July 7, 2023
The United Arab Emirates wins 21 majestic Lions – 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold, 6 Silver and 13 Bronze, at the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The 70th edition of the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity drew to a close on 23rd June 2023, with the United Arab Emirates winning a total of 21 Lions – 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold, 6 Silver and 13 Bronze, across multiple categories, including first-time wins in the categories of Glass: The Lion for Change, Entertainment for Music, and Creative Data. The UAE also amassed an impressive count of 89 shortlists, truly exemplifying its creative prowess on the global stage.
Winning agencies from the UAE include Impact BBDO Dubai, FP7 McCann, Leo Burnett, ‿ and us, VMLY&R, Saatchi & Saatchi ME and Havas Middle East. Their remarkable achievements serve as a testament to the thriving creative landscape within the UAE and the country’s capacity to compete at the forefront of the global advertising and marketing industry.
Philip Thomas, Chairman, LIONS, said, “The body of Lion-winning work that emerged from the Jury rooms points the way forward, and demonstrates the power of the industry to drive change, build businesses and shape society. Congratulations to all those who entered, who made the shortlists, and who won a Lion at the Festival’s 70th edition to set the creative benchmark on the global stage.”
The 70th edition of the Cannes Lions Festival also marked a significant milestone for the UAE, as it boasted the largest contingent of jurors to preside over a single festival. Notably, Ali Rez from Impact BBDO made history by becoming the first-ever Jury President from the MENA region, while Sandro Gelashvili from Google contributed as a jury member for the inaugural Entertainment Lions for Gaming category.
Symon Medeiros and Jonathan Cruz from ‿ and us, along with Chloe Salloum from the American University in Dubai, proudly represented the UAE in two esteemed events as part of the Festival: the International Young Lions Digital Competition (for young creatives under 30 in the digital category) and the Roger Hatchuel Academy (a mentorship program for university students in creative communications). Their participation exemplifies the UAE’s commitment to nurturing and empowering emerging talent in the ever-evolving creative landscape.
Commenting on their experience at this year’s Festival, Saymon and Jonathan from ‿ and us, expressed, “Attending Cannes Lions is always a fantastic experience. It’s a hub of creativity and inspiration where we can gain insights from the best ideas around the globe. Moreover, it’s an excellent opportunity to interact with past colleagues and connect with individuals we aspire to collaborate with in the future. This year, the Young Lions competition centered around Rocket Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young children prepare for school. We were given 24 hours to develop a digital solution for their brief. It was truly rewarding for us to utilize the power of creativity to assist them in solving real-world problems.”
Speaking about her experience at this year’s Roger Hatchuel Academy, Chloe Salloum from American University in Dubai said, “Representing the UAE at the Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy was a remarkable experience that exceeded all of my expectations. The week-long program has completely transformed my life and mindset, pushing me to embrace heightened creativity and purpose in my work. Beyond the educational aspect, I had the privilege of forging deep connections and friendships with my fellow Roger Hatchuel Academy graduates. As a member of SheSays Dubai, I was thrilled to learn that 80% of the academy members were women! That is a true testament to the brilliance of women in this industry, and I was ecstatic to be a part of it.”
She further added, “I want to thank my professor, Dina Faour, who has been the driving force behind all of this. I am grateful to American University in Dubai for providing me with the academic knowledge and professional exposure I need to start my career. Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude to the Motivate Val Morgan team, especially Dumindrini Ratnayake, for her professional guidance and support throughout the entire Roger Hatchuel Academy experience. The program has left a special mark on my heart, and I am eager to utilize the invaluable insights I have gained to contribute to the dynamic advertising industry in the UAE.”
As the official representatives of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the UAE, Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan extend heartfelt congratulations to the victorious agencies, esteemed jury members, and talented young representatives who proudly showcased the UAE at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Sources: Cannes Lions ‘The Work’