Memac Ogilvy, JWT and Starcom shine at Lynx

March 17, 2010

Memac Ogilvy, Starcom and JWT were the big winners at this year’s Dubai Lynx awards, which took place at The Palladium last night.

Memac Ogilvy Dubai was named agency of the year after winning a host of golds and a grand prix in the interactive, direct and media categories, while JWT was named network of the year. Starcom retained its media agency of the year title, bagging the media grand prix for its ‘Confessions of Corporate Spies’work for Chevrolet.

Leo Burnett Cairo landed top honours in both the TV/cinema and craft/TV categories, walking away with a grand prix in the two categories for its Melody Aflam ‘Arabic Films – The Mother of all Foreign Films’ campaign, while the print grand prix was awarded to Elephant Cairo for Sima Food Industries’ Lika Gum campaign ‘Out of this World’.

The Dubai Metro ‘Abandoned Cars’ campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai won this year’s outdoor grand prix; the direct and sales promotion grand prix was awarded to Memac Ogilvy Dubai for the entry ‘Dustvertising’ for BP Visco Engine Oil; while this year’s interactive grand prix went to Memac Ogilvy Label Tunisia for SFTP’s ‘Boga Cidre’ ad. The integrated grand prix went to Elephant, Cairo for ‘89 Fans from 89’ for Coca-Cola. There was no grand prix awarded in radio.

DIFF calls creative advertising review

February 28, 2010

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has signalled its intention to refresh its creative advertising by inviting a number of agencies to pitch for the business.

Incumbent Impact Plus has held the business for four years after being appointed twice in succession by DIFF. It is in the running again in the current pitch and joins a field which features Memac Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Tonic, JWT, AdKitchen and Birdie.

Speaking of the decision to review, Mahsa Motamedi, director of marketing and sponsorship for DIFF, said: “We are evaluating the agencies based on their ability to think strategically and execute professionally and creatively. Unique art direction and copywriting skills in both English and Arabic are the main aspects we will be assessing… all in all, we are looking for an agency to be a true, effective and efficient communications partner.”

She added: “Our advertising has mainly been campaign based. Whatever we have done so far has worked to achieve the festival’s goals while being cost effective as well. Going further, we want to focus on an innovative long-term strategy that complements our new media and digital campaign, and look forward to a new creative path.”

Last year the festival, which had its sixth edition in December, focussed 40 per cent of its marketing on new media.

A criminal waste of Lebanese talent

August 12, 2009

By Ramsey Naja, chief creative officer, JWT MENA

“One of the good things about living in Beirut is the low crime rate. Which is a debatable advantage in a city equally known for partying and war: you won’t get mugged on the way to the club but you may get bombed – you do the stats. And this summer, it seems that people have decided it’s worth the risk of being F-16ed, judging by the number of tourists flocking into Beirut.

Ramsy bwBut for the visiting advertising pro, there is no concealing the vandalism on offer in the Lebanese capital. Save for a few glittering exceptions, it is violently on display on the majority of outdoor posters peppering every street: awful, pathetic, boring, vulgar, idiotic, toe-curlingly embarrassing advertising. Crime? Well you got it. In the region’s advertising cradle itself, the industry seems to compete with a delicatessen’s cheese counter.

For the place that launched a thousand advertising careers, many of which have gone to majestic heights on foreign shores, home is where the fart is. It seems like any brief is debunked with flatulence. It’s a collection of what-not-to-do: knee-jerk copy (with inevitable oh-I’m-so-clever exclamation marks), sigh-inducing visual metaphors and Johnny-two-times ads where the copy repeats what the pic labours to show.

Recently, the Lebanese ad industry had a great chance to show its mettle: an un-99.9-per cent election campaign upon which the world cast an intrigued gaze. For once, the Arab world had a freedom of speech champion with gold-plated balls, a Middle Eastern country that does opinion but not Bar Mitzvahs. Pens were sharpened instead of swords and our industry waded in. So what did we get? We got advertising that didn’t just preach to the converted, it pandered to the lowest common denominators and joined up with PR that managed to dig beneath the basest instincts for the kind of 360 that made you vomit with dizziness. And if you thought that was an aberration driven by the country’s bargain basement politics, the work on display today confirms it: what Lebanon suffers from is a criminal waste of talent.”

What is the point of account management?

June 9, 2009

By Ramsey Naja, chief creative officer, JWT MENA

Normally, my reply to the above question would be that the only point account management deserves in its present form, is a full stop.

RamsyThis is not a creative’s cheap shot against what is arguably the most unfortunate bearer of bad news, even though such a messenger should indeed be given as much grief and verbal abuse as possible for perfectly sensible reasons I shall outline below. In fact, let me stop for a second and explain why creatives’ hatred of the traditional suit runs so deep.

I once enlisted the help of a renowned artist as part of a collaborative effort on a campaign. When his work was returned with “comments” he looked like a child who’s been told his favourite toy has been broken. He stormed out of the room – and the project. Thing is, artists don’t get comments, or rejections for that matter. They get exhibited, meet either plaudits or disdain and go away in a swarm of society ladies with solid hair. Creatives, however, are artists who do comments. And rejection. It’s a tough one, believe me, when your work bears the hallmarks of your personality and some coutured dude with starched teeth tells you the client thinks it stinks. It means you do.

You see, there are two types of suits: the postman and the business developer. I shall completely disregard what is called ‘client servicing’ because this is the territory of maids or hotel concierges and those with that title should be forced to wear frilly aprons or a gimp suit. The postman type is the messenger mentioned above and is so useless he can be replaced by pigeons. The business developer, however, is my type of suit. This species, at its best – made as it is of client relationship people and business wizards – brings a new form of glamour to an agency, with Fast Company-style knowledge, the wackiness of reading NASDAQ fluctuations through and the inevitable ability to make a client feel in good company and the agency on to a good thing.

To be continued…

Dubai creatives join forces for good of industry

April 30, 2009

A group of Dubai creatives have come together to establish a club designed to break down agency barriers and represent the community with a single voice.

The new ‘Creative Club’ had its inaugural meeting last night and included creative directors and executive creative directors from Y&R, FP7, Tonic, JWT, Lowe, TBWA\Raad and Brandcom.

lineveldtThe group, which has found a home courtesy of Sam Ahmed at Studio Central, will be meeting monthly. It will also be forming an executive committee and has elected Marc Lineveldt (pictured), executive creative director of FP7 Dubai, as the inaugural chairman.

The aim is for the forum to become a focal point for senior creatives, all of whom are being encouraged to join the club and help combine the opinions of Dubai’s creative community into a single voice.

The Creative Club follows on from the defunct Creative Directors Forum, which was formed in 2005 by many of the creative directors present last night, including Lineveldt, Vincent Raffray from Tonic, and Manoj Ammanath from Brandcom.

“This is very much what Marc and I wanted to do in the first place,” said Raffray. “What’s different is that in Studio Central we have a great place to meet and a real commitment. It’s a better environment and with all the issues that have been happening recently it’s a good time to get together for the benefit of the community. The goal is to give a voice to the region’s creatives and to raise creative standards.”

Y&R tops One Show shortlist

April 15, 2009

Now that the dust created by the Lynx is finally beginning to settle, attention is turning to The One Show in New York.

mtv11The region has nine pieces of work shortlisted in the first cut, all of which come from the UAE. There are a total of just under 1,000 pieces of work from around the world shortlisted.

Y&R Dubai leads the way for the Middle East in the shortlist, with four pieces of work making the first cut for clients Xerox and the Eye Bank Association of India.

Also shortlisted are Grey Dubai for its ‘Colours of life’ for Yellow Pages; JWT Dubai for client Nicola Finetti; Leo Burnett Dubai’s ‘Leftovers’ for the United Nations World Food Programme; Lowe MENA’s ‘Chewing gum’ for MTV; and Memac Ogilvy’s ‘One breasted mannequin for client ‘Bare Essentials’.

Flags(XEROX)_A2_3 AWFurther work has been shortlisted in One Show Design. The Classic Partnership picks up three shortlists, while JWT Dubai has two and TBWA\Raad, Leo Burnett Dubai and Grey Dubai have one apiece.

Memac Ogilvy is the only agency shortlisted in the One Show Interactive. The final judging for The One Show takes place on 1 and 2 May.