Best Bar Slogan on Earth

March 25, 2010

Next time you have to market a bar, keep in mind the greatest ad slogan ever, for Herlinger, in Tel Aviv:

Check out Herlinger on Facebook.

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Israel is a small penis

February 22, 2010

Check out this pro-Israeli tourism ad. You will not be disappointed! And then read this blog post for everything I’d say on the matter.


Vote this November!

November 8, 2008

This November be sure to cast your vote! No, I’m not writing this post a week too late… November 11th is Tel Aviv municipal election day! Below is one of the “viral” election ads for Dov Khenin (bio on Wikipedia) of the City for All party that’s filled with Israeli celebs. Yeah, by the way, he’s a communist (not that there’s anything wrong with that)! His videos, interviews and positions (especially on the environment and high costs of rent in Tel Aviv) seem to make a lot of sense and are presented professionally and without many typos.


Banji Jamping Sommeliers

October 29, 2008

Premier Cru is a new company offering sommelier services for private events in Israel. Their site is enticing, getting the user to read almost every page and build interest in their offering. We can set aside the fact that Israelis don’t drink very much and, when they do, are not known for their interest in high quality wines. The most interesting part of the site, however, is “The Team,” where they provide detailed bios on all their wine connoisseurs.

In this case, knowing the people behind the company makes you lose any interest in actually working with them. The impression you get is that most employees are students at Tel Aviv University (many seem to be majoring in biotechnology) and are also children of the former soviet union. This is not necessarily the profile that springs to mind when thinking about wine experts you’d invite to your next high-profile private event.

And if you have any doubt, make sure to read Tal’s profile, where you’ll learn that she enjoys “light athletics” (don’t ask me what that means) and “banji.” I wonder if she packs a beg of mashrooms while on her way to do banji.

Does anyone get the impression from the website these people can do what they claim? No references, no real pictures, no stories… just glamorous-sounding mumbo jumbo. And, by the way, all the pictures on the site were taken in a furniture store. After seeing the exhaustive bios, professional make-up job and fancy photo shoot it seems the site is more about feeding their own ego than anything else.


Israeli CEOs are Stupid

June 28, 2008

This post isn’t meant to poke fun at a random Israeli speaking with a few mistakes. Rather, I am picking on one Israeli to make a larger point. For most Israeli companies to succeed they have to have their eyes and strategy set on international markets from the beginning. The Israeli marketplace simply isn’t large enough to sustain many large companies. So start-ups immediately set their sights on Europe, the Far-East or America as destinations to export their technologies and as targets for their marketing.

That’s all fair and good. The problem begins with a basic Israeli weakness – the overwhelming impossibility of a typical Israeli to admit his or her flaws. You’ll seldom hear waiters or public sector workers admit they don’t know something or that they did something wrong. This universal Israeli weakness is even more acute among those that become entrepreneurs and managers. Of course, if they are ambitious, have ideas and pursue them, they will almost never admit personal shortcomings.

A very blatant example of this phenomenon is seen in almost all Israeli attempts to market their products to American audiences. The false-confidence stems not only from general over-confidence but also from most Israeli businesspeoples’ belief that they know English well. “Ehhhh, of course, I spent one year in America with Shoshana and the kids, of course I am speaking the English goodly.”

In my line of work I get to meet a lot of Israeli start-ups and entrepreneurs. Those I like will surely hear from me this tirade and my bottom line of “get a native English speaker on your team to present your company to Americans! Do not assume you’ll do a good job just because you’re the CEO and grew up watching Seinfeld.”

What prompted me to write this post is a video by Israeli CEO Uri Shinar giving an elevator pitch for his company, Aniboom, which Techcrunch posted recently. Click here to see the video (sorry that WordPress won’t let me embed it here but I promise you its worth the link to watch this horrible video).

In my opinion the video is the perfect example of the over-confident Israeli CEO telling himself “of course I should be the one doing the pitch, I am the CEO.” What he probably didn’t consider for a second is that his English will not only be a detriment to the video but may even turn people off entirely because they won’t really “get” what he’s trying to say. And before you tell me that maybe he had no one else available to do the video let me say that I know for certain several native English speakers work at the company. One of them could have made the company’s pitch in even less than 30 seconds and wouldn’t have made people cringe from some of the mistakes Uri made: “eh, we get great feedbacks from the peoples.”

Good luck Uri! I hope others learn something from this, seriously.


The only thing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad likes about Israel

June 12, 2008

This is a new commercial airing now on Israeli satellite provider YES. In it, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that by Monday he’ll destroy Israel but he’s then stopped by fellow Iranians declaring how much they love Israeli TV. Things then turn into a big ‘ole song and dance orama.

Thanks to Greg Levey, author of the new book Shut Up, I’m Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government — A Memoir, for the post.


Addicted to spell check

December 30, 2007

What’s wrong with this picture? Were they drunk when they designed the sign? Probably not…they were probably just too lazy to use spell check before spending all that money on getting a big ass sign made.

Smith Bar

I know last time I checked…alcohol was spelled with ONE “h” and it isn’t located after the “c.” How did NO ONE catch that? Way to go, Smith Bar!