Johnnie Walker Lebanon – Keep Walking With Nadine Labaki

If you’re also tired of the Johnnie Walker “Architect” ad that has been airing on our TV sets for the past year, you’d be happy to know they have found a new person to represent the brand in their “Keep Walking Lebanon” ads. And that person is Nadine Labaki.

Fresh off her ingenious movie Where Do We Go Now (read my review), Labaki is at the top of the world. Her movie is Lebanon’s official submission to the Oscars, it has won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, has done really well at Cannes, won more awards at other festivals such as Doha, Dubai, Stockholm, etc…. And now she’s the new face of Johnnie Walker in Lebanon, a brand always known for inspirational ads, coming after people like Elie Saab and Bernard Khoury.

One has to ask with all the accolades Labaki is getting lately: where does she go now?

Visit the Keep Walking Lebanon website here. And check out the ad:

Lebanese Brew: Courage Is Contagious

If you were like me and hadn’t heard of the new Lebanese beer in town, well, now it’s time to pay attention. In case you thought, like me, that almost no one can top off leading Lebanese beer Almaza’s ad, here comes a “Courage” campaign by Lebanese Brew.

With a YouTube video featuring Lebanese youth partying, drawing graffiti, living their life all to the backdrop of our gorgeous capital, the brand new beer’s image is glowing.

The video even starts with a guy and a girl the morning after having sex, being courageous enough to tackle something that happens very often in Lebanese society while almost everyone hides behind their shadow regarding it.

The liveliness of Beirut and its youth is the center piece of this ad to show the courage of both the city and the people. The video serves a double purpose: to show the courage of this brand in trying to enter an already almost-full market and the courage of the Lebanese people who have defied all odds and are still here.

The theme “courage is contagious” is to show that if you are courageous enough to stand for what you believe in, those who are less so will soon follow. It’s not very hard to relate this to the recent revolutions in the Middle East and how, according to Robert Fisk, the Lebanese revolution in 2005 gave the spark that started them all. After all, our courage as Lebanese is contagious.

Kudos for a very well-done video. It’s sad it only has 3000 views since it was uploaded in July 2011.

13 Reasons to Vote for Jeita Grotto

You know what?

Lebanese suck.

We really do. We need to bash EVERYTHING. There’s NOTHING that can take place in the country that is not frowned upon or looked down upon or criticized.

The latest? People are criticizing the whole “Vote for Jeita” campaign, with about 3 weeks left on the vote. They can’t even accept that the competition is NOT scam.

“Jeita doesn’t deserve to be a wonder,” is one of the things I’ve heard. “Why charge for the SMS to vote?” is another. “If the government wants Jeita to win, why don’t they vote?”

All of us need to want Jeita to win. Not the government. Not anyone else. We, as a people, should be proud that our country has something that has gained enough international recognition from international panels that judged Jeita as being worthy of being one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Regarding the SMS vote: The New 7 Wonders committee DOES NOT accept free SMS votes.  The 10 cents charge we pay is one enforced by the New 7 Wonders committee. The government is not charging anything. I’ve voted 35 times so far and it barely caused a dent in my prepaid credit. And you know what, even if it did – I don’t care.

I recently stumbled on this blog post where they make out the vote for Jeita as some form of “national chauvinism,” saying that we need to study the other 27 finalists in order to make an informative vote. On that same post, a comment by “Noel” states that our “need” to have Jeita win is because we, as Lebanese, need “validation from some outside authority.”

Sure, our country is messed up in many ways. But I believe we have a lot to be grateful for. However, can we  – FOR ONCE – stop being so pessimistic about everything that has to do with Lebanon? Can we just chill for a bit, sit back, relax and not overanalyze everything? Can we seriously cut it with the know-it-all attitudes and for once feel good that Lebanon is actually getting a reputation for itself apart from the whole war-torn country now sex-capital of the Middle East?

But here are 13 reasons why we all need to vote for this wonder:

1) Jeita is spectacular

2) Jeita is wonderful

3) Jeita is grandiose

4) Jeita is brilliant

5) Jeita is gorgeous

6) Jeita is poetic

7) Jeita is angelic

8) Jeita is radiant

9) Jeita is exquisite

10) Jeita is majestic

11) Jeita is sublime

12) Jeita is elegant

13) Jeita makes me proud to be Lebanese. And so should you!

Also quick info for you out there:

Jeita is the only limestone cave among the 28 nominees. Most of Jeita cannot be accessed by visitors. For instance, the lower cave is over 6000 meters long, only 500 of which are accessible to visitors via boats. Moreover, the upper cave is over 2000 meters in length, only 750 of which are accessible to the public. Jeita also has the world’s longest stalactite at 8.2m high.

And for those of want to vote, you can go to this link or check out this picture:

And for those outside Lebanon, you can vote via the website: or text Jeita to your country’s corresponding number:

Also check out this ad featuring opposing Lebanese politicians, beauty queens and actors to promote the vote:

Back in 2008, the US was invited to Barrack the vote. This is our time to rock the vote, Lebanese-style.

13 Awesome Ads!

I’m no marketing expert, just a regular consumer. And when I come across very smart ads, I feel like sharing them with people.

Well, these are thirteen ads that I think are absolutely kick-ass! Let me know what you think.

Justin Bieber’s Perfume… For Her

Not only is it horrifying to see Twitter constantly filled with teenagers who call themselves “Beliebers” (Yes, how atrocious can that get?) but they’re literally everywhere. I thought we didn’t have those in Lebanon until I was linked to pictures of the premiere of Justin Bieber’s movie and let’s just say, the country has another kind of infestation going on as well.

Well, Justin Bieber is doing what most singers do when they reach mass hysteria level of fandom: release a perfume. It’s just that it didn’t click in his head that since he’s supposedly male, the perfume should be addressed to his own gender (not that I’d buy). So he made a perfume designed especially for his fanbase, which I’m assuming is mostly screaming girls.

So dear little girls everywhere attempting (or already done so) to throw things at your computer screen for me dissing the husband-to-be that you will never have, come this June, you will be able to smell the way Justin Bieber wants you to.

And if you take the perfume ad he filmed to the letter, whenever you put on this awesome perfume, Justin Bieber will magically appear in your room, smell you, and take you on a journey you will never forget and then depart. Don’t let your head wander, little girl reading this. Your mom won’t be too happy to know you have such thoughts (or it might just be me, in which case, my apologies).

The perfume is named Someday. I have no idea if that’s supposed to be a lyric of a Bieber song but it might as well be the key to give false hope (see above paragraph) to the millions of girls who will rush to buy this, hoping that someday, they will become the “Kate Middleton” of women, except by the time Justin Bieber feels like getting married, he’d hopefully be long gone into the realms of forgetfulness.

This is Someday’s ad on YouTube, where it already has over one million hits so far:

The ad also has its own YouTube page where Justin Bieber “gives fans a personal invitation and intimate access to his heart” through the fragrance. The girl in the ad is apparently named Dree Hemingway and she is the great granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway.

I don’t know about you but I will be very happy when this phase in human history ends.