LONDON: Warc is today launching the Warc Prize for MENA Strategy, a set of awards with a $10,000 prize fund to reward the best demonstrations of strategic marketing thinking in the Middle East and North Africa.

As with all Warc awards schemes, entry is free and open to brand owners and agencies in any discipline. Entrants must submit a case study showing how strategic thinking has made a difference to a brand. Full details are available on the Prize website.

The prize fund will be divided between the Grand Prix winner ($7,000) and three special awards ($1,000 each), including: the Research Excellence Award for the best use of research in the development of strategic ideas; the Channel Thinking Award for the best example of a brand achieving its objectives using an innovative channel strategy and the Local Hero Award for the best example of a challenger brand from the MENA region using smart marketing strategy to take on bigger competitors.

Asad Rehman, Executive Vice President, Unilever North Africa & Middle East, will chair the judging panel. He says: "Middle East consumers' landscape is changing fast. It is defying traditions, it is embracing modernity and it is doing it all whilst trying to keep the value system intact. If there was ever a time to pay attention to and reward 'strategy' it is now."

Other judges confirmed, from the agency-side, include Laura Chaibi, Head of Digital Research at MBC, Ian Dolan, Head of Strategy and Content at PHD Dubai, Maysoun Hanna, Strategy Planning Director at OgilvyOne, Mounir Harfourche, CEO at MullenLowe MENA, Shailesh Iyer, Strategy Director at Leo Burnett Dubai, and Tahaab Rais, Regional Head of Strategic Planning at FP7/MENA.

More judges will be named in coming weeks. Detailed biographies can be read on the Prize website.

Warc's case study editor, Lucy Aitken, will be presenting on the Regional Stage at Dubai Lynx on Tuesday 7 March. Her talk, titled Achieving the Impossible, will look at campaigns that have won consumer trust with imaginative and original creative strategies.

Data sourced from Warc