Communicate brings back its Campaign, Agency, and Network of the Year rankings. Here are the creative engines that were metal magnets in 2022.
Every year, advertising agencies from the Middle East are doing better and better at award shows globally. Whether at the Cannes Lions, the London International Awards, the Cresta Awards, or the Loeries, many creative minds made us proud on the world’s scene. The winner of the Communicate’s Agency of the Year is Impact BBDO Dubai and that our Network of the Year is Leo Burnett ME.
With a massive 267 points for eight campaigns awarded this year, Impact BBDO Dubai took the lead early at the Lynx Awards in March, where it was named Agency of the Year; a feat it repeated in October both at the Loeries, where it was not only named Agency of the Year but also Regional Agency Group of the Year, and at the LIAs where it was recognized as the Regional Agency of the Year for the Middle East and Africa thanks to its two Grand Prix – a first for the UAE. Most significantly, Impact BBDO also grabbed a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions, keeping in mind that it already was the first agency in MENA to win a top award at the world-famous festival in 2019.
These numerous wins can largely be attributed to the success of three pieces of work: “The Elections Edition,” for An-Nahar Newspaper; “Despair No More,” for TENA; and “The Wider Web,” for Etisalat. “The Elections Edition” is in fact Communicate’s Most Awarded Campaign of the Year, snatching the highest recognition almost everywhere (including at the Cannes Lions, the Dubai Lynx, the LIAs, the Crestas, and the Loeries). Leo Burnett Dubai is our second most-awarded agency with 204 points. Interestingly, Leo Burnett Riyadh’s “It’s Time to Redecorate” for Ikea is the work from the network that fared the highest in the campaigns ranking, immediately followed by “#themissingpeace” by Leo Burnett Beirut for UN Women Lebanon. But thanks to the sheer number of its pieces awarded across the board, the Dubai office did great in the agencies ranking, particularly with “James Jefferson: How a Fraudster, Created by a Bank, Reduced Fraud,” done for Emirates NBD, which received a Grand Prix and three Gold at the MENA Effie Awards. All in all, these multiple wins combined to give a grand total of 299 points and Communicate’s prized title of Network of the Year to Leo Burnett ME. In the third position, both in the Agency and Network rankings, Saatchi & Saatchi grabbed 144 points with five campaigns. No doubt that the 52 points gathered by “Empty Plates,” for the UAE Government Media Office, contributed to this success, with a Grand Prix at the Loeries and Gold at the Effies, Crestas, and Loeries. Interestingly, it’s not an agency that comes in fourth place with 124 points, but the UAE Government Media Office itself, which entered the ranking directly with four campaigns. Bagging alone 62 points, “The Warm Winter Livestream” garnered international acclaim with a Bronze at the Cannes Lions and four Bronze at the Crestas; but it shone most brightly in regional awards with a Grand Prix, three Gold, and one Silver at the Effies, and a Gold, a Silver, and a Bronze at the Dubai Lynx. “The Donation Plate,” with 41 points, was also celebrated both internationally and regionally, grabbing metal at the Crestas, Loeries, Lynx, and Effies.
Havas ME Dubai’s “Liquid Billboard” made quite an impression as well. This piece of work for Adidas shone through and is our second most awarded campaign of the year with 89 points, thanks to a Grand Prix, a Gold, three Silver, and a Bronze at the Cannes Lions, on top of a Grand Prix, four Gold, four Silver, and seven Bronze at the Dubai Lynx. TBWA\Raad UAE should be saluted in the sixth position with 12 campaigns in the competition. Of note, “Chickenstock,” done for KFC, received a Silver at Cannes, on top of Gold, Silver, and Bronze at the Loeries and the Dubai Lynx. Lastly, we tip our hat off to Wunderman Thompson and its Riyadh office in particular, which – along with Leo Burnett Riyadh – is proof that Saudi Arabia is clearly rising as a creative powerhouse.
Our congratulations to all the winners!
To find out which were the most awarded campaigns in 2022, we looked at six of the most prestigious creative accolades: the Cannes Lions, the MENA Effie Awards, the Dubai Lynx, the London International Awards, the Cresta Awards, and the Loeries.
We tallied up the awards each campaign won. For the Lions, we gave 12 points for a Grand Prix, 10 for a Gold, 8 for a Silver, and 6 for a Bronze. For the MENA Effies (organized by Communicate’s parent company NordStella Events), we gave 11 points for a Grand Prix, 9 for a Gold, 7 for a Silver, and 5 for a Bronze. For the Dubai Lynx, we gave 6 points for a Grand Prix, 4 for a Gold, 2 for a Silver, and 1 for a Bronze. Finally, for the LIAs, Crestas, and Loeries, we gave 4 points for a Grand Prix, 3 for a Gold, 2 for a Silver, and 1 for a Bronze. We didn’t award points for certificates and such. We gave points each time a campaign took one of these prizes. So, if several executions were cited separately in the winning of an award in the same category, we awarded points every time. If a campaign won in more than one category, we awarded points every time. If two different agencies were cited for the same award, collaborating to lead a campaign, we gave the same points to each agency. In the end, we tallied up each campaign’s points and put the ones with the most points on top. Campaigns that had the same number of points were considered ex aequo. You can see the list on page 14. However, note that this table features only the top 20. With a total of 144 campaigns reviewed for the awards they won throughout 2022, many simply didn’t get enough points to appear in the list, scoring below 16 points. Eventually, we have awarded one Grand Prix, one Gold, one Silver, and one Bronze.