OMD dominates MENA Cristal media awards with both Grand Cristals and advertisers' jury endorsement

OMD, the world's most awarded communications planning network, shone at this year's MENA Cristal awards festival in Lebanon, picking up eight awards, including two Grand Cristal Awards, for its excellence in media creativity.

In addition to the coveted Grand Cristal award from the international jury in Meribel, this year marked the introduction of an advertisers' jury in Mzaar. OMD won five of the 10 Advertisers' Media Cristals, including the Grand Cristal for OMD Dubai's "Let it glow" campaign for Wrigley's. The international jury, comprising advertisers and agencies, gave OMD Arabia its Grand Cristal for the "We've covered it" awareness campaign for Mobily.

Of the 10 awards given by the international jury, OMD was awarded for Kellogg's "2-Week Challenge" in the Women's category and Mobily's "We've covered it" campaign in the non-financial services. The advertisers' jury also rewarded OMD with a win for Nissan Pathfinder's "DVD Experience" campaign in the automotive category, Wrigley's "Let it glow" in the snack category, Barclays' "Game of Tag" in the financial services category and Mobily's "Instant Mobility" in the product launch category.

 "We are very proud to be the only Saudi finalist and even prouder to receive the Media Grand Cristal for our "We've covered it" campaign at this year's MENA Cristals," commented Ahmed Al Hashimi, deputy chief marketing officer of Mobily. "This award is the result of hard work and commitment of both Mobily and OMD's teams, given the limited media opportunities of the Saudi market."

"Thanks to its passion, enthusiasm and creativity in media planning and buying, OMD is much more than a traditional media agency and a real strategic business partner for Wrigley ME," added Ashraf Khairallah, senior marketing manager at Wrigley Middle East FZCO. "Winning two awards, including a Grand Cristal, at the MENA Cristals is the latest expression of OMD's strong team spirit, long-term strategic thinking and relentless drive for creative and efficient solutions for Wrigley's."

The network also received 10 finalist awards for a number of clients, including du, DSFO, Dubai One, Dubai TV, Infiniti, Nissan and Mobily.This result is a major testament to the intense creative spirit that runs through OMD's expanding network throughout the GCC, Levant and North Africa. Be it through recruitment, development or working methods every office embraces the agency's common culture of innovation.

"We see the winning of three MENA Cristals in the media category as a coming of age for Saudi Arabia," explained Choucrallah Abou Samra, managing director of OMD Arabia. "We have clients pushing the envelope more and more in terms of creativity and imagination. Mobily is certainly a leading light in this trend. It's hugely rewarding for this market and our teams but also for consumers who are now addressed in a more exciting manner by brands."

"These awards are symbolic of the tremendous efforts our agency puts in to deliver creative, innovative and cutting edge results for our clients," added Shadi Kandil, general manager of OMD Dubai. "The fact that they are awarded by both international advertising specialists and regional advertisers is a stunning endorsement of the world-class nature of our work and its local relevance and effectiveness. In these difficult economic times, creativity will be a critical factor to promote brands wisely."

The MENA Cristal Awards were created in 2005 with the aim of introducing a new advertising competition for all the North African and Middle Eastern countries. The media category was introduced in 2008. Held in Mzaar, Lebanon from 26 to 29 January, it is linked to the Méribel Ad Festival for European countries.