AME's 2021 Grand Jury of globally respected, award-winning executives bring innovation, industry expertise, and a 360-degree global perspective to the judging panel. 2021's jury panel is comprised of strategy experts, industry thought leaders, and innovative creatives who are award-winning executives who thoroughly understand the partnership between creativity and effectiveness. Their high standard of excellence ensures that AME’s 27-year legacy is upheld and respected globally both by winners and industry reports measuring creative distinction.
Grand Jury member Khaled AlShehhi brings years of strategic experience to the 2021 jury panel. He is the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the UAE Government Media Office in the UAE Ministry of Cabinet Affairs. He is also the Marketing Director at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
AlShehhi oversees and develops strategic plans and policies to increase the outreach, engagement and influence of various government initiatives and projects with local, regional and global dimensions. His mission is to strengthen the UAE’s reputation as an incubator for pioneering developmental, humanitarian, cultural and knowledge projects.
AlShehhi has managed the development and execution of the communication strategies of numerous nation-building projects. These include the Emirates Nation Brand - Impossible Is Possible, The Emirates Mars Mission probe launch and Mars Orbit Insertion, The World’s Tallest Donation Box and The Well of Hope.
In the interview below Khaled shares his perspective on how the brand's tone of voice and messaging shifted during COVID, the increase of digital media consumption, the importance of effectiveness awards and more.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Khaled AlShehhi: A lot of awards celebrate creativity and innovation, paying lip service to the cases’ actual impact. We shouldn’t lose sight of what marketing is all about and it’s moving brands and businesses in the right direction.
AME Awards: How has the brand’s voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Khaled AlShehhi: As a government entity, we’ve had to balance reassurance and drive. Some of our campaigns were focused on generosity, like the World’s Tallest Donation Box, the Well of Hope and 100 million meals extolling the sense of compassion and caring in the face of adversity. Others have addressed the mood of the nation, with messages of hope. We’ve also kept going with our nation-building activities, like the Emirates Mission to Mars to shift the focus on higher and bigger goals. Partly as a form of escapism but also to move the focus from everyday considerations to more future-shaping ambitions. All have proved uplifting.
AME Awards: Media consumption has changed dramatically how has this affected the marketing mix?
Khaled AlShehhli: Print, cinema and outdoor have been particularly affected by lockdowns but as these restrictions lifted business bounced back to a point. This has nonetheless forced media owners to transform digitally even more. Digital consumption has increased significantly and some of our experiential operations were tweaked to work even better on that stage. Influencers proved particularly important for us too.
AME Awards: Why did you agree to participate on this year’s AME Grand Jury and What do you hope to learn by viewing entries into this competition?
Khaled AlShehhi: First and foremost, it is exciting to be exposed to the best thinking and execution in your line of work. My mission is to elevate the way governments communicate with their populations so there is plenty to learn and invent. I hope to find sparks of genius to trigger our own thinking, both in strategy and execution. Secondly, I feel it’s important to have diversity of views and experiences in a jury, it provides additional depth and richness in the analysis of an entry. Lastly, I want to learn from this what our country and region need to do better to shine more brightly on the international stage.