Comparing Apples to Creative Oranges
Posted on November 09, 2016 | By ArabAd staff

Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Lebanese apples have taken a major hit because of imported competition so much that farmers are not even bothering to pick them up from their trees. The issue turned political par excellence with the Kataeb Youth branch distributing said apples at universities and political parties trying to gain from the pain of the farmers. Even brands jumped on the bandwagon, albeit not too creatively as the end outcome smelled a little of propaganda more than anything else.

 

The ads produced for the occasion, be they by supermarkets, the major-selling beer, the Ministry of Agriculture, all played on familiar creative theme, oddly preferring to play on slogans with rhymes rather than emphasising some major creative component to the product itself. 

The Kataeb for example missed a great opportunity replaying the slogan "You love Lebanon, love its industry" uttered by the assassinated minister Pierre Gemayel (who was helming the party), and changing it into "You love Lebanon, love its agriculture". Same applies to other messages, which whereas passably creative, failed to mark a major spot. 

The Ministry of Agriculture via a collaboration between Trending Designers Communication and Phenomena, opted for Fayrouz lyrics-- "I love you however you are" line-- to encourage people to consume local apples, all kind of apples even the imperfect ones, hence stand with Lebanese farmers in their fight for survival vis-à-vis the competition. At the same time, the message embeds an indirect social and political call for action.

It is to note that the apple saga is nothing new, it comes back periodically every few years, but back then real-time marketing was not on the map. A headline from Annahar dating back to the 60s worth mentioning here says, "Oum Koulthoum took in two nights in Baalbeck the equivalent of Lebanese apples' export to Egypt this season".

Whereas this whole issue is taking a bite out of farmers, brands would do better than profit from it.