Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity culminated this past week, shedding light on and honoring the agencies behind the coolest advertising and marketing campaigns in the MENA region.
Here are five of the best campaigns from the competition. Some will make you laugh or cry, or both at the same time. You've been warned.
1. Coca-Cola "Hello Happiness" - Y & R
Y&R had the brilliant idea of providing a few extra minutes of happiness in the form of Coca-Cola currency tokens, which labor workers in Dubai can use in specially branded phone booths to call family back home for one international minute, helping them connect with their loved ones more often. Y&R won a Grand Prix in the Branded Content and Entertainment category for this heartwarming campaign. This same piece of work won another Grand Prix in the PR category as well.
2. Johnny Walker "Keep the Flame Alive" - Leo Burnett Beirut
Both of Leo Burnett Beirut’s Grand Prix trophies were for their work on the Johnnie Walker campaign, “Keep your Flame Alive.” The campaign depicts the story of the Lebanese spirit. A spirit that is determined, resilient and defiant against all odds, hence a flame in all of the Lebanese people, one that can weather any storm. The campaign invited people to share their messages of hope and determination to keep their "flame alive" through hashtag #KeepWalkingLebanon, which would then be written in flames, turned into a credited piece of art and posted on all platforms.
3. du Tuesday "Too Complicated" - Leo Burnett Dubai
In an effort to inspire loyalty between users, du leveraged on people’s passion for movies and partnered with cinemas to launch “du Tuesday,” whereby customers walk away with two movie tickets, for the price of one, on Tuesdays at VOX Cinemas across the UAE. du Tuesday’s campaign films used cutting-edge creativity and a humorous tone to shed light on the importance of indulging in a shared movie experience, encouraging customers to take someone along with them on du Tuesdays. The adverts were created by Leo Burnett Dubai, directed by Ali Ali and Maged Nassar, and one many awards in the Film category.
4. “Not a Bug Splat” art installation - BBDO Pakistan
This campaign by BBDO Pakistan went viral overnight, and with good reason. Since 2004, drone strikes in Pakistan have killed an estimated 3,500+ people, including more than 200 innocent children. Drone operators routinely describe their casualties as “bug splats” in order to maintain emotional distance from their targets. BBDO Pakistan decided not only to address the pilots directly and create dialogue but also to raise awareness globally of this ignored human-rights issue. A 90 by 60 feet vinyl image showing the face of a child whose parents were killed was laid on the ground in the heavily bombed area of North Western Pakistan, so a drone camera could capture and transmit it to an operator’s screen. The campaign won five golds, three silvers and two bronzes at this year's Dubai Lynx.
5. Chrysler "The Performer" - Publicis Middle East Dubai
The Performer, a five chapter campaign done by Publicis Middle East Dubai, is the journey of turning the Chrysler 300c into a musical instrument. The music you hear in final chapter of the ad has been composed, arranged and performed using only, and exclusively, sounds from the Chrysler 300c. The campaign objective was to establish a connection between Chrysler and "Arabs Got Talent," showcasing the association between brand and program. Publicis Middle East Dubai also partnered with the car magazine Wheels and created an insert which is at the same time the world's first retargetable print ad and the region's first playable magazine insert. The campaign was shortlisted in the mobile category.