Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Usually, only the team that won national Young Lions competition travels to the global competition in Cannes. But the rulebook of the Cannes Young Lions states that teams that won within any competition category can participate in the competition during the Cannes Lions. The only difference is that costs of participation for the winning team is covered by the national festival within which the competition was held, while winners in categories must bare all the costs on their own. Since these costs are far from small, it is rare that winners in categories travel to the Cannes. Unless they are confident they have a chance to win.
We learned from HURA that, apart from the overall winners of Young Lions Croatia Fran Mubrin and Matko Buntić, Croatia will have another team representing it – Barbara Vugec and Marko Matejčić from Agency MediaCom Croatia, as winners in the Media category.
That was our cue to talk to Barbara and Marko. We at Media Marketing are very happy to see when young talents we promoted have a successful career development. Marko Matejčić was one of the Young Leaders we presented three years ago in the series of interviews The Young Leaders for Tomorrow (as well as Fran Mubrin and Matko Buntić). Back then, Marko worked in digital agency Bruketa & Žinić. Today he is Head of Strategy & Insights at MediaCom Croatia, an agency that is part of MediaCom, the world’s largest media agency.
Media Marketing: What are your impressions from the local Young Lions competition? Did work at the world’s largest media agency group helped you win the award?
Marko Matejčić: That’s unquestionable! For example, every week we get an internal newsletter with detailed case studies of the novelties and trends that global media will only start talking about, and the first conference on these topics will come to our country in a year. At the local Young Lions competition, we won with a blockchain idea that was largely inspired by the contents of our internal newsletter, and as far as we know – there was still no conference in Croatia on the use of blockchain in advertising. I think this access to knowledge is at the same time the biggest advantage of working in MediaCom because we work in a group that globally manages budgets that are twice the GDP of Croatia, they lease every third ad, and first adopts new technologies and defines the future of the entire industry. The Young Lions contest was great for us, because we were given open arms to show our capacities, and we would encourage all colleagues to try it next year.
Media Marketing: How did you come to the decision to use the right of category winner and enter the Global Young Lions competition in Cannes?
Barbara Vugec: After the award ceremony, we learned from the organizers that each category winner can compete in Cannes, but the competition budget allows the costs to be funded only for one team from Croatia. We said we would regret not to try at least, so on Monday we sent mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “We’ve won – what’s next?”. Joanne Brenner, global PR manager, replied, and now we’re going to Cannes :)
Media Marketing: You had to provide the money for the registration fee, trip and stay in Cannes on your own. Who supported you?
Marko Matejčić: Colleague Joanne added in the cc the regional CEO and CFO, and in just one afternoon we had everything in place. I would like to say that this came as a surprise, but it did not, because we’ve already came to the impression that when someone is making efforts and pushes forward, they will always get support from anyone from MediaCom – they just have to write and ask.
Media Marketing: At Cannes you represent MediaCom, one of the world’s largest media agencies. Does this evoke additional responsibility and ‘stage fright’? Or are you simply proud that you succeeded?
Barbara Vugec: Over the last two months, we’ve spent the weekends mostly preparing. We had a list on which we wrote down everything we could do to prepare ourselves and we can proudly say that all the items on the “to do list” were crossed out a week before the competition, and we can’t add anything more even though we are trying. We believe that we have prepared just as well as the teams from the most developed markets. This is our way of justifying the trust we were shown, first and foremost from our director Rajna Cuculić, and then the management in London.
Media Marketing: What do preparations for Cannes entail? How do you build the stamina for those physically and psychologically grueling 24 hours?
Marko Matejčić: Although it is a Media competition, last year two of the three judges were from a creative agency. That’s why we first decided to independently solve last year’s briefs and consult strategists, creative directors and copywriters from creative agencies to gain a better insight into how they perceive and evaluate our ideas and strategies. In parallel with this, we asked the organizers about a whole range of details, we consulted with a colleague from the London office who was in the 2014 competition, we went through the preparation for public performance, consulted with leading Croatian blockchain and AI experts, which are the themes of this year’s festival, and many other things.
Media Marketing: I believe you are dreaming a Lion, but what are you realistically expecting? Do you think that as a team from Croatia you can win in a match with players coming from far more developed advertising markets?
Barbara Vugec: We noticed that in the last four years none of the winning works had an element we consider to be extremely important in our business, which surprised all the colleagues we consulted – so we are convinced that we are on the right path to victory. And regardless how paradoxical it might sound, colleagues in larger markets often have a rather narrow and specific job description, and often have difficulties in getting out of their “silos,” ie areas of specialization, and looking at the broader picture. So we see our interdisciplinarity and thinking beyond the silos as the greatest advantage because we have access to the same knowledge as colleagues from developed markets.