| Le bijou est aussi un droit | Really?

It’s been a while since we’ve bashed on a campaign on here. I was starting to miss it. Clementine (agency) has just made the job real easy.

This campaign is wrong on so many levels I wouldn’t know where to start.

Let’s go for the creative concept: so “A jewel is also a right”? I realize this is a literal translation, but I have to say I really tried digging deeper to translate more meaningfully; didn’t find anything there. So a jewel is also a right. As in, a jewel is so many (obvious?) things, but what we hadn’t realized is that it is also the right of every woman. Please note that “a right” here, actually takes on the same significance as it would in “women rights”. Kind of pretentious if you ask me.

At this point, i thought I read “Le bijou aussi, est un droit”, as in “jewels too are a right” which in many ways would’ve made more sense if backed with the proper execution. That would be a woman actually taking advantage of all her rights (voting, working, gender equality in general…) and then signing with a slogan that would imply something like: “you fought for your rights, you obtained them, today you can’t live without them…well, treating yourself (or having your man treat you) to jewelery is also your right. Take it”. Now , I’m not saying that would be a good concept, but it could make sense on a certain level. “A jewel is also a right”: means absolutely nothing.

Now as if this wasn’t enough, the ad actually includes a call to action: “reclame-le”, as in “claim your right to a jewel”. Beyond the blatant lack of subtlety required for a luxury brand, the very concept of claiming your rights implies claiming them from someone. In this case, the only interpretation I can find is for a woman to claim a jewel form her husband/boyfriend (who’s been holding back?)… This, in the 21st century, from the agency that gave us “sois belle et vote” is sort of aberrant. If you’re going for global brand image, try shooting ahead of the traditional, patriarchal society’s mentality. How about empowering the woman to believe she can actually cater for herself, even when it comes to luxury items? But moving on…

So the copywriter sucks, we’ve established that. Now on to the art director and the brilliant execution. The first word that came to mind was “whaaaaatttt?”. I don’t get it. I really don’t. If someone does (or if one of the creators happens to stumble on this page, please enlighten me).

A woman, sitting alone. She’s sad? Maybe nostalgic. She’s pensive. What is she thinking about? Her lack of jewelry maybe? Notice none of the women is actually wearing any piece of jewelry. Ballsy, but you gotta have a concept behind it. In this case, paired with the solemn piano music, it looked more like an awareness campaign for breast cancer than anything else.   What’s with the closed, confined, dark spaces? Not a smile, not a single shiny object, not one of these women emits any positive sentiment whatsoever. Basically an ad for a jeweler that lacks all communication codes of the industry.

While most clients in Lebanon probably lack that kind of insight, agencies are expected to know better.

Watch with moderation. Seriously damages eyes, ears and brains!


23 responses to “| Le bijou est aussi un droit | Really?

  1. LOL! Bien pondu Samzzzz.. C’est du pur processed rotten cheddar le travail de ce type.

    I could say more than “Whaaaatt”…
    I said WTF?!?!?!?
    Nice article Samzzzz.

  3. Just to correct something I think is wrong in this otherwise good post, the “Sois Belle et Vote” ad, as well as the rest of the Free Patriotic’s Movement 2009 electoral campaign was the work of Sami Saab and a team of FPM volunteers. No ad agency (Clementine or others) was officially involved in it.

    • Hey Jean. Thanks for the comment. You’re actually right.
      I guess i made an amalgam given Sami Saab is founder and CEO of Clementine.
      That’s probably his own fault as he makes the amalgam himself.
      All these ads are posted on youtube under his personal channel, not the agency’s.

      • Et pour relancer le débat, peut-être, juste peut-être, que le verbe réclamer est utilisé dans son sens de “nécissiter, avoir besoin de” (exemple: réclamer de l’attention), et non dans le sens de “demander avec insistence”.

        En tout état de cause, j’avoue que le message pourrait mal passer… Peut-être est-ce le but, de provoquer, pour mieux faire parler?

        Just a thought from a Mkrzl 🙂

  4. @Jean M:
    Sens 1 : Demander avec insistance ce à quoi on a le droit ou quelque chose que l’on désire.
    Sens 2 : Nécessiter, avoir besoin de. Ex Cet enfant réclame de l’attention.
    Je pense qu’ils étaient plus sur le Sens 1 étant donné qu’ils parelent de “droit”
    Mais on peut continuer à débattre si tu veux 🙂

  5. Regardless of whether it’s meaning 1 or 2!

    Reclamer de l’attention implique aussi la reclamer a quelqu’un.
    Moo point

  6. Thank you for the blog. It felt like I needed someone else to agree with me that the ad by Clementine is just nonsense!

    I’ve noticed all the ads by Clementine (HomeCity, Laptops – PCWorld…) and honestly all of them are – I can’t seem to find the right word.. amateur? meaningless? while watching the ad you might think that wow there must be a great thought or deep idea behind it, but as it seems its just meaningless. They are trying to look professional – but it’s awful!

  7. I totally agree, this AD is a joke
    Check out what I had to say about it



  8. Thank you for the post! Well thought through and raises interesting points. This ad actually brought back (revolting) memories from another Whiskey ad from this past summer. Something about “Chivalry” and the woman marrying him because she “loved him” or something of that sort. I can’t remember the name of the Whiskey, which probably proves how successful the ad was 😉

  9. i think it is a great ad because it is something new unusual and a powerful slogan daring ad because it is not showing the product so it is not a ME TOO ad good or amazing JOB CLEMENTINE !!!!!! new era of ads BRAVO !!!!

