Ali Ali is an acclaimed director from Egypt, and former Executive Creative Director and Founder of Elephant. In a remarkably short period, he became the region's most sought-after director, having recieved numerous international awards for his work. In addition to a Black Cube, a D&AD yellow pencil, and six Cannes Lions, Ali has picked up the TV Grand Prix five times here at the Dubai Lynx. With over ninety million YouTube views, his “Never Say No to Panda” was named one of the most watched tv spots of all time by the Guardian UK. Last, he picked up a Gold Lion in 2014, as well as a nomination for Best Direction in Film Craft, for his Two-for-One Du Tuesdays campaign. Ali was named by the latest Gunn Report as one of the top ten commercial directors in the world today.
He initially earned a degree in computer science from the American University in Cairo. Preferring storyboards to motherboards, he quickly abandoned a programming career and left to study Art Direction and Graphic Design in Miami. His first job in advertising was in 2003, as an Art Director with D'Arcy Bucharest (an agency that has long since dissappeared) and shortly after with Leages-Delaney in Hamburg. Over the next few years, Ali built an impressive career as creative director for some of the world’s top agencies - Leo Burnett, JWT, Mccann Ericson - topping it off as ECD of DDB Berlin.
In 2010, Ali Ali founded the boutique agency Elephant with his creative partner Maged Nasser. This two-man shop quickly became the region's most awarded agency, and according to the Cannes Lions Festival, one of three most exciting new agencies in the world as of 2011. Its clients included the likes of Coca Cola, Vodafone, Orange, and Google as well as many local brands that Elephant helped pluck from obscurity.
Despite the agency's immense success, Ali soon decided to leave the ad world and focus full-time on his directing career. Born in Egypt and raised all over the world, Ali's work shows an attentiveness to local realities as well as an international sensibility. He is currently repped by Sonny London in the UK and Amsterdam, Anorak in Germany and BigMama in Italy.
Having graduated from the Miami Ad School in 2002, Ali Ali has not forgotten to pay it forward, returning every couple of years to Miami to teach aspiring creatives as part of the School's "Industry Heroes" program. Ali was invited as an opening speaker at the Cannes Lions Festival in 2010 and is frequently featured in the panels and juries of various advertising festivals around the world.
Today, Ali spends his time between Cairo, Athens, and Beirut.