It’s judgement day for the Festival of Media MENA’s shortlisted entries; our panel of experts congregates to make some final decisions on the body of work and to delegate the awards accordingly. The award ceremony will take place following the Festival of Media conference on Wednesday, April 15, and will also be hosted at MusicHall, a venue which should make for a lively night.
The buzz throughout the judging room is one of excitement, as many of the judges are thrilled to see media spotlighted by having Festival of Media MENA brought to the region for the first time. The judges have expressed their overall sentiment regarding the body of work seen here today, and they’re impressed with the quality of work emerging from MENA.
Ben Phillips, global head of mobile at MediaCom, tells us, “the category that has stood out so far to me has been ‘Best Communication Strategy,’ judging by the kind of feedback and the emotion in the group, it’s something which we’ve all gotten quite involved with and we’re very excited about. There’s been a lot of inspiration, and what I can take from this, using my mobile lens, is the integration of mobile and new technology across all forms of media within this region.”
“I think we’ve seen such an increase in creativity and productivity and media planning in this region in the last few years, and it’s fantastic to see Arabs, their culture and the local talent being celebrated in this way,” says Sarah Messer, director of media at Nielsen.
If these judges are a good reflection of those involved with Festival of Media MENA edition, then it seems like the event is a welcome change to the local media environment. The judges repeat a message of celebration toward the endeavor that brings this festival to the region because the media landscape is constantly growing and should be honored for its accomplishments.
Chris Saldanha, director marketing services, EMEA at Mondelez says, “I think, as far as the Festival of Media is concerned, it actually awards the best in class media entries, and I think this is something that has not been there in the past, and this will be a good way to showcase the MENA entries globally as well.”
“Congratulations to Mediaquest, this [media] is an area which has been underrepresented over the years in terms of recognition,” explains Vikram Krishna, head of group marketing and customer experience at Emirates NBD. “Media has moved in from being a part of the ecosystem to being a top decision that marketers need to make. There’s a need for a forum like this where some of the most creative and relevant ideas are recognized and awarded, so I’m glad that this festival is honoring the best work that the region produces,” Krishna continues.
We’re certainly looking forward to see celebrating the winning entries on Wednesday’s award night!