Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Vlatko Dimovski and Špela Oblak
My Friday had been planned for the Branding Conference and everything related to it. This conference is always an opportunity to meet and host some friends from the region who come to share their knowledge with the participants of the conference. Last year I hosted Saša Pešev (New Moment Skopje) and Slaven Fischer (BBDO Zagreb) at a dinner. Aljoša Bagola (Pristop) was also planned, but he had to leave earlier for Ljubljana.
Branding Conference was, as always, excellent. The program was well planned with good speakers and panelists. It was also well attended, perhaps the best so far. The organization was perfect – scenery, lighting, sound, video – everything was as we have become accustomed to when it comes from Via Media.
As I sat at the Branding Conference, every once in a while my thoughts would wander to Bihać, where final preparations were ongoing for the Creative Republic of Bihać. All the speakers and panelists had arrived, and everything was ready to start. Adi Čavkić told me that to him and Nino Kasupović legs were going numb due to creative anxiety. It’s some new term invented by the people from Krajina – whatever it may mean, it’s good. I congratulate them and wish them a successful day.
I left the Branding Conference and went to the restaurant Vinoteka, where I had the pