Monday, April 25, 2011

Back to the basics

My computer kept installing updates and requesting to restart, and so, rather than sitting at my desk and staring at the beautiful scenery while my mac got a dose of that wholesome goodness, for once, I took out a legal notepad and a pen, wow...

I had completely forgotten the feeling of writing. You know, pressing a pen down a piece of paper. In a matter of seconds…ok, maybe about half an hour, I had finished writing and conjuring up an urgent rationale. No writer’s block. Just business. The ease of it all surprises me up to this day – this happened a week ago.

Sure, I crossed out a paragraph while explaining why this brand should do that (unfortunately the rationale is top secret and I can’t share it with y’all), but crossing out Ts and dotting Is woke up so many of my senses: something Word Processor could never do.

This reawakening of the love of physical writing, coming from a social media strategist who’s extent of using a pen in the past year has been signing a check, is mind-boggling. Don't get me wrong, social media and the matrix still turn on my creative juices, but...

As a child, I hated reading. However, I loved to write as forming letters to me was an art – a more restrictive type of art versus drawing and doodling, but still…an art. As my senses converged, as I grew older, I started to love to read as well, for words on paper created scenes in my mind. In high school, I discovered the art of reading. As cliché as it may be, my imagination then started to run wild, to run amuck. During my college days, I found great comfort in writing and in reading essays.

In the past week, after years of simply appreciating, eating and sleeping digital material, I have come back to the basics: pen and paper. My advice to each and every one of you reading this entry is to take a little time to appreciate and relish the organic things in life. Oh, the joy...

Monday, April 18, 2011

How’s that for MADE IN HAITI exotism?!

Mid-Town. Arts district.

Just now, I can bet the imagery created by these two denominations brought you straight to New York City: Broadway, Times Square and the Empire State… But nope… This is Miami. Midtown Miami.

Home to the creative-centric “everything” sprouting everywhere and a top location for young urbanites with a flare (and pocket) for debonair lifestyle. Midtown Miami feels like the new Soho. A lovely feeling and crazy vibe, indeed.

So here we are, invited by Miami-bound relatives, we finally arrived with an hour late (Haitian style obliged) to this spot named Sugarcane. Our being late, however seemed to have absolutely no effect on our invitees.

Please let us mention that Sugarcane's mixologists truly exhibited a savoir-plaire with a tasteful and savorful (even to the eye) list of palate-opener cocktails. Even a quick glance at the menu (printed on what feels to be sugarcane inspired paper) would quickly confirm that they have really truly put great thought to the Bar in Bar & Grill.

With a sidewalk terrace enclosed by a vineyard inspired wall, Sugarcane is this loft-style-high-ceiling setting Bar & Grill with a chic mix of giant cement poles and rustic woody sitting blending perfectly with more modern elements like stainless counter-tops and precision-cut stone walls. Miniature banana-trees and green aloe-like plants let you know straight off you are right home to an authentic offering, reminiscent to Spanish backyards. Three distinct kitchens flame up a wide variety of fusion tapas like Bacon wrapped dates, Duck and waffle, Brussel sprouts, Japanese eggplant, Goat cheese croquettes…a true testament that less (in quantity) is really...more (in taste).

But by now, you must be wondering if PubliGestion has changed vocation and was hired by the Zaggat or the Miami Michelin guide, lol... We figured we had to put you in context to better understand how global our local brands are getting. Both Rhum Barbancourt and Prestige Beer are part of Sugarcane's regular menu…so much so that on any given random table or day, you would see a Prestige, or Rhum Barbancourt based cocktails shining like Haitian flags on foreign soil. How’s that for MADE IN HAITI exotism?!

Oh, and did we mention this part of town, now chic and premium, was formally old-little Haiti? We are so glad, so grateful and proud to see some restaurant owners have stayed true to Midtown’s origin (Business obliged ;)

(Image: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike by MISS~LISA)
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Monday, April 11, 2011

“One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain”

Is there any safer and more beautiful way to express yourself but to put down your thoughts on a piece of paper? How about singing your heart out to the world, knowing that you can share and give back something so pure to the universe? Giving something others can relate to; and be a reference to certain moments, times and places. Music is humanity.

