Joyce Hallak – Outstanding Woman in Advertising or Media of the Year: Data and technology for future-ready clients

At Campaign Middle East’s first Agency of the Year awards, Joyce Hallak, General Manager, Starcom Levant, was awarded Outstanding Woman in Advertising or Media of the Year. Hallak spoke to us about why brands have to work harder to connect with buyers.

Tell us about your journey to the award.

Like most people at ad agencies, I started from ground zero as an executive, went up the ladder step by step and worked in different markets across multiple accounts and various verticals. I had the chance to collaborate and be mentored by some of the most amazing and inspiring people at the client side and from the agency world. Fast forward to 2023: I was on my way back to Beirut from Dubai when our CTO stopped me and said that Publicis Groupe nominated me for the ‘outstanding women in advertising’. To be honest my first reaction was disappointment, not from the nomination of course but from the category I competed in as the recognition is confined within the walls of a gender in a day and age where the industry’s main narrative and every agency’s focus is built around diversity, inclusion and equality. Nevertheless, it is a great recognition for the work and gives me an opportunity to recognise all the extraordinary women out there across every industry.

How will the award help your agency to navigate forward in the industry?

In 2022, we have set an objective to reclaim our #1 position across every award show in the region and we have been on a roll! The collective recognitions for the Publicis Groupe team at Campaign’s Agency of the Year are another stamp of success and have only solidified our ambition to be bolder and better next year.

Why should other agencies enter these awards? 

Winning awards should not be the only measure of success in our industry but healthy competition can contribute in pushing our industry forward. Awards create a little spark that fuels great work. It drives everyone to have a competitive mindset, to be ahead of others, to be innovative and creative and create great work for our clients. So, bring it on!

How are your customers’ demands changing? 

Today, clients face several challenges such as increasing economic pressures along with demanding consumers who have a plethora of brand and product choices, are more exposed, more informed and more connected than ever. The battle to get this consumer’s attention is fierce and brands have to work harder to connect with them. Clients want a partner who can help them navigate this increased complexity and evolve accordingly.

How are you changing to cater to your customers’ needs? 

Publicis Groupe has been constantly evolving and adapting to the help our clients navigate and win in a platform world. We are the only holding company suited to deliver end-to end capabilities and able to orchestrate increased amounts of components, technologies and partners without friction. In the past 10 years, we have invested more in data and technology than any other holding, enabling us to pioneer solutions for our clients and help them be ready for the future – in the real world as well as the virtual one.

What does 2023 look like?  

At the end of every year, we say that the next one will be more challenging. It is also during the most challenging times that we have seen breakthroughs in creativity. 2023 will definitely bring its own challenges as the world continues to navigate political uncertainties, economic pressures and soaring inflation rates. But it also gives us the opportunity to think differently, challenge the norms and help our clients unlock their growth potential.

Campaign Middle East celebrated the best minds in advertising, marketing and media at the Agency of the Year Middle East awards 2022. View all the winners here.

Campaign also runs Agency of the Year in the UK, Asia-Pacific and the US, and a global scheme, the Global Agency of the Year Awards, which is now open for entries.