Walid Kanaan: ‘We will keep pushing onward and upward’
Posted on April 14, 2019

Walid Kanaan, Chief Creative Officer TBWARAAD, answers our questions with regard to this years' Dubai Lynx edition.

How would you evaluate this year's creativity reflected through teh Lynx entries? And what does it tell you about the regional industry?

Walid Kanaan: We’re good, but we can definitely be better…much better. The Lynx is a genuine measure of creative performance from a local perspective. The jury in Dubai will always be influenced by the culture and the sentiment of the place. I am looking forward to seeing the region’s performance at international shows such as the Cannes Lions, One Show and D&AD, to name a few…that’s would give us a better perspective.

Have you noticed a trend that characterizes the majority of the awarded work?

W.K: It was very clear that, today more than ever, creativity is at the core of every single brand narrative. The work that was celebrated at the Dubai Lynx is testimony to how critical insights and purpose are to those narratives. It’s true we witnessed more “cause-driven” creativity being rewarded; nonetheless, they were all strong, solid pieces of work. We, at TBWARAAD, will continue to generate disruptive and exemplary campaigns for our iconic brands. As much as purpose is key, growing courageous brands is more strategic on the long run, and we were extremely happy to see Nissan, Arabian Automobile, Louvre, Unilever Beirut, Ikea and Connect receiving well-deserved accolades.

Were the final results up to your expectations? Do you have any comments regarding the Grand Prix awarded?

W.K: With 18 Grand Prix awarded, it was one of the most generous ceremonies to date.

Last year, we witnessed bold brands being rewarded for business-driven campaigns - real genuine creative solutions that came to the service of products.

This year, the spotlights highlighted mostly purpose-driven campaigns, which should be positively looked at, if effective.

Personally, I have more respect for big brands with daring campaigns. The more we have those, the more credible and attractive our industry will be.

 “It was very clear that, today more than ever, creativity is at the core of every single brand narrative.”

Could you name a campaign or two that you think deserved greater recognition?

W.K: I would have loved to see INFINITI Q5-0 and MTV ‘The Missing’ getting recognition beyond the shortlists. The first one is a bold and audacious tactical promotion that created unprecedented buzz around the new INFINITI Q50, while the second was a daring statement from a leading TV station to shed light on the lingering problem of thousands of disappeared persons in Lebanon. I would have also loved to see the Deadpool stunt from Livingroom getting recognition.

Some of the comments we heard were related to having Turkey and Pakistan included in what is supposed to be a strictly Pan-Arab awards. What's your take on this?

W.K: This policy was established by Dubai Lynx a while ago, and it was clearly part of a growth plan. It was fair to all networks since they each have representation in one of these markets. As much as I personally welcomed the new competition into the show, it is worth noting that both those countries are also eligible to enter other regional award shows organized by Ascential Group, the organizing body of the Dubai Lynx, Cannes lions, as well as Eurobest in Europe (Turkey) and Spikes in Asia (Pakistan) - which is a bit of an over-stretch.

Other comments that emerged from the post-event discussions is that the work submitted this year wasn't really outstanding and don't stand a chance in the upcoming international awards. Do you agree with this?

W.K: Let’s wait and see.

Meanwhile, we will keep pushing onward and upward.