Sunday, January 20, 2008

iPhone:the untold story

It was a late morning in the fall of 2006.
Almost a year earlier, Steve Jobs had tasked about 200 of Apple's top engineers with creating the iPhone.
Yet here, in Apple's boardroom, it was clear that the prototype was still a disaster. It wasn't just buggy, it flat-out didn't work.
The phone dropped calls constantly, the battery stopped charging before it was full, data and applications routinely became corrupted and unusable. The list of problems seemed endless.
At the end of the demo, Jobs fixed the dozen or so people in the room with a level stare and said, "We don't have a product yet."

Read "The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry" from Wired

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brand Hijack

Playful modification and the tampering of registered trademarks are common satirical behaviour.
Usurping the original logo, to grab attention, is a familiar means of making a social statement
usually adressed to raise awarness around consumerist capitalit unscrupulous corporations -
It is the nexus of Art & Socio-Political design;
it's humour used as a social weapon.
And it's funny!!

For more parody of Super Brands, and if you feel like cracking up
Click HERE

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Beer, Wit & Sheers

Almaza is Lebanon’s premier local beer. Its fresh taste, long history, solo market performance and playful communication helped it gain the coveted status of "lovemark" among most nationals.
Brand leader on its own, Almaza is so deeply rooted in the Lebanese "art de vivre" that the beer became an indisputable part of the country's legacy and culture to the point that an anecdote --if not a deep belief -- often shared, claims that the missing link for a tourist who doesn't get a sip of Almaza, would make his travel experience simply incomplete.
The brand is indeed a source of national pride, and drinking Almaza has become a clear statement that supports Lebanese products.
But behind such a ‘patriotic branding strength’ lies a growing brand value with a global potential imparted essentially to a market presence that dates back to the 70's.
However, when a brand evolves within a market in total ‘monopoly’ powered by unrivalled distribution channels and a good product, a company ends up not only communicating its brand as the most powerful in the market, but also living a dream that every business enterprise would want to enjoy.
This is Almaza's living marketing fairy tale that succeeded in its embodiment onto Lebanese core local culture and faceted genuine identity.
Almaza ads are reputed attention grabbers and are usually
preceded by teaser campaigns that create a very successful
momentum of word-of-mouth,

The brewery was founded by the Jabre family in 1933 in Bauchrieh, Beirut. It started as a small ambitious project producing 1000 bottles/hour with a total capital equalling 30,000 LBP.
Today, Almaza manufactures 24,000 bottles/hour and its capital is worth 35 billion LBP.
On September 18, 2002, Heineken, the global beer manufacturer, bought Almaza.
Many entrepreneurs like to build their brands and then sell them after several years at a profitable price, which results from the increase in brand value. The entrepreneurs behind Almaza did the
same with the difference that the brand was 70 years old.
Does the
notion of entrepreneurship 101 that a brand is sellable after years
of success hold true for brands that have been so long in the market?
Of course it does. But does this reasoning apply for a brand like Almaza? Have the company’s management broken the brand promise by selling this ‘local hope’ to a foreign conglomerate?
What is it that still prevents Lebanese brands from going global?
Why is it that anytime a local brand reaches the middle of the ladder to globalisation, the ladder breaks and the brand is doomed to function among the boundaries of its home country?
While we don’t
have any final answer to these questions, let us hope that we can identify the symptoms and change this reality as soon as possible.
Although Heineken’s acquisition can only indicate that Almaza is an attractive brand with unmatched distribution networks, and Heineken was willing to pay any price to buy the fierce local rival
and its supply channels; however, this is not our vision of conquering the world via our Lebanese brands.

Agency: Intermarkets, Beirut
Regional Creative Director: Assaad Doueihy
Art Director: Elie Bou Najm
Group Account Director: Sara Assaf
Account Manager: May Nasrallah
Almaza won the Pikasso D'or 2006

According to the ‘Beer Lover’s Rating Guide’ by Bob Klein, Almaza is regarded as one of the best pilsener beers in the
world. The guide describes the drink as ‘sharp, crisp, and to the point, with a faint hint of mustiness.
The author also comments that he liked the beer a lot and that the 9.5 ounce bottle isn’t enough to ‘let you fully enjoy its tantalizing delights’.
This is a testament to the fact that Almaza was built on a strong base with a sustainable competitive advantage that
competitors can’t easily imitate.

*The notes are excerpted from ArabAd magazine - February issue 07, in brands section [page 114-117]- written by Ibrahim Nehmé
Full article will be published soon on ArabAd mag site -