Wake me up when October ends
Posted on 2016 Oct,21  | By Tarek Chemaly

October is here and with it the Breast Cancer Awareness Month - the rest of the cancers will have to take a backseat - so much that there was a campaign, which said "I wish I had breast cancer", because the rest of the cancer types are simply not hyped enough to get research funding.


But I am digressing. So the "creative" tricks are the usual: use a pink ribbon somewhere in the visual, and agglomerate two objects, which when put together imply breasts but do not show them - we do not want to offend anyone, right?

Rare it is for a brand to be able to insert itself in the topic of the day, or rather of the month, but digital shop WetPaint manages to speak digital by saying "cancer sends no notification" - smart, digital friendly, and totally in their field of business. What's there not to love?

Naturally, one can go from the totally obscene - ABC mall with two hangers in the place of breasts and even worse BeyBQ with barbecue grill top boobies-shaped-- which, politely, one can call an insult to all women - to more moderate options such as Al Baba with two cream shaped cookies (they do sweets after all), to the totally funky such as Clementine agency-- which got rid of the pink and kept playing cool with what has become the corporate fruit-- to the other funky installation worth a mention by the Ministry of Health in Lebanon with their incredible pink open umbrellas on their windows, to the bland options - you name it and it is there. 

Of course when the Ministry of Health raises breast cancer awareness, this is totally understandable, but when a chocolate or pizza shop do so it is a little too confusing. However, we have grown accustomed to this strategy: pile your brand logo on anything or any ceremony du jour and bingo! Plaster it on your social media sites and you are home safe.

Which of course, as professionals in advertising, is very worrying. How is the advertising or event in question related to your own brand DNA, your own strategy, if your brand is purely Lebanese it is understandable that you would invest in independence day, but why would Halloween be of interest to you? Or Saint Barbara - as the two feasts - which are originally unrelated get confused in Lebanon.

But once more, here we are, no logic, no backbone, and at times - no creativity - just a replica of an idea, which was used and abused. But it is a bandwagon and sadly everyone wants to be on it regardless of how this correlates to their original values, mission and vision - or lack of!