#Loeries2019: "Celebrate creativity that touches on everyday culture" - Nedal Ahmed
Nedal Ahmed, senior copywriter at 72andSunny, Amsterdam and this year's Loeries Film and Radio jury president.
Despite numerous accolades including Campaign Magazine’s best social good campaigns of the century, D&AD and One Show Pencils and Webbys, Clios, Andys and Effies for her work, the one Ahmed’s best known for is Procter & Gamble’s ‘The Talk’, which was awarded both the 2018 Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix as well as an ‘Outstanding commercial’ Emmy.
Little wonder, as the work cuts beyond a product push to offer insight into the realities of racism in America.
Her other portfolio-topping work includes: “Mama Said Knock You Out”, a spot from Chase featuring Serena Williams; and #OneGoodReason, an anti-smoking campaign for CVS, which was subsequently praised by Michelle Obama.
Rewinding beyond her advertising career, that industry sparkle may come from having been born in Libya to Sudanese parents, and lived in Egypt and Yemen before immigrating to the United States at age 11, where she received degrees in marketing and advertising from the University of North Texas, where she graduated magna cum laude. She spent four years at BBDO New York, before moving to 72andSunny in 2019.
That cultural nuance and standing up for big issues is important to Ahmed is an understatement, as she’s been recognised for her personal stand-out factor, having featured in such global industry standards as Forbes’ 30 under 30 in marketing and advertising list for 2019 as well as The Drum’s ’50 under 30 US Women in Advertising’.
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She clearly understands what drives the creatives who thrive in this industry, so who better to serve as the 2019 Loeries jury president for Film and Radio? I chatted to Ahmed about her judging expectations, what we can expect from her DStv Seminar of Creativity talk and more…
It’s truly an honour to be invited to be part of this festival. I was really excited to tell my parents, honestly.
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Personally, it feels like a homecoming of sorts to come to South Africa and judge the best work from the Middle East and Africa, where I was born and spent my childhood.
This will be my first time visiting South Africa, and it feels a bit overdue!
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Aside from getting to know the country a bit, I’m really looking forward to connecting with other creatives and being inspired by all the work and talent that we’ll be surrounded by.
I’m still finalising my presentation, there’s a couple of topics I’m considering.
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One of them is around diversity, but it’s a topic that’s been discussed a lot so I’m hoping I can bring a fresh angle to it that will be useful and hopefully actionable.
I think we will continue to see socially conscious work, but I think it will run a wider gamut of media outside of just film, with more experiential work and initiatives within brands.
While awards and industry press are great measures of success, I’ll be looking for work that touches on everyday culture.
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Work that got real people to talk, that was covered by outlets outside the industry and that actually made an impact for the business or the brand as a whole.
I’m looking forward to getting to know that essence better through the judging process.
And creative competitions like the Loeries have inspired some of the best talent from the region to be award-winningly innovative...
I’ve seen a lot of great work come out of markets like South Africa, Egypt, UAE and others, but it will be exciting to see more work from countries that don’t typically get the same exposure.
Lots to look forward to! If you can’t wait for Loeries Creative Week Durban, taking place from 22 to 24 August 2019, keep an eye on the Loeries’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds and stay tuned for my interviews with more of the international jury presidents and all the latest updates in our Loeries’ special section. You can also follow Ahmed on Twitter, LinkedIn and her personal website; as well as 72andSunny on Twitter and Instagram.