7 Op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Next 70 Years


In the last month or so, those of us liv­ing in Le­banon and those of us fly­ing in or out in fact, have had no choice but to be re­minded of the “ex­u­ber­ant” 70 years of avi­a­tion our coun­try has rev­eled in. If the over­abun­dance of cedar tree bill­boards couldn't grab your at­ten­tion, a cheaply pro­duced mu­sic video fea­tur­ing Assi El He­lani ges­tur­ing in a record­ing booth might have.

The tone of this open­ing shouldn’t mis­lead you for I’m a big pro­po­nent of cel­e­brat­ing brand her­itage when ap­pro­pri­ate. But I’ve yet to un­der­stand how dress­ing up in 70s fash­ions and pro­duc­ing 70s-in­spired mem­o­ra­bilia (no­tice, th­ese aren’t ac­tual re­pro­duc­tions) work as brand ac­ti­va­tions that should make me want to “love” Mid­dle East Air­lines (MEA) more and strengthen my loy­alty to the brand.

Much like the peo­ple that made it and those who keep it afloat on a day-to-day ba­sis, Mid­dle East Air­lines re­flects the im­age of the Le­banese peo­ple. Ex­cept, the im­age of the Le­banese peo­ple to­day is—let’s face it—dis­jointed at best. Does the fail­ure of the peo­ple to find com­mon ground on iden­tity re­flect the brand’s fail­ure in find­ing its own po­si­tion­ing and tone of voice? Can we as­sume the logo and liv­ery change in the early 2000s was an in­evitable con­se­quence of a po­lit­i­cal power shift? Per­haps. But no mat­ter what the rea­sons, the re­al­ity re­mains bla­tantly

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