Brand UAE out in force at Cannes Lions

The UAE Government Media Office continues its strong presence at the world’s biggest festival of creativity by launching a global ad campaign

There has been a lot of sharing of images at Cannes Lions this year from the strong contingent of attendees from the UAE.

The majority of them have been of the prominent billboards from the UAE Government Media Office which has chosen the festival to launch its global ad campaign – ‘Bring Your Impossible’.

Marie-Claire Maalouf,  CCO at Edelman EMEA, shared images on LinkedIn, writing: “While waiting outside the jury room (at the) Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity , I saw the UAE message and felt proud and filled with admiration.

“Yes UAE is where no idea is impossible and as his Highness says: “impossible” is a word used by some people who fear to dream big.

“UAE is making waves at Cannes and so glad to see so many talents from Dubai coming as jurors to represent the land of ideas and opportunities.”

The UAE Government Media Office has had a consistent presence and success at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, winning three Lions in consecutive years – 2021, 2022, and 2023.

And Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication at the UAE Government Media Office, is a regular speaker and a judge at the festival.

This year, they are showcasing a new approach through a partnership with the Cannes Lions Festival.

This collaboration aims to inspire the industry with the message that “Bring Your impossible” and extends an open invitation to collaborate and turn ambitious ideas into reality.

Widespread impact

The UAE’s “Bring Your Impossible” ads have made a significant impact at Cannes this year, and are prominently featured across prime locations around Le Palais and other parts of the festival

The feedback among the advertising community is that the concept and message of the ads have been widely embraced, and resonate deeply with audiences. It has inspired and touched the hearts and minds of people.

Nadeem Quraishi, the publisher of Campaign Middle East, shared images on LinkedIn and wrote: “Amazing branding of UAE throughout at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Go Brand UAE! Super proud being a resident of this country for more than 4 decades.”

Indeed, the campaign resonates strongly with the creative industry in the UAE attending Cannes lions Festival, instilling a sense of pride.

I myself am relatively new to the UAE, having moved here from Singapore in 2022. I was attracted to it being a premier destination for talents and investors, and  a great place to live. And my sentiments echo those of many others – this is a country which you can belong and live. The UAE is not just a destination. It’s a launchpad for ambitions.

With the policies, processes and infrastructure in place, you can really to make things happen here, and the UAE has plenty of proof and a strong track record to demonstrate that ‘impossible is possible’.

I reached out to Khaled AlShehhi at the UAE Government Media Office who emphasised to me the strategic choice of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity as the perfect location to launch a global campaign.

He described it as an invitation to everyone to “Bring Your Impossible” to a place where barriers are replaced with bridges to potential, where anyone can dream big and realise those dreams.

AlShehhi  told me that more details about this campaign will be shared in the near future. We are already excited –  so stay tuned for more news about this campaign.

Talking about the distinctive billboards, Akram Dohjoka,  Senior Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi MEA, said: “That was the first statement I saw entering the Cannes Lions awards show this year. And it sums up how I felt being an adman living in a place where no idea is impossible!

“The level of creativity I saw this year coming from the UAE is really impressive! It’s the level of work that makes you feel jealous! and drives you to push yourself and your team to come up with better insights and ideas.”