Leo Burnett scoops Dubai International Film Festival ad brief

May 9, 2010

Leo Burnett has won Dubai International Film Festival’s advertising brief following a pitch against six other agencies.
The agency has been tasked with rolling out DIFF’s marketing campaign for the seventh edition of the festival, which takes place from 12 to 19 December. The win incorporates both ATL and digital.
Leo Burnett, which has worked with DIFF before and coined the festival’s slogan, ‘Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds’, takes over from Impact Plus, which had been handling the account for four years. Also involved in the pitch were Memac Ogilvy, Tonic, JWT,
AdKitchen and Birdie.
Mahsa Motamedi, director of marketing and sponsorship at DIFF, said: “Leo Burnett’s innovative strategy complements our new media and digital campaigns and will help position DIFF as the definitive film festival of the region, carrying forward a legacy that has been established by Impact Plus.”
Kamal Dimachkie, MD of Leo Burnett Dubai, Kuwait & Lower Gulf, said: “Having collaborated with DIFF in the past, we understand the strategic outlook that is demanded by the festival, especially now that it has evolved tremendously in terms of audience participation, the film showcase and number of industry-focused events.”
Media remains with OMD, while Asda’a Burson-Marsteller continues as DIFF’s PR agency.

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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.


General Motors calls agency review

February 9, 2010

General Motors Middle East has called a review of its communications partners in a bid to ensure its agencies are delivering ‘outstanding service’.

In a statement, GM said it was seeking a “reassessment of its roster of marketing services partners to meet its current and future business and marketing requirements”.

Memac Ogivly and Leo Burnett are GM’s incumbent agencies, both of whom have been invited to participate in the review process.

A company spokesman said: “In our quest to sell vehicles that customers aspire to buy and to build brands they are proud to own and deliver an unmatched ownership experience, we are looking for the best agency partner(s) to deliver outstanding services that meet our objectives.”


Mid-East adland held back by ‘intellectual laziness’

May 25, 2009

“What really makes a campaign from the Middle East?” asks Farid Chehab, Leo Burnett’s chairman for the Middle East and North Africa and chief creative officer for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in the latest edition of Campaign.

farid“Most of the work could come from anywhere. It’s ridiculous. Look at the work that won in Cannes recently for India, Thailand and for all these other regions. They won because they had something original to offer with local flavour. The day our agencies can go to Cannes with strong insights based on local flavours, local behaviour and fresh ideas that are executed in a way that juries can see an expression that is different from what has been seen before – a new expression in art, in visuals – then we have a good chance to win.”

Why hasn’t this ‘new expression’ already been found and developed? Well, says Chehab: “Because our economy has always been built on oil, so it was not built from within. It was not built by the efforts of people – to work, to create. When you look at the West, they invented the communication business, cinemas etc, and this work is self-education. But when you look at the Middle East, we were granted wealth without being educated. We don’t have the creative urge to improve our welfare because it just came to us.”

For Chehab, the environment in Europe helps you, whereas the environment in the Middle East doesn’t. “What you need to do is carry on building a set of benchmarks around you to just keep on self-educating yourself. And that’s not easy. You need to have the drive, the passion to self educate. You need to have curiosity. I always tell my people, ‘be curious’, because the environment doesn’t help you. Why doesn’t the environment help you? Because of intellectual laziness that is due to the fact that we’ve never had to fight.”

Read the full interview in the latest issue of Campaign.


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.