On November 19, the 2014 Effie MENA Awards (held in partnership with Communicate’s sister publication, Gulf Marketing Review (GMR)) ended the regional awards season with a bang, bringing together 1,500 industry peers at the Meydan Hotel in Dubai. The show’s sixth edition saw the addition of the Electronics/Computers, Brand Experience and Single Media Activation categories – bringing the total number of categories to 23 – while submitted entries registered a notable year-on-year growth of 70 percent. Out of 391 shortlisted entries, a total of 16 Golds, 30 Bronzes and 21 Silvers were awarded.
FP7 swept the floor with a total of 25 awards across 10 categories – including two Golds by FP7 Cairo and five Golds by FP7 Dubai – ranking as the Most Effective Network of the Year and its Dubai office as Most Effective Office of the Year for the second year in a row. Commenting on the wins, Sasan Saeidi, managing director of FP7 UAE, tells Communicate: “We won, other teams lost. The same night will come again and the fortunes may change. The second year is always sweeter knowing that the Effie has been our main focus for the past two years and will remain our focus in the years to come”. It was a special night for one particular piece of work by FP7 Dubai: SmartLife foundation’s “SAPNA – How 17,793 Nails Shaped the Future for Generations to Come” campaign that bagged four awards, including a Gold in the Best Use of CSR and Brand Experience categories as well as the ultimate Grand Prix.
While none of the other agencies or networks came close to matching FP7’s success in sheer number of wins, next in line was JWT with a total of nine awards, closely trailed by OMD MENA and Leo Burnett MENA – each walking away with seven awards. Impact BBDO took away six awards, closely followed by Mindshare MENA, which won five awards across four categories. TBWA/RAAD Dubai, JWT, Memac Ogilvy and Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) MENA walked away with three awards each.
No fool’s gold
However, the jury handed out the Golds sparingly, without any being awarded in the Cosmetics and Fragrances, Non-food FMCG, Shopper Marketing, Retail and Media categories. In fact, the Shopper Marketing category saw only one Bronze being awarded to Leo Burnett Dubai for Diageo’s “A Gold Edition”. Probably the most disappointing of all, the Electronics/Computers category had no awards.
On a country-by-country basis, the UAE was the overwhelming winner, grabbing 11 out of the 16 Golds. Egypt, an equally strong performer this year, grabbed the remaining five.
Out of seven Golds awarded to FP7’s regional network, five went to the Dubai office: three for Smartlife’s SAPNA campaign in the Best Use of CSR, Single Media Activation and Brand Experience categories, one for Emirates NBD’s “Hey Future Me…” in Banking, Finance and Insurance and one for Sky News Arabia’s “The Cinema News Broadcast” in Single Media Activation – the latter win was shared with UM Abu Dhabi. FP7 Cairo took home a Gold under the FMCG category for Coca-Cola Egypt and Atlantic Industries’ “Share a Coke” campaign, and another for Egyptian telco operator Mobinil’s “Net Heads” as the Best Youth Marketing campaign.
Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan and its agency, TBWA/RAAD Dubai, won half of the awards in the Automotive category: a Silver for the “That’s Tiida” campaign and a Gold for the “2014 Patrol: Conqueror” campaign. JWT Cairo and Starcom MediaVest Group Cairo’s collaboration on Mondelez Egypt Food’s “Cinnamint” won a Gold in the New Product Category, while JWT Dubai and Carat Dubai bagged the Telecommunications, Mobile and Internet Gold for Microsoft Mobile Devices’ “I’m Coming Home”. Alongside Mindshare Dubai, JWT Dubai bagged another Gold for its work on Nike’s world-renowned “Winner Stays” campaign in the Sports Marketing category.
Emirates Airline’s “ #AllTimeGreats: Pele and Ronaldo” campaign by Havas Media Dubai and Impact BBDO Dubai won two Golds; one in the Sports Marketing category and the other in the Travel, Tourism and Transportation category. It was a triple win for Impact BBDO, whose Cairo office, along with OMD Cairo, walked away with a Gold in the Personal Care Services category for Marico Egypt Industries’ “Haircode 1 Million Campaign”. Memac Ogilvy Dubai’s much acclaimed “The Autocomplete Truth” campaign for UN Women landed a Gold in the brand experience category. Meanwhile, Memac Ogilvy & Mather Beirut picked up a Bronze for the Best Use of CSR for UNDP’s “Setting the Record Straight” and Memac Ogilvy Bahrain, a Silver in the Telecommunications, Mobile and Internet category for telco VIVA Bahrain’s “Termination” campaign. Cairo-based Media Direction OMD won the Gold for Best Use of Social Media for its “Barakat and Super Teta” campaign for Vodafone Egypt.
Emirates NBD – and its agency FP7 Dubai – shone through at the Effies, bagging a total of five awards, four of which were in the Banking, Finance and Insurance category: a Bronze for each of the “Eat. Pay. Love.” And “The Culture Dispensing Machine” campaigns, a Silver for the “Awesome Travelling Machine Travels” and a Gold for the “Hey Future Me…” campaign – which also bagged a Bronze in the Brand Experience category. It was also a big night for Unilever and WPP’s Geometry Global Dubai, which won two Bronzes in the Personal Care category, while Unilever Gulf and Lowe MENA’s Dubai office walked away with two Silvers: the first for “Motionsense” in the Brand Experience category and the second for “100% Impact” in the Non-Food FMCG category.
All of the winners are eligible to participate in the Effie Global Effectiveness Index, which incorporates data from 40 worldwide Effie Award competitions to determine those in the industry who have had the most measurable success on a global scale. Francesca Ciaudano, deputy general manager, marketing and PR at INFINITI Middle East, was named GMR Marketer of the Year.