Both local and global brands are well represented in the shortlist for the 2019 WARC Prize for MENA Strategy, with Saudi Arabia’s Jarir Bookstore and the UAE’s Al Tayer Motors in the mix along with the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

A total of 23 papers have been shortlisted for the Prize, now in its third year, with a $10,000 prize fund to be distributed between the winners of the Grand Prix and three Special Awards – Research Excellence, Brand Rebel and Local Hero.

The shortlist can be viewed on the Prize website, where WARC subscribers can read the papers in full.

“Businesses in the MENA region are operating in challenging conditions these days,” observed Ziad Skaff, managing director of Hall & Partners MENA and a member of the judging panel.

“There is a need for brands to be more engaging at the lowest cost possible, and capitalizing on human stories and social demands seems to be a good recipe that satisfies those requirements,” he said.

“This year’s papers reflected that transformation with several daring cases addressing delicate and traditionally taboo subjects.”

Eight papers describe campaigns that cover more than one country in the region, while Saudi Arabia leads the number of country-specific entries with five, followed by the UAE on four, Egypt on three, Lebanon on two and Tunisia on one.

The FMCG and telecoms categories alone account for more than half the shortlist, with automotive, finance, retail and real estate also represented.

The winners will be announced on 3 September.

Sourced from WARC