Winners’ Circle: Gambit on winning the UAE Agency of The Year

Gambit Communications

Jamal Al Mawed, Founder & Managing Director, Gambit Communications

Tell us why you think you won the award?

The Campaign AOTY Awards celebrate the best of the best at every level, and over the past 12 months, Gambit Communications has shown that we can compete to be the best regardless of size or scale. 

We won major pitches such as BMW Group, Aramex, McLaren, Deyaar and the Majid Al Futtaim portfolio, increased our revenues 43 per cent, grew our team 40 per cent while keeping a 95 per cent retainer client retention rate, 100 per cent project client retention rate and picking up 21 industry trophy wins including 14 golds and two agency of the year titles, and a historic first ever Gold for the region at the PR Young Lions in Cannes.

How will the award help you/your agency?

On an external level, the recognition from such a prestigious publication and such an impressive judging panel will help our star shine brighter in the industry. On an internal level, the pride and sense of accomplishment we feel makes us more ambitious and driven in our quest to be recognised as the best agency in the region. 

What makes these awards unique?

This is the only awards show that allows agencies to compete against one another not just with specific campaigns, but for their output as a whole over the year. Then it also allows for inter-disciplinary competition across different industries and also rewards individuals.

Take all of that and add a world-class judging panel of serial winners from major brands, and you have an awards show that will be an industry staple for many years to come. 

How is the role of an agency changing?

The integration of all of the marcomms functions means that every agency needs to think multidisciplinary and be prepared to service clients that way.

In a divisive world where the effective use of social media can alter brands’ cultural hegemony very quickly, agencies need people who understand the intersection of consumer behaviour with popular public opinion.  This means that the days of a single-discipline, tunnel vision-focused agency are over. 

 And how are clients’ demands changing?

Specific requirements may change but client demands have always been the same: to have an agency team that is an extension of their own, that thinks with them, struggles with them and celebrates with them. It is a simple equation and it’s surprising that so many agencies forget these basic principles of client servicing. 

How important is your team?

They are the physical manifestation of our agency promise. We can say whatever we like on the website but if the team does not embody that, then the agency will fail very quickly.

We are proud to have created a diverse and driven agency culture, which attracts and retains the strongest young talent in the market. No other agency in the region has won as many individual team member awards as Gambit in the past three years, and that in itself tells a story.