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Inside the Jury Room: The MEA Region’s Six Top Immortal Contenders



The Middle East and Africa’s Immortal Awards jurors settled into the BIG KAHUNA FILMS Dubai office to decide which campaigns deserved to contend on the global stage, writes LBB's Nisna Mahtani

Inside the Jury Room: The MEA Region’s Six Top Immortal Contenders

At BIG KAHUNA FILMS’ Dubai office in Studio City, the Middle East and Africa’s regional Immortal Awards jury viewed a reel of the best campaigns from the region. Their job? To decide which finalists deserved to be put forward for global judging.

This year’s MEA jurors were: Ali Rez (chief creative officer, MENAP,  Impact BBDO), Eddy Rizk (founder & chief executive officer, BIG KAHUNA FILMS), Kalpesh Patankar (chief creative officer,  Leo Burnett Dubai), Khaled AlShehhi (executive director of marketing and communication, The UAE Government Media Office), Leila Katrib (executive creative director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Dubai), Maya Toufic Sfeir (associate creative director, DDB Dubai), Peter Khoury (chief creative officer, TBWA\Hunt Lascaris), Sandy McIntosh (executive creative director, M&C Saatchi UAE) and Tahaab Rais (chief strategy officer ME&T, Publicis Groupe).

Getting right into the crux of judging, the Immortal Awards jurors began by discussing the way in which brand involvement can muddy the solution presented by a campaign. A number of works were discussed here, and the conversation centred on ideas being forced to fit in with a brand, rather than having a natural fit. Due to a handful of projects falling into this bracket, the following question was posed: how many of the solutions would have been faster and more direct without the advertiser?

Next up, the discussion turned to the topic of action vs awareness which, once again, was considered against multiple projects. Two questions were posed this time. Are these campaigns driving action and results? Or are the PR stunts just about raising awareness, rather than creating tangible results?

In one heavily discussed case, a Carling spot was debated as to how possible it was to really see the change, action and results. There were plaudits around the table for the brand confronting an uncomfortable truth and reality - that this product is consumed by people who may domestically abuse. The bravery and awareness, in this case, outweighed the doubts.

The overall sentiment remained to be that the finalists are predominantly brands – with fewer charity and pro-bono clients – whose creativity shone through to make them memorable. 

"For the first time ever, the Immortals landed in the region to host this jury day in person and a huge thanks to Eddy [Rizk] and the team at BIG KAHUNA FILMS for their support,” says LBB’s awards director, Paul Monan. “Not only were they incredible hosts but their continued support for what we're doing in the region allows us to do this in person. The debate at the judging table was very tough, sometimes uncomfortable but always inspiring as our jury made every effort to land on a list of Finalists that the region can be proud of. There are some great pieces of work on the list and I can't wait to see how they fare in the global round of judging!"

The six Immortal Awards 2022 MEA Finalists are as follows:

AnNahar Newspaper - 'The Elections Edition' (submitted by Impact BBDO)
BMW - 'Museum of Sound' (submitted by Serviceplan Middle East)
Carling Black Label - 'Bride Armour' (submitted by Darling Films)
Children of Female Prisoners' Association - 'Breakchains With Blockchain' (submitted by Horizon FCB Dubai)
Dettol - 'Social Distancing Prayer Mat' (submitted by Impact BBDO)
IKEA - 'Time to Redecorate' (submitted by Leo Burnett Saudi Arabia)

view more - The Immortal Awards
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The Immortal Awards, Tue, 25 Oct 2022 14:00:00 GMT