Leo Burnett, Starcom and OMD shine at MENA Cristals

Leo Burnett was the runaway winner at this year’s MENA Cristal Festival, grabbing both the agency and network of the year titles as well as the majority of grands prix.

The Beirut office was named agency of the year on the back of its ‘Fake it all’ work for the Brand Protection Group and its ‘No Rights, No Women’ campaign, while the network of the year trophy came courtesy of strong performances by the Beirut, Cairo and Dubai offices. In total, the network won seven of the eight Grand Cristals awarded during the three-day festival in Mzaar, Lebanon.

In media, Starcom Media-Vest Group’s Dubai operation was named media agency of the year, while OMD was network of the year.

Other big winners included Impact BBDO Beirut, whose ‘Cheyef 7alak’ for LBC won 10 awards spread across several categories, including the Arabic culture Cristal. Y&R Dubai landed the print Grand Cristal for its ‘Rare’ campaign for Land Rover, but Grand Cristals were not awarded in five categories. There was also no ‘best in show’.

Speaking of the network’s wins, Bechara Mouzannar, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett MENA, said: “This comes as a result of a commitment made by the people at Leo Burnett MENA to put their best creative efforts into their regular work, on regular briefs, integrating their ideas and innovating in the [various] channels, in order to better engage with the people who live, feel and think, in Beirut, in Dubai, in Cairo, in Doha and in Saudi Arabia. Five of our offices contributed to the winning of network of the year. And the fact that we got awards in most of the categories, and from all the six different juries, reassures us on our creative strategy for our brands and clients, encouraging us to always try to push further the borders of communication in the region.”

Talking of Starcom’s wins, Mark Hamilton, strategic development director at VivaKi MENA, said: “This year has been our most successful at the MENA Cristal Awards. With 17 nominations, four wins and one honourable mention we were the most awarded media agency of the year, and the media agency of the year. The shortlisted entries, and the winning ones in particular, highlight the diversity of experience and talent our team is capable of delivering.”

Elie Khouri, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA, added: “OMD’s 20 shortlisted entries from the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon demonstrate that creativity knows no boundaries and that the innovative spirit and expertise are a constant across our network. This award highlights further the consistency of our offering across the region and I would like to applaud all our offices for their determination in making the difference for our clients, not just for awards, but every day with ideas that work.”