MMA announced the winners of the Smarties MENA Awards for 2022 in a star-studded gala ceremony held in The Rixos, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, last week. The awards are known to recognize the most innovative and effective modern marketing campaigns from across the region.
The annual MMA Smarties Awards recognizes the most effective modern marketing campaigns that create an impact, constructively challenging the status quo. The winners for the 2022 edition were announced earlier this month in a gala ceremony giving out 90 trophies. All winning campaigns for the Smarties Awards are recognized by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC).
Yas Island and Initiative MENA / Momentum MENA stood out as winners taking home 7 trophies including 4 Golds, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze; across 5 categories, including ‘Brand Experience’, ‘Cross Platform - Digital Only’, ‘Social Media Marketing’, ‘Audio / Voice / Sonic Branding’, and ‘Short or Long Form Video’. The campaign, ‘YAS YAS Baby, by Yas Island’ and Initiative MENA & Momentum MENA was also awarded 'Best in Show' by the judging panel.
TikTok bagged the silver trophy for the hotly contested category - 'Purpose Driven Marketing - Sustainability (Brand & Product & Initiative)' for their TikTok Climate Action campaign.
UM MENAT struck back, second year in a row, as the winner of the 'Media Agency of the Year,' award along with 21 awards, 16 of which were awarded to their client stc, who was also recognized as the ‘Advertiser of the Year’ for 2022.
Commenting on UM KSA and stc's big win, Mohammad Manna, Managing Director at UM KSA said, “The stc team is ambitious and agile, ready to trial, test and move the country into a new marketing sphere. I am proud of our relationship with the client and the team’s attitude. Together we are true collaborative partners and work in a synergy that produces media excellence of awarding-winning standards. The work keeps getting better and better. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the UMers and the stc team for their unwavering commitment and determination to push boundaries.”
Further representing KSA, regional telecommunications leader, Zain KSA's Yaqoot digital service received two awards - a gold and a silver for its campaign in the 'Marketing Impact' and 'Experience Technology' categories. The innovative service achieved a 49% conversion rate from sign-up to order. Commenting on the win, Njoud Alshehri, Digital Executive General Manager at Yaqoot said, "Innovation and excellence are the pillars of our strategy. By fostering a culture of innovation, we seek to provide our customers with top-notch digital experience while also enhancing our performance to continuously improve our results. What truly sets Yaqoot apart is our deep understanding of our customers' evolving needs. We recognize that our customers are looking for highly efficient and user-friendly digital services and solutions. That's why we are committed to surpassing their expectations through our innovative approach to improve their quality of life and empower them to achieve their aspirations.”
This year the MENA SMARTIES received a record number of award submissions. As a result, the ‘Marketing Impact - Brand Experience’, ‘Purpose Driven Marketing - Cross Platform’, and ‘Purpose Driven Marketing - Digital’ categories were particularly competitive. Across the 3 most competitive categories, thirty campaigns were shortlisted and eighteen trophies were given out on the night. 6 companies were awarded silverware in the ‘Marketing Impact - Brand Experience’ category with Ithra by Aramco and Leo Burnett KSA / Ithra by Aramco with Inspire Your World, and Yas Island and Initiative MENA / Momentum MENA with Yas Yas Baby, both taking home gold awards.
Mobile marketing and monetization technology provider, InMobi, for the fourth year running, was named the “Technology Provider of the Year” and took home gold, silver, and bronze for its campaigns with stc pay, Unilever, McDonald’s, and Marriott. InMobi was also shortlisted across 7 categories.
Publicis Groupe also didn't fail to leave its mark. Reinforcing its status as a leader in effectiveness, the advertising and marketing conglomerate won a total of 22 awards (9 Gold, 10 Silver, 3 Bronze) along with a special category award for Saatchi & Saatchi MEA as the 'Creative Agency of the Year.' Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe ME&T said, “Our success at the MENA MMA Smarties speaks volumes about the exceptional talent and collaborative 'Power of One' mindset we have at Publicis Groupe and with our valued partners that enable us to deliver award-winning work. Congratulations to all our talents and our clients for an exceptional night.”
Melis Ertem, Regional Director of the MMA said, “It has been a spectacular year for the MENA SMARTIES. We saw a record number of submissions across all categories with exceptionally high quality campaign results throughout. The success of MENA SMARTIES is proof of a thriving marketing industry, demonstrating our belief that collaborative working can shape the future. I congratulate all the winners for their hard work and look forward to next year.’
All the winners can be viewed here.