    • Great to see a comment with a different opinion. Thanks for the comment Nadine.
      Do you have any additional insight into the ad? like what does the slogan mean exactly? Or what’s the insight behind not showing any products?
      I’m curious also as to what the women’s rather sad expression is trying to convey.
      Given the diversity of the commercials’ settings and the profiles of the women, is there a particular target that the ad was aimed at?
      Also, what do you think about the fact that the slogan puts the woman in a position of dependence vis-a-vis the man she’s supposed to claim the jewels from?

      I’d really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this.

  10. Wonderful job Clemetine…U are the 1st and the Best…

    • Thanks for the comment Jessy!
      I like the structure of your reasoning and how you bring forth so many arguments

    • Jessy and Nadine, can we stear away from the “groupie” comments and try bringing forth constructive arguments to our claims?

      I agree with you that Clementine has done great ads (find them in their Youtube channel), but I also think that Sami Saab has had a few creations where the line between genius idea and degrading mentality was very thin.

      Joaillerie Mkrzl’s ad is one of those exemples, where i persnally think that altho a lot of emotions are transmitted to the viewer (thru the way it’s filmed, the expression of the actors and the music), the message is unclear and a bit degrading (enno can’t women get their jewels themselves instead of claiming them from their husbands?). As I said, border line between genius and degrading.

      Another exemple of Sami Saab’s controversial work is the “Sois Belle et Vote” ad… But in the opposite. In this ad, and in my opinion, the genius was a lot more visible, even though not-so-objective viewers tried putting forth the degrading aspect of it.

  11. thanks for putting this on your blog. i have been watching this ad on tv and thinking to myself: what the hell? i have never ever seen such a worthless tvc.
    i used to work in the jewellery business myself – a very shallow industry. maybe sami saab tried to bring in something different, something with a meaning… but to my honest opinion, he totally missed the point. i would feel ashamed if my jewellery brand was advertised this way!
    i really liked the sois belle et vote campaign, though ‘shocking’ for some, i thought the concept was strong; here the agency failed in every sense of the term as you well describe it.

    for instance, if he had done something light, fresh, colorful, with a woman smiling in a very “coquine” way looking straight in the lens “moi aussi j’ai droit au bijou”(note play of words: bijou – bisou :-P); then as a jewelry brand i would be proud to show my tvc…

  12. jai rarement vu une campagne aussi nulle!
    c’est honteux et serieusement ridicule.
    Ca ne veut rien dire
    Les droits qu’on devrait demander a voix haute sont le droit de donner la nationalite libanaise a nos enfants meme si l’on a choisis d’epouser un etranger.
    Mais encore de pouvoir divorcer sans se retrouver a la rue.
    le droit au respect au meme niveau que l’homme aussi.
    reclamer des bijoux a nos maris???? non mais ca va on est pas des potiches !!! On reclame du respect ca oui!

  13. Absolutely! I am so glad to see that other people share my opinion about this deeply sexist and ridiculous ad! All it does is reflecting the concept of the gold-digger who does nothing but depend on a man to provide for her as she’s waiting in her bedroom…sad and depressed… This is truly revolting!
    Being offered jewls would really be the last of a woman’s concerns in a context where she is supposed to be fighting for her rights which is what the ad is saying. I mean how does the right to be offered jewl weigh nxt to the right for children custody after a divorce? A woman got beaten up really bad a couple of weeks ago in kfarehbab by men sent by her father in law because he wouldn’t have her having custody of the children after the death of her ex-husband.
    Thus in a country as civilized as Lebanon and where something as refined as this is allowed to happen I really wonder how bad should we worry about the fact that “le bijou est aussi un droit…reclame-le” I mean please, just give me a break here.

  14. Just want to add that they could have portrayed the woman in the add in a very different context : Coming back from work for instance, in an elegant suit & in a good mood… This way at least she’d appear as a liberated, independant woman whose rights are obviously respected and who has a man who loves her in her life & spoils her by offering jewls…this could have been ” a la rigueur” digested as the clame for jewls as a right would have appeared as wittily ironic

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  16. Hey Guys!

    I was reading your comments but I do not agree, sorry!! Jewels in my opinion, whether bought as a present by a man, or bought by the woman itself for self satisfaction, gives meaning to a woman’s life. I sincerely doubt that a jewelery present will leave a lady sad 🙂

    In this ad I found it really interesting that someone is defending women’s privileges. I did not take it as an offense to women’s liberation and I don’t see where in the ad they were pointing to the women dependance on men. If I feel sad for example, I do not wait for a man to bring me presents, I take my purse and go shopping, that easy.
    The concept here is clearly not what you have stated.

    So What I see here is the right for every woman to have jewelery in her closet no matter what age ahe is. After all diamonds are a girl’s best friend hehe.

    And for God’s sake giving us examples of women that are beaten up, where does that fit next to a jewelery ad? Its jewelery, its luxury. It needs elegance. If you have the money you sure do raise the bar and sparkle yourself!!

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