Dubai: Eddie Moutran is certainly the man of the moment.
The day it was confirmed that the global advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) is taking a majority stake in its regional affiliate Memac Ogilvy, of which Moutran is chairman and CEO, he was also conferred the title of ‘Advertising Person of the Year’ at the Dubai Lynx Awards held late on Wednesday. Moutran founded Memac in 1984 with one client and a four-member staff.
Another top honour went to the credit of Land Rover’s Middle East and North Africa operations as ‘Advertiser of the Year’.
There were other awards being handed out at the Dubai Lynx event, cutting across category-defining campaigns across multiple media over the course of last year. It all flows from the buzz that is out there in the marketplace on the back of an improving economy, and the bullish sentiments wafting through sectors as diverse as financial services to retail, and real estate to hospitality.
For the Dubai Lynx Awards, 2,279 pieces of campaign work from 18 countries were entered across 15 categories. After vetting it down to a shortlist of 503 entries, the juries went on to pick 207 winners.
Agencies in the UAE took home the highest number of trophies, followed by Lebanon and Egypt. The awards were split across four Grand Prix, 41 gold, 70 silver and 92 bronze trophies.
“The extraordinary pace of change is forcing marketers and agencies to rethink, restructure and rebuild capability around three key areas – digital, data and analytics and content,” said John Sheehy, president of Global Operations, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG). “The winners moving forward will be marketers and agencies that are able to embrace the change and consolidate around new talent, capabilities and ways of partnering to deepen consumer engagement in order to drive brand/category growth.
“In this changing environment, we are seeing two types of clients and agencies — those choosing to “cut their way to growth” and those willing to “invest/innovate their way to growth”. We are focused on growth through innovation and investment.
“Three years ago SMG purposely restructured investment around the changing consumer behaviour (digital, data and analytics and content). As a result, we now lead the industry with 43 per cent of our global revenue coming from non-traditional channels.
The pressure going forward will be around creating new products and partnerships to continue our focus on the changing consumer. Consolidation only makes sense if it is driven against future consumer needs for deeper, more relevant and real-time engagement.”
The ‘Network of the Year’ picked up by Ogilvy & Mather, while Memac Ogilvy Dubai was ‘Agency of the Year’ — both hurrahs for Moutran. The Independent Agency of the Year’ title went to the Cairo based Kairo, and ‘Media Agency of the Year’ was Starcom MediaVest Group Dubai’s to keep for the year. The Lynx Palm Award, given to the most awarded production company, was presented to Dé Ja Vu, Dubai.
“There is definitely renewed confidence in the market and with that the willingness from clients to experiment with new and exciting ideas,” said Noah Khan, head of the Digital Arts Network within the TBWA\Raad universe. “Some [new ad] models reach our markets later than the mature ones but our audience and clients are very much focused on what the mature markets are doing and expect that as a benchmark.
“Clients are keen to engage with their audience in new and exciting ways. Agencies need to act as partners in exploring this. So the investment in digital for agencies is an investment in their future partnership with their clients.”