Loeries Creative Week Durban

#LoeriesRankings2017 with... BBDO

Just when you thought the Loeries buzz was over, the Loeries' rankings are in! I chatted to some of this year's top-ranked creatives post-celebrations. We continue the global and local insights with BBDO.
BBDO at Loeries 2017.


BBDO was one of the most awarded agencies at this year's Loeries, with La Libanaise Des Jeux’s “Skip Friday 13” by Impact BBDO Dubai winning the Grand Prix for websites or microsites’, while Impact BBDO and BBDO were announced as Agency of the Year and Regional Agency Group of the Year, respectively.

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Making an ‘impact’ in the MEA region


Impact BBDO Dubai kicked off the network’s haul with ‘brand identity and collateral design – posters and billboards’ campaign gold as well as a design crafts – typography’ campaign craft certificate for Law Andak Dam blood donation platform’s Kol Nokta Btefrek. They were also awarded ‘brand identity and collateral design – posters and billboards’ campaign silver for the Sydlexia Dyslexia Correcting Facility’s Making Sense of Dyslexia - Fox, Dog, Dinosaur, Rabbit.

FMCG work was a win, as the agency was awarded ‘PR and media communication’ campaign gold as well as ‘shared value’ campaign silver for BRF Sadia Frozen Foods#ShopLess ; while Pepsico’s 7Up’s Switched On brought home ‘ambient and alternative media’ silver as well as ‘media innovation – single medium’ bronze; and Mars Snickersthe Hunger was awarded ‘digital and interactive – applications, games and interactive tools’; as well as ‘indoor posters’ campaign gold,’ with a print crafts – illustration campaign craft certificate for Mars Snickers’ Balloons - Angry, Evil, Lifeless; and a TV crafts – direction craft certificate for Mars Snickers’ The Warning.

They also racked up a ‘print crafts – typography’ campaign craft certificate for Mercedes-Benz E Class Danger Ahead - Dog, Tree, Kid.

The agency’s Silver lining – lie, sabotage for Landmark Group’s Centrepoint was awarded as ‘TV crafts – writing’ campaign craft gold, ‘internet video – above 30s’ campaign bronze, as well as campaign craft certificates for TV crafts under direction, cinematography and editing.

Then there was ‘indoor posters’ campaign gold, ‘print crafts – art direction’ campaign craft gold; and ‘internet video – above 30s’ campaign bronze for Visa Gift Card’s Uncommon Truths - Perfume, Flowers; and a ‘print crafts – illustration’ campaign craft certificate for Visa Travel Insurance’s The Holiday - Sea, Vegas, Forest; with ‘internet video – up to 10s’ campaign bronze for Visa’s Travel Changes You - I Learn, So Strange, I Have Nothing Special.

They also brought home ‘effective creativity’ campaign silver for La Libanaise Des Jeux Loto Libanaise’s Goodbye Bad Luck; ‘newspaper advertising’ campaign silver for La Libanaise Des Jeux Loto Libanaise’s Odds - Waitress, Buried Treasure, Eccentric Millionaire. That’s all in addition to that ‘digital and interactive – website or microsite’ grand prix for La Libanaise Des Jeux’ Loto Libanaise Skip Friday 13, of course.



Looking further afield, Impact BBDO Cairo brought home ‘branded content video’ campaign silver for Tecno Mobile tablet’s Winpad as well as branded content video campaign silver for Tecno Mobile mobile phone’s Selfie Fails, while Impact BBDi Beirut brought home outdoor media campaign bronze for Zod Security security cameras’ The Watchers - The Pooper and The Sleeper.

Looking local, Net#work BBDO’s 10 Loeries wins featured work for six clients in six different categories: These kicked off with ‘digital integrated campaign’ silver as well as ‘shared value campaign’ silver for SCA Libresse PantylinersVagina Varsity and ‘TV and cinema commercials – up to 90s’ campaign bronze for Libresse Maxi Pads’ Unembarrassed - Galactic Quest, Duckling, Disco Ball.



There was also ‘media innovation – single medium’ bronze for Mercedes-Benz smart smart x fashion; a TV crafts – animation craft certificate for Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé Cabriolet’s #Lookup; with ‘TV and cinema commercials – above 90s’ bronze and a ‘TV crafts – performance’ craft certificate for Unisa Higher Education’s Define Tomorrow; and ‘TV and cinema commercials - up to 90s’ bronze, as well as ‘integrated campaign bronze’ and a ‘TV crafts - original music and sound design’ craft certificate for Diageo Tusker Lager’s Here's to US.

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That’s certainly impressive, but the agency is by no means resting on its laurels following its Loeries showing. In fact BBDO Africa’s regional director, Gau Narayanan, with the agency for almost three years, shares:
What’s keeping me up at night is the future of our business. A lot of my time is occupied by looking at how to disrupt the agency model so we are still relevant next year and the year after.
The success of this strategy is evident in this year’s Loeries Rankings:

Impressive agency rankings, both individually and as overall network


Impact BBDO Dubai has taken the top position in the large agency category (over 100 employees) as well as the overall ranking per agency 2017 tables – both including and excluding SA agencies – with South Africa’s own Net#work BBDO in 11th spot – all the more impressive as the overall agency table includes agencies from across the Africa and the Middle East region, as well as international agencies that produced work to be flighted within the region.


Impact BBDO Cairo is in 10th spot, with Impact BBDO Beirut at 16th spot in the ranking by agency table for the region excluding SA, while, Net#work BBDO slots in at seventh spot in the ranking by SA agency for 2017 table. Net#work BBDO is third in the medium agency category (41 to 99 employees) with Impact BBDO Dubai ranked second in the communication design 2017 table and digital and interactive communication 2017 tables respectively, with Net#work BBDO in ninth slot for the digital and interactive communication table. Rounding out the accolades, BBDO MEA also tops the table for ranking by regional agency group 2017, which is for the group networks across Africa and the Middle East, up from second position last year.


Individual accolades also rolled in fast, with Fadi Yaish of BBDO Dubai leads the executive creative director table and Net#work BBDO’s Mike Schalit tenth on the chief creative officer table, while client La Libanaise Des Jeux is the eighth ranked brand for the year and brand representative Jihad Saadé ranked tenth.


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I spoke to Narayanan to find out how BBDO plans to extend their winning streak next year and which agencies they admire most in the industry…

BizcommunityWhat do you attribute this year’s successes to?

It has been building over the past few years. From the two Grands Prix last year, to Impact BBDO stealing the show in 2015, our success comes down to two things – firstly, great clients; secondly, our people. What’s important is the breadth of clients we’re winning on and the kind of work that is winning. Take, for example, our Loto Libanais campaigns. We’re starting to build on past success and develop great work more consistently. And this work is winning creative and effectiveness plaudits. The same goes for our work on Libresse Vagina Varsity.

Secondly, we’re winning in a raft of categories, and this is a testament to our people as well as to BBDO’s culture. This kind of work is more complicated and demands a mindset that is inclusive and collaborative, with an ability to bring a longer cast list of contributors along for the ride, whether they work at BBDO or not. Our job is to orchestrate this coalition to serve the client’s brand and business.

BizcommunityWhat plans are already underway to better your ranking next year?

We will continue to ensure the sweet-spot of technology and human understanding augments our work. That’s where the data-driven magic happens. Analytics that power in-house content capabilities, that helps us tell stories that move people and product. The link between strategic planning and creativity is getting stronger and it shows in the creative and effectiveness of our work. And we’re starting to develop more than just advertising and content – we’re designing apps, helping our clients with product innovation through design.

To enable this, we’re starting to work with a divergent set of partners from around the world, outside advertising and production – for example, VR houses, MIT, Google and Facebook. We’re excited by the possibilities and hope to enter work that we’ve never entered before next year!

BizcommunityDefinitely exciting! How does this year’s Loeries flock differ from your haul last year?

It’s always great to win Loeries, they’re an important part of our year. They give us the ability to judge ourselves against our peers, as the awards act as a magnet for talent and they give our clients the credit they richly deserve.

BBDO at Loeries 2017.

For me, the kind of work we’re entering, the number of categories we’re winning in, and the number of brands we’re winning awards for is important. We’re seeing a broader and deeper mix here and more consistency.

Bizcommunity That’s for sure. Tell us two people you personally admire in the industry in 2017 – both an established mentor figure as well as a newcomer making waves.

Rather than two figures, I’d rather pick two companies. Firstly, I’m huge fan of Colenso BBDO. An agency that was 70 strong about a decade ago and was doing good work has been transformed. The leaders of that transformation have been Nick Worthington, the ECD, who I very briefly worked with at AMVBBDO; and Nick Garrett, the CEO. But it’s not about these two men.

It’s about the culture, mindset and creativity they have inspired in an agency now 150-strong. What’s interesting for South Africa is that a small country, with a small advertising community has managed to punch disproportionately above its weight. The work coming out of this office has been phenomenal – from a creative and effectiveness standpoint, they are consistently up there as one of the best agencies in the world. And the kind of work they are doing for such a diverse set of clients is truly inspiring.

Secondly, I recently judged the AdFocus Awards and I was very impressed with Clockwork Media – a new shop that has been taking the local PR scene by storm.

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The type of work they have been doing, the innovative nature of how they work and the capabilities they offer clients is really interesting. They've had a stellar start, the catch is whether they can sustain it and deliver that difficult second album. They’re definitely one to watch.

Lots to look forward to from 2018! Click through to our Loeries’ special section for more, here and here for more on Absolut One Source, and be sure to follow BBDO Africa on Twitter and Instagram.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She's also on the 2018 Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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