MENA Effies shortlists best marketing efforts

Entries for the 11th edition of the MENA Effie Awards were assessed and shortlisted by an expert panel of 130 judges during the first round of deliberations on Oct. 6-9.
Updated 22 October 2019

MENA Effies shortlists best marketing efforts

The 11th edition of the MENA Effie Awards has announced its shortlist in the run-up to its awards ceremony, expected to attract 2,000 attendees on Nov. 6 at the Coca-Cola Arena Dubai. With significant interest in this year’s awards, the organizer noted a 25 percent annual increase in the number of entries, assessed and shortlisted by 130 judges during the first round of deliberations on Oct. 6 to 9th. This year’s award winners will be decided by an expert panel of judges who will assess the 275 shortlisted entries across 35 categories. 

Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest — the organizer of the MENA Effie Awards, said: “We are delighted with the high caliber of entries this year, which have demonstrated the exceptional level of innovation and creativity that we look for in our award winners. For marketeers in the MENA region, 2019 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.”

The MENA Effie Awards aim to establish a gold standard for creative marketing brilliance in the region, and is supported this year by The Choueiri Group as the main sponsor. 

Julian Redman, head of marketing at Dubai Asset Management, said: “We had the privilege of reviewing a number of campaigns which demonstrated an advanced use of data and insights to generate leads and improve revenues for those particular products and services. The increase in AI, data management platforms and advanced programmatic targeting has transformed the industry.”

Asif Iqbal Memon, marketing director at Unilever Maghreb, added: “This year, what we loved about the campaigns we reviewed was the specific focus on data-driven marketing and the increased shift toward purpose-led advertising.”

The MENA Effie Awards 2019 program included new categories this year such as Food, Beverages, Health Care Services, Household Goods Supplies and Services, Snacks and Desserts, David vs. Goliath, four Positive Change categories for Environmental Brands, Environmental Nonprofit, Social Good — Brands and Social Good Nonprofit, two Sustained Success categories for Products and Services and two Small Budget categories for Products and Services.

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The winners will be selected from a total of 275 shortlisted entries across 35 categories, and announced on Nov. 6.

Alex Malouf, communications head at Protect & Gamble, said: “The MENA Effies are the standard by which marketers are judged, both on creativity as well as effectiveness. There was a strong focus on data-driven campaigns this year, as well as online audience targeting.”

Winning an Effie has become a global achievement symbol, and participants will be battling it out for the Grand Prix, as well other accolades including “Marketer of the Year,” “Most Effective Advertising Agency Office of the Year,” “Most Effective Media Agency Office of the Year” and “Most Effective Agency Network of the Year.”

The official English Media Partner of the event is Arab News.


Debut Arabian Travel Market Virtual gets underway

Updated 03 June 2020

Debut Arabian Travel Market Virtual gets underway

Travel trade professionals from across the world have gathered online for the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Virtual, a newly launched three-day event for the region’s tourism community.

The debut event, which runs from June 1 to 3, focuses on emerging trends, opportunities, and the challenges which are directly impacting the travel and tourism industry amid the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

Over the course of three days, ATM Virtual will feature comprehensive webinars, live conference sessions, round tables, speed networking events, and one-to-one meetings, as well as facilitating new connections and offering a wide range of online business opportunities.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), said: “Our debut event not only underscores ATM’s mission to support and guide the region’s vast travel and tourism industry during and beyond COVID-19, but it also demonstrates our commitment to delivering positive business and networking opportunities to the entire community, during even the most challenging times.

“With up to four live high-level sessions each day, industry experts will address a range of topics including a road map to recovery, tourism strategies for the future, the hotel landscape in a post-COVID-19 world, and the resilience of the travel industry, as well as exploring the ‘new normal’ that lies ahead, emerging travel technology and sustainability trends.”

In the opening session “A Conversation with Sir Tim Clark,” the president of Emirates Airline spoke to John Strickland about his time at the airline, its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its plans for the future, as well as unveiling Emirates strategy, including planned fleet and network changes.

Another key event that took place on the first day was “OTAs and Distribution for Tours and Attractions Post-COVID,” hosted by Arival, a global research authority on the tours, activities and attractions sector.

The highlight of the second day was a live webinar “Bouncing Back: Tourism Strategies for the Future,” which saw industry experts including Fahd Hamidaddin, chief of investment, strategy and tourism marketing for the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia, and Keith Tan, CEO, Singapore Tourism, discuss how the long-term tourism development strategies implemented by the region’s governments will become a catalyst for recovery when travel patterns adjust to the “new norm.”

Hamidaddin said: “As global travel restrictions ease, our focus is on ensuring that Saudi Arabia is ready to welcome visitors as soon as they are ready to travel. We are collaborating across the public and private sectors, to safeguard the well-being of visitors, while continuing to invest in high quality tourism experiences. Saudi Arabia offers endless appeal to the modern traveler. We are optimistic about the future of tourism in the Kingdom and we remain committed to our long-term targets.”