Leading media agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has been named Media Network of the Year – and Starcom Dubai Media Agency of the Year – at the 2014 MENA Cristal Festival, which took place on February 6 at Beirut’s Music Hall.
SMG dominated the festival’s ninth edition with myriad wins spanning the realms of integrated marketing, digital, mobile and branded content. The agency network won a total of nine honors – including Media Grand Cristal, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards across categories such as Transport/Tourism, Best Use of Branded Content, Best Use of Mobile, and Best Use of Digital.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have received such huge honors at the MENA Cristal Festival Awards – a meeting place for the region’s top industry leaders,” said John Antoniades, chief executive officer of SMG MENA. “We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our roster of loyal, powerhouse clients and agency partners. It is thanks to their business that we have, over the years, refined our expertise and developed a deep knowledge of consumer trends – across various sectors and industries. Understanding the Middle East’s complex marketplace has been key to forging our path to success.”
He also added, “At SMG, we have long believed in delivering innovative communication solutions – across every channel and platform available. We are incredibly proud of the entire SMG team for their commitment to creative excellence and look forward to taking our clients and their brands even further in the future.”
News of the MENA Cristal wins comes at an opportune time as 300 of SMG’s planners and executives are currently gathered in Dubai to celebrate product excellence at the agency’s annual One Awards and Conference.
SMG has been a longtime supporter of the MENA Cristal Festival – and its mission to spearhead innovative, interactive media content. In fact, in order to cultivate and encourage the creation of more Arabic content in the region, Liquid Thread and SMG introduced the Scriptwriting for Brand Content Contest as a new category at this year’s MENA Cristal Festival. To nurture a culture in which writers are inspired to compose compelling, original content, SMG partnered with leading entities Endemol and Yahoo!, as well as the Group’s client, Samsung, to ensure that entries into the competition are shared with, and reviewed by the region’s best qualified experts.
The awards obtained at the 2014 MENA Cristal Festival further extend SMG’s stellar winning streak. In 2012, the Group had an outstanding year, winning over 300 industry accolades including Cannes Lions, Festival of Media and Effie awards, in addition to several Agency of the Year wins. In 2013, SMG amassed over 240 awards for its work, including Media Agency of the Year at the 2013 Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity.