Yasmina BAZ (Leo Burnett Lebanon)

Yasmina Baz, Regional Creative Director at Leo Burnett MENA, is judging at Golden Drum awards (october 17-19th). AdForum took this occasion to interview her.

 

 

 

  • You have made your career at Leo Burnett in Beirut. Which legacy and heritage of Leo Burnett inspires you each day in your job? Can you give us an example of campaign which represents it?

At Leo Burnett, we strive to create work that changes the way people think and feel. Ultimately, the aim is to create positive change with every piece of communication we put out. It’s not always easy, but that’s the goal.

Working at the agency taught me to think of people first, and to try to create campaigns that connect with these people in a meaningful way.

The first example that comes to mind is the global Always “Like a Girl” campaign. On a local level, the agency has been developing work for brands such as Johnnie Walker, in which ‘Keep walking’ became ‘Keep walking Lebanon’ as a tribute to the Lebanese resilient spirit.

 

There are as well several social campaigns that we have been developing for women’s rights in Lebanon.

 

  • Golden Drum is global but closely associated with work from Eastern and Central Europe. Which preconceptions about advertising in this region do we have that we should forget?

I don’t personally have any particular preconception about advertising in this region. I have been seeing a lot of work coming from Eastern and Central Europe that is on par with global standards and has been doing well in major international festivals.

 

  • You are part of the WHAT jury at Golden Drum this year. What usually surprises you? And what are you hoping to discover?

I am looking forward to discover work that will surprise me. It’s a great opportunity to see work from different cultures, different geographies, and I hope to learn more about them.

 

  • This year's topic is creativity 4 Change. Which environmental or social piece of work has inspired you recently?

Doconomy’s “Do Black”: the credit card that puts a limit on your carbon footprint. The Palau Pledge too. These are more than just campaigns, they have created simple frameworks for people to make a change for the better. There are countless other examples...

 

  • Industry awards have confirmed the rise of brand purpose and the move by brands into ethical and cause-related communications. How has this trend impacted the brands you work on regularly?

It is true that more and more brands are embracing causes today, standing for something bigger than themselves.

It’s something we have been very conscious of for a long time now. Together with clients, we push for more realism, more inclusivity.

We keep the purpose of our brands at the heart of our communication message and try to bring it to life in every possible way, whether it’s in the message, the act or the execution itself. 

 

 

 

Yasmina Baz
Regional Creative Director Leo Burnett MENA