The UAE emerged as the clear winner at the Mena Cristal Awards, held in Beirut with almost half of the trophies being won by agencies based in the UAE.
OMD Middle East, Mimac Ogilvy and JWT Dubai were awarded the top prize – Grand Cristal Award – in five categories out of 12.
In addition to this, 35 Cristals out of the 71 categories were awarded to UAE agencies along with special awards. The agencies awarded included Leo Burnett, Starcom-Mediavest, Impact BBDO, Mindshare and Universal Media.
The categories included media, advertisers, corporate, outdoor, cyberspace, marketing, radio, press, film, integrated and magazines campaigns in addition to production.
Leo Burnett Mena was named as Agency of the Year, while its Dubai office scooped two Cristals of a total 12 won by the agency in the region. It won one Radio Cristal Award for the "Go straight" campaign for General Motors, and a Cyber Cristal Award for its "Aveo 5 Totally Street" campaign also for General Motors.
OMD picked up eight awards including two Grand Cristal Awards. The agency won five of the 10 Advertisers' Media Cristals, including one of the Grand Cristals on its "Let it glow" campaign for Wrigley's.
Of the 10 awards given by the international jury, OMD was awarded for Kellogg's "Two-week Challenge" in the women's category and Mobily's "We've covered it" campaign in the non-financial services. The advertisers' jury also rewarded OMD with a win for Nissan Pathfinder's "DVD Experience" campaign in the automotive category, Wrigley's "Let it glow" in the snack category, Barclays' "Game of Tag" in the financial services category and Mobily's "Instant Mobility" in the product launch category.
"These awards are symbolic of the tremendous efforts our agency puts in to deliver creative, innovative and cutting edge results for our clients," said Shadi Kandil, general manager of OMD Dubai.
"The fact that they are awarded by both international advertising specialists and regional advertisers is a stunning endorsement of the world-class nature of our work and its local relevance and effectiveness. In these difficult economic times, creativity will be a critical factor to promote brands wisely."
"Thanks to its passion, enthusiasm and creativity in media planning and buying, OMD is much more than a traditional media agency and a real strategic business partner for Wrigley ME," added Ashraf Khairallah, senior marketing manager at Wrigley Middle East.
Mimac Ogilvy won a Grand Cristal in the outdoor category for its campaign "One Breasted Mannequin" for Bare Essentials. JWT Dubai won the Grand Cristal in cyber category, for its HSBC campaign. The agency also won a Press Cristal on its campaign for WWF in the NGO and charity category.
Impact BBDO Abu Dhabi won the Press Cristal in the real estate category. MCN Media Dubai won one out of three Cristals in the region. "We are a result driven network, our focus is on recommending and executing campaigns that are innovative, push the boundaries and mostly importantly connect with our target audiences," said Oussama Jamal, COO, MCN Media.
Mindshare UAE won the Advertisers Cristal in the health and beauty products category for its campaign designed for Rowenta brand.
The Mena Cristal Awards were created in 2005 with the aim of introducing a new advertising competition for all the North African and Middle Eastern countries.