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Five Lion Winners from MENA

Following our looks at Lion winners from Europe, Asia and South America, we turn to the Middle East to review some of the big success stories from the MENA region.

created on Sunday 3 Sep 2017

‘The Line Up Song’ for Coca Cola by FP7/Cai

FP7/CAI won big at Cannes Lions 2017 with this surprisingly simple, but undeniably catchy idea for Coca-Cola. The campaign was a direct response to a marked decline in Egyptian football and a need to get the country to fall back in love with the team. They did this by asking a group of “manly men with big mustaches and bigger dreams for their national team” to chant the current line-up to the tune of old nursery rhyme. It was a huge success: in the first 48 hours after the video was launched it reached more than 2.8 million Egyptians.

‘One Book For Peace’ for the Inter Religious Council Of Bosnia And Herzegovina by Y&R Dubai

With a Gold Lion in Design and Bronzes in Print and Publishing, Radio and PR, this campaign aimed to tackle prejudice and raise awareness of the importance of inter-religious dialogue. Y&R Dubai created a book that contains the teachings of both the Bible and the Quran, presented next to each other to demonstrate how similar the teachings are. Lunched on a prime time show on Al Jazeera Balkans, the idea received a total of 53 million impressions.

‘Footnote For The Breast’ for Medcare Women & Children Hospital by The Classic Partnership Advertising

The Classic Partnership Advertising won Lions in everything from Health & Wellness to Direct for this bold campaign. The work was a response to restrictions placed on how some health issues - such as breast cancer - are dealt with in countries where the vast majority of the population are Muslims. As a result, the brand needed to come up with a way to communicate a taboo subject in a discreet manner.

 The award-winning execution involved using pebbles stamped with a simple message. The pebbles were then placed in the shoes of women who went to mosques or prayer halls. When they returned and put on their shoes, the “lump” could be felt immediately and the message seen. The results were impressive: a 33.3% response rate and more than 5,000 health checks carried out.

‘#Undress522’ for Abaad Resource Center For Gender Equality by Leo Burnett Beirut

ABAAD is a non-profit organization that strives for gender equality in Lebanon. Since 2011 it has been lobbying for the equality, protection and empowerment of Lebanese women and recently approached Leo Burnett to develop a campaign to raise awareness on Article 522 of the Lebanese Code, which states that a rapist may be exonerated of his crime if he marries his victim. The result was a brutally shocking multi-touch-point campaign that highlighted the issue, raised public awareness and earned the agency Silver Lions in PR and Bronzes in both PR and Entertainment. Most impressively, it helped put pressure on the Lebanese parliment to remove the article and help spread the campaign to other neighbouring countries.

‘Potatoes On Mars’ for CIP - The International Potato Center by Memac Ogilvy & Mather

Who would have through an experiment to see if you could grow potatoes on Mars would yield one of the most successful campaigns of Cannes Lions 2017? But that’s exactly what Memac Ogilvy & Mather did when they helped the International Potato Center prove the potential of potatoes by showing that they could be grown on the Red Planet. The campaign involved both NASA and UTEC scientists and had a very serious goal; to demonstrate that potatoes have the ability to solve micronutrient deficiencies and save lives here on Earth. The results of the campaign were similarly out of this world with 280 Million online engagements and over three billion in global media reach.