Last week’s win marks the first time any Middle East agency has won a Cannes award for direct marketing, and only the second time any regional agency has won gold at the highly respected industry awards.
The Dubai-based regional agency is also the only Wunderman chapter around the world to receive a Gold Lion in Cannes this year.
Nassib Boueri, Managing Director of Wunderman MENA, said the win will boost the profile of the company and direct marketing in the region.
“The understanding of direct marketing in this region is picking up, but an achievement like this will raise the bar for quality and raise the interest of everyone associated with this industry,”
he said. “The Cannes awards are the Oscars for the creative industry; a great recognition and reward.”
The Golden Lion award also made Dubai-based marketing communications conglomerate The Holding Group (THG) the most rewarded corporation in the region. The group, parent company of Wunderman, Asda’a, Intermarkets, Mediaedge: cia and Team/Young & Rubicam, also savoured two Cannes Silver Lions for advertising agency Team/Y&R in the outdoor category.
The three awards make this year’s International Advertising Festival the most successful ever for the Middle East. Team Y&R also had six finalists in festival categories, including the first-ever finalist for a television commercial from the Middle East region.
Direct marketing, a part of below-the-line advertising, uses highly targeted techniques such as direct mailers, e-mail campaigns and other strategic methods to reach carefully selected consumers.
Boueri said he hopes the win will drive more companies to incorporate direct marketing as part of a holistic communications plan rather than a one-off tactic.
The Cannes Gold Lion is the latest in a wave of recent successes for Wunderman MENA. Earlier this year, the company pounced on all three Campaign awards for direct marketing in the region, scooping gold, silver and bronze awards in the same category.
“We hope to maintain our trajectory well into the future,” Boueri said. “Middle East agencies have been on the Cannes radar for some time, but the level of creative has improved dramatically in the last few years, taking us from the shortlist to winners.”
The award-winning Microsoft campaign, entitled ‘Gotcha!’ and executed by a 10-member Wunderman team, was created to convert unlicensed software users into licensed ones.
Each of the recipients received hand-written packages containing unlicensed software CDs with handwritten Post-It notes. Within seconds of loading the CD, the computer would appear to crash, followed by a message detailing how pirated software could easily make that a reality. The message also offered discounts on genuine Windows software.
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