Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
At the recently held Days of Communication, creative agency Señor took second place on the list of the most successful agencies. This is a surprise only to those who are not familiar with the situation in the Croatian advertising industry. Vanja Blumešajn, who describes himself as very creative director of the Señor agency has been leading the agency from the very beginning to the top of creativity in the Croatian advertising. What, besides creativity, are the characteristics of Señor are their own projects that promote advertising. Useful for Señor, but also for the entire advertising industry.
Media Marketing: Now that the impressions have set in, how would you comment this year’s Days of Communication?
Vanja Blumenšajn: Days of Communication have managed to become a key place where once a year you can find all relevant domestic production and players. Over the last few years, especially this, there is a noticeable trend of better performance by smaller agencies – I think the myth of size has finally been dispelled and that clients are less and less seeking service from their agencies, and more and more (communication) solutions to their problems. Servicing is for cars and ACs anyway. I loved Waldinger, I agree that the work of a creative is a little more creation than performance.
Times – as seen from the displayed works – are still not great, but several quality, inspiring campaigns always surface. The jury was strict, which is good. Our task is to recognize and reward progress, and not stagnation (no matter how high-quality it is). Only better work can make the industry sexy again and attract some new, younger people to the industry. A lot of my interviewees commented that the next generation of creatives simply isn’t maturing yet.
Media Marketing: In a very strong competition, Señor took the second place among the most successful agencies. Satisfied?
Vanja Blumenšajn: Never :) . It’s always like that with awards. You win some you lose some. I’m glad that since its launch, Señor has been rubbing shoulders with the selected crowd, and in front of some of the biggest and best domestic agencies. We always want to compare with the best, regardless of the machinery behind them – that’s irrelevant. I’m particularly pleased that for the second consecutive year we brought home a prize in one of the most competitive categories, for the best telecommunications campaign, and again the recognition for the best copywriting – it’s in a way the basis of the work we do and something that we want to be recognized for. If we add the Grand Prix at the MIXX awards, I think we should be very satisfied. We’ve believed in this from the beginning: There are no small agencies, only small ideas. After all, the awards are less important. Each one of us will conclude for themselves what they believe was good, so I always urge the clients to get informed about what agencies do, and the level of quality they deliver.
Media Marketing: You are becoming more and more recognizable in the region for your own projects aimed at improving advertising. Projects like Sloganini, Say it Loud, and now the Art of Feedback are what we popularly call ‘thinking outside the box’. Why these projects?
Vanja Blumenšajn: I’m glad you’ve noticed that, and I hope it is so. We started with the BRAND New Year project in which we wanted to emphasize the importance of branding and donated 12 visual identities together with 12 top designers. We launched Sloganini the largest domestic archive of slogans, and now it’s turn for the creative process and collaboration between a client and an agency, with the project The Art of Feedback.
I think that we are by nature somewhat quixotic minded. We don’t like to be negative and depressed, so we always look for the things to change. It all starts from the perspective. If you have this “Question everything!” critical view of the world, you always rethink things around. I’ve always liked the verb “rethink” because unlike the verb “think”, it includes a dose of review and the desire for action / change / improvement.
Media Marketing: The Art of Feedback also addresses one of the key issues for every creative, which is that the client “knows all” and wants to impose their opinion, change something, which often undermines the basic idea and leads to awkward final solutions. Did you launch this project out of your own frustrations and experience with such clients?
Vanja Blumenšajn: It’s not about knowing – or better yet not knowing. The client certainly knows best what their problems are, but only in cooperation with the agency they can solve these challenges. What is not a task of feedback is commenting on the level of personal likes, writing headlines, choice of typography… This often leads to Frankenstein constructions without head or tail. The task of feedback is to give an opinion in line with the precisely set expectations that creative experts were supposed to deliver.
When reviewing things from our juniors, in order to give any constructive comment I first have to get well informed with the task and think about the solutions on my own, and only then comment. This requires knowledge, time and energy. But it doesn’t work without that. This is the mindset that we want to raise among the clients.
It has somehow became normal to get a lousy feedback, to the point that a good one surprises you. It seems to me that with a different approach at Señor we attract clients who think differently and do not want to do bad things and have that as the norm. After the awards at the Days of Communication, a cake greeted us back at the office, with the message “We already knew you are the best”. It’s not about boosting ego, but that the client believes that we are doing our job well, so they can devote to their own job. I want that to be the norm.
Of course, things are far from ideal, so let’s see what can be better. At least now I have a tool which enables me, when something is not clear in the feedback, to tell my clients: “You know, this is going to the archives at www.umjetnostfeedbacka.com.” The goal is not to point fingers at anyone, but remind them to think about the other side on the job. We are not working against each other, but together with each other. However, that does not mean that everyone should do everything, but that everyone has knowledge and responsibility for their part of the process.
Media Marketing: Do you think that something can be changed in this way, or can it at least point to a problem that’s becoming more and more pronounced in a time of fear of losing a client, so creatives sometimes agree even to ridiculous requests?
Vanja Blumenšajn: People say that the worst perfume in love is Despair. Then Fear is the worst driver in business. No one ever attracted anyone with despair, or kept them with fear and ass-kissing. The only long-term policy is to do your job well. Not everyone will understand, but then not everyone need to be your clients.
I don’t think that one project will change the world, but even if some small percentage of clients (and agency people) think that it’s important, we’ve made something. There’s that old and true saying for briefs: “Shit in, shit out”. It’s the same with feedback.
Media Marketing: What can we expect next from the creative shop at Señor?
Vanja Blumenšajn: Who knows. We look forward to new clients and challenges. The Art of Feedback should get its continuation, and we are also planning a workshop for clients. Among other things, business as usual, every new day is a new story.