Dubai Lynx 2013 – Episode 1 starring Shahir of Team Y&R

Once again an inspiring fact in the words of passionate creatives, I couldn’t have stated it better myself “Scam ads -Are unethical. It’s fraud. You’re cheating against me, us, your peers. You are basically padding your resume, not very different to using steroids in baseball, falsifying sources in journalism, or faking a test. It’s wrong, plain and simple. -Damages brands. In the digital age, unapproved communications can fly around the internet causing a PR nightmare. This also sets up a ripe opportunity for libel suits. -Lots of awards mean better jobs. Unfortunately, this is true. There are too many egotisical rockstars who’ve gotten those jobs based on faking it, at the expense of the many talented people who haven’t needed to fake it and who do the real work. Yes, there is a role for outlandish ballsy risktakers. But there should not be a role for unprofessional cheaters. -Creates a false sense of talent and ability for agencies. Creativity is one thing. Being able to make it for a real brand is another. An agency that wins tons of awards but who’s real work is less than stellar really is only fooling themselves. Sadly though, they also end up attracting talent who will be disappointed with the real output. Same with the clients who thing that are getting a great agency. If they’re willing to fake their entires, what about timesheets, billings, etc? What’s the line when it comes to professional ethics? -Ruins the process and creative department’s overall credibility. Award shows should celebrate the best work that gets produced. That’s our job. That’s the hard part. If you can’t make a good scam ad with no brief, then frankly, you must suck. If you’ve ever worked with CD who’s built a career on scam, you’ll see how hard it is for them to create great work with real briefs. Talented as they are, they often fail to do what their job is – sell. Creativity and selling go hand in hand in this thing we call advertising, and that should be rewarded. Scam doesn’t ‘raise the bar’ of creativity. It lowers it. And lowers the credibility of the people, agencies and shows who promote it”.

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Winner of Silver in the Print category PELICANS

Winner of Bronze in the Outdoor category PELICANS

Agency: Team Y&R Dubai

Client: Harvey Nicholos

Year: 2013

Type of Entry: Print
Type of Entry: Outdoor: Billboards & Street Furniture
Name Position
Shahir Zag Chief Creative Officer
Shahir Zag/Kalpesh Patankar Creative Director
Shahir Zag Copywriter
Kalpesh Patankar Art Director
Remix Studio – Bangkok Photographer
Zaakesh Mulla Account Supervisor
David Lewis Advertiser’s Supervisor
Nazek Fawaz Account Manager
Agency Producer: Amin Soltani Other Credits

There are some other examples of this BIG idea and art-direction which involves a toaster suronded by (obviously) toast bread and yet another one with a deodorant can surrounded by “screws” and yet another one featuring a pencil sharpener and pencils, one more features an electric socket and a plethora of plugs 🙂

check out the links


WWF 9/11

Shocking creativity

Moo Zain = not good

Also interesting is to check out the following links which prove the adage  that “lightening does NOT strike twice at the same place” and that “A good idea will sneak up behind you, pull your pants down, and run away giggling” 🙂

Harvey Davidson – The agency that copied these ads also copied many more and won Dubai Lynx 2012 agency of the year

Dirty copycat by Dubai Team Young & Rubicam gets washed out by Joe Lepompe

top that


Balanced bottles


Hand cuffs

Hammer Time

Food for thought

Hot ad, cool ride

have a chocolate break, have a land rover

Yet another #$$ hole

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October 2004 ;)



Less original: Zain

Agency: JWT

Creative Director: Mazen Faied

Kuwait – Jan 2008


Hmmm, so much like the MTC…I mean Zain; cupcake/spoon ad.

copy an idea, replace the coffee with a cupcake and volaaa you have a Zain ad but that does not mean it is a good ad ;)


Client: Cafe’ Supreme

Agency: C3

Country: Kuwait – 2009






Country: UAE

Awards: Cannes Lions 2004 Press No-Prize

Account Supervisor: Rupen Desai

Advertiser Supervisor: Anil Gopalan

Photographer: Tejal Patni

Entrant Company: LOWE & PARTNERS DUBAI

Creative Team: Nirmal Diwadkar,Manoj Ammanath,Adham Obeid



Agency: Jung von Matt/Donau




Now the bottom line is…


copycat is a person that mimics or repeats the behavior of another. The term is often derogatory, suggesting a lack of originality. The expression may derive from kittens that learned by imitating the behaviors of their mothers. – Wikipedia.

