DDB Middle East has appointed Ramsey Naja as regional executive creative director. Naja will join Firas Medrows the current regional ECD at the helm of DDB’s creative departments. Naja has spent more than 20 years with JWT, where he led the Middle East Network to the highest levels of creativity winning multiple top creative accolades including Agency of the year twice at The Dubai Lynx and countless Cannes Lions including a Titanium. He worked with both Medrows and regional CEO Hubert Boulos there. He is also a regular contributor to Campaign Middle East.
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Hubert Boulos DDB’s CEO Middle East, said: “With the appointment of Ramsey, we are doing two things. First we have decided to continue betting heavily on creativity and ideas across media and technologies. This is our DNA! We will deliver Emotion at Scale in the most unexpected ways! That should keep us away from the ‘always on’ harassment of our audiences via random verbal and visual diarrhea superbly delivered by spread sheets. Second, with an increased regional scope of work, we will now have a much stronger capacity to further strike across the GCC, with both Ramsey Naja and Firas Medrows on board.”
Nathalie Gevresse DDB Dubai’s managing director, said: “Ramsey is a perfect fit with DDB’s culture and leadership in the region. We all know each other very well already, so expect immediate results at every level!” (Gevresse also spent 18 years with JWT, mainly in that agency’s Paris offices, before joining DDB in 2019.)
Firas Medrows, regional ECD, said: “Ramsey is no stranger to me as to many of you. We have worked together for many years in our previous agency. His passion, dedication, commitment, and love to our creative industry was very evident and still is. Today, as we are planning to grow our business and move beyond borders, I’m very thrilled to be working with Ramsey again. Our partnership will only take us to one direction ‘greatness’. Welcome to DDB Ramsey.”
Ramsey Naja said: “It’s good to see that there are still agencies where ‘advertising’ is not a dirty word, and where creativity is valued above everything else. DDB is part of an increasingly exclusive club which still believes in big ideas that increase sales, brand value and reputation. To be invited to join such a creative powerhouse, and work with ridiculously talented people like Hubert, Nathalie and particularly Firas – to mention but a few – is pretty damn near orgasmic.”
He told Campaign: “It does feel a bit like going back to J. Walter Thompson, mostly because in the core team is very JWT. Also there’s a massive difference in that DDB behaves and feels at the same time like startup. It’s a small agency here. It’s more nimble and ambitious. There’s tremendous ambition. It has that feeling of startup, it really does.”
He added that hiring at a senior level shows Boulos’s commitment to great creative. “The act [of hiring Najar] in itself is amazing from from Hubert,” he said. “It shows you the kind of ambition that he has and what he wants to give his clients. Never mind me as a person, it’s what he’s bringing into the agency. It’s a considerable investment. And he’s doing it and the agency is embracing it at the same time. So it tells you the ambition, and it tells you also of the of the culture within the agency, the spirit of the agency. There’s a lot to be read in the act.”
Naja said he had been working on a consulting basis with DDB in recent months, and found his copywriting background was a natural fit with Medrows’ art direction credentials. He described their work together as “a supercharged creative team that splits every now and then to be creative leaders”.