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It is true that even the closest things to you might be fake

Most of you might have noticed how the whole world is tending to become more fake: from fake noses and boobs to fake personalities to fake brands and products. Sadly, very little is being done to promote originality and uniqueness, especially those relating to human traits and physical appearance -- however, this is not our topic for today.

The purpose of this post is to shed light on a very successful campaign that is currently taking place in Lebanon. BPG (Brand protection group) is an international organization that protects brands and consumers from fake products by creating awareness campaigns & seminars.

The objective of this campaign is to create as much awareness as possible about the fact that there are fake products in the market and to promote a number that consumers can dial to report those imitated products.

What I loved the most about this campaign is that its everywhere. Leo Burnett have outdone themselves this time. They have created a very interactive campaign that integrates many different tools. From a marketing perspective, I would say that this directly applies all the rules of a successful promotion mix. But I won't bore you will all the marketing bla bla blas; I will leave that for my marketing communications assignment (cc @leilakhauli).

The most creative and perhaps most controversial tool that hey have used is social media. Without a budget, they have targeted opinion leaders in the Lebanese blogosphere and digital media by an especially radical and unexpected move. They have created fake facebook profiles mimicking (with a slight difference) these people in an attempt to get them to speak about this campaign. I found this to be a brilliant approach (as long as it didn't happen to me). Check out Darine Sabbagh's post about her experience on her blog, The Identity Chef.

To make sure that they don’t create much inconvenience, they made sure that the profiles were only accessible to the person who they are faking, and that it will be deleted after 24 to 48 hours.

Screenshot by Darine Sabbagh
Another great part of their campaign is the media stunts that they pulled for this occasion. On LBC's Kalam el Nas, the program commenced by a fake Marcel Ghanem to kick off the show. This had brought shock to the people who are familiar with the program and with Marcel. he same was done on MTV on the program “Men el Ekhir”. Check out the LBC stunt below (for the full version click here).

The media campaign also included radio and newspaper stunts. On some radio stations (such as Nostalgie, targeting the frenchies and Gevin Ford for the English-speaking and Sawt el Ghad for Arabic), they replaced the main anchor by a fake presenters who’s voice was close to the one you would expect. At one point in the show, the fake anchor revealed the stunt, it’s purpose and explained all about the BPG and the campaign.

Moreover, two newspapers (Al Liwa' and Al Balad) were published with fake logos on the counterfeit day explaining the stunt the day after.

But the campaign did not stop here. They gathered around 40 people, and let them go through City Mall in Dora to imitate people and highlight the claim of the campaign: "The closest things to you can be fake”. Check out the video of the imitation flash mob below.

The Mall campaign also included stands that promoted fake products such as fake hair dryers, toothpastes and other common products. The hostesses promoting those products would at the end hand out the costumer a leaflet and explain the details of the campaign.

All of the above tools were for free or very minimal costs and they have highlighted very greatly the power of social media and online presence in marketing campaigns. Of course, since we are living in a very traditional and held-back society, there is still a need for traditional advertising since (sadly) we still rely on traditional media. Therefore, the campaign was accompanied by billboards, TV commercials (that I knew of from my parents) and radio spots promoting the campaign in a fun vintage way and a sense of sarcasm that would have definitely caught the public's attention.

Personally, I loved the campaign and think that should be award-winning because it was the first fully integrated campaign and have successful used new media in a creative way that is bound to attract your attention. What do you think? [vote below]

  What do you think about the BPG campaign?


  1. This is genius!
    And it explains the weird billboards, hah. :-P


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