For its 7th successful year, the Cristal MENA Festival took place at the Mzaar Hotel in Kfardebian from February 21 to 23, where all the Middle Eastern and North African communication community gathered at the place to be for agencies, producers and media.
Among the many speakers of day one were Michael W BEVANS, Sr. Director, Product Management – Head of Advertiser and Publisher Solutions, EMEA; Majdi AL AYED, Vice President – Network Affairs & Managing Director UAE, TRACCS, on PR and Advertising and whether they’re complementary or contradictory; Roy HADDAD, Chairman & CEO – JWT MEA, on the death of the target audience; Filip JABBOUR, CEO – Starcom MediaVest Group MENA, Michel EL-MURR, CEO – MTV, Hossam EL SOKKARI, Head of audience – Yahoo! Middle East and Ari KESISOGLU, Regional Director MENA – Google on TV versus web.
Among the competitions and conferences that took place, Pierre Choueiri, a remarkable leader in the Middle East’s media and advertising industry, was named Media Man of the Year. Nadine Labaki presented the award for best young director and Leo Burnett won Advertising Agency and Advertising Network of Year. OMD won the Media Network of the Year and Starcom Mediavest Dubai won Media Agency Network of the Year.
Jimmy WALES, Founder of Wikipedia and Internet Entrepeneur, nominated as one of the top 100 influential personalities in the world by TIME magazine, received an award, sponsored by Choueiri Group.
The day ended with a networking cocktail followed by a dinner at Montagnou, offered by JWT.
During day two, Pierre MARCUS, President – WAM (Publicis group) held an Introduction and Q&A session by the Production Cristal Club members. The members of the Association of Lebanese TV Commercials Producers (ALCP) spoke about the potential of Lebanese production. Andre POPOV, Partner – Peppers & Rogers Group, Hassan KABBANI, Chairman Advisor & Board member – Oger Telecom, Joseph GED, CEO – Watania, Florian GMEINWIESER, Head of Mobile – Plan.net Group, Hala BADRI, Executive Vice President Brand & Communications – Du Telecom and Andy ABBAR, Sr. Director – Head Product Management MENA – Yahoo! Maktoob, spoke about the future developments in the region. The lunch was offered by Menacom – Y&R
Dan FUNDERBURGH, International Artist & Designer, spoke about the grammar of ornament. He was invited by Pernod Ricard.
An introduction by the Woman Cristal Club founding committee was presented by Fernanda ROMANO, Former Global Creative Director Digital and Experiential – Euro RSCG Worldwide.
Yasser ACCAOUI, Editor in Chief – Executive Magazine, Gilles BABINET, President – French National Council for Digital, Arielle STEINMANN, Marketing Director & e-business – Cortal Consors – BNP Paribas and Nick MOTT, Head of sales UAE – Yahoo!Maktoob, spoke about how digital media can be a great source for brand, agency and media growth. The official networking cocktail was offered by Mind Share, and the dinner at La Fondue was offered by Impact BBDO.
On day three, a Cristal club session was held by Christian Cappe, CEO – Cristal Festival Network and the Creative Cristal Club Beirut.
Emma WILKIE, General Director – Gunn Report, made a presentation about the best international campaigns.
Farid CHEHAB, Honorary chairman & Advisor to the board – Leo Burnett MENA & Author of « A Bet for a National Conscience » talked about A Bet for a National Conscience. A lunch followed, offered by Farid CHEHAB. Tim WALMSLEY, Regional Managing Director – Impact Porter Novelli the ability talked about how to make people more valuable to brands via social media. Ahmed NASSEF, Vice President – Yahoo! Maktoob Middle East held a Yahoo! Maktoob conference. Leading creative people and jury members presented their 5 favorite campaigns and how they think to create “the best idea”! The speakers were Jan LEUBE, CCO – Young & Rubicam Germany, Ben DU PLESSIS, CCO – JWT South Africa, Paulo AREAS, ECD – Lola Madrid. The official networking cocktail was offered by Yahoo!Maktoob.
The closing gala dinner and awards ceremony was presented by Jenny HAMMOND with the presence of Chris THOMAS, President of the Jury. The closing party was at Montagnou.
MENA Cristal was a truly great event for the world of advertising.