Music is much more than a stress reliever, much more than therapy. It is a way of life. It isn’t necessarily a melody, or a chord; it’s more of a distinguished harmony. The sound of an engine, though not as delicate or soothing as that of the beach waves or the raindrops, is just as beautiful. They all serve a purpose.

I could go on and on about my passion for sounds but the most important aspect is the fact that, sound just like light, just like planet earth and things beyond our knowledge is energy. Did you know that every molecule has its own frequency, therefore its own sound? And every frequency corresponds to a particular color?

See, in the advertising world, we treat every color, text, every impression and diffusion, as they are frequency based… with care. They are after all, products of a team effort, of various energies put together. And because of that, like an engineer mixing a track and making sure each and every sound is balanced correctly to be in tune with, not only the ears but also the enjoyment of the audience they cater to, our job is to make sure that we present and represent each of our client’s products with the correct mix and balance in mind.

Brands are just like us; they grow up listening to Jazz, Compas, Rock, Hip Hop, Bossa Nova, Country, or all of the above. And so at times, we either kick it up a notch or lower down the tone. And what better language to express itself than the universal language of sounds: Music.

Oh, I'm sorry. Please let me introduce myself. At PubliGestion, I am the guy who creates and assures the quality of the jingles you hear on your way to work (if you live in Haiti), or at your desk while streaming Haitian radio here and abroad. I'm passionate about sound and currently evolving as a producer. With a blessed and talented team of copywriters and marketing professionals, everything that is created at PubliGestion comes out being as colorful as the media spectrum in which it is broadcasted. For your viewing and hearing pleasure.

- Fabrice Germain, Production at PG

Monday, April 4, 2011

J’aurais voulu être un artiste...

Sometimes in my dreams, I am a cabaret singer. I sing and dance (with little talent for the last one) to entertain my public. I love to sing. I sing in my shower and while I am cooking, and I think that I can carry a tune… Singing is a wonderful therapy.

Though, I am not an artist – per say, since in my day-to-day work as an account executive at PubliGestion, I juggle between QuickBooks, job orders and client emails. I am the link between my clients’ and PG’s happiness. You could say that I am the semi-salted butter between the Brie and the baguette.

Even if my job consists of the purely business side to an agency’s dynamics, I have a creative side. Remember how I said that I love to sing? Well, I also love it when, from time to time, our studio coordinator lets me work with the graphic artists, and encourages me to give my personal touch to artworks… It helps me get in touch with my inner Picasso – though; saying that there is a Picasso in me is… exaggerating my talents.

I like to pretend that I am an arstist, and most of all; I admire the talent and the work of real artists. My full-time at PubliGestion lets me do just that. And also, I am an activist in the cultural world that is Haiti.

Living here, I am faced every day with raw talent. Our young people can sing, dance, paint, and act - so naturally, but often, their talent remains raw; mainly because of the absence of arts’ value, and the scarcity of art and public performance schools in the country’s structure. The few art schools that exist are private and very highly priced. As a result, our young talented artists cannot learn the techniques, and their capacity to improve and become good performers is slim.

This is why when my friend Bertrand Labarre asked me to join him for the creation of Haiti en Scène, I immediately said yes. This nonprofit association has one main objective: to give the young dancers, singers and actors of Haiti the necessary training via the preparation of a show… usually a musical comedy. It has trained over 100 young artists, and these youngsters are giving back. To commemorate the January 12th you-know-what, they’ve animated theatrical activities with children in the camps (tent cities). Under supervision of our professional artists, shows were organized with the kids. Some of the productions from Haiti en Scene have proudly been presented to the public in Haiti, in Canada and in France.

As the song says: « J’aurais voulu être un artiste… pour pouvoir faire mon numéro…». But, I am not an artist, so to earn the right to be very close to such wonderful people, I do some public relation work, I help with communication and supervise the door and tickets sale on paid performance days, but mainly, I enjoy the show… And, because I know all the lyrics, I sing my heart out during the performance…And on days like these when I am sitting at my desk with a view of the west-side of Pétion-Ville, buttering up a storm, I'm grateful to have been surrounded by those we call "creatives" at work, and in my personal life.

- Jacquemine Léon, Account Executive at PG