D&AD SHARP'NER: CREATIVITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

29 Feb 2012

A month ago a group of us from Palmer Hargreaves trekked down to Brick Lane and back in one evening, to a sharp'ner talk held by D&AD 'Creativity in the Middle East'. I've only just had the time to write up some notes that we took down, so here they are at last:

The first talk was by Stephen Stapleton, who is a Director and co-founder of Offscreen.

He talked about how the middle east art movement is trying to copy our western culture and how people are telling Saudi to invest from the button up. Not top down. He also mentioned that the middle east want creatures from our weston community.

The second talk was from Steve Lane, who spent 4 years as the Dubai Lynx Festival Director.

He spoke about the work in the middle east, and one of key things we all took away from the evening was when he talked about how the Middle East has   two tones of voices. He said:

'Creativity speaking their are 2 middle easts. 2 different tones of voices.

- New Middle East - Lots of ex-pacts, more of a western tone of voice.

- Old Middle East - Very 'Arabic' tone of voice. Sat down for dinner.'

He mentioned that agencies like: Leo Burnett's, Y&R, BBDO, and JWT have been in the middle east for a while now, it's nothing new, they've just started popping up on our radar in the last couple of years. He pointed out this ad (below) was done in the middle east by Y&R Dubai, winning two golds in Cannes (2010) and many more other huge awards too. I didn't realise for one that it had come from the middle east. The first time I saw it I thought it was fantastic, clever and extremely well executed and I still do.



Another great ad, you might not have seen is Panda Cheese 'Never say no to Panda' very funny and well executed. Link below:

He mentioned if you looked at the Viral chart of that week (when the talk was) a Coke Cola piece created in Tunisia was the most viral video, which surprised a few people in the room, the middle east is really growing. He also mentioned that most of the media space out there is outdoor (a lot), TV and Print, he said they don't really get much online work yet.

The third talk was from Kerr-Newell and Andrzej Moyseowicz a creative  team at Saatchi and Saatchi Israel, talking about their Blood Relations programme.

It was called the 'The impossible brief'. They sent out the brief to get Israelis and Palestinians to come closer together, they got responses from all over the world from creatives. The winning idea was to create a huge blood transfusing operation, that could help someone who had your blood type to bring to life the Blood Relations campaign which brought together Israeli and Palestinian families. Here is an article about it, if you'd like to find out more:
It was all then put into a book and sent to political leaders all over the world, a fantastic story, worth reading up about it. They said this create quote
'Apply your creative mind beyond selling cars and deodorant.'

The last talk was from Patrick Bedeau and Yusuf El-Saadi who talked about the development of Al Jazeera's brand. They mentioned the brand had to change it's negative connotations from the past and showcased the brand and 
the extremely fast turnaround of their work.


D&AD put on some fantastic talks and I've just seen the other day, they have released a list of some new president lectures, that are coming up over the next couple of months. And there are some real cherries. Check them out for yourself: http://www.dandad.org/dandad/eventsseries=President’s%20Lectures