MENA Effie Awards announces 2021 winners

13th edition of the marketing effectiveness awards, MENA Effie Awards, program celebrating best-in-class work from the region comes back after a one-year pandemic-related hiatus.

The winners of this year’s MENA Effie Awards have been announced during a gala ceremony that took place on November 24 at the Armani Hotel Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.

The highly-anticipated industry event made its come back after a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was attended by over 1,000 marketing and advertising professionals from all across the region, who gathered to celebrate marketing excellence in the Middle East.

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Another signal that the MENA Effie Awards was exceptionally well received this year by the industry as a whole was the 40 per cent increase in the number of entries compared to the last edition in 2019, which already was a record year.

“This 2021 edition of the MENA Effie Awards is making and marking history in a number of ways. It proved to be a phenomenal success, with a record number of high-quality entries vs 2019, which was already a record year. It’s truly heartening to see, through the entries, how resilient, imaginative, and effective brands have been here,” said Sahar Rafique, Events Director at Media Quest – the organizer of the MENA Effie Awards. “The industry clearly embraced this opportunity to get together in person and celebrate amazing, effective creativity once again, and we’re glad that the MENA Effie Awards are back in great form. We’re also glad to see such an amazing array of winners, with dozens of brands being recognized from all across the MENA region.”

Indeed, from a total of 374 finalists, more than 60 brands and advertisers, from the UAE to Egypt, Jordan, KSA, Qatar, Lebanon, Tunisia, and beyond, were acknowledged throughout the evening. In particular, Unilever, Burger King, and the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation made quite an impression, with respectively ten, eight, and five awards – including the Grand Prix for the Lebanese NGO’s “The Bread Exam”. It is noteworthy that P&G, TikTok, and the Abaad Resource Center for Gender Equality along with others also won trophies with direct entries.

Among other top accolades, the “Honorary Award of the Year” was handed to Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, while “Most Effective Advertising Agency Office of the Year” was awarded to FP7 McCann Dubai; “Most Effective Media Agency Offices of the Year” to PHD UAE; and “Most Effective Agency Network of the Year” to FP7 McCann.

The MENA Effie Awards 2021 program included a wide range of industry-specific categories and saw its scope expanded to business ideas, performance marketing, and technology companies, thanks to a mix of 13 new categories that better represent today’s marketing and business challenges and allow for more in-depth coverage of effective digital strategy. The new total of 50 categories allowed for more companies to enter the competition, with twice the impact as the eligibility period this year was from 2019 to 2021.

“We’re constantly reviewing the format of the competition to reflect the evolution of the marketing discipline. This truly allows the best work to shine, as we’ve seen tonight, and document the transformation of marketing. I take this opportunity to congratulate the winners and all the entrants for their hard work and thank all the industry judges for their time and expertise in reviewing the extraordinary field of entries,” Rafique concluded.