Complex Made Simple

Initiative MENA scoops five awards at two major industry events

Initiative MENA’s creative marketing talent has been recognised with five wins at two prestigious industry award ceremonies. The regional media communications network scooped a brace of trophies for its campaigns at last month’s Effies, following up the success with a further three top places at the Internationalist Awards that took place the next day.

“2014 has gone down as one of the greatest years in our agency’s history. To have collected five wins for our campaigns at two separate industry awards is an incredible achievement and a testament to the both the creative abilities and the sheer hard of everyone in our team,” said Ramzy Abouchacra, Regional Managing Director, initiative MENA. “Initiative prides itself on producing work that engages with audiences across the region, as well as further afield. I am delighted that our efforts have been acknowledged with a haul of awards at two major industry events,” he added.

Initiative’s wins at the Effie MENA Awards, which was held on November 19 in Dubai, came in the New Product and Best Use of CSR categories. Under New Product, the agency scooped an award for its campaign for California Garden’s Canned Fava Beans in Saudi Arabia. Branded with the tagline ‘Happiness starts with a healthy breakfast,’ the initiative resulted in a double-digit sales increase for California Garden when compared to the same period last year. Under Best Use of CSR, Initiative impressed the Effie judges with its work for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Egypt, which aimed at increasing voter turnout during the country’s recent elections. The campaign was shown to have mobilised six per cent more Egyptians to go to the polls than in the country’s previous constitutional referendum, which took place in December 2012.

Initiative’s prowess in the creation of memorable marketing activities was also acknowledged at The Internationalist Awards for Innovative Digital Solutions, which was held at the held at in New York, USA on November 20. Initiative collected a Gold and two Bronze Awards at the event, which was established to reward innovation in digital media. The agency’s Gold Award was received for its campaign for Mobily in Saudi Arabia. Titled ‘Marzouq, Rise of a Twitter Star,’ the activation used a genuine customer service rep with a quirky and likeable personality at Mobily, turning him into a Twitter celebrity. The first of its two Bronze Awards was secured for Dubai Media Incorporated and involved ramping up interest in its long-standing Shaabiyat cartoon. The campaign featured a mobile and social application that enabled viewers to ‘cartoonize’ themselves and apply the result to the bodies of the characters in Shaabiyat. Its second Bronze was won for its ‘Smile-o-meter’ reality Facebook app for its client KFC Arabia. The tool enabled KFC fans to register their smiles and share them on Facebook, with the ones voted as being the best by fans on the social media’s KFC community winning prizes.

Initiative’s five wins at the Effies and the Internationalist caps an impressive year for trophies for the agency, which has offices throughout the region. February saw the company collect a Sapphire Award in the ‘Beauty/Hygiene/Health Products’ category at the MENA Cristal Festival for a campaign it ran for Johnson & Johnson. The following month at Dubai Lynx, they scooped a Silver and Bronze in the ‘Social Media’ category for their clients Americana Group and Etisalat, as well as a further Bronze for Americana Group under ‘Consumer Services.’ March also saw the agency’s Johnson & Johnson campaign pick up a Gold at the Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media under ‘Local Brand or Service in a Local Market,’ while their work for Americana Group won a Bronze in the same category. The Johnson & Johnson campaign was the recipient of a further Gold Award at the Festival of Media Awards for ‘Best Targeted Campaign,’ while the first ever MENA Digital Awards in May saw their work for Americana Group pick up a Silver and Bronze under ‘Social Brand of the Year,’ as well as a Silver for ‘Best Use of Social Media.’ The agency collected a further Bronze at the ceremony under ‘Best Use of Video’ for their work for Etisalat. Immediately prior to last month’s Effies was September’s M&M Global Awards, with Initiative adding another Gold Award for their work for Americana Group under ‘Best Social Media Campaign.’