UAE Secures 21 Lions at the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

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.

 

2023 UAE Winning Agencies

 

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.

 

Cannes Lions 2023 Jury

 

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.

 

Cannes Young Talent

 

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’

Highlights from the 2022 UAE Cannes Lions Awards Ceremony

Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan – the official representatives of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the UAE, hosted an awards ceremony on Wednesday 14th September 2022 to celebrate this year’s winning agencies.

 

The 2022 Cannes Lions Festival received a total of 358 entries from the UAE, of which 61 received shortlists and 22 won Lions – including 2 Grand Prix, 2 Gold, 13 Silver and 5 Bronze Lions.

 

This year’s winners across Outdoor, Print & Publishing, Media, Entertainment for Sport, Direct, Digital Craft, Creative Commerce, Social & Influencer, PR, and Film Craft categories include:

 

Winners of 2022 UAE Cannes Lions for Article

 

Creative heads and their respective team members from this year’s winning agencies attended the awards ceremony for an evening of networking over refreshments, followed by being presented with the most coveted trophies in the advertising industry – the LIONS.

 

Also in attendance were Rebecca Menezes and Eduardo Cesar from Saatchi & Saatchi MEA who represented the UAE at the Young Lions Digital Competition, and Fatma Al Suwaidi from American University in Dubai who represented the country at the Roger Hatchuel Academy student program as part of the Cannes Lions Festival.

 

Highlights of 2022 UAE Cannes Lions Awards Ceremony

 

 

Congratulations to all winning agencies, and we look forward to many more wins at next year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

 

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Impact BBDO Dubai Wins Seven Lions at Cannes Lions 2019

The 66th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity drew to a close on 21 June 2019, with Impact BBDO Dubai winning UAE 7 Lions  – the region’s first Grand Prix and 6 Bronze Lions.

Of the 1,252 entries from 62 countries competing in the Print & Publishing Lions category (Communication Track) where 32 Lions were awarded – 1 Grand Prix, 6 Gold, 7 Silver and 18 Bronze Lions, Impact BBDO Dubai snatched the Grand Prix for ‘The Blank Edition’, which saw the agency work with leading Arabic-language daily newspaper An-Nahar to print an entirely blank edition – calling on Lebanese citizens to use the space to send a message to the stalled government.

 

Impact BBDO Dubai's The Black Edition Wins Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2019

 

On UAE winning the ‘Top Award’ and taking home the Grand Prix in this category at the Festival’s opening Awards Show, Jury president, Olivier Altmann, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Altmann + Pacreau, France, said: “We are very happy to award the Grand Prix to a piece of work that celebrates creativity and journalism.”

After the release of the completely blank edition, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief encouraged citizens to use it to write their own headlines and send messages to politicians, over social media.

Altmann said the bold campaign – and political message – led to an easy jury decision.

“It was really unanimous – a good surprise. It took us about five seconds to award the Grand Prix,” he said.

“For us, it was the perfect demonstration that print creativity can do a lot for print media itself, for print journalism. We thought it was really bold to award a Grand Prix to a white piece of paper that people could fill. It’s almost an interactive tool for real life.”

 

Impact BBDO Dubai Received Grand Prix on Stage at Cannes Lions 2019

Image Credits: Getty Images, Cannes Lions 2019

 

Impact BBDO Dubai also won 6 Bronze Lions across Health & Wellness, Industry Craft, Brand Experiences & Activation and Media categories for: ‘The Toxic Flag’ (Waste Management Coalition), ‘The Zero Tolerance Ribbon’ (28 Too Many) and ‘The Black Edition’ (An-Nahar).

Lions won by UAE at Cannes Lions 2019

 

Commenting on the Grand Prix win, Paul Shearer, Chief Creative Officer at Impact BBDO MENA, added: “Bringing home the first Grand Prix Lion for not only the UAE but also the region is of course an incredible honor.”

Shearer said he personally hopes that this win will spur on everyone in the business around MENA.

“There is so much talent and esteemed agencies around that this should be just another step on the regions maturity. I also think some of the other work from the region was unlucky not to win at Cannes, as there was some great work there.”

“I would like to thank Cannes Lions for their continued support with Lynx. Without this I fear we would have never achieved Grand Prix level. Lastly, I would like to thank our Chief Executive Officer, Dani Richa, who’s creative eye makes our work so much better,” said Shearer.

 

Paul Shearer - Chief Creative Officer at Impact BBDO MENA with the Grand Prix Lion for The Black Edition

 

Ali Rez, Regional ECD Middle East & Pakistan at Impact BBDO – who was also a Glass Jury member at Cannes Lions 2019, said: “ In what seemed a year featuring very tough juries, it is even sweeter that Impact BBDO managed to bring home such a large haul of Lions: 13 spread across three offices – UAE, Pakistan and Lebanon, and more than 50 shortlists across almost a dozen categories.”

“The Glass jury was an incredible learning experience featuring some of the sharpest minds in the business – it was an absolute honor to be part of such an important jury. We saw solutions from around the globe tackling a number of issues related to gender inequality: financial inequality, stereotyping, health, violence, even technology-related.”

“A trend that emerged this year was that awareness as a goal is simply not enough anymore, and that action is the need of the day,” he added.

 

Tres Colacion, Creative Director, Impact BBDO Dubai – who played an instrumental role in campaign creation for An-Nahar, said: “The Blank Edition was a very special project for us. We set to change a national conversation through the power of creatively, the ultimate test. We talk a lot about game “changing ideas” and “culture busting”, but there are very few instances that these opportunities truly present themselves. When they do, you absolutely need to take them and meet them with the kind of ideas that will truly resonate with people.”

The Blank Edition team did just that and I’m incredibly proud to have our work recognized at the highest level. To win a Grand Prix, let alone the first in the region, is the highest honor,” he added.

Tres Colacion - Creative Director at Impact BBDO with the Grand Prix Lion for the Black Edition

 

Check out case study for ‘The Black Edition’:

 

As the official representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in UAE, Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan would like to congratulate Impact BBDO Dubai on doing UAE proud by winning 7 Lions – including the most prestigious of them all!

 

 

Sources: Cannes Lions 2019, Campaign Middle East, Adweek and PRWEEK