Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By Elma Bašić
David Szczepaniak is in charge of 80+ creatives at VMLY&R Warsaw. Since 2010 his team has won over 200 local and global awards.
At the next Golden Drum Festival that will take place in Portorož on 17 – 18 of October, Dawid will present the case study of „The Last Ever Issue”, a campaign for Gazeta.pl / BNP Paribas and Mastercard that won the first Cannes Lions Grand Prix ever given to Poland.
MM: In VMLY&R Warsaw you have totally shifted the borders of creativity with the amazingly inspiring campaign The last ever issue. Please tell us something about how you came up with the idea for this campaign and how it developed?
David Szczepaniak: Well, there is no such a big story behind. As simple as it sounds, I used to inspire creatives at VML&R Poland to always keep an eye on whatever happens in the culture – and try to come up with ideas that respond to events and news around us.
So it was around the beginning of December 2018, when previous owners of Your Weekend put this title on sale. It became a news of the day in Polish internet as literally everyone knew this magazine from the 90-ties.
One of my Associate Creative Directors texted me about Your Weekend being put on sale even before 9:00 AM in the morning. He also came up with the idea that we should find a client who would be willing to buy it and close it for good. It took me like a minute to think of a client and to call him. And we have been lucky enough to have a client who is brave enough to take such decision within just a few hours.
So it is mainly a story about being attentive to whatever happens in the news, about quick reactions and about brave clients.
MM: The goal of the campaign was to stop the objectification of women and to raise awareness of cultural issues such as sexual education, gender equality, sexism and to promote diverse and progressive narratives of femininity. The project was supported by numerous media. Do you think that the awareness was at the pretty high level to start with but it was necessary for someone to be brave enough to launch the idea?
David Szczepaniak: As said before, Your Weekend was extremely popular magazine in the 90-ties. Everyone knew it, everyone remembered it from his / her teenage years. It was such an important part of mass culture in Poland. Using such an iconic symbol was a guarantee of high awareness.
But you are absolutely right that this campaign would never happen without courageous clients. Most of the companies listed on the stock exchange are very sensitive to controversial news. And buying a porn magazine is definitely a controversial news. But again – we are lucky enough to work with visionary clients to focused on the potential of this idea, and not on possible threats.
MM: You lead a big team of creatives at VMLY&R Warsaw. What are the pros and cons of big vs small teams?
David Szczepaniak: Well, I could speak for hours about both pros and cons of leading a team of 80 people.
Of course it’s fantastic to have so many creative minds available when needed. In one of the recent pitches that was very important to us I was able to literally involve 15 creative teams coming up with their quick ideas. Furthermore, I am literally flooded with proactive ideas, better or worse, that are presented to our clients on a regular basis.
On the other hand, such numbers mean a big responsibility too. Every day brings unexpected human resources issues. It’s obviously quite time consuming to make everyone feel taken care of. I would never handle it without a group of 8 fantastic Associate Creative Directors who support myself on a daily basis.