Top 10 MENA Films 2016

1 Nissan: Take no sides

Nissan bucked the austerity trend for cost-efficient feature ads with its $800,000 cinematic epic
for its flagship 4×4 Patrol. TBWA/Raad managed to squeeze in
cities rising from the sand, desert warriors in animal skins, Ming the Merciless urban emperors and a wind-swept scorpion.

Agency: TBWA/Raad

Creatives: Walid Kanaan, Fouad Abdel Malak, Manuel Bordé, Oswaldo Sa, Alex Pinedada, Guilherme Grossi, Gabrial Gama

Director: Niko Kreiss

Production company: City Films

2 Centrepoint: Sabotage

Impact BBDO’s minute of existential angst for clothes retailer Centrepoint shows a moody and stylised drive through the desert before a train ends the trip. Bleak, macabre and darkly funny.

Agency: Impact BBDO Dubai

Creatives: Fadi Yaish, Alok Mohan, Michel Bou Zeid, Cynthia Chammas,

Director: Maged Nassar

Production company: Good People, Beirut

3 Emirates: Jen makes a new friend

Actress Jennifer Aniston returned to advertising for Emirates a year after she made her debut for the airline. In the ad she befriends a boy named Cooper and they explore the plane together before Cooper’s mum ends up in Aniston’s first-class suite while the actress hangs out in economy with her new friend.

Agency: WPP Group

Director: Bryan Buckley

4 Egypt Tourism Authority: This is Egypt

A year after the Sharm el-Sheikh air disaster struck yet another blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, J. Walter Thompson Cairo produced a simple but beautiful film based on drone shots of exciting activities and breathtaking scenery to lure the trippers back.

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Cairo

5 Juhayna Dairy: Talking babies

Cairo agency King Tut’s Playground managed to get its ad for Juhayna banned. In it, three baby boys discuss their progression from ‘dondou’, their name for breast milk, to Juhayna milk. Egypt’s Consumer Protection Agency said: “The first ad for Juhayna Dairy included sexual innuendos in addition to the use of children in violation of the standard specifications for ads.” A follow-up ad also drew complaints.

Agency: King Tut’s Playground

Creatives: Ashraf Badawy, Omar Adel, Shereef Mansour, Karim Sherif

Director: Mohamed Hamdalla

Production company: Lighthouse

6 3ala Rasy: I am my Veil

FP7/Cairo launched a campaign to empower veiled women in Egypt. The voice-over for a film, both in Arabic and English, sends a negative message when initially played forward, but when played in reverse it is much more inspirational.

Agency: FP7/Cairo

Creatives: Ahmed Hafez Youness, Rami el-Kerdani, Menna el-Kiey, Rana Khairy, Moemen el-Siwi

Director: Mariam Abou Ouf

7 Etisalat: No more drama

A campaign of four films directed by Harald Zwart for telecom company Etisalat play on the idea that if you don’t have the right network you might find yourself in dramatic situations. Kuwait’s Caviar Group asks questions such as: “What if ET couldn’t phone home?”

Agency: Caviar Group, Kuwait

Creatives: Haitham al-Hajji, Fabian Pinto

Director: Harald Zwart

Production house: Joy Films

8 Beirut Beer: A beer on the rise

Boutique agency Operation Unicorn’s spot for Beirut Beer uses
a family reunion to show how new ways of thinking are making their way into old and established habits. The tagline is: “Beirut Beer is a
100 per cent pilsner beer with a taste for change.”

Agency: Operation Unicorn

Creative director: Nathalie Masri

Director: Samir Syriani

9 Grand Mills: First time

‘Nothing tastes better than a mother’s cooking’ is the idea behind the spot for Grand Mills’ Chakki Fresh Atta. The Classic Partnership’s ad follows a mother’s maiden trip from India to meet her son and his new partner in Dubai.

Agency: The Classic Partnership

Creatives: Alok Gadkar, Prakash Elumalai, Vishal Vinekar, Vitthal Deshmukh, Zohra Ameen, Raman Chauhan

10 Pepsi: Ramadan/Make doing good our story

Pepsi’s Ramadan commercial by Impact BBDO is a step away from its recent Holy Month campaigns that focused on nostalgia. The soundtrack, a song by Abu, contains the lines: “Let’s light up people’s lives. With this light we’ll see the future. And with it, light up people’s dreams.”

Agency: Impact BBDO

Creatives: Hussam Moro, Mohamed Fathy, Ahmed Hany, Hany Mohsen, Mohamed Gaber, Kamel Basha

Director: Ahmed el-Naggar

Production house: Rhino

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