Culture Clash

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Here's a freelance job you don't see every day. Thanks to a personal acquaintance with one Mehmet Garan, who runs Radio Oxi-Gen, a world music station broadcasting from Istanbul (, New York creatives Jerry Fields and Marta Ibarrondo were asked to work up a print/outdoor campaign that would "dial up the cool factor," as the client put it. Driven by the line, "Mixed up music for mixed up times," the copy reads, "Soul, House, Leftfield, Down-Tempo, Euro, American, African, Indian, Asian, Salsa. All from one instrument: an Istanbul transmitter." (The ads are seen here in their pure-picture state.) The photographs, shot in Istanbul, "are stylized, yet still editorial in nature," says Fields. "They convey the eclectic range of the Istanbul populace, from business people in suits to elderly women in burkas. To notch up the mish-moshed cultural spin, each shot also highlights a person or persons dressed in a wild mix of ethnic clothing - saris, Scottish kilts, Japanese sandals and so on, appropriate for a world music station - and some shots have an element of emotional drama as well. In one ad, a woman in burka and miniskirt is puffing away on a water-pipe in a smoking bar, traditionally a male sanctuary. In another, a young couple dressed in several different national styles of clothing are consoling each other as they stand on a busy street corner, mosques shaping the skyline behind them." This work, outrageous by Turkish ad standards, was not an easy sell, even for this enlightened client. "We of course pointed out that given the East/West dichotomy that is his country, he is likely to enjoy great quantities of free press, effectively doubling his advertising exposure," notes Fields.

Client: Radio Oxi-Gen Agency: Zebra, Istanbul CD/CW: Jerry Fields CD/AD: Marta Ibarrondo Photographer: Richad Mistri

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