With the MENA Effie Awards coming up, Team TMN sits down with Alexandre Hawari, Co-CEO at Mediaquest, to find out what to expect from the upcoming event…
When is the MENA Effie Awards 2017 and where will it be held?
The MENA Effie Awards will take place on November 15, 2017 at The Pavilion, Armani Hotel, Dubai.
Tell us about the concept behind the Awards…
Effie Worldwide stands for effectiveness in marketing communications, spotlighting marketing ideas that work and encouraging thoughtful dialogue about the drivers of marketing effectiveness. The Effie network works with some of the top research and media organisations worldwide to bring its audience relevant and first-class insights into effective marketing strategy.
Launched in 1968, the Effie Awards program honours the most effective advertising efforts and is known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry. The Effie Awards celebrates effectiveness worldwide, by continually raising the bar through the Global Effies and the Positive Change Effies, as well as regional programs in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East / North Africa, North America, Latin America and more than 40 national Effie programs.
As a Co-CEO at Mediaquest Corp., why did you feel the need to launch the Effie Awards in the region?
The region is transforming and we needed to acknowledge and celebrate the people and companies that are helping in this transformation. Hence, in 2009, we joined forces with the world-renowned Effie Worldwide to become the GEMAS Effie MENA Awards, which are now called MENA Effie Awards.
Today, the Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry that recognises any and all forms of marketing communication that contribute to a brand’s success.
What are the challenges you face to make each year’s MENA Effie Awards different and meaningful?
The one factor that makes the MENA Effie Awards stand out as an award program is our transparency and credibility of the awards, which is something that is of utmost importance to us and we need to ensure it is well respected.
We work with some of the top research and media organisations worldwide to bring the audience relevant and first-class insights into effective marketing strategy.
Can you give us some details about the nomination process?
Simply log on to our website, menaeffie.com for full details on how to submit your entry.
Do you have any feedback or tips for submissions, to help them stand out?
The most fundamental question judges ask of an Effie submission is, ‘How persuasively have the authors made their case?’ – followed closely by ‘What were they trying to achieve and how ambitious were they in the first place?’
Entrants need to review and understand the criteria on which the questions are based in order to be able to answer the fundamental questions judges ask. There are some common mistakes that entrants make, such as the following, which need to be avoided.
- Results/data not referenced
- Case study needs
- Agency name or logos published on the entry form or on the creative materials
- Including results or competitive work/logos on the creative reel
- Failing to follow the formatting requirements
- Missing translation
Judges read so many cases at one go, so they are looking for a case to be coherent and also to ensure that entrants have managed to state their objectives, ideas and key performance indicators (KPIs) clearly for them to be able to judge. Most importantly, for the results, judges look for direct correlations between real objectives and results and to check that they are properly sourced.
The more precise and relevant the documentation, the stronger the case, and the higher chances entrants have to win.
Who will be judging the entries for the MENA Effie Awards?
Being an Effie judge is one of the toughest jobs because as a judge you are not only raising the bar for the industry by the winners you select, but you are at the same time sending a message to the industry on different levels about marketing effectiveness. Due to this very reason, the judges who are on the panel are marketing veterans from the industry, chief marketing officers, vice presidents, marketing directors/managers, corporate communications and brand managers. The MENA Effie Awards are also focused on enhancing learning in our industry and what better way to do that than to have the industry as part of the jury panel?
Can you tell us more about the awards/categories themselves?
The categories are decided based on the judges’ feedback and depending on how the market is transforming. Based on that, the categories are divided into three segments, Product and Services categories – these categories speak to the overall industry, while Specialty categories are designed to address a specific business situation or challenge and then you have Shopper Marketing, which is for integrated campaigns that were specifically designed to engage a target shopper.
What has been your advertising strategy in the region?
The event targets the marketing and advertising industry in the MENA region. It was extremely complicated to find a cost-effective way to reach this sector, so we relied on many different approaches, such as direct marketing and advertisement in print media, as well as regular above-the-line advertisements, digital advertisements and social media campaigns.
What is the reaction you expect, following the event?
The Effie Effectiveness Index identifies and ranks the marketing communications industry’s most effective agencies, advertisers and brands by analysing finalist, and winner data from Effie Worldwide competitions. The greatest result following the MENA Effie Awards would be how the MENA region brands and agencies stand out and make their names along with the global players and for more great work coming out of the region.
FP7, an agency from the MENA region, has been making its name in the global index for two years in a row and doing better than its global offices.
Can anyone attend the awards ceremony?
The event is open to the marketing and advertising industry across the region, as well as agencies who work along with the clients on their marketing campaigns.
What does the future hold for the MENA Effie Awards in the region?
As an awards program, the MENA Effie Awards have already made its mark in the industry as the Oscars for the marketing industry.
What we now aim for is MENA Effie to become a network for the marketing industry through programs, insights, videos and white papers on effective marketing and other key educational and learning tools focusing on sharing insights on the principles of effective advertising and marketing communications.