Coca-Cola Egypt has been named the advertiser of the year at the Dubai Lynx, the advertising awards for the Mena region.
The soft drinks giant won the award for its campaigns based on events such as the Fifa World Cup, the Earth Hour environmental initiative, and an HIV/Aids media awareness campaign.
Steve Lane, the director of the Dubai International Advertising Festival, which includes the Lynxceremony, said that Coca-Cola Egypt was an example of a global brand creating local messages tailored to Arab audiences.
"Coca-Cola Egypt are quite easily and simply the most creative brand in our region in what they're allowing their agencies to do on their behalf, in the quality of work they're putting out," Mr Lane said.
"The Coke work that you see in America and in Europe is infinitely different to what they do here," he said. "They produce advertising in a local voice, with local insight, for a global brand."
The award comes after it was announced that Coca-Cola had dropped out of the top 10 global brands for the first time.
According to Brand Finance, Coca-Cola's brand dropped in value by US$9 billion (Dh33.05bn) this year compared with last year and is now worth $25.8bn. This was because of a "consumer trend in developed markets to move towards healthier, non-carbonated drinks", Brand Finance said.
However, Mr Lane said Coca-Cola Egypt had been named advertiser of the year because of its creative work produced in the regional market. It has already won several Lynx awards in previous years.
"Our basis for advertiser of the year is Ö the quality of work they produce, not necessarily what they do anywhere else in the world," he said.
The full list of Lynx award winners will be announced next Wednesday, just after the Dubai International Advertising Festival, which starts on Sunday.
There had been an "incredible" rise in the number of entries to the awards this year, across categories including print advertising, radio and film, Mr Lane said.
"We have posted a 52 per cent increase year-on-year in entries," he said.
There were 2,068 approved entries to the awards this year, compared with 1,364 last year, Mr Lane said, the number falling just 11 short of the record tally in 2009.
The organisers of the event imposed stricter entry criteria after the Dubai Lynx event of 2009, when several awards were revoked after it emerged that some submissions involved "scam" advertisements, which were not created for real clients or did not appear as paid ads in genuine publications.
Mr Lane said that 7 to 8 per cent of entries for this year's awards did not pass the "screening process". The reasons included a lack of client approval for the work, or the submission of entries across multiple categories, which is not allowed under the competition rules.
The Dubai advertising festival will begin with a screening of Exit Through the Gift Shop, an Academy Award-nominated documentary film directed by the British graffiti artist Banksy. Panel discussions include addresses by Mark Tutssel, the creative chief creative officer at Leo Burnett Worldwide, and a debate between Osman Sultan, the chief executive of du, and Mohamed Fawzi, the marketing director of BMW Middle East.
Abu Dhabi Media, which owns and publishes The National, is the headline sponsor of the Dubai International Advertising Festival. Co-sponsors and supporters include Motivate Publishing, the International Advertising Association's UAE chapter, Dubai Media City, Choueiri Group and AGMC BMW.