15/06/2016 11:51
The Mowafia

At times MO4 has been the underdog and at others the overlord. We have been the mighty who have fallen and the phoenix arising. We have been loved and hated, praised and punched in the face (and perhaps not so proverbially). We have courted controversy and corporate accolades in equal measure. There have been days when our achievements have been so amazing we have danced on desktops. There have been others when our failures and fuck ups have been so disastrous we have wept openly.

And there have been haters. My god there have been haters. Clawing and scratching and kicking and leeching and lying and loving every stumble. And they have emboldened and empowered us. Because every single time they rear their ugly head, we charge right back, fiercer and more formidable than ever.

2015 was one of the toughest in our four year history. It was a year of sharp growing pains. We expanded rapidly, and in ways the industry could never have predicted. We did what we have always set out to do, we defied and we disrupted. But somewhere along the way, my brothers and I panicked. We started off on a cute little dinghy and suddenly we were being required to steer a ship! We had over 100 employees, we had opened a second office in Dubai and the big-name clients were literally lined up at our door. We were thrilled and terrified in equal measure. And to allay our rookie fears we panic-hired. At the top level we amassed a collection of extremely experienced "agency" people with very big titles and very set ideas of what it means to be an agency. At the junior level we mass-hired, more or less anyone who knocked on the door to meet the needs of speedy scaling. And in doing so we faced our first identity crisis. We unwittingly - and through no fault of the individuals who joined us (they were doing what they knew best) - started to lose sight of what has made us special. The can-do dreamer spirit, the madness with a method, the desire to prove ourselves fresher, faster, fiercer and more ferocious in our creativity than anyone else. Basically, we fucked up. We got too big for our boots. We thought the solution was to slip on an even bigger shiny new (if somewhat constraining) 'corporate' pair of boots. The answer it turned out was far simpler, we just had to kick them off and really run wild.

And so it was, that on the very last days of 2015, as we weathered social media storms and absurd rumors, I  gathered my entire motley crew, the ones who had survived  a year full of crazy highs and harrowing lows, the ones who had built MO4 from the ground up in an insanely short period of time, the ones who had sacrificed their days and nights in pursuit of our accumulated crazy ambitions, and I promised them that I would ensure that this year be our defining one; forcing us to focus on the strengths of our unique vision, to analyze the challenges we face and the complexities we must negotiate in building such a unique and non-traditional agency model. But more importantly, to appreciate the magic that we are capable of when we come together, in our own weird way. I asked them to power through, to trust me (although I was shit-scared), and themselves, "when all men doubted." I told them that we would do something rather ironic for an agency born of social media, we would go silent on our official MO4 channels, just for a little while, and we would invest all our energies in defying, disrupting and dazzling. I finished my talk, close to tears, emotionally exhausted from the roller coaster of the previous year. The room erupted into applause. And I knew that we would be OK. Because this wasn't about the clients, or the work, or the media platforms, or the content or corporate bullshit. This was about a room full of people who genuinely cared, who believed that we were doing something awesome, and who knew that they were the reason for that awesome.

Six super hectic but unbelievably exciting months later, well, here we are...

MO4 Network's new office space at The Greek Campus, Downtown, Cairo.

We've outgrown our previous digs and moved to what we think is one of the coolest offices in Cairo, having taking over the sprawling third floor of the old AUC library on the newly dubbed GrEEK Campus. Our client list has grown to include some of the amazing global brands, and our work has now broken national boundaries with the likes of Coca-cola and Uber calling upon us to tell stories across the region and beyond. Our forward-thinking investment in state-of-the art in-house production facilities and a mammoth full time team of exclusive photographers, videographers, editors and producers has paid off, enabling us to tell incredible visuals and videos not only for our clients, but for and through our own media platforms CairoScene and CairoZoom. 

MO4 Network's in-house studio

The media platforms have also catapulted themselves into the future, producing cutting-edge content, and pushing that content not just through the websites but in exciting, engaging and revolutionary ways to the millions (literally) of fans we have amassed across FB, instagram and snapchat. Our PR department has spearheaded some of the most creative and successful campaigns activations and events the region has seen, for a plethora of incredible clients including the likes of Vodafone Heineken, Fendi and Lamborghini, We've added app creation to our list of services. Our in-house fashion department (literally, all in house including styling, and art direction and even hair and makeup!) is killing it with sizzling sexy content not just for our global fashion brands, but by infusing their incredible aesthetic into our multiple venue-based clients. And then there's the real secret-sauce, the way the team pulled through and have managed to realize our shared visioon of a globally competitive agency that fully integrates all of the above! One where the boundaries between creative, social media, ATL, BTL, PR and all those standard-issue industry segmentations are blurred. One where our only mission is to spark conversations and in which we have all the creative tools at our fingertips.

Our new media playground

And I could go on and on, but that's the reason we built this website - or rather content platform. An online magazine - of sorts - but one in which we generally navel gaze and pat ourselves on the back. Occasionally  we will also share news, views, reviews and findings relevant to the industry that are actually helpful (hopefully) not just the self-indulgent selfishness we are prone to.

And while silence has been golden for us, we've shut up for long enough. It's now time for the story tellers to tell their story...

Amy Mowafi
CEO & Founding Partner