Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Through her career in global agencies and as the owner and CEO of the Alert agency, Lana Bedeković Rosandić has worked with some of the world’s largest and most important brands and companies such as Unilever, Heineken, L’Oreal and Philip Morris. Alert is one of the most important and largest Croatian independent agencies with offices in Zagreb and Ljubljana, and some call Lana “Anna Wintour of advertising”.
MM: You graduated architecture and joined an MBA program in economy only when you landed a job with Ogilvy&Mather. You liked it in the advertising industry so you got an MBA? What is it that you like the most in agency business?
Lana Bedeković Rosandić: I came to an agency quite by accident, and at a very young age – this year I will celebrate 20 years of work in the advertising industry. My first job was in one of the world’s largest advertising networks, WPP, at Ogilvy&Mather. It was love at first glance, and it was mutual.
As long as I remember, I dreamed and hoped I would work in a creative industry. Frankly, work in an architectural firm wasn’t dynamic enough, so I wanted to try something different, new and unknown, and have a connection with global trends, travel… Back then, Croatia was opening its market for many foreign companies.
Likewise, the opportunity to work in parallel on different projects, which have no touch points, was something I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to miss. At that time, this was something impossible in architecture, but advertising business was growing like crazy. I can freely say I was taking quite a risk when I applied for a job in an agency.
The first clients I worked for were VIP, which just came to Croatia, UNIQA, RBA, Unilever, IBM … then Coca-Cola after i transfered to Publicis, followed by many others. Somehow it came to light at Publicis Groupe that I was best in the position of strategic planner, so I got the education and experience in this field from the world’s top strategic planners, who were my mentors, so branding and strategic planning of communications is what Alert is best at, and it’s something that I am best at and which I love to do.
MM: You are well known as an agency with completely different organizational structure and unique culture and approach to communication.
Lana Bedeković Rosandić: It was never my deliberate intention to do things differently, but back when I was working in a big system, I saw that mad men agencies were a thing of the past, that things aren’t working in the organizational sense, and that they could be better. Here I mean the selection and number of people, the hierarchical structure and culture, but also the work processes themselves, and that the technological changes (and the upcoming recession) will force agencies to quickly and fundamentally change the way they work. That’s exactly how the Alert came to be, as well as its name. This doesn’t mean we will not use the so-called traditional media or ways of communication if I think they will give the best result, but we’re always trying to explore and push the boundaries.
MM: What are the most important changes that happened in the advertising industry over the last 20 years since you started your career? And what kind of changes do you expect going forward?
Lana Bedeković Rosandić: It would be too easy to say things were simpler. I remember when we sent media releases by fax, and when we introduced software that sent those same press releases from the computer to the fax. Just the other day I laughed with colleagues older than myself because they mentioned how they used to type media plans on typewriters. Can you imagine this?
Regardless of technology, a good plan is still a good plan – just as a good media release is a good media release. In our business, human is still irreplaceable.
What is different is the reaction of consumers and audiences which we are addressing, which has become a part of the narrative and canvas with which we can do what we want. The possibilities are unlimited, but we need to know what to do and why. That’s why experience is crucial.
Consumers have their own voice, they have a lot to say and they say it openly. Although this brings great concerns for my clients, I believe that this has helped our industry to be better, more relevant, more creative and to show the purpose of its existence as an industry. And yes – Instagram has turned any person who uses it into an advertising agency, right? Everything you publish is a personal campaign – you show what you want people to think about you. That’s fascinating, and I welcome it.
What do I expect? I expect more dynamics, speed, shorter deadlines, more competitiveness and more creativity. I would love it if there were more companies which recognize the importance of creativity in business – not just in advertising, but in all segments of their business. Advertising will not disappear. There is a saying that rational people like to maintain the status quo and that therefore all the progress in the world comes from the irrational creators. That’s why I’m proud to be part of a creative industry that has the power to change things, and I try to change them for the better. And that is the future of our industry.