After a super successful second edition this year, Festival of Media MENA is already prepping for its third edition slated for April 26, 2017 in Dubai.
Entries for the awards are now open and the last day (yes, seriously) for the written submissions is on February 2, 2017.
Paying close attention to the jury’s comments this year and observing the regional trends has resulted in nine new categories and the elimination of one category, which is Best Entertainment Platform since the campaigns that succeeded here are the ones that seamlessly fit in in the four Content categories.
“In consultation with the market, FOM MENA has launched a range of new categories which reflect media trends, including the impact of data and insight, the agility and targeted nature of digital communication through to the continued strength of more traditional media. The new categories are designed to showcase the most creative and innovative media thinking from the region and we trust will result in rewarding truly inventive campaigns that inspire the market,” says Danielle Redwood, chief awards & marketing officer, C Squared.
The nine new categories are:
Best Use of Traditional Media
Although talks of traditional media channels dying have been doing the rounds since the last few years, the reality remains otherwise. Traditional channels such as TV and print continue to command significant percentages of the marketing budget – more so in the Middle East. This category provides a platform for campaigns (even ones that have digital elements) that has a traditional media channel – outdoor, print, TV or radio – at its core wherein the channel plays a distinct role in distributing the brand message and giving the campaign an advantage by virtue of the channel used.
Best Use of an Influencer
Influencers have been growing in fame globally, but especially in the region, for all the right (and perhaps, wrong reasons). Brands’ capitalizing on this trend made it rather crucial for the Awards to include this as a separate category wherein a YouTube star, vlogger or the like could have been used in the brand communications
Best Use of Real-Time Marketing (previously Best Use of Twitter only in 2016)
This category has been revised to include all social and instant messaging platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to the up and coming Snapchat, in a bid to see how brands and agencies have used real-time information to target and engage audiences.
The Creative Use of Data Award (previously Smart Use of Data in 2016)
Data clearly plays a big role this year, which is well reflected in this category where judges will look at how data has effectively impacted creativity and the choice of media.
Best Branded Content Creation Award (previously Best Content Creation in 2016)
The new category aims to refine last year’s category and distinguish it from the Best Use of Content category by awarding the most impressive content created for a brand with a focus on storytelling across channels. The Best Use of Content category, on the other hand, focuses on the presentation and distribution of the content (rather than the content itself) by looking at the formats and channels, such as native advertising, sponsored editorial or social media messaging.
Best Use of Gamification
This category will showcase the rise in brand messages incorporated into games or campaigns that have incorporated game elements such as a points or reward systems.
Best Insight Award
Judges have been attributing increasing importance to the insight driving a campaign in the process of determining its success, giving rise to this category.
Best Local Execution of a Brand
In a region where there’s an abundance of global brands, local insights, and cultural nuances play a key – if sometimes, ignored – role in brand messaging. This particular category aims to celebrate campaigns from local or global brands that show how cultural nuance has been considered in the execution, with a real understanding of how to engage the local audience.
Best Not-For-Profit Award
Based on feedback and the kind of entries in the Utility/Public Service Award category in 2016, this category has been introduced specifically for charity campaigns and to spare judges the heart versus mind struggle when judging pure-charity campaigns and brand CSR campaigns. Charities and not-for-profit organizations should compete here while all good work done by corporate brands should be funneled into the Utility/Public Service Award category.