When you hear Dubai, your first thought might be Burj Khalifa. Twenty years ago, your first thought might have been more down to earth. To dust, to be accurate. Desert. So, what happened? Your first thought might be oil. Well, go ahead, mix dust and oil in every possible way, you might not get the same outcome. So, what’s missing?
Vision, value and creativity. „The Best of Dubai Lynx” event organized by Cannes Lions Romania in partnership with Biz Magazine and The Practice Romania, was a good opportunity to exchange the general perception for a more realistic one, which is that in the Middle East – especially in Dubai, besides the oil resource there’s an endless source of Creativity and a strong culture of Value.
Understanding the Upstanding
Many countries have had the privillege of pressing a reset button at some point in their evolution – historians named them revolutions, point from which each country had the chance to startover. How many managed to, literary concrete, reach the skyline from there?
The Revolution in the Middle East was, of course, the discovery of oil in 1966. The Al Maktoum family, one of the seven ruling families of the United Arab Emirates, yesterday’s and today’s ruling family of Dubai, was placed in front of a huge amount of money, and so, in front of a big choice.
So many possibilites they had and so many of them to fail. They could have gone anywhere else in the world (or galaxy, considering the money), they could have bought some other countries or they could have just wasted the money, in the good old fashioned way. Instead, they applied this beautiful principle: „the wealth of a country is not an inheritance from it’s ancestors, but a loan from it’s children.”
The upstanding buildings of today’s Dubai are possible due to the longterm vision of the Al Maktoum family, who was capable to see a complex world ahead, even if they were surrounded by sand. They realized that oil is a limited resource and they had the crazy idea of transforming Dubai in one of the most important touristic and business centres of the world. So money built the buildings, but the ambition built the skyline. We know where they had the money from, but where did they have the ambition, the strong mentality and the sense of value from?
The answer could be found in the arabic old pearl diving tradition, thinks Teo Migdalovici, the Romanian Cannes Lions Ambassador, hosting „The best of Dubai Lynx”.
There were two things connecting a pearl diver sank into the deep, to his partner up in the boat: the rope and the hope they were both going to go home with two things: pearls and life. Yesterday’s pearl diver who knew how to find pearls, is today’s symbol for the one who knows how to recognize value.
Gabriela Lungu – Chief Creative Officer UK & EMEA at Weber Shandwick UK (at the time) and Monica Jitariuc – Managing Director at ”The Practice” Romania, played the role of modern pearl seakers, as they were in „Dubai Lynx”’s PR Jury, their partner to trust up in the boat being Teo Migdalovici. Gabriela, who chaired the jury, also delivered a presentation on the main stage of the festival, called „The Underdog Bet”. Monica Jitariuc was present at ”The Best of Dubai Lynx” and offered some behind the scene insights. She recognized the organizers merit of gathering together a jury formed only by international members, avoiding thereby local preferences, pointing out that even though the judging style was somehow related to the origins of jurors, there was a balanced debate, led by ”Creativity” and “PR led” directions, as the jury members had to distinguish between the power of a case itself and the power of the PR work.
The Creative Pearls of Dubai Lynx
Here is a reinterpretation of a relatively usual object, that you wouldn’t have thought of. MEMAC OGILVY Dubai did and got Bronze on PR.
The Social Media Guard:
Here is a reevaluation of a crisis situation that turned out to be an opportunity. Although risky, the campaign made by IMPACT BBDO Beirut, got Silver for it’s creativity.
Material written by Lucian Talpes