UP & AWAY WITH KREA AWARDS(Kuwait, June 5th, 2006): On June 2nd, the good time was rolling… Indeed, the advertising community of Kuwait gathered to celebrate creative excellence and innovation in advertising. And by all accounts the venue was stunning with a host of surprises and a party menu of note for the celebration of creative excellence. The 2006 KREA local Awards rewarding excellence in Advertising received over 370 entries from 25 network and local agencies. The total number of finalists was 128 of which 30 gold KREA trophies, 29 silver and 29 bronzes. In all, 20 agencies or creative houses claimed coveted awards at KREA creative shootout, a sign of a flourishing and vital creative community. “It is important for Kuwait to remain a creative destination said Barrak Al Sabih, GM of MTC Vodafone, and platinum sponsor of the night who was pleased with the involvement of his company in KREA and the broader creative community. “So everything coming out from KREA will reflect a world-leading creative position. It is indeed an important step to initiate and set such creative ground in Kuwait” was Al Sabih welcome words before handing out trophies to 3 winners in 3 different categories. KREA Award ceremony show inspired and paid tribute to the men and women behind the creative sparks that seemed to be flying stronger. The event started with an opening speech by Mr. Walid Azzi where he thanked, on behalf of ArabAd, those in attendance and the organizers-The Communication Zone team for helping this long-anticipated event come to fruition: “ Tonight we celebrate the first edition of KREA Awards, created to honor and reward excellence in advertising in Kuwait. Genuine creativity paves the way for excellence, and in this regards, awards are also a wonderful incentive to challenge one’s self and produce greater work. Awards, however, are not just about winning. They attest the growth of a vibrant advertising industry, to the achievements of its creative and ad professionals, pushing creative minds to the next level”. Mr. Azzi added: “ we belong to a wonderful industry, in which we breathe deep ingenuity, originality, and distinctiveness”. The panel of judges was made up of 9 experts from 5 countries. It was comprised of the best minds in the fields of advertising and design and included Mr. Walid Azzi, Publisher & Editor in Chief of ArabAd Magazine, Ms. Laila Al-Mutairi, Communications Manager at MTC, Mr. Timo Everi, Sales, Marketing and Public Relations Director at Wataniya, Mr. David Berman, president of David Berman Communications in Ottawa, Ontario; Mr. Halim Choueiry, design trainer and lecturer in Qatar and Lebanon and Vice-President Of Icograda, Mr. Anthony Reyman, General Manager of Grow in Qatar and ex Fitch London, in addition to, Mr. Nadim Zahar, an advertising and media expert since 1987. Also on the judging panel was Ms. Hanadi Shehabedine, Creative Editor for ArabAd and winner of Young Lions Award and last but not least, Mr. Zouheir El-Mazeedi, renowned Kuwaiti expert and consultant to advertising agencies. The judging panel spent considerable time studying the work submitted in a way that ensured that each piece of work received the scrutiny and attention needed to pass a professional and unbiased judgment on its thought, creativity and execution. The KREA Awards focused on creative work in the fields of advertising and design, specifically in the areas of TV, Print, Outdoor, Radio, and Innovative Media in the use of Media as well as Design & Packaging. On another tangent, one notices that the most awarded agency was Pulse DDB. Mohamad Hafiz, GM of Pulse DDB is elated. He says, "After our first big win, we said more will follow. And that's exactly what happened. Having more KREA wins compared to any other network in the country this year, is proof enough of DDB's renewed creative fervor. This is just the beginning… and once again, more will follow!" Well, only time will tell. Team Y&R & JWT came right after with 10 trophies each, followed by Paragon IMC and Memac Ogilvy 9 each and Impact & Echo 8 KREA trophies. Pulse DDB also snatched the Grande KREA award, the best of the best, for Sony laptop Vaio, 0 % fat by Creative Director, Joelle Chebly. Whereas, the KREA Grande silver rewarded John Oldfield of Saatchi & Saatchi for Toyota Yaris Hatchback; and the bronze Grande went to Viraj Ponkshe, Creative Director of Impact & Echo for Chevrolet Elephant. The Jury special award recognition went to the 30 seconds TVC for MTC Eezee transfer “hawwel” by Creative Director at JWT back then, Wakim Zeidan, art director Iyad Abou Naja, copywriter Anas Al Rayes, photographer Steve, director Alain Sauma who were the brains behind the MTC campaign. KREA trophies were awarded to the winning agencies by a selection of guests and representatives from sponsoring companies and guests of honors. These included: Mr. Barak Al-Sabih, General Manager of MTC, Mr. Jospeh Abi Hana, General Manager of Habchi & Chalhoub, Mr. Bashar Kiwan, CEO of Kuwait United Company, Mr. Adnan Al Rashed, Honorary President of the Kuwait IAA Chapter, Mr. Ahmed Behbahani, President of the Journalism Society and Vice President of the Arab Journalists Syndicate, Mr. Rami Zakhem President of the Kuwait IAA Chapter; in addition to Mr. Yousef Al-Yakoot, President and Editor in Chief of KUNA, Mr. Khaled Al-Saraf, Board Member of Al-Watan, Mr. AbdelRahman Al-Alyan, Deputy Editor In Chief at Kuwait Times newspaper, Mr. Dawood Moujaes, General Manager of Four Films, Mr. Ramco Werkoven, Director of Operations of Hilton Kuwait Resort and finally the 3 Grande Awards were handed out by Mrs. May Al Saleh, Marketing Communications Manager of MTC Vodafone. As Chair of this first KREA Show Awards, honoring the best of Kuwait’s advertising and brand building creative work, Walid Azzi set out to have the work judged by tough critics – seasoned creative professionals with top brand experience and award winners in their own right. With this new event, ArabAd magazine, the leading print voice of advertising and design recognized the best work created by talents from all corners of the industry. The overflow of communal energy during the ceremony night was obvious and provided a happy meeting place for the ad industry, where guests were inspired by breakthrough creativity. The number and quality of entries for KREA first year were overwhelming. Thanks to all who entered. The Night also witnessed a unique and distinctive live show by the Swiss performers known as Lumen who mesmerized the audience. A highly atmospheric set, lighting and effects provided the background to Lumen’s feast for the senses through the wonder and majesty of elemental movement in a beautiful combination of live music, dance, martial arts that underlined the mysterious and the futuristic. It’s also vital to acknowledge that this event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of MTC Vodafone, the platinum sponsor of KREA along with Hilton Kuwait Resort, KUC, the gold sponsor, as well as the silver sponsor, Commercial Bank Of Kuwait. Needless to mention KREA official partners who backed up the event greatly: Al Watan & Kuwait Times newspapers, Kuwait Airways, 3i productions, 4 Films for Printing, Al Raisi group for sound & light and Concord media as the outdoor sponsor category along with Faces of Habchi & Chalhoub for the Fashion and Health & Beauty categories. Obviously without the trust and support of those companies along with ArabAd magazine endeavor and strong belief, no awards would have been possible. The magazine (and its web site www.arabadmag.com) covers all areas of creativity in advertising and design and other segments of consumer culture. ArabAd magazine, in its June issue, will be devoted to showcasing the best-awarded work, and the creative people behind the work. A complete list of winners - including images and credits – will be available in its June issue. KREA Awards gala will be back annually to feature the best work from the Kuwaiti creative community. Meanwhile, let the good times keep on rolling with the Awards effect and affect moving forward.