For over three hours, in a place where time is considered the most valuable asset, we – the participants at The Best Lynx 3rd edition – enrolled into a journey in a different culture and among brilliant ideas, under the guidance of Tahaab Rais, the strategic leader of FP7 /MENA . The journey helped us not only gain time, but we also expanded our knowledge.
Leading the insights and strategic planning function for all FP7/MENA offices, Tahaab Rais spearheads insight-mining, integrated strategic solutions and creative strategy to consistently make ideas that win hearts, minds, respect and profits for brands across cultures. He has made ideas happen across a range of leading regional and global brands across Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Asia-Pacific, Indian Sub-continent and Turkey, such as MasterCard, Coca-Cola, Sony, HSBC, Unilever, L’Oreal, Ford, Nestle, J&J, Emirates NBD, Dubai Duty Free, Arla Foods, Harvey Nichols, Daman and Microsoft among others.
He holds a proven record of creating innovative strategic platforms and solutions across brands, which have been creative and effective – making regional brands globally renowned and global brands regionally relatable. He has developed, conducted and participated in several innovative studies such as social experiments and ethnographic models across cultures, He is the most awarded strategist in the MENA Region and was recently also recognized and globally ranked Number 1 among Top Planning Directors in The Directory Big Won Rankings for 2015. He is a professional member of The One Club, of APG UK and of the Youth Board at the IAA Chapter in the UAE. He has also spoken at a variety of regional conferences.
At the 3rd edition of The Best Lynx, Tahaab Rais, the strategic leader of FP7 / MENA and one of the most brilliant speakers at this year’s edition of Dubai Lynx, was the perfect guide into the region’s diversity. With a lot of energy, warmth and passion he spoke about ways in which creativity can be used to solve the really hard problems of the world. “Middle East isn’t all that is made out to be” he told us at the beginning of the presentation and through a very insightful speech and a lot of great examples he managed to demonstrate that.
Mantra to be remembered: Fast, inexpensive, efficient
Starting with a brief review of the Middle East new creative class, he presented ideas that amazed us and made us reconsider the power that stands behind creativity. In analyzing some creative hacks he considered three aspects: creativity, cost-effectiveness and quickness. The conclusion was that it’s hard to have all of them at once, but sometimes a great idea can reduce the costs a lot. Where there are no resources, creativity emerges. A good example comes from the limitations existing in some poor countries. Both kids and adults are using everything they have in order to make their life easier and joyful. They are creative hackers and innovators.
Tahaab showed us how a niche superhero became a mass favorite; how creative hacks are sometimes a survival necessity and how, amidst restrictions, people are challenging the status quo. There were also moments during the presentation when we had goose bumps. It was amazing to see the first outdoor ad with Saudi women on it. The gender bias in Saudi Arabian advertising was broken, without breaking any rules and all because of creativity. Another example was the one who showed how a social media feature became an anti-domestic abuse tool.
A street-fight kind of creativity
In the second part of the presentation we went on a street fighting through briefs. We watched some great ads and we tried to guess the objectives behind them. An important aspect that was revealed was that people must always be on the first place. Weare talking to them, not consumers, nor demographic profiles. Also, when it comes to good creative briefs, the value it adds to culture strands on top.
Middle East creativity showed us that regardless the context, great things can be done. Limitations have power. All we have to do is to focus on people and transformational goals and have the courage to break the rules, without breaking them.
Give a damn about the real, hard problems, get rid of excuses, try and be really unexpected, use creativity as the Trojan horse and be charming provocateurs.
The 3rd edition of The Best of Lynx was an inspiring one. A great learning experience from the Middle East and with the best guide to introduce us to such a fascinating world.
“The Best of Lynx”, alongside “The Best of Cannes”, “The Best of Spikes” and “The Best of Eurobest” are events designed to inspire the local marketing and communication community in Bucharest, bringing the best case studies, juries and speakers of the world in front of people willing to expand their knowledge. The series was launched 5 years ago and is designed by Teodora Migdalovici, the Lions Ambassador in Romania.