MENA Digital Awards' Christine Battikha explains how digital advertising came up with particularly great work.
Last November, the MENA Digital Awards unveiled its winners for a very special 2020 edition. Today, Christine Battikha, General Manager of MENA Digital Awards, Digital Media Forum, and Spot On Media Services & Events, digs one step deeper into the ways in which this edition was different.
How did the pandemic impact this years' awards ceremony in terms of organization and the work that was presented?
This year, the winners were awarded one by one due to the pandemic but we still tried our best to continue the networking momentum by making a step towards every winner along with invitees from the digital industry. Mohamad Itani, Head of Agency Development MENA at Amazon, and Rani Sukkari, Head of Marketing at MBC1 and MBC DRAMA, discussed market gaps, new clients acquired, new technologies in the digital industry with their pros and cons, and the most important digital innovations to be bravely initiated and discussed.
The awards were handed over on a one-to-one at all levels, with a live broadcast to follow as most of the entrants this year were international. The live broadcast will be aired internationally at a set date and time to give room to showcase every work awarded for each and every category.
What kind of challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Even though the pandemic loaded our year with unprecedented challenges, it motivated us to bring more to this industry and work harder as pioneers in the digital industry as we strongly believe that turning obstacles into opportunities is the main key to success.
The awards remain a unique platform showcasing the extensive efforts of organizations to help clients realize strategic objectives, build their profile, drive innovation, accelerate sector progression, and instigate economic growth. The MENA Digital Awards recognizes excellence in the use of digital technologies and media, showcasing the success of brands whose actions are redefining the wider business sector.
What were the new categories introduced this year in light of the Covid crisis?
The newest category was the Digital by Sector which was introduced for the Oil & Gas Sector. One of the founder’s visions back in 2018 was to penetrate and dig deeper in the Saudi market. Thus, the idea of having the Digital Media Forum was initiated at a content level.
Netizency was named the Grand Prix winner for the Best Use of Digital by Sector: Financial and Banking. The agency’s ‘Olivia Gets Hired’ project on behalf of Liv., the fastest-growing digital-only bank in the UAE, succeed in finding a sustainable way to bridge a servicing gap and quickly respond to customers. Another new category was Agency of the Year, with Netizency claiming winners’ awards in every category for various projects, including Best Performance Campaign, Best Use of Social Media on a small budget of $20,000, and Best Use of Social Media on a medium budget between $20,000-100,000.
Middle East Communication Network (MCN) was also recognized in the other new category – Network of the Year – with different agencies claiming wins in several areas. UM MENA was named the winner in both Best Use of Data and Digital Activation categories for its ‘100+ reasons to use Listerine’ campaign, Magna Global won Best Use of Video for its ‘There’s living and then, there’s Madinat Jumeirah’ project, and UM MENAT won the Best Use of Technology accolade for its ‘The Mega Prepaid’ entry.