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Effie Mena Awards

Iffy guesses


On November 19, the regional awards season will culminate in the 2014 Effie MENA Awards, extending the winning streak of big ideas that proved equally effective in upping sales for clients as they were in bagging trophies for agencies and bringing to a halt that of those that didn’t. Communicate asks participant agencies on their entries, strategies and chances of winning – whether their own or their competitors’ – this year. The responses we received were from Sasan Saeidi, managing director at FP7/UAE; Nada Abisaleh, managing director at H&C Leo Burnett Beirut; Maya Kanaan, client managing director at Starcom MediaVest Group MENA; Alexandra Reynolds, chief strategy officer at Mindshare MENA; Rima Rizkallah, business director at OgilvyAction Beirut; Chafic Haddad, executive creative director at JWT KSA; and Rohan Young, executive creative director at TBWA\RAAD.

Entry strategy and focus

We have submitted 37 entries, [covering] 12 out of 18 categories. I believe our “Keep the Beach Clean” campaign from Mindshare Tunisia is very strong. [This year, we] are more diverse in three key ways: more markets – before we were mainly [focused on the] UAE, [while] now we have Beirut, Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain entering [the show]; more categories – we were predominantly in the automotive category, [however] now we are covering two thirds of the categories; and, more socially and tech-enabled [entries] – Reynolds 

We have entered in almost all of the categories. We have some great stuff on Coke, Emirates NBD, MasterCard and Daman, and a lot of high chances across so many other entries and clientele that we hope will be recognized – including [SmartLife Foundation’s] SAPNA [fund campaign]. Our largest submissions were from the UAE and Egypt. What’s new for us this year is that we have included a couple of more entries from Lebanon and, more excitingly, from our newest agencies, FP7/EBL and Momentum in Erbil – Saeidi 

[We submitted] ten entries in total [under the following categories]: four in CSR, one in Best Use of Social Media, one in Retail, one in Personal Care, one in Brand Experience, one in New Products and one in Shopper Marketing – a new category. We focused on – and I do think that we have some great chances – in the Shopper Marketing category. We also entered the same cases that won at [the Dubai] Lynx [Awards] – Rizkallah 

We submitted a total of 31 entries in the following categories: Automotive, New Products, Youth Marketing; Brand Experience; Sports Marketing; Banking, Finance & Insurance; Single Media Company Activation; Best Use of Social Media; Retail; and Travel, Tourism & Transportation. Our most prominent entries [are] for Nissan, Infiniti and Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). We [also] submitted quite a few entries from Saudi Arabia for Nissan and Infiniti. Last year, we focused mostly on Nissan, but, this year, we have a lot more entries in digital, thanks to TBWA\DAN’s efforts with DSF for the first time – Youn

We have a total of five entries for three campaigns: [NGO] KAFA’s “Vote for Us. We’ll Vote for You” under Best Use of CSR and Best Use of Social Media; [Lebanese telco operator] Alfa’s (managed by Orascom Telecom) “All the Music You Want” campaign under Telecommunications/Mobile & Internet and New Products; and Bonux’s “World Cup Balconies” under Best Use of Social Media. We focused specifically on the campaigns that triggered a strong reaction in the marketplace, thereby transforming human behavior – Abi Saleh

We have 27 submissions across diverse categories, inclusive of the new categories that have been [introduced] this year. We have great work from OSN, Mondelez, Adidas, MAF (Majid Al Futtaim) and YAS, to name a few – Kanaan

Other agencies’ prospects of winning

[Memac Ogilvy Label’s] “Mobilizing the 12th Man” campaign from Tunisia could potentially do well. And you can always count on Coke to come up with something interesting – Reynolds 

I think Leo [Burnett] and [Memac] Ogilvy will have some really nice work and they should pick up some metals, [respectively], for [telco operator] du [campaigns] and UN Women’s “The Autocomplete Truth” – Saeidi 

We usually think what wins at [the] Cannes [Lions Festival has a] stronger chance of picking up metal at the Effie MENA – Young 

[DDB Dubai’s] “Preserving Pride” for Persil, UN Women’s “The Autocomplete Truth” [by Memac Ogilvy] and [Memac Ogilvy Label Tunisia’s] “Mobilizing the 12th Man” for C.S. Hammam-Lif – Haddad

Comments on last year’s show and results

[JWT Cairo’s] Fakka Vodafone was a strong campaign, but I would like to see digital and tech innovations playing a bigger role in the success criteria this year – Reynolds 

The works being showcased from the region are getting better and better by the year, proving how [creativity], while focusing on sales, efficiency and results [are] now the benchmark for every campaign. Like David Ogilvy used to say: “If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative” – Rizkallah 

The industry produces high-quality work every year, and it is always impressive. Last year, it was dominated by the bigger brands with bigger budgets and the results were massive. We are hoping to see brands make their marketing more effective and clever, while using their advertising budgets modestly – Young 

There was no big surprise about a piece of work winning for the wrong reasons. I think it was a fair festival – Haddad 

Last year’s results were great, indeed. The best team won  Saeidi 




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