Advertising


A few days ago I got an email from a friend. It contained an attachment. It was a poster that was part of an awareness campaign regarding HIV and AIDS. What pleasantly surprised me was that the campaign was from the Ministry of Health. However the poster evoked a lot of different feelings including amusement, surprise, happiness, and disappointment.

The mixed feelings come from different places and different reactions to the poster. First let me say I applaud the Ministry for taking this step. It is a good move towards opening the dialogue about STDs in general and HIV in particular. It has always been a taboo of a topic here. We are like ostriches with our heads in the sand, in denial about the magnitude of the problem that exists in Jordan; about the unsafe sexual practices, about sexual abuse, about STDs and about actual figures. So this is a good step, no, a great step forward

I am dismayed and disappointed in the campaign its self. Visually it leaves a lot to be desired, the poster reads like a brochure, detracting from the message. It would have been more effective to use less text for more impact redirecting people who are interested to brochures, website or the phone line they have.

The actual messages sent are both positive and yet frustrating. I have heard a lot of reactions to this campaign and the reoccurring theme is wow this is great, they will learn, and hmmm they have some misconceptions. My worry is that with misinformation we can do more harm than good. Also there is no advocacy for safe sex practices. In fact they have listed sex as dangerous as a whole, which will not deter people from having sex.

Ministry HIV Campaign

For those that don’t read Arabic the campaign is a series of questions, some highlights from the texts…

  • Do you have any sexual practices?
  • Do you have any “dangerous” sexual practices (girl and girl, guy and guy, guy and girl)?
  • Do you know that VERY beautiful girl may have AIDS?
  • Do you know that STRONG, BEAUTIFUL young man may have AIDS?
  • AIDS tests are private and confidential
  • AIDS testing is free in Jordan
  • There is no “quarantine” or reservations against AIDS patients in Jordan

I have heard that this campaign is using the internet and SMS to spread the word, a great way to target the younger generation. I hope there is a plan for wider reach and more mass media tools and techniques. We need to break through the silence and really have people become more aware of the dangers and how to prevent them.

I just recieved a link to a quest on Questler that has infurated me! I am not sure where to start on this. Check it here:

http://questler.com/explore/quest/view/739

Yesterday while heading to a meeting early in the morning I saw wonderful men in orange taking down the propaganda that was put up for elections. What a joyous sight finally the ugly unruly beard of Amman is being shaved and the moustaches are being taken down. 

Looking back at the whole upheaval that was the elections I can safely say that the campaigns were ineffective, the voter turn out expected and the result not very surprising. I know I participated actively in the decision making process, however I feel we are still a long ways away from being able to make our participation meaningful. We still vote for our neighbor, relative or whomever the men in the family are voting for. We do not take agendas or track records into account, and I think that we do not really act as responsible citizens who hold their MPs accountable. When we start participating in political life effectively then maybe the debacle that was the elections will be more meaningful and the results positively surprising. 

Until that time comes I am very happy the men in orange are out there returning my city to its former quietness.

I woke up one day last week to find the streets overrun with moustaches. Why? Why have our lovely streets become littered with all these mug shots of men in suits, and the occasional woman? If it’s not their faces then its ugly cloth banners spouting futile slogans. I quickly realized that the floor for parliamentary elections was now open and with every candidacy came this propaganda. 

Now I understand the need for the candidates to make themselves know, but does it really necessitate the plastering of their faces on every lamppost, pole, circle and available wall in the city? Do they really think the picture of their smiling face will get them into office? And don’t get me started on the banners and slogans. They are meaningless, and serve only to visually pollute the cityscape!

Between the election banners, posters and signs and the Zain campaign it is far better to bury one’s face in a book when traveling around the city than looking at the ugly moustaches or the sexist branding that is now covering every inch of available space in our streets.

I can’t wait for it to be November 21, for the elections to be over and for these pollutants to be removed.

I was driving up one of the roads in West Amman and it was lined with advertising for a company that has just re-branded. I was reading them as we drove and slowly started to get annoyed and then just got mad in the end. What I saw appalled me and was very disturbing. The ads were a series of six three representing men and three representing women. The ones representing men including lines like, this is my band, this is my chart, this is my fast track. Where as the ones with women had the lines this is my mirror, this is my perfume bottle and this is my jewelry box.

I could not believe it! I was fuming. This is a disgusting blatant display of misogynistic, gender discriminatory, poorly thought out advertising campaign. How they expect to win new female clientele to their business or appeal to them is beyond me. I find that these things do not in anyway represent the modern Jordanian woman, who is educated, works, supports herself and her family even, is independent and is a lot more than a mirror, a perfume bottle or a jewelry box! Why they chose those items to represent women is beyond me. The fact that none of these messages revolve around education, careers or even family is appalling, to say the least. The fact that men are represent through careers, hobbies and ambition speaks volumes about the way this company views half the society and how they interpret their role. 

I think that the images and messages should be gender sensitive and empowering not derogatory or demeaning to the various roles of women. And they should also show men in similar situations and not highlight such traditional stereotypical roles that are no longer applicable today in the year 2007!I hope that this company rethinks their new campaign, and quickly,  before alienating some of their target audience with the nonsense messages they are sending out to the public.

I was driving up one of the roads in West Amman and it was lined with advertising for a company that has just re-branded. I was reading them as we drove and slowly started to get annoyed and then just got mad in the end. What I saw appalled me and was very disturbing. 

The ads were a series of six three representing men and three representing women. The ones representing men including lines like, this is my band, this is my chart, this is my fast track. Where as the ones with women had the lines this is my mirror, this is my perfume bottle and this is my jewelry box.

I could not believe it! I was fuming. This is a disgusting blatant display of misogynistic, gender discriminatory, poorly thought out advertising campaign. How they expect to win new female clientele to their business or appeal to them is beyond me. I find that these things do not in anyway represent the modern Jordanian woman, who is educated, works, supports herself and her family even, is independent and is a lot more than a mirror, a perfume bottle or a jewelry box! 

Why they chose those items to represent women is beyond me. The fact that none of these messages revolve around education, careers or even family is appalling, to say the least. The fact that men are represent through careers, hobbies and ambition speaks volumes about the way this company views half the society and how they interpret their role.

I think that the images and messages should be gender sensitive and empowering not derogatory or demeaning to the various roles of women. And they should also show men in similar situations and not highlight such traditional stereotypical roles that are no longer applicable today in the year 2007!

I hope that this company rethinks their new campaign, and quickly,  before alienating some of their target audience with the nonsense messages they are sending out to the public.

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