Creativity made in Lebanon: a pat on the back
Posted on 2017 Dec,11

How difficult is it for creatives to praise work done by peers? Well it seems it is for most but not all. ArabAd wanted to learn from advertising creatives what in their opinion are the best campaigns made in Lebanon this year and hear their perspectives. So we asked creative directors to share one campaign they are proud to have worked on this year but also to identify another advertising campaign created by a competitor agency, one that really caught their attention for all the good reasons that make a good advertising campaign good. While few responded to our request with open heart and a great fair play, the lack of enthusiasm in playing the 'pat on the back' game reminded us that it's not so common to congratulate industry peers for a job well done, that the psychology of praise is a complex thing and that creatives' ego is a real thing. But that's another story. Now let's check what was sent across.


Fadi Mroue, Managing Director, Republique 


The World has gone Nuts/Al Rifai by Republique​

"I chose this work because it put a local brand on the global map with press coverage coming from all four corners of the globe. It's a subtle play on media placement and timing with very few words but just enough to get the impact needed. Finally, it is still very relevant today and probably will be as long as we have Donald Trump as president."


Em Khalil/Bou Khalil

On August 26, 2017, Bou Khalil supermarket in Baabda changed its store signage to Em Khalil for one day, as a sign of solidarity with women on Women’s Equality Day. For non-Arabic speaking people, Bou Khalil is a family name but it also means ‘Father of Khalil’. And so, Em Khalil, which means ‘mother of Khalil’, brings the woman at the forefront of the brand. The account is handled by J.Walter Thompson Beirut.

"I really liked this because there's a strong local insight and it's a smart way to show an old brand in a young, forward thinking manner. It lacks in execution, but I think the message was delivered."


Rebecca Mourani, Associate Creative Director, Feer McQueen


Aishti By The Sea Campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

"This ad campaign is something that just pops out. It's not a typical format in the local market. Using very daring visuals and a deeply conceptual idea, with no copy, Sagmeister & Walsh were able to determine Aishti's positioning in the market and set it at an even higher level in people's minds.Their approach to advertisement and art direction is one of a kind; but the inspiring part is that they were able to successfully sway the Lebanese audience into accepting such an openly different style of advertisement. They definitely raised the bar high for sale campaigns across the country."


BBAC 60 Years Campaign by Feer McQueen

"For BBAC's 60 Year anniversary campaign, we went for a 3D visual-based concept, opposing traditional advertisement, focusing on artwork and a conceptual approach. It made a great impact, and we believe this is why. Covering a wide scope of platforms, the ad campaign featured several different scenarios illustrated visually and showcasing daily encounters of citizens in our urban city. The number '60' was incorporated into every visual, just about camouflaged, and integrated into each concept and mood.

The result was a seamlessly put together campaign, which was met with success and much engagement by both our client and viewers."


Marc Ghayad & Nadine Jabbour, Associate Creative Directors, RIZK Group


SAKR 4days by Rizk Group

SAKR was launching a 4-day Bazar to sell apartments in one of its real estate projects. One of the challenges of the brief was to deliver a campaign in a very short period. 

"Inspired by insights from our society, the idea came to life. We took a typical Lebanese young woman, who wants to get married, but her fiancé can’t afford to invest in a new house. So, he finds reasons why staying with his mother is OK. In another situation we have the nagging wife, who always tries to find any lame excuse to convince her husband to move out of the house! 

The campaign was very successful and it generated hundreds of leads. In fact, 40 units were sold in only four days!" 


BLOM BANK Peace of Mind Stories by Impact BBDO

Commissioning four different high-profile directors to share their own interpretation of the meaning “Peace of Mind” is a refreshing approach to the advertising scene in the country. These stories brought in short movies format were insightful, inspiring, emotional and nostalgic. Well thought out and well executed! 

Read More: Stories of Peace of Mind Narrated by Lebanese Filmmakers and Signed Blom Bank


Sami Saab, Founder & Creative Director, Phenomena


Al Joumhouria by Phenomena

"It is very hard to choose one top advertising campaign that Phenomena did. But since I have to, I will vote for Al Joumhouria newspaper campaign.

Inside the word Al Joumhouria, we detected and highlighted several and different keywords that we grouped together to ask the most critical question in the Lebanese Republic."


LBCI cheyef 7alak by Impact BBDO

"Regarding the second campaign, I will vote for LBCI cheyef 7alak campaign series, done by Impact BBDO. I find it smart, Lebanese, real and simple yet very strong and efficient."


Ghida Younes, Executive Creative Director, Grey MENA Beirut


Abaad #Undress522 by Leo Burnett Beirut

“I haven’t seen any advertising campaign that I believe is breakthrough in Lebanon this year, except for campaigns created for social causes such as the one for ABAAD NGO, the #undress522 campaign, which had managed to change the law that used to exonerate a rapist if he marries his victim. And that I believe is a success criteria for a campaign.”


Ghada Chehaibar, Founder/Creative Director, Purple Advertising


'Farah Platinum Account' campaign by Purple

"For this campaign, we decided to go popular and create a buzz for this new account dubbed "bouquet of services" by IBL. So we took the word 'bouquet' literally as the bride usually carries one, and we made her go to IBL Bank to find the best missing "bouquet of services" to complete her wedding and her "farha" (joy)!

The TVC was set in a tone of voice close to the target audience unlike the usual classy corporate TV campaigns IBL Bank is renowned for. We also got even closer to the people by complementing the TVC with a road show organized in major malls where the anchors threw a real bouquet at the gathering crowd, and the lucky winner who caught it won amazing prizes.

It was a successful campaign that generated many new "Farah Account" openings as satisfied brides and grooms finally found the perfect bouquet at IBL Bank."

Maya Saab, managing and creative director, Spirit Advertising


Tarboosh campaign by Spirit

"One of the best campaigns done by Spirit this year, in my opinion, is the Tarboosh campaign. It was an interactive, promotional campaign where people had the chance to win prizes if they found the yellow tarboosh hidden in their packages. The adaptation was very simple, minimal, and yet super fun and cute. Everyone understood the message and it succedded in putting a smile on consumers' faces whether they were young or old. This campaign, and all the adaptations, portrayed the playfulness of the brand and reminded us of the innocence we had back then when we used to play hide and seek. The overall concept was strong, catchy, and people were very happy playing and winning prizes."


'Tor2at el Zefet’by TBWA\Raad Beirut

"As for the second creative campaign, i loved ‘Tor2at el Zefet’ the awareness campaign done for MTV Lebanon by TBWA\RAAD around the bad state of Lebanese roeads. Every lebanese person could relate to it; the idea of exaggeration was on point and the execution was simply brilliant. We understood the message without showing any negative aspects of the Lebanese roads. They dealt with the problem in a very smart way and kept us laughing till the end."