It seems that the advertising industry in Lebanon has taken it upon itself to try and make Lebanon, and thus the World, a better place. There are currently campaigns running such as “When Will I Be Lebanese” which takes aim at sectarianism. (Why should you care what religion you are, you’re Lebanese.)
The best example I have seen of this rise in patriotic (jingoistic?) advertising is this one. It was done for free by the Beirut branches of H&C Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. They donated their time for free. Everyone involved in the project donated their time and equipment for free. And it is being aired right now on Lebanese television for free.
To me, this striking advertisement stands as a fine example of how to rally your people around a common cause. The Army is not Christian or Muslim (or Sunni or Shiite) or Druze or anything else. It represents the national pride of Lebanon. And with the current fight against Fatah al-Islam in the north and the ongoing stoush with Hizbullah (and the resultant Israeli bombings), not to mention Syria’s ongoing meddling, it is important – perhaps now more than ever – that the Lebanese find their national identity and get the show on the road.
I never thought I’d say it, but this is advertising for good. It asks nothing of you except to be proud of who you are and to support those that seek to keep you free. I’m not Lebanese, and I’m not from anywhere even near there, but this commercial moves me. Bravo to H&C Leo Burnett and to Saatchi & Saatchi, both for coming together for this project and for donating themselves to the cause of a crippled nation. Bravo!