The ninth edition of the MENA Effie Awards (Effies) has announced its shortlist in the run-up to its highly anticipated awards ceremony, which is expected to attract 2,000 attendees and will take place on 15th November at the Armani/Pavilion in Downtown Dubai under a ‘Great Gatsby’ theme.
This year’s MENA Effie Award winners will be decided on 12th and 13th November, when an expert panel of judges will assess a total of 293 shortlisted entries across 24 categories.
Alexandre Hawari, Co-CEO of Mediaquest – the organiser of the MENA Effie Awards – commented: “We are delighted with the high calibre of entries this year, which have demonstrated the exceptional level of innovation and creativity that we look for in our award-winners. For marketers in the MENA region 2017 turned out to be challenging in many ways, especially in terms of tighter budgets, but the entries also demonstrate that marketing professionals have faced this challenge successfully by rebalancing their media mix.”
Jihad Al Houwayek, Head of Marketing at Damas UAE, said: “In 2017, companies needed to ensure their marketing budgets were in sync with the ever-increasing pressure on revenue. This forced them to optimise every dollar spent by focusing on the core audiences. To do so and be as targeted as possible, companies had to be more data-driven in identifying and reaching their niche target audience.”
Julian Redman, Head of Digital at Aldar Properties, added: “The challenge is not how much we can spend, but how we can justify the expenditure; we are having to demonstrate more and more that every dirham spent is being spent wisely. The media choice should be based on a scientific approach rather than ‘gut feeling’ and we have to prove that there is a return on marketing investment through lead generation.”
To reflect this ever-broadening marketing landscape, the MENA Effie Awards 2017 programme included a new category this year – ‘Renaissance’ – alongside a wide range of industry-specific categories including ‘Automotive’, ‘Banking, Finance & Insurance’, ‘Electronics’, ‘Entertainment & Sports, ‘Food & Beverage – FMCG’, ‘Non-Food FMCG’, ‘Healthcare Services’, ‘Personal Care Products’, ‘Retail & Luxury’, ‘Telecommunications, Mobiles & Internet’, and ‘Travel, Tourism & Transportation’.
It also included a dedicated ‘Shopper Marketing’ category, two ‘Youth Marketing’ categories – one for children and one for teenagers and adults – and two ‘Social Good’ categories for corporate brands and non-profit organisations.
Entrants were encouraged to showcase their marketing and branding innovation in categories such as ‘New Products & Services’, ‘Media Idea’, ‘Brand Experience’, ‘Branded Content’, ‘Media Partnership Activation’ and ‘Seasonal Marketing’.
Alexandre Hawari concluded: “From hundreds of entries we have carefully whittled down our shortlist to encompass only the very best efforts in the region, and the challenging task of selecting the final winners now remains to our expert panel of judges. We look forward to welcoming our industry peers at the awards ceremony to share the results and celebrate the winners in style.”
Winning an Effie has become a global symbol of achievement and participants will be battling it out for the ‘Grand Prix’, as well other prestigious accolades including ‘Marketer of the Year’, ‘Most Effective Advertising Office of the Year’, ‘Most Effective Media Office of the Year’ and ‘Most Effective Agency Network of the Year’.
The MENA Effie Awards aims to establish a gold standard of creative marketing brilliance in the region and is being generously supported this year by Choueiri, Main Sponsor; Al Aan TV and Dubai Media City, Strategic Sponsors; ATL, Group Plus, Hills Advertising, Insydo, IPSOS, Kwanko, and MMP, Category Sponsors; LMTD, Creative & Digital Partner; MadHouse, Media Audit & Consultancy Partner; IBM, Marketing Technology Partner; IABC, The Marketing Society and Warc, Association Partners; Communicate, Gulf Marketing Review and The Media Network, Media Partners; Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, Official PR Partner; UPP, Official Print Partner; and KMPG, Independent Observer.
The full 2017 shortlist can be accessed via the awards website at: http://menaeffie.com/shortlists/