered properly or the material/numbers was not at hand.
  • Send us an industry newsletter (yeah i do not mind up being automatically signed up for that)
  • Ask us what do we want to see at your next event
  • Continue Tweeting, Updating the Facebook/linked in page of the event and engaging all who were at the event

Next month, I am planning on attending the 1st Arab Social Media Forum, which the organizers are promising to be a wholesomely dedicated event to all social media aspects… so…. Guys, I am really hoping on seeing all that stuff there [wink, wink]!

Have I left anything out? What is it that you found missing at the last event you have attended?

*Update 1: Forgot to tell you how at Microsoft Open Door Event this year there were special giveaways prepared for tweeters. Small giveaway, but nonetheless, it was pretty sweet.

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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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Just give marketers an occasion, and they’ll carve out a product for that. And what better festivity o leverage than Christmas? Even in these hard economic times, people will willingly part with their money for a dream of happiness. And apparently, this year, happiness is all about the freedom of choice of investment and liquidity.

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The amazing guys at Spot On PR conducted a thorough study of the MENA Tweeps and came up with a detailed MENA Twitter Demographics & Stats Survey (press link to check it out).  And in the spirit of Social Media Marketing and Sharing Spot On PR have released their report to be copied, tweeted, quoted and perused in any way you may wish. Thank you Spot On PR!

It wasn’t surprising that 40% of MENA twitter users are from the UAE, however, with such a great cultural diversity it would be interesting to find a more microscopic dissection of these users, I am sure that would lead  to very curious results.

Another interesting thing is how the age distribution differs from global trend. For instance, the 15-19 make one of the largest Twitter user groups worldwide, but has only a small percentage in the MENA scene, which is prevailed by those 20-29.  Which I have found quite refreshing, as you get to twitter in a community of tech savvy professionals, which is a challenging and learning experience.

Twitter influence is growing in the MENA region, Spot On PR have mentioned that only in Augustthe total number of Twitter users from MENA region has increased by 17%.

 

Marketers, are you ahead of the curve?

* According to Spot On PR statistics may still be fuzzy due to the limited geographical tracking the Twitter platform offers at the time.

** as a show of good faith follow Spot On PR’s Blog & follow them @spotonpr.

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