The world’s foremost digital advocates gathered at the Westin Hotel on 22nd March to attend the fourth edition of the MENA Digital Awards (MDA) and honour digital talent, efforts and innovation in the region. The awards ceremony followed the successful conclusion of the sixth Digital Media Forum (DMF), which was held earlier that day.
Najla Semaan Mazboudi, CEO of SpotOn Media Services and Events and Founder of DMF and MDA, commented: “MDA was launched to recognise and celebrate those responsible for creating digital marketing campaigns that have a real impact and drive our sector onto new heights. The awards programme has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2014, and we have been hugely impressed by the high quality and number of entries it has attracted this year. This is testament to the exceptional work being undertaken across all communication disciplines in the digital arena.”
Each year, MDA invites all digital players to submit any form of technical and creative digital work across all communication disciplines. The categories of the awards programme are grouped under seven clusters: Performance, Mobile, Social Media, Integrated, Special, Digital Assets and, new this year, Digital by Sector. The seventh category was added to celebrate the innovation of the region’s key sectors, ranging from Automotive and Retail to FMCG and Healthcare. The entries are judged by a jury of digital experts, who also award the Grand Prix: Agency of the Year and Network of the Year.
Najla Semaan Mazboudi added: “MDA’s programme evolves every year to reflect its growing scope and influence; it is now rightly considered as the benchmark ceremony for the top digital marketing talent in the region.”
IMPACT BBDO Dubai was awarded Agency of the Year – the most highly coveted title offered by the awards programme – "the most awarded agency".
Meanwhile BBDO Worldwide, part of Omnicom Group, was named Network of the Year. The awards are given to the most awarded agencies within a network.
Other gold winners at this year’s MENA Awards ceremony included Starcom Dubai and its client Du Telecom in the ‘Best Integrated Digital Campaign’ and RBBi for its work with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) in the ‘Best Performance Campaign’ category. Socialize’s work for Mercedes-Benz earned the company gold in both the ‘Best Facebook App’ and ‘Best Digital by Sector: Automotive’ categories, and Garage 366 similarly scooped two golds, one in the ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category and one in the ‘Best Integrated Media Campaign’ categories, where grand prix winner IMPACT BBDO Dubai was also awarded gold for its work with Loto Libanaise.
The MENA Digital Awards 2017 rounded off this year’s Digital Media Forum, which was held under the banner: ‘Digital Transformation - Own It.’ It was the sixth and latest instalment of the forum, which has established itself as Dubai’s biggest gathering of digital influencers, leaders and entrepreneurs from the MENA region and beyond. The event serves as a platform for attendees to exchange views on the past, present and future of technology, equipping them with inside knowledge of which digital powers are currently changing the media landscape, and what it takes to make an impact in this dynamic industry.