Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mena Cristal Winners 2008/2009

So the winners of the Mena Cristal Awards 2008/2009 have been chosen and announced, and we thought we'd update you with some of the highlights. To be honest they were a bit disappointing, due mainly to our belief that the region can and has done a lot better than this, still the next few are mention-worthy...

Leo Burnett Cairo dominated the film and magazine categories with work for Heinz and LinkDotNet.

Outdoor Cristal went to the Bare Essentials' one breasted mannequin (previously featured on adbasha), compliments of Memac Ogilvy Group, Dubai. The Ambient Cristal went to the Volvo soft speed bump stunt also from Memac Ogilvy Group, Dubai. 

The Aveo 5 website that we mentioned from the shortlist (link) won a Cyber Cristal in the Automotiv product website category. Same applies to the Mo'men Burrito campaign (link) that we've loved from the start which won in the Film category. Not to mention Nando's Fred the chicken (link) by Leo Burnett, Dubai in the obscure Advertisers Media catergory.

Generally the MENA Cristal Awards website is frustrating, again because they do not provide links to the winners' campaigns. We were also thrown off by the weird categorization of the awards, check it out for yourself and see if you can make heads or tails of it (

One interesting feature is the country rankings. The number one agency in the UAE is JWT, Impact BBDO for Lebanon and FP7 for Egypt.

One Real Pound

Agency: Marcom
Creative Director:
Karim A. Yusuf
Published: January 2009

Heavy Duty Culture

"Extra Heavy Duty"

Advertising Agency: Memac Ogilvy, Dubai, UAE
Creative Directors: Till Hohmann, Dalbir Singh
Art Director: Mel Harvey
Copywriter: Dylan Kidson
Photographer: Matt Watson
Retouching: Cream Studios, Sydney

Via: AdsoftheWorld

It seems a little outdated, but it definitely get points for cultural insight. Otherwise nothing too extraordinary, there's nothing about the visual that is eye-grabbing, a feature I always felt gives an ad an edge.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to the World


Done by Icaro Doria, an employee of the magazine "Grande Reportagem". Great stuff from the crowd goes wild. *Enter Applause Here*

Arthritis Empathy

Client: Emirates Arthritis Foundation
Advertising Agency: The Classic Partnership Advertising, Dubai, UAE
Executive Creative Director: John Mani
Creative Directors: Alok Gadkar, Anand Tahilramani
Art Director: Girish Wadisherla

Via: AdBlogArabia

All of the above elements have been exhausted in advertising, that's clear. But here they are used to try and make the audience put themselves in the shoes of someone who has arthritis. Everyday mundane activities can be this painful - got that message loud and clear, in a way that is almost too graphic. The "Saw" movie franchise appears to have taken an interest in advertising...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Motoring Holidays

Agency: JWT Cairo, Egypt
Creative Director: Ali Ali
Art Directors & Copywriters: Bassem Sabry, Ali Ali
Photographer: Bassem Sabry

Via: AdBlogArabia

Not exactly an innovative concept, but it was fun naming the car logos used.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

MENA Cristal Awards Shortlists 2009

Website shortlisted for Cyber Cristal

ARC/Leo Burnett Dubai, UAE
General Motors

The MENA Cristal Awards are around the corner, 26-30 January to be exact. Lebanon will be hosting these awards, with three nights of extensive activities.

These are some examples of the entries shortlisted for the awards (full lists available at The downside being that the website does not provide links for the entries and if you are interested, you'll actually have to go look for them yourself. As expected Egypt's entries are mainly in TV with Leo Burnett's "Burrito" campaign for Mo'men and their LINK DSL campaign getting shortlisted.

Last year was largely dominated by the JWT MENA network, which picked up most of the awards. This year however we see Fortune Promoseven popping up in almost all the categories. Some of the most notable entries being the Sony "Store the Impossible" ads. The results should be interesting despite my slight disappointment in the lack of diversity in the shortlists. Still we shall wait and see what the jury has to say...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Teeth so white..

Agency: GITAM/BBDO, Israel

Via: AdGoodness

Um, I do appreciate the fact that its subtle, and it certainly is clever. But still something seems a bit off about it, it simply did not make me want to go out and buy the product.

Your Life is Not a Game

Client: Gulf Insurance
Agency: MC Brand, Kuwait

Via: AdNationME

Wayyy too literal, feels like our intelligence is being underestimated. Tsk Tsk...and on top of all that it's ugly too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Agency: Equity, Dubai
Creative Director & Copywriter: Soni Ravindranath
Art Director: Satish Raju

Superbad is a movie staring Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) and Michael Cera (Juno) among others, and it's pretty hilarious. If you haven't seen it, get a few drinks and watch it. It's definitely worth it. Does this have anything to do with this attempt at 'creativity' as Equity describes it? Naaah... but this is pretty Superbad. I mean sending underwear to your clients in the hope of coming off as 'creative', might infuse a bit of laughter, but I don't think it'll instill any respect. It was worth a go though...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stop the Carnage

Advertising Agency: DDB, UAE
Executive Creative Director: Idris Lien
Creative Director: Adham Obeid
Art Director: Issam Albouni
Photograher: Tejal Patni

Via: AdsoftheWorld

Experience has taught me to tread carefully around and near animal rights campaigns.This one clearly going for gore-shock factor. Doesn't mean it isn't in the least still visually appealing because I think it is. Major major objection though is the dripping blood, Frankenstein-like font used for the copy. Ugh.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Tale of Two Hairs

Agency responsible for this ad still unknown, please share if you
do know who did it. Hats off to them...never have I been so touched hair!


Agency: Leo Burnett, Cairo

For a full review, click here

Burrito Burrito!

Agency: Leo Burnett, Cairo
Production: Lighthouse Films


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bo2ein Talata Kida

Some ad-quotes fo yo ass...

"If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative."
David Ogilvy

(Read that one again, my good copywriters... y'know what I'll just put it up again)

"If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative."
David Ogilvy

(Hope it sticks now...)

"The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself."
Leo Burnett

(Unless it's Birell...)

"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does."
Steuart Henderson Britt

(Erm, true dat...)

"The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper."
Thomas Jefferson

(Aywa ya me3allim, 2adibhom!)

"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it."
Stephen Butler Leacock

(Maybe, but someone disagrees. We be beefin' now.)

"Advertising isn't a science. It's persuasion. And persuasion is an art."
Bill Bernbach

(Clever rebuttal, but both theories apply methinks)

"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need."
Will Rogers

(The keyword here's 'art'; Art wins 2-1!)

"The faults of advertising are only those common to all human institutions. If advertising speaks to a thousand in order to influence one, so does the church. And if it encourages people to live beyond their means, so does matrimony. Good times, bad times, there will always be advertising. In good times, people want to advertise; in bad times they have to."
Bruce Barton, chairman of BBDO, 1955

(Kalam te2eel fa3lan... you know it's true though *glares at nearby priest*)

"I never tell one client that I cannot attend his sales convention because I have a previous engagement with another client; successful polygamy depends upon pretending to each spouse that she is the only pebble on your beach."
David Ogilvy

(I love this guy, seriously)

"The best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas."
Linus Pauling

(Now there's an idea... ahhh I get it now :D)

(But here's my favorite quote; it's not even uttered by an advertiser but it embodies the entire mechanism of the business in my eyes. Here it is:)

"I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest."
Muhammad Ali

Bravo Mr. Clay, bravo...

Don't Cover Up, Speak Up

Client: City of Hope
Advertising Agency: JWT Dubai
Creative Director: Chafic Haddad 
Copywriters: DV Hari Krishna, Doug Mackay, Rami Abu Ghazeleh 
Art Directors: Kedar Damle, Arnoldfelix Fabella, Tarek Samaan 

These makeup kits were distributed to women in shopping malls to encourage them to speak up against domestic abuse. This kit ended up serving a dual purpose, the first to not stay silent about violence against women as well as promoting 'City of Hope', an organization that provides shelter for battered women. A creative and innovative way of reaching women. It spoke to them personally and I'm sure it hit a nerve with any actual victims of abuse who received them. Job very well done.

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