Here’s what some of the winners had to say about the glittering 8th edition of MENA Effie Awards 2016
Sasan Saeidi, Managing Director-UAE Group, FP7 UAE
What I love most about the Effie night is that moment when they call out the agency and network of the year accolade. And having won it 4 (four) years in a row now, is both humbling and flattering. We had great work that won across agencies this year and it was a very close race. Loved every minute of it. When it comes to things I did not like…….it’s an award night; what’s not to like about an award night. Everyone looks great; drinks in hand; meeting industry colleagues, etc……it’s all lovely. But what I don’t like is that it finishes too early…..we should all party and celebrate much longer.
Shyam Sundar, Head of Marketing, Centrepoint, Landmark Group
The setting and arrangements were immaculate. However, ‘Glam overpowered Substance’. While the intention was good to engage the audience with on stage entertainment and showcase case of videos of award winning work, much of the audience was distracted and disengaged. We must find a way to get them glued to the proceedings. Maybe it’s an issue of outdoor vs indoor events.
Tahaab Rais, Regional Head of Strategic Planning, FP7/MENA
I loved quite a few things! I loved FP7 achieving an unprecedented “Fourpeat”; winning the Most Effective Network of the Year and our Dubai operation winning the Most Effective Agency of the Year. It was hard-fought and well-earned. And owing to that, I loved feeling nervous; as our competitors had some fantastic work from across the region and won handsomely too. For those who saw me on the night, they know that I did not sit on my seat for one bit, nor did I eat a bite, until the final announcements were made!
What did I not love? Being honest about it (at the risk of sounding greedy): we should’ve won a lot more. A lot of very creative and very effective ideas that had grown fame and businesses for several of our brands, despite being shortlisted (a lot), didn’t win what they deserved. The lack of recognition for those ideas, compared to some that were rewarded, was a bit of a downer.
Paolo Spiluttini, Vice President Prepaid Segment, du
I have to say that the venue was great, not sure though everyone got the dressed code right. Jokes aside, it was a really pleasant evening, what I liked the most was the atmosphere, the energy you can read in every face, the positive vibe, the team spirit at every table. It’s always great to see teams that have hardly worked together celebrating together such an important achievement such as winning an Effie award.
Lennart Mueller-Teut, Head of Marketing & Communications, Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East
What I enjoyed the most about the awards night was meeting all the leading marketeers and agencies and learning about the best practices employed around the region. Every year the Effie awards night promises a great atmosphere, and a call to raise the bar for better marketing in the following year. There is also a really great open bar – which is why I really go each year.
Walid Kanaan, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA\RAAD
What I liked the most is having the most entertaining live show in town – which is Dubai Fountain – literally behind us, while our entire focus was on the stage in front of us.
What I hated the most is the fact that we had to look backward and enjoy the fountain during the sad stand-up comedian show… thank God the fountain was there.
Naila Fattouh, Planning Director, FP7 Cairo
Despite the slightly uncomfortable heat of Dubai’s warm air, the Effie event is always a night to remember. Meeting industry counterparts, teasing each other on the number of awards collected, the Effie ceremony is an amazing motivator! United with your agency, your network, and especially your client, the Effie is a perfect bonding experience, where frustrations, disagreements and hard work pay off for an entire team. The Effie makes a full team stronger, and hence helps make the entire industry bullet proof! If the Effies have any influence on the level of creativity and efficacy of the work produced by the industry, then it’s definitely a night that’s worth a lot!
Lina Fateen, Deputy MD, Momentum Egypt
I loved the whole event. Meeting everyone and celebrating great work. I believe it was one of the best organized award shows. I did think it was however extremely fast and compressed. We did not have enough time to digest the winners, the case studies, and even the food!
Benjamin Ampen, Head of Revenue for Twitter in the MENA region
It’s always brilliant to be somewhere where various brands and agencies are present – conversations, particularly at the beginning of the evening, are always insightful. I also love seeing the teams behind the rewarded works celebrate altogether, whatever the level of seniority. The highlight of the year though for me remains Unilever’s Asad Rehman “Twitter-blue” tuxedo: ultra-stylish!
Conan Gregory, Senior Account Manager, Commonwealth/McCann, Dubai
The entire ambience of the evening was spectacular. The location was breathtaking, the guests looked immaculate and the food was without fault. Even that terrible opening act could not put a stain on such a glamorous affair. And who could not mention the men and women behind the scenes who worked tirelessly to make this event everything that it was. Here’s to the Bar Staff!
Karim Khalifa, CEO & Co-founder of Digital Republic Linked by Isobar, Egypt
The food and the location were great. The overall entertainment and content could have been better. The audience wasn’t as engaged as much as they could have been.
Maya Khammar, Client Services Director, Publicis ME
Well, winning Gold in the FMCG category – probably the most competitive category – was definitely the highlight of my evening. Standing on stage with your client is also a high. What I didn’t like? Hmmm, getting off the stage in my high heels!
Jad Chababi, Business Unit Director, J3 MENA
What I loved the most: the smile on the face of my clients and team members following the win
What I didn’t: the fact that our campaign deserved a gold and got a bit less than that!
The Effies are an important awards show because they spotlight a key area of the advertising business that has been historically neglected – effectiveness – and that is why we, like our clients highly value them. With the challenging realities of the current economic climate as well as the shifting behavior of consumers towards measurable digital media, the emphasis on proven & effective brand marketing activities that impact business results is a must. All this means that an Effies win intrinsically represents good business because it recognises activity that has shown a relevant & measurable return. It also translates into good business because existing & prospective clients actively look to this award as an indicator that an agency partner can convert their day to day efforts into real returns…and that is good for both the brand & the agency’s business! Any chance to get dressed up and visit the Armani Hotel is a happy night! If only the ‘stand-up entertainment’ had been in the same good taste!