Israeli advertisers are certain that their audience loves the look and feel of the West and believe that American and European brands are perceived as better. That’s why many Israeli ads are filmed abroad and speak English, so that they will posses the illusive je ne sais quoi. It is often the case, nonetheless, that ad agencies blow their budgets on make-up and expensive suits – and still fail at hiding the Israeli qualities they deem so inappropriate.
Take a look at this Subaru TV spot that ran in Israel and try to determine if it is, in fact, Israeli-made:
Rabbi Raphael Halperin, owner of Optica Halperin (and a former wrestler), announced yesterday that he is cancelling the tender for the company’s advertising account. This was the first time in 19 years the company called a pitch to run its three million dollars account, but after reviewing the bids Halperin decided to continue advertising on his own, buying media as an individual.
Halperin told Maariv newspaper that he did not like any of the ad agencies’ bids, as all of them focused on changing the company – not advertising it.
I applaud Rabbi Halperin as it must be difficult to watch the current advertising trends, and say with conviction: You are all crazy, and I must be the only sane person left. While he did not elaborate, I am willing to put my money where my keyboard is and suggest each of the bids received included at least one of the following overused superficial makeovers:
The Acronym Shtick:
In lieu of creative thinking let’s just acronym the company’s Hebrew name into English letters, just like with these companies:
Matim Li >> ML
HaMashbir Mahsaney Ofna >> H&O
Lilith & Varda >> L&V
Avigdor Shoes >> AVG
The Color Shtick:
They say if you can’t make it good, make it big – and if you can’t make it big, make it red. The following companies actually paid money for this advice:
Cellcom (telecom) >> Purple
Pelephone (telecom) >> Blue
Orange (telecom) >> Orange
Bezeq (telecom) >> Blue
Mirs (telecom) >> Green
Hapoalim (bank) >> Red
Discount (bank) >> Green
Leumi (bank) >> Blue
The Logo Shtick:
One of my favorite shticks, and the one that proves ad agencies basically create their own market by convincing companies to change their logo every couple of years.
Here is a visual timeline I created for a number of leading Israeli companies, one not-so-leading company that has never changed its logo, and one organization that was brave enough to revert to its vintage logo after two years of using a new-and-improved logo.
Please note this is a draft and some dates are mere estimates.