Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Adnan Arnautlija
In 2016 Spar Slovenia marked its 25th birthday and wanted to use the occasion for a communication that would strengthen its role in society, and help the Spar brand create a closer connection with young people. This was the brief given to the agency Formitas Ljubljana.
In 2015, three times more young people between 25 and 35 years of age left Slovenia than in 2010. This insight sparked the project Start It Up Slovenia.
Target group analysis has shown that these consumers are distrustful of brands, demanding from them something more than flashy, superficial stories. They want their brands to be socially responsible and help solve specific challenges.
Start It Up Slovenia is a project that connects Spar Slovenia and POP TV through an innovative partnership to help open doors to the world of entrepreneurship for young Slovenian entrepreneurs, through the support of the whole country. With this project, Spar, as the first retailer in Slovenia, offered a helping hand to twelve hopeful entrepreneurs who wanted to show that you can succeed in Slovenia. Spar enabled the twelve candidates to sell their products on exclusive shelves in their megamarkets, and offered them mentoring at product launches.
Over 300 PR media releases have been realized. Most of the products of the young entrepreneurs achieved top sales in their respective product categories. The Start It Up Slovenia TV show climbed to among the three most popular entertainment shows. Spar became recognized as the most innovative consumer-focused company.
We talked about Start It Up Slovenia with Mojca Randl, CEO of the agency Formitas and Mitja Tuškej, CEO of Direct Media Slovenia. These two agencies have been jointly and successfully working on the Start It Up Slovenia project for three years now.
We came up with the idea … through the initiation of the challenge that always exists at the very beginning. Our challenge was given by the director of Spar Slovenia, Igor Mervič, who pointed out the problem of their young customers. And we started solving that challenge. Our belief in the fact that data rule, and that analyzes are the laws of advertising, was once again proven to be true in the birth of the idea for the Start It Up Slovenia. Walking through the data in Mediana’s TGI, excursions through the analyses of young people’s behavior in Slovenia, and driving through the analyses of trends, all these brought us to a great focus on a certain group of young people whom we need, and whose problem we have to solve.
Our guiding thought was … the fact that some of the young people, who do not otherwise see the prospect and the future in their own country, are trying to find an idea, a product, they are trying to produce and place on the market. Young people encounter the problem of having no knowledge, experience, and ultimately no opportunity to enter a large retail place that could provide them a meeting place with a large number of potential consumers. Additionally, young people do not have the means to enable them to enter the world of advertising and communication through the big doors and at full force. The one who would give the youth that place – our long-term client Spar Slovenia – and the opportunity to appear in the media, would solve their biggest problem and give young people a new perspective in their own country.
During the realization, the biggest problem we encountered was … that we didn’t have any problems ?. We only had wonderful challenges, even besides the fact that the project is extremely demanding. Today, literally on a daily basis, there are six partners in it. Along with Formitas and Direct Media, there are the huge team of Spar and ProPlus TV, in the second season the project was joined by NLB and Summit Motors, a company selling Ford cars. And, of course, there are the young entrepreneurs, with whom we work, consisting of both individuals and larger teams. There’s a total of about 100 people. To coordinate all this, to lead it, keep focus on the project so it wouldn’t go astray, all that is not simple, and it’s truly a big and constant challenge.
The biggest contribution of this campaign was… that the campaign is still ongoing, we have entered the third year of the project. The project Start It Up Slovenia is one of the great contributions to this profession. Everything in the project and around it shows that the concept, which is good, works long-term. The contribution of the campaign is also the proof that the social responsibility of a company is something that consumers value and love – especially if social responsibility is linked to the inclusion of the target group with the brand. And the results are simply unbelievable. The engagement rate in the project on social networks is 5.5%, which is 120% more than the average that the retailer usually achieves. In a country that has little more than two million inhabitants, more than a million and seven hundred thousand people came into contact with the project in the first two seasons. We are also delighted with how much the attitude towards entrepreneurship in Slovenia has changed. Parents in the past were not very happy when their kids wanted to venture in these waters. Today’s thinking is completely different, much more positive attitude toward entrepreneurship. And, of course, the results both with the client and with the young entrepreneurs are great. Of the 20 young people who found themselves on the Spar shelves over the last two years, products of 14 of them are still on the shelves today. The best among them continue to innovate, produce new products, sell to new markets, and some are winning international awards. Really thrilling! Today there are about 50 different products on the shelves of Spar, produced by Start It Up Slovenia entrepreneurs!
And it is special because… It leads the concept of advertising and media agencies into new realms. It proves that we have the knowledge and the ability to work on concepts and ideas that are not just pure advertising or pure creativity, but something much more. The concept is focused on addressing the specific target group’s problems, linking it with the advertiser and transforming everything together into a business concept that is based on partnership, and which, we believe, is something that was done for the first time in such a profoundly deep and comprehensive way.
When it comes to our project, we are most proud of… the fact that the project continues and it enters the third year. We are proud that with the concept we are going to new markets and we believe and hope that this expansion to other markets in the coming years will be one of our new opportunities. And, of course, we are proud to have created a real movement, that every year includes more and more new entrepreneurs.
If we were to go from scratch now … we wouldn’t change anything ?.
Throughout the process, we have learned… that an individual can do a lot, but a team of partners can do literally anything!
What you certainly did not know was that … that we cry quite a lot. Whenever we prepare a new presentation, new films reviewing the achievements of the first and second seasons for the tenth, twentieth time, our eyes still go watery. So many emotions have been added to the project, and we see so much happiness in the eyes of our entrepreneurs, that we simply cannot stay cool and composed.
From BalCannes we brought with us… We didn’t get a Lion either in Cannes or at BalCannes, but we brought with us the conviction that we did a remarkable job and got the confirmation that the project – as Media Marketing first pointed out by proclaiming Start It Up Slovenia the Project of the Year in the Adriatic region – is in many aspects the best in the Region. In the end, the awards that the project has received over the past two years give us a testimony to the outstanding work, starting with the Silver WARC for Innovation (we actually learned about it from Ekrem), to the awards at SOF and Sempl, and the Best Business Practice Award awarded to the project by Slovenian AmCham…