EGO-DRIVEN. That phrase, or a variant of it, is probably the most common descriptor for those who dwell in the ad agency world. But it’s usually used in an ironic or even derogatory way by advertising sceptics.
So while “Feed your ego” is in some ways an appropriate rallying cry for this year’s Loerie Awards, it unfortunately also holds negative connotations. Instead of “ego” surely the Loeries should be about creative excellence and about advertising that works through its originality.
Instead, a print ad for the Loeries boasts about “the most prestigious and ego-boosting award in Africa and the Middle East”, and “the most self-indulgent ego-trip of the year”. It is, of course, a bit of ironic self- mockery, but I’m not sure everybody will see it that way.
Interesting to see how the other big awards event of the region, the Dubai Lynx Awards, is growing. It’s part of an expansion programme by the Cannes Lions organisation, which is creating awards events around the world.
This year, Dubai’s entries topped 2 000, compared with more than 3 000 for the Loeries. But the Lynxes are only in their third year, and they attracted entries from 165 agencies in 18 countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The Loeries have been going for 31 years, and they are still an essentially local event.
One thing I can surmise, based on Arab world entries to the Cannes festival, is that our standards are still higher than the Lynx’s. But size counts. Perhaps the Loeries should pursue regional stature more aggressively.