Plagiarism: The abuse of another’s original work by copying it and passing it off as one’s own. As defined in Alastair Campbell book titled The Designer’s Lexicon. Page: 293 ISBN: 0-304-35505-4.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of thievery” excerpt from a book by Capsule titled Design Matters. Page: 84. ISBN -13:978-1-59253-341-1.


stopwatch 60 seconds7 March 2013 – The 7th Dubai Lynx Awards, the premier awards honouring creative excellence for MENA’s advertising and communications industry, has this year received a record 2092 entries from 19 countries, up 2.7% versus 2012.

The 2092 entries have been submitted into 15 entry categories, including the new Branded Content & Entertainment section:
Branded Content & Entertainment (66), Design (112), Direct (138), Film (219), Film Craft (172), Integrated (47), Interactive (138), Mobile (18), Media (270), Outdoor (193), Print (278), Print & Poster Craft (153), PR (50), Promo & Activation (155), and Radio (83). The country with the most entries submitted is the UAE with 1256, followed by Lebanon with 276, Egypt with 256 and Saudi Arabia with 80 entries.

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Paragon wins Kuwait’s first and only CSR award


From left; Mr. Marzouq J. Al Marzouq (Chairman – Paragon Marketing Communications) and Mr. Louai Alasfahani (CEO & Chief Creative Officer – Paragon International) holding Kuwait’s first and only CSR award.

Kuwait’ most awarded agency Paragon Wins Kuwait’s First CSR Award as “The best company organizing and executing CSR media campaigns” category.

KUWAIT: Under the auspices of and with the attendance of the Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Jassem Mohammad AlKharafi; Paragon Marketing Communications – Kuwait received a standing ovation for winning in Kuwait’s coveted first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award for their dedication to the reinforcement of social values and for their noble services to the Kuwaiti society in a special ceremony held on the 22nd of January, 2008 at Sheikha Salwa AL-Sabah hall. Accepting the award on behalf of Paragon was its CEO Mr. Marzouk Jassem Al Marzouk who stated “We have always succeeded in leading the initiative towards the commencement of the positive change in our community through a continues strategic non-profit awareness program launched since Paragon’s inception more than six-year back as part of our business strategy” he added “our awareness campaigns featured TV, Cinema, Out-Of-Home and print media vehicles as the media mix for anti-smoking, anti-drugs, anti-pollution, water/electricity preservation and most recently breast cancer campaigns. We are thrilled that our efforts have been successful in raising public awareness and that our work has been recognized by this award”. It is worth mentioning that Paragon’s SCR awareness campaigns have also earned them international awards and reputation which indicates the quality of work as well as their dedication to community services. Dr. Yagoub AlKandari the Head of the CSR Award Assembly stated in a congratulation letter to Paragon marketing Communications that “Paragon’s entree was selected by the judging panel as the best company in the companies organizing and executing CSR media campaigns category” he further added that “your activity in this area in the country is recognized, and we would like to thank you for being a good role model to other companies”. On this occasion Mrs. Diana Dimitrova Media Manager at Paragon Marketing Communications Kuwait office elaborated that “To ensure that Kuwaiti youth have access to training and development opportunities Paragon has also played active roles in supporting the initiatives of Lothan Youth Achievement Center (LOYAC) for the fourth consecutive year, mentored Kuwaiti interns from the American University of Sharja, Woman Cultural Society, Kuwait University and others as well as supporting PAWS”. The managing partner/Chief Creative Officer of Paragon Marketing Communications Mr. Louai Alasfahani extended his thanks on behalf of his team to the judging committee for their professionalism, to the various media for supporting their awareness campaigns and to the organizers for their initiative.

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Arabnet Beirut 2013 creativity competition




Showcase your talent in a challenge to create an inspiring digital advertising campaign in just one week. Apply to the Creative Combat, a competition for regional professionals and freelancers in digital design, copywriting, and marketing.


Creative Combat finalists will face off at ArabNet Beirut 2013 (March 20-22), the region’s largest conference for the digital creative sector. Finalists will have the unique opportunity to present their campaigns and showcase their creative talent in front of over 600 industry leaders.


Form a team of two and apply by February 28.

Apply Now


Media Partner

I Confess. I Cheated.


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You’re in school taking the most important and hardest class you’ll ever take.  There’s a lot of pressure because if you make an A you’ll be guaranteed a job.  A B might get you the job depending on how everyone else in the class does.  But you’re pretty confident because you’ve worked harder than your classmates.

First test you make a B.  A few of your classmates make Cs and Ds but the majority make As, and you wonder how they did that.  Soon, you hear that one of your classmates has a copy of all the semester’s tests, obtained perhaps by cleverly hacking into the professor’s computer.  The ones who are cheating ask if you’d like to come over and “study” with them for the next test.  You decline because you don’t want to be a cheater.

You study more than you did for the last test because you know you have to just to keep up.  You end up with a B plus.  They make As again.  They’re contacted by job recruiters.  You are not.  Even some of the ones who made Cs and Ds on the first test are now making As, moving you closer to the bottom of the pack.  You’d like to tell on them, but you have no proof.  Besides, that would really tick off the whole group, and they pretty much detest you anyway for your goody-two-shoes routine.

You do what you have to.  You join them.  You make your A.  You get the job.  You’re financially independent and so happy about that.  You get married and have kids, whose piano and tennis lessons you can pay for thanks to that good job.  Your family is happy.  No regrets.  You and your college buddies laugh about that class years later.

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Paragon Bulgaria operations manager to head Paragon Kuwait

arab times  jan20 2013

jan 20 2013

The internationally awarded branding agency, Paragon Marketing Communications; celebrated for innovative and disruptive work shaking up the industry, has kicked off its New Year by locally infusing new blood throughout its agency ranks coupled with top management restructuring in the Paragon independent network as Ivan Totev Paragon’s Bulgaria operations manager takes the helm at Paragon Kuwait while his predecessor Diana Geroge leads Paragon Oman.  Marzouq Jassem Al Marzouq and Louai Alasfahani both remain as founding partner/chairman and founding partner/chief creative officer respectively.

Ivan Totev launched his carrier as a copywriter and swiftly honed his skills at international agencies in Bulgaria such as: Bates, Ogilvy&Mather and Saatchi&Saatchi, where he held the position of managing director prior to joining Paragon, the fastest growing independent agency in the region.  Ivan’s rich experience extends beyond the telecom, retail, financial and FMCG sectors which he is most passionate about having worked for the last 15 years for some of the Balkan’s (Eastern European) mega brands in his specialized fields of integrated marketing communications, branding, new business development and consultancy.

Ivan stated, ”Kuwait’s local advertising industry is highly developed yet highly price sensitive; a fact that continues to fascinate thereby propelling Paragon’s upward trajectory through deep understanding of its client’s brand-values, markets, competitors and delivering more than just creative designs as advertising solutions but equally important, campaigns that have measurable results and real direct impact on business profits through pushing sales upwards”.  He added, “Paragon’s lead position is maintained by fuelling its creative renaissance by utilizing graphic design as a business strategy in an independent network corporate culture operating in three markets namely Kuwait, Bulgaria and Oman with plans to expand to other GCC countries in the very near future”.

Both Ivan Toteve and Louai Alasfahani had the privilege of being mentored by Misa Lukic President of the Management Board & Co-owner at MMS Communications/Publicis Group Serbia (Leo Burnett,Publicis,Saatchi).

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Dubai Lynx rules changed


The Dubai Lynx has changed the rules for the 2013 media agency of the year title, allowing only media agencies to win the award, Campaign ME has reported. Under the new rules, advertising agencies, clients and media owners can continue to enter and win a media Lynx, but the involvement of the media agency or media department is now a mandatory field on the entry form, with the media agency and not the creative agency being allocated points towards the media agency of the year title. “The reality is that the media category should reward tactical media planning and placement and these changes will reflect that,” said Terry Savage, chairman of Lions Festivals, organiser of the Lynx.



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Above screen shot from Dubai Lynx 2012 website.