Events and Awards

New Decade, More Opportunities: What To Expect From Dubai Lynx 2020

As the new decade and new working year sinks in, talks about creativity and the future of the industry amidst new trends and transformations begin to stir once more.

With discussions of what to expect for the marketing and PR industry in 2020 warming up, Dubai Lynx comes to mind as one of the biggest events in MENA for industry professionals to meet and discuss the future.

This year, the sister festival to one of the industry’s biggest creative events, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, is pushing forward with some of the industry’s biggest questions and challenges.


What should you expect from Dubai Lynx 2020? Diversity, Transformation and Saudi Arabia

Between 8th and 11th of March, Dubai Lynx will be covering a lot of new, and some recurring, themes.

For 2020, the festival’s themes are

  • Brands in culture
  • Proving creative effectiveness
  • Embracing inclusion, equality and diversity
  • Understanding the changes sweeping the creative industry across MENA
  • Driving digital and technological transformation
  • Creative strategy and reaching the reluctant consumer
  • The new rules on brand purpose
  • Creating connected brand experiences
  • Re-imagining storytelling
  • Discovering creative opportunities in Saudi Arabia

Proving creative effectiveness continues to be a main theme, showcasing the importance of finding balance in a world looking for something new with marketers and brands’ growing obsession with accurately measuring success.

The festival will start with international authority on advertising and media effectiveness, WARC, which returns to talk about campaigns, effectiveness and sneak peaks at their popular WARC Effective 100 rankings with Managing Editor of Case Studies Lucy Aitken.

Related ➤ Lucy Aitken on creative effectiveness and successful campaigns

The agenda continues to look up with several interesting topics such as “Why Creativity is a Brand’s Second Greatest Long-term Asset,” ”Sonic Branding: How to Save Your Audience From Sound Pollution” and more.

Spotify’s Global Creative Director, Richard Frankel, comes to the MENA stage with “Surround Sound: Reaching The Next Generation in The Streaming Age” only a year since the brand’s entrance into the region. It will also discuss how Gen Z and Y are making their mark on culture and what sets them apart.

Related ➤ Spotify prepares to launch in MENA

With a big focus on Saudi Arabia this year, talks by Cheil MEA, Imagination ME and Snap Inc. are set to attract a lot of eyes as the country continues to develop its nation branding and non-native marketers look to jump into the local market.

Google’s Ali Cheikhali, Creative Strategy Lead at Google ZOO – Emerging Markets, will be talking about how brands can harness the power of Machine Learning, whether to engage people or building new experiences for them.

Helping close the event is GP&K, the brand new independent (digitally driven) network in the MENA region by Good People and Kijamii, with their talk Independent Networks Work. Kijamii and Good People, which placed 1st and 2nd in last year’s Independent Agency of The Year category respectively, merged last September as GP&K.

Related ➤ Dubai Lynx announces MENA’s most creative campaigns and people of 2019

Attendees should expect a lot of interesting new insights for the brand new year/decade with Spotify’s first big attendance, KSA-centered discussions on its challenges and successes such as Riyadh Season, how brands can better merge tech and agency work, as well as in-depth opinions and talks on the Middle East’s agency evolution from the future of the ME ad agency model to the changing state of agency and brand relationships.

Other major speakers include Global Chief Marketing Officer of Burger King – Fernando Machado, Wendy Clark – CEO of DDB Worldwide, Matteo Aliberti – Head of Experience Innovation at Accenture Interactive and Patou Nuytemans – Chief Executive MENA, Chief Digital Officer EMEA and Executive Partner Worldwide at Ogilvy.


Important Dates and New Awards

With the event starting on the 8th of March, early bird tickets are already flying out the door with the early bird discount ending on the 23rd of January.

A brand-new award called “Creative Strategy,” according to Dubai Lynx, “will celebrate the idea behind the idea. Work that wins Creative Strategy will have redefined a brand, reinvented a business or influenced consumers and culture.”

This year’s Advertiser of the Year, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), was used as an example for the new award with its captivating Akhou Nora campaign. In 2019, the company received six Lynx awards, including two prestigious Grands Prix in the Film Craft and Glass categories.

The festival is also adding new categories to several awards called “Challenges & Breakthroughs” which will add a “new lens for the jury to look at your submission through, focusing their attention on its particular brilliance, recognizing work created for smaller as well as challenger brands, hinged on local, cultural insights and awards the strength of the idea not the size of the budget”.

Award entries close on the 6th of February.

The Print & Outdoor Craft Award has also been revamped and renamed as Industry Craft.

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