Egypt won its first ever titanium Lion on the final night of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
JWT Entertainment in Cairo picked up the award for ‘Abla Fahita’, a female puppet turned pop star and chat show host. Described as an “entertainment brand that has created an entirely new business model in advertising”, the puppet began life advertising for brands but has since become an entertainment brand in her own right. She has released a hit single with Hassan el Shafei and has since launched her own prime time TV chat show – Live from El Duplex on CBC.
Discussing the win, Ramsey Naja, JWT’s chief creative officer for the Middle East and Africa, said: “Words fail me. With Abla Fahita, the guys didn’t just turn a problem into an opportunity, they made all those buzzwords such as ‘new paradigm’, ‘game changer’ and ‘new business model’ actually make sense. I think this is what an inspired and motivated team can do when they think positive. That’s all it takes to make the jargon ring true.”
JWT’s chief strategy officer for the MENA region, Amal el Masri, added: “As an agency, we are best placed in terms of talent and skill sets to produce insightful entertainment. Abla Fahita is magical – an unlikely star who faced all her challenges with the same poise and charisma, which is probably why she resonates so strongly with her audiences.”
Also picking up an award last night was FP7/DXB, which won a bronze in branded content & entertainment for its ‘Xperia Underwater Store’ for Sony Mobile. Leo Burnett Dubai also won a bronze in film craft for ‘du Tuesday’, while Memac Ogilvy Dubai was handed a bronze in film for Greenpeace International’s ‘Story of a spoon’.
The four wins brought the total number of awards won for the MENA region to 26. There were also two golds and three silvers won in Lions Health, one of the new festivals within a festival that kicked off this year. The two golds went to Geometry Global Dubai for the ‘The lucky Iron Fish Project’, and 3SG-BBDO’s ‘Backup Memory’ for Samsung.
“I am very happy to see that the ‘Backup Memory’ application that helped the patients of Alzheimer’s and their families has won three awards at the Cannes Lions festival,” said Ghariani Hosni, chairman of 3SG-BBDO. “Also we are happy to participate in the success of the BBDO network. Today is a day of pride for our agency and for Tunisia – to climb on the highest steps of the best festival in the world. Three awards at Cannes in our first participation is a good start for our agency. I would like to thank you all the 3SG-BBDO team for these awards.”