Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
The special guest of this year’s Cannes festival was UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who took part in a panel on how creativity can improve the world today. A great number of creatives argue that the future of economy is in creative ideas.
That this is so is proved by the Macedonian Saatchi which initiated the project which in Cannes won nine lions, including one gold, and at the just completed Golden Drum Festival, Saatchi & Saatchi Skopje won two Grand Prix and three gold awards, while the Creative Director Vasilije Ćorluka, our interviewee today, was declared Creative of the Year.
Media Marketing: Were you expecting this many awards at the Golden Drum?
Vasilije Ćorluka: Our expectations at the Golden Drum for the Sea Hero Quest campaign were quite high, especially due to the success in Cannes where the campaign was rewarded with nine Lions, including gold. Since success at a festival is never guaranteed, we were very happy when both of the juries decided to reward the Sea Hero Quest campaign with two Grand Prix and three gold awards. This is a huge achievement for Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis One Macedonia and, along with Cannes, this success makes this the most successful year in our twenty-year history. Otherwise, this is not our first participation at the Golden Drum – two years ago, we already won gold and silver at this festival, then silver at the Euro Effies, and then the award at Eurobest. I see this success as a kind of extension of our positive creative trend.
Media Marketing: The Golden Watch award, presented to the most successful creative, represents a special recognition for you personally. Were you happy to receive it and what does it mean for you?
Vasilije Ćorluka: Golden Watch award is certainly an incredible recognition for me. I believe that every creative director, when they get a new brief on their table, wants this campaign to be that one that will move boundaries, touch the lives of many people, become part of the culture or leave a deeper mark in society. This is, of course, very difficult to achieve in the real world, and apart from a lot of work it is necessary for hundreds of other pieces to fall into place. Sea Hero Quest has become such a project and I am very happy that at least once in my life I had the opportunity to experience that. I wasn’t expecting this award, so I was properly pleased when I heard the news :)
I do not know whether the award will have any practical impact in our local market on which we build our reputation for years through our work and relationship with clients, but it is certainly an enormous satisfaction for all the effort that I’ve put in my career so far.
Media Marketing: Can you tell us something about the Sea Hero Quest so those who haven’t seen it could know what’s it about?
Vasilije Ćorluka: In short, Sea Hero Quest is a free mobile game that is very fun to play, but in the background there is a lot more important goal – to help modern science in the fight against dementia. Last year, Deutsche Telekom sent a brief to its agencies throughout Europe. The goal was to design a campaign that will demonstrate the power of sharing between people, with the help of the best network in Europe.
Our idea started from one amazing statistic – humanity spends three billion hours every week playing games (yes, you read that right). What if we use at least a small part of this time to do something useful? Thus the idea for a GoodGame was born – a mobile game that uses playing in order to solve a real problem.
In our case we decided to make it dementia, a disease that was declared a plague of the 21st century. According to estimates, the number of people who suffer from it will increase from current 47 million people to over 135 million by 2050. There’s no cure, and science is just beginning the process of finding a solution (and greatly lags behind research in the field of cancer or heart disease).
The idea won the internal competition among hundreds of other ideas from more than 20 agencies around the world. Together with London’s Saatchi we worked 12 months on the development of the game itself, in cooperation with the world’s top experts for dementia from the University College London and University of East Anglia. In charge of the gaming part was Glitchers Studios in London.
In the earliest stages dementia influences on people’s ability to navigate in space (even before it effects memory). In the Sea Hero Quest, players operate their fishing boat through different mazes. The way they orient in space is anonymously sent to a scientific base that is used to establish a scientific model of how a healthy human population orients in space. This is of enormous importance for the world of science, because such a database does not exist. Based on this research, scientists are developing diagnostic methods in which to compare the results obtained from the potential patients with the results of the healthy population, and thus help in the earliest possible diagnosis of dementia. This is crucial, since all potential treatments of diseases necessitate early application at the very onset of the disease.
As for the results, the game has so far been downloaded by over 2.4 million people in almost all countries of the world. Total time spent playing is 59 years, and scientists have calculated that their traditional methods of research would take them 8,800 years to collect the same amount of data that the game has generated in just five months. The initial scientific results will be presented at the world’s largest neurological conference in San Diego, in November this year.
Media Marketing: Who were the members of the team, colleagues who are responsible for the Golden Drum awards, besides yourself?
Vasilije Ćorluka: This project would not have been possible without the great team of people who have invested thousands of hours of work in the past 18 months. The project is the result of cooperation between our office and Saatchi in London. I would like to emphasize the role of our Global Creative Director for Deutsche Telekom, Jason Romeyko, without whom the realization of this comprehensive project would not have been possible. Clare Shaw led coordination with international clients, Frankie Goodwin and William John were part of the creative team in London. Of course, there’s also our team in Macedonia under the leadership of Aleksandra Dilevska who is the CEO of Publics One in Macedonia, Jelena Vekić the Executive Director of S&S in Macedonia and business leader for Telekom, as well as all the members of our small but highly talented creative and account team who worked tirelessly on this project.
Media Marketing: How would you assess the current situation in the Macedonian advertising market? How much space is there for creativity?
Vasilije Ćorluka: The situation in Macedonia’s advertising market is a picture of the broader economic and social situation – crisis, shortage, frugality. On the other hand, we’ve been working in such conditions for so many years, and following the laws of Darwinian evolution, we have managed to adapt to this environment. You have to work longer, harder, smarter. One must grab every opportunity and use it to the maximum. When it comes to creativity, I personally don’t believe much in excuses and lamenting about the environment, or clients, or the state. Yes, it would be easier if we were in Amsterdam or London. It would be easier if the clients were more open, if there was more resources, but it does not automatically mean that we have to surrender and lower our criteria. The beauty of the creative industries is that a good idea almost always finds its way. Much more important for a good idea are hard work and perseverance, than clients, cash, or the state.
I recently read that Droga5 in New York is serving dinner at 20.00h for those who are still in the agency. This means that even in New York good ideas and campaigns don’t rain from the sky :)