Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Lebanese agencies are killing it in the awards scene. Yes, so what?

Annahar - newspapers inside the newspaper edition (a multi-award winner campaign)

 If you follow the international awards scene - the Dubai Lynx and now the Cannes Lions - Lebanese agencies are killing it there. The press is already regurgitating the lines of "resilience", "back on top", "Beirut shines" and so on and so forth.

Just to be clear. Good for them. Honestly.

I mean poor Leo Burnett Beirut - their whole wall of row after row of awards which stood at the entrance of the agency in Beirut was smashed and demolished with the August 2020 explosion. But surely they rebounded (case in point, the above mentioned very expensive to enter Dubai Lynx), and bravo!

Now, of course, when one looks at the awards one imagines a vibrant, kicking, and exceptionally performing local industry. Come again? Well, I said it several times prior. The whole local industry is in tatters. On television the ads prior to the news are barely existing, the ads on the streets is much more ebbing that flowing (here), the whole industry state in 2022 is more delusional than logical (here).

Which brings us of course to the whole awards thingy in itself. We know that entries can often be very limited run ads just for the purpose of qualifying for the awards' requirements, or can be printed/displayed again in a very specified format just to fulfill terms and conditions or entries. Which means that not a lot of those ads are actual general reach as they claim to be (here is a prime example) - and we know that admen/women are master story tellers. A Lebanese agency claimed it has substantially increased the number of elected female politicians due to its ads putting an obscene triple digit number in their presentation as a "proof".

Baloney indeed.

I wrote about the awards scene before (here). And I stand by every word. But here's the conclusion - right from 2022:

"To those who did not win at Cannes, worry not. It seems someone did win in the past and returned his award anyway (hello Gustav Martner) and someone else auctioned an unetched award for the benefit of the victims of the Afghanistan earthquake at USD 10,000 (it was snapped immediately thankfully).

The point? The point is that someone now owns a Cannes Lions award for no ads at all but he has actually helped the victims of the Afghanistan quake. No ads awards in the world can bring such joy."