Starcom Mediavest Group enjoys most successful MENA Cristal Awards yet

In a phenomenal start to 2012 Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) won 4 Cristal Awards at this year’s ceremony, becoming the most awarded media agency of the year. SMG was also named media agency of the year on the back of one of the most challenging years for the industry.

The Awards were won for Adidas, P&G Gillette in the hygiene/beauty sector, P&G Olay for targeting women, the Brand Protection Group for best use of media in addition to a special mention for work on General Motors in the automotive sector. 

“The number of our shortlisted campaigns, the awards we have achieved and the variety of categories that we have been recognised in is a demonstration of the sheer diversity that we are capable of delivering. This has been our most successful year yet at the MENA Cristal Awards,” said Filip Jabbour, CEO of SMG. “Our success comes from having an established structure and a team that is capable of achieving outstanding results through truly impactful creative solutions.” 

Commenting on Adidas’s win in the youth segment, Ellen Meerendonk, Head of Brand Marketing, Middle East & Africa at Adidas said: “We are proud to have our ‘Adidas all in’ campaign win a Cristal, especially because this campaign re-defined the Adidas brand and was aimed at youth all over the world. The challenge and the opportunity were to reach out to the youth in this region and build the Adidas brand equity, and the Cristal award is another proof of its success.”

Michelle Tam, Digital Manager, Olay brand said: "We are very happy to have won this year with the ‘Eyes of Arabia’ campaign targeted at the Saudi female demographic in particular. We wanted to provide Saudi women with a platform to showcase their beauty despite the social constraints. The campaign highlighted Olay's product benefits, giving Saudi women a forum to express their creativity via their eyes. It was inspired by the core insight that Saudi women express themselves through their eyes."

Amjad Ali, Brand Manager, P&G Arabian Peninsula also shared his thoughts on Gillette’s win in the Men category saying: "Starcom's winning idea for the Gillette Fusion Cool White ‘Man Up’ campaign perfectly illustrates how innovation can truly drive tangible business results when inspired by a strong local consumer insight. Given the cultural challenges we faced, we wanted to communicate the razor’s superior performance on sensitive skin while maintaining the brand’s masculine credentials. Sensitivity is generally not considered a masculine trait – especially in the Middle East region. By creating a series of digital videos with a humorous top-spin about scenarios men are most sensitive about, this became a hit with consumers driving word of mouth & elevating awareness about Gillette Fusion Cool White & Sensitive skin.”   

Fadi Ghosn, CMO at General Motors Middle East said: “With the shift in customer perception of pickups from being strictly utility vehicles to having more lifestyle application, we identified the segment as a potential growth opportunity in a very lifestyle-conscious region. With limited resource to support the campaign, we relied on the team’s creativity to come up with a simple yet effective mechanism to create exposure and engagement for our line-up of pick-ups. We are glad to have ‘Battle of the Garages’ win in the automotive segment and this win reinforces our firm belief that winning campaigns almost always demonstrate proven business results, as was clearly the case this time.”

In addition to SMG’s awards ceremony triumph, the Agency worked with MENA Cristal Awards to create a content debate, moderated by Jabbour, with a panel consisting of industry heavyweights. These included the likes of Ari Kesisoglu, Regional Director MENA – Google, Hussein Freijeh, Commercial Director at Yahoo! Middle Eastand Tarek Daouk, Chief Integration and Innovation Officer at SMG.

Top digital talent Rayan Karaky, Managing Director, Vivaki digital, participated in a digital debate to discuss how digital, in an uncertain economic climate, can be a great source of growth for brands, agencies and media.