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The Schmooze

If You Eat Bagels, You’re ‘Jewish Enough’ for Toronto Film Festival

(JTA) — If you enjoy bagels or sport a big, fuzzy beard, you’re Jewish enough to enjoy the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

That at least is the message of the upcoming festival’s new ad campaign. The series of 15-second ads and posters are a conscious attempt to broaden the festival’s appeal, according to the man behind the campaign.

“You’ve got these great, diverse films that you’re probably not going to see elsewhere,” Jon Flannery, chief creative officer of advertising agency FCB Toronto, told Marketing Magazine last week. “Yet [the festival] has this built-in audience limit in that people automatically assume since it’s a Jewish film festival, it’s for and by Jewish people, and that’s not really the case.”

In each video ad, a person performs a mundane activity with a loose Jewish connection, like toasting a bagel, saying “gesundheit” after someone sneezes or combing a lush beard. Then, the words: “Jewish enough” appear on-screen alongside the festival’s logo — followed shortly by “for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival: May 5-15, tickets at”

Some of the ads could be nitpicked by an actual Jew. The Hasidic beard-hipster beard parallel is pretty well-worn territory. And the actual Yiddish sneeze response is “zu gesunt,” which translates roughly to “to your good health.” But the whole point is to appeal to non-Jews. So fine.

The fourth video — a reference to circumcision — will viscerally connect with men, Jewish or not.

Watch all the videos below.




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