Gabriel Schmitt: ‘There’s a little bit of a paradox going on in the region’
Posted on 2024 Jun,23  | By ArabAd's staff

Gabriel Schmitt, Grey’s global chief creative officer, and president of the film, print & publishing, and radio & audio juries at Dubai Lynx shares his outlook on the 2024 edition.

What was your overall impression of the quality of the work?

I was pleasantly surprised. The region has a tradition in strong, purpose led work and it was refreshing to see bold work that exists purely to build brands and sell products and services.


What stood out for you the most?

The Egyptian school of comedy. I had no idea it existed, and it was so unique and good. I guess thats the biggest beauty of the Lynx. Cross pollinating references, styles and reinforcing that; there are many culturally relevant ways of making great communication. 


In terms of the work, where is improvement needed? 

Theres a little bit of a paradox going on in the region. On one hand, the brands clearly have big budgets, compared to other places around the world. And the agencies spend these budgets on big/lavish productions that, more times than not, lack a strong creative foot and rigorous strategy. I might be wrong but it seems like some clients think that having deep pockets is enough to stand out. It helps, but with that comes an even bigger responsibility in partnering with agencies to get to truly bold work.


What concerns did you have?

My main watch out during the judging process is one that the Lynx shares; making sure that the ideas were being judged under a clear cultural context. Its very easy to see things through Western lenses and dismiss work that is great because its unique and bespoke to certain cultures and context. Having guidance and an understanding of cultural truths helped keep us fair and on track.


Based on what youve seen, what would be your advice to regional creatives?

Foster partnerships with your clients so you get to meaningful business problems to solve. Then partner and push your strategy friends to make sure these problems lead to inspiring and succinct briefings. Then, have fun.

Interview was first published in ArabAd print edition dated Q2 - 2024