SMG launches SPORTS at SMG

Following launches in the US, Russia and Africa, Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) is rolling out its sports marketing capability, SPORTS at SMG, in the MENA region. SPORTS at SMG will be headquartered in Dubai and offer fully integrated sports marketing capabilities for brands. Leveraging SMG’s market position, the division’s capabilities will include audience insights, strategic development, investment, management and evaluation.

“In an increasingly fragmented landscape, sports is still the number one driver of audiences in big numbers across multiple platforms, devices and multiple markets,” says Robin Clarke, Managing Director, EMEA, SPORTS at SMG. “New technologies are enabling rights holders and sports media vendors alike to evolve their offering to brands significantly. Helping our clients understand and invest in optimal ways in those spaces can deliver far greater effectiveness in investment and ROI. This is a key strength of our company.”

Raed Kablawi, Head of MENA, SPORTS at SMG, adds “SPORTS at SMG in the MENA region will ensure our clients understand the landscape, the opportunities and the routes to high value ROI from investing in sports at local, regional and global levels. As part of a world class media network, we are armed with the best supporting capabilities in digital, content, social, data and media planning/buying to do just that.”

SMG MENA appoints Mohit Lodha

Mohit Lodha has been appointed as Regional Director of Human Experience at Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) MENA. Having been with SMG MENA for seven years, Mohit joined as Media Manager and in his most recent position as Human Experience Strategist at MediaVest MENA contributed in evolving the agency’s media thinking and delivering effective and award-winning campaigns, locally and internationally.

In his new role, Mohit will work alongside the agency network’s teams on Content@Scale – SMG’s proprietary real-time content marketing platform, and will drive effective and forward thinking work across client verticals to build on consumer connections. He has also been assigned to represent the MENA region in SMG’s Global Product Committee (GPC), where he will lead on raising the output and quality of the agency’s regional product.

Starcom MediaVest Group welcomes Marcus Brown

Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has appointed Marcus Brown as Global Growth Officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Marcus brings with him over 20-years of experience in galvanising clients, colleagues, prospects and the communication industry, to SMG.He was most recently a founding contributor to a new UK-based consultancy and has also been made a Tech London Advocate – a member of an advocacy group that supports tech start-ups.

In his new role, Marcus will be responsible for building SMG’s growth across the EMEA region and driving performance to deliver a combination of precision, content and technology to clients. He will be based in London, reporting to Iain Jacob, President of EMEA, Starcom MediaVest Group.

“I’m thrilled that Marcus is joining our team,” says Iain. “He joins us with an extremely impressive track-record of client wins and, given his extensive experience, will play an instrumental role in the next phase of our transformation, helping to build on our continued success.”

Marcus adds “It’s clear that within the communications industry, much of the innovation is coming from the media sector. Starcom MediaVest group has an admirable reputation for fueling transformation with some of the world’s most iconic brands.”

Valleywood successfully debuts in Dubai

Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and its content division, LiquidThread, hosted the inaugural Dubai edition of Valleywood at Grosvenor House Hotel on 14 May, 2015. The event, in partnership with YouTube, brought together over 200 SMG MENA clients, partners and senior executives together for a day-long immersive experience of content and technology.

The event follows LiquidThread’s recent unveiling of its new offerings as a fully-fledged, tech-driven content solutions division delivering SMARTContent – data–led content designed for people and delivered to the individual. Valleywood featured a line-up of regional and global players in the broadcast, tech and content creation industries, with speakers including Egyptian satirist and comedian Bassem Youssef, Google’s The Zoo, Facebook, Yahoo, Uturn Entertainment, OSN, Endemol and Freemantle Media.

“The entertainment, technology and content creation worlds are converging intersecting and, more often that rarely, overlapping on many levels,” says John Antoniades, CEO, Starwoon MediaVest Group MENA. “The collision has ignited a chain reaction that neither brands nor agencies can afford to ignore – and contrarily, must utilize to its fullest potential. Valleywood came about to address this inevitable shift and transformation, for both our clients and the industry.”


Effie MENA Awards 2014 winners announced

The winners for this year’s Effie MENA Awards have been revealed. Taking place on Wednesday November 19, 2014, at The Meydan Hotel in Dubai, approximately 1,500 invited guests attended to celebrate the campaigns, advertisers and agencies that have had the most measurable impact over the past 12 months.

The Effie MENA Awards 2014 was expanded this year to incorporate 23 classes of achievement; with categories including: ‘Best Youth Marketing Campaign’, ‘Best Use of Social Media’ and ‘Most Effective Agency Network of the Year.’ Corresponding with the rise in the number of categories was an increase in the number of entrants, with submissions 75 percent higher than the previous year. Mediaquest – the media organisers behind the event – noted that the increase in categories and nominations reflects the dynamism of the regional marketing industry and the innovation currently being seen in the sector.

“This year’s Effie Awards were the biggest to date, featuring the largest number of nominations and the greatest number of categories for inclusion,” says Alexandra Hawari, Co-CEO, Mediaquest. “The diversity of marketing forms and approaches that we are now witnessing across the region necessitated the introduction of new classes of achievement in order to fully acknowledge the impact on audiences that have been achieved with unique techniques.”

The evening saw FP7/DXB awarded with an impressive haul of seven Gold Awards, coming first place in six categories, including ‘Best Use of CSR,’ ‘Best Youth Marketing Campaign,’ ‘Banking, Finance & Insurance,’ ‘FMCG,’ ‘Single Media Activation,’ and ‘Brand Experience.’ The organisation’s array of impactful campaigns that had measurably resonated with audiences in the region resulted in it receiving the ‘Most Effective Agency Network of the Year’ title.

Cairo-based Media Direction OMD was awarded the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ award for their Barakat and Super Teta campaign, which was conducted on behalf of Vodaphone Egypt. JWT DXB and Carat DXB’s ‘I’m Coming Home’ campaign for Microsoft Mobile Devices saw the agency awarded in the ‘Telecommunications, Mobiles & Internet’ category, while JWT Cairo and Starcom MediaVest Group – also from Cairo – impressed the judges to win the ‘New Product’ category with their ‘Cinnamint’ campaign for Mondelez Egypt Foods.

All of the 23 category winners are now eligible to participate in the Effie Global Effectiveness Index. The scheme incorporates data from 40 worldwide Effie Award competitions to determine those in the industry that have had the most measurable success on a global scale.

Yas Marina Circuit launches YasHUB app

Yas Marina Circuit has launched the YasHUB smartphone and tablet app. In partnership with SMG Mobility – the mobile division of Starcom MediaVest Group – and Flip Media, the app was developed to provide the latest news and information during the build up to the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as provide a seamless end-user experience for visitors to the circuit on race weekend. Yas Marina Circuit commissioned the app as part of its wider strategy on providing digital solutions to improve customer engagement experiences, as well as reinforcing its position in driving online motorsports content creation in the region. The app is available for free download at the Apple and Google Play Android stores and offers a range of features to users.

“This app really does enhance visitors’ experiences massively in the build up to and during the race weekend,” says Nick McElwee, Director of Sales and Marketing, Yas Marina Circuit. “But more importantly, its development signifies Yas Marina Circuit’s evolution away from our previous incarnation as a traditional advertiser for our first Grand Prix in 2009, and towards our new reality as a content publisher and media brand.”

Dimitri Papadimitriou, Director of Mobile at Starcom MediaVest Group adds, “This is a testament to SMG Mobility’s support for our clients’ leap into the mobile arena. Mobile is integral for our clients’ businesses, and we have created a suite of in-house digital capabilities to build mobile creative and develop apps.”

Clive Primrose, Client Services Director at Flip Media concludes, “This is a pioneering moment for apps in the Middle East. The focus on digital customer experience and bringing the pillars of the event to life through creativity and technology are what place it at the forefront.”

Starcom MediaVest Group ranked top MENA agency

Paris-based research agency RECMA (Research Company Evaluating the Media Agency Industry) has announced Starcom MediaVest Group the number one ranked agency in the MENA region in its 2013 Global Billings Rankings Report. In 2013, Starcom MediaVest Group increased its billings by 18 percent, with an industry share of 17.5 percent.

RECMA’s report evaluates the overall activity – including buying billings and specialised services – of all global media agencies across 62 countries. This is the fourth consecutive year that Starcom MediaVest Group has attained this position.

In addition, RECMA has named Starcom MediaVest Group number one in the ‘Top 14 Countries’ ranking, which is a key chart in the overall report, accounting for 81 percent of the media agency industry. Starcom MediaVest Group also retained its position in the overall regional evaluations – including its top rank in North America – and was named the number two agency in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Media figures dominate Arabian Business Brit List

Media leaders have dominated the second edition of the Arabian Business Brits List – a study that lists the top 50 most influential British expatriates in the UAE.

While MBC Group’s CEO Sam Barnett has landed the top media spot, ranked 4th most influential Brit, Starcom MediaVest Group’s CEO John Antoniades isn’t far behind in 5th place. John Brash, owner of Brash Brands has also made the cut, ranked 17, Motivate Publishing’s Managing Partner Ian Fairservice comes in at number 27, while BBC Middle East Correspondent Mark Lobel snagged the 30th spot. Other notable media influencers who have made the top 50 include television and radio personality Tom Urquhart, DABO & CO Managing Partners Camilla and Lucy D’Abo, Face to Face agency owner Chris Bell and Francis Matthew, Editor at Large, Gulf News.

To see the full Arabian Business Brits List, click here

Winners of Dubai Lynx Awards 2014 announced

The winners of the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity 2014 have been announced, following last night’s lavish gala awards ceremony. With eight international juries judging from a total of 2,279 entries in 15 Awards categories, 503 were shortlisted with a total of 207 awards presented. Sponsored by Motivate Publishing and Choeiri Group, the Dubai Lynx Awards ceremony was held at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah.

Memac Ogilvy Dubai was awarded the Agency of the Year title, with Starcom Mediavest Group winning Media Agency of the Year, and the Network of the Year was awarded to Ogilvy & Mather.

Kairo, Cairo were given the title of Independent Agency of the Year, while Land Rover was presented with the Advertiser of the Year award. The Lynx Palm Award, given to the most awarded Production Company in the Film or Film Craft sections, was won by Dé Ja Vu, Dubai.

The individual award for Dubai Lynx Advertising Person 2014, was awarded to Eddie Moutran, Chairman and CEO of Memac Ogilvy Group MENA.