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.

FASTFACT

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.


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 18 November 2019

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.