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What are the judges looking for at the FOM MENA Awards?

Festival of Media MENA

What are the judges looking for at the FOM MENA Awards?

Danielle Redwood, chief awards & marketing officer, C Squared, gives out her tips on entering the 2017 Awards.

2017 will see Festival of Media MENA Awards launch nine new categories to reflect the industry trends where the best creative media thinking can be recognized. The first step of entering is to select the category or categories you’d like to enter and read through the description. The biggest mistake judges find is that the work submitted does not satisfy the criteria, so entrants are urged to carefully check they satisfy the category descriptions. There are more tips below for each category, along with examples of award-winning cases. Be inspired!

The first stage of the entering process is to submit a written entry, which is a brief description of your campaign by Insight, Strategy, Execution and Result that has been approved by your client. The entry must be submitted online and can be edited up until the deadline, which is 2 February 2017. The earlier you enter the more opportunity there is for the awards team to help and give you advice.

The written campaign must grab the judges’ attention to score high marks and make it to the shortlist. Embrace the art of storytelling and be succinct and clear from the start as to what makes your work award-winning. Usually, it is the quality of insight, relevance to the brand, excellent execution, and results that can show business impact that will help a case win.

In the second stage, shortlisted entrants will be asked to create a video of their case study for the final judging round, and are given a month for this. The video is your chance to really engage the judges and bring your story to life. Don’t forget to include all those persuasive results from your written entry in the video. Even though you have submitted a written entry, the video must work as a stand-alone piece. Narration, music, subtitles, graphics or film are all used to good effect with no particular format favored by judges. Clarity, sense of purpose and, results that relate to the objectives are important.

All videos are viewed by the jury in person, debated and voted to decide the winners. Winners may be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies, with the successes announced at the fabulous awards ceremony due to be held in Dubai on 26 April 2017.

Below are some more tips by category:


NEW: Best Use of Traditional Media

Traditional media should have played a major, specific role in the campaigns submitted here, while judges also expect to see creative use of the media.

NEW: Best Use of an Influencer

How has a YouTube star, sports star, or an opinion leader for example helped a campaign to succeed? The influence should be authentic, not paid endorsement.

Best Communications Strategy

Previous winners stood out for their uniqueness, link to the brand, relevance to the region and addressing real brand challenges. This is a highly competitive category, so your campaign must stand out!

Best Engagement Strategy

Successful consumer engagement will show tangible audience related results. Remember to add context to your results; what were the objectives versus the results, for example?

Best Event/Experiential Campaign

Judges love to see the quality of insight. Approach and scale can help a win by bringing the brand to life, and really connecting with consumers.

The Creative Use of Media Award

It’s about innovation, though not necessarily with new technology, but a new way of thinking and making the judges kick themselves for not thinking of it first.

The Effectiveness Award

Results are key and they really need to impress judges, but equally important is that they support the initial objectives and are put into context. Proof of success beyond campaign metrics could help you claim the trophy.

Best Social Media Strategy

Judges love to see social at the heart of these campaigns rather than social simply used as a means of amplification.


NEW: Best Use of Real-time Marketing

The real-time marketing shown will be either planned or spontaneous via Twitter, Periscope, Facebook, for example, but non-digital executions will also be considered.

NEW: Best Branded Content Creation Award 

This category focuses on original content newly created for the brand. Judges will want to see the ‘brand fit’ and the creativity of storytelling across media channels.

Best Use of Content

Not to be confused with Best Content Creation. Here you do not need original content; it’s more about how the content was displayed or distributed. Think native ads, sponsored editorial, and so on.

Best Use of Video

Excellence is a must in terms of video , but be mindful to make the brand purpose clear, as well as audience relevance and results that help deliver on the brand objectives.


NEW: Best Use of Gamification

How has gamification added value to the brand? The activation should incorporate game elements such as points or reward systems and may be online or offline.

NEW: Best Use of Technology

Judges will look for real innovation and clever use of either existing tech, or new adaptations to really leverage a brand’s message.

Best Use of Digital Media

There is a chance to improve the quality of entries here, with judges expecting to see digital at the heart of the campaign, using the unique properties of digital media.

Best Use of Mobile:

It is critical that campaigns submitted are mobile-centric. High standards are expected, and the benefits of using mobile and its unique properties for the campaign should be clear. Mobile specialists may enter.


NEW: The Best Insight Award

Powerful insight should show depth of understanding of the target consumer and market to win, rather than relying on generic stereotypes.

NEW: Best Not-For-Profit Campaign

This is to showcase the work for charities, not-for-profit organizations or government agencies, and NOT corporate brands. Good work for brands should be entered in the Best Utility/Public Service Award.

NEW: Best Local Execution of a Brand

A local or global brand that has been successfully adapted locally could win here, demonstrating cultural understanding and consideration in the campaign.

NEW: The Creative Use of Data Award

How has data shaped and improved the brand campaign? The data may have informed the creative, media spend or retargeting for example. It does not need to be programmatic, but must be campaign-based, and not generally showcase a research or data resource.

The Utility/Public Service Award

This category is to showcase brand campaigns that have done good for a cause. Keep in mind that judges are still keen to see the link and benefit to the brand as well.

Best Launch Campaign

Be clear on how it is a launch or re-launch, and what the campaign achieved. This can be a competitive category so emphasize why your work should win.

Best Targeted Campaign

Judges expect to see quality and sophistication of targeting when connecting to the audience, not generic messaging or blanket marketing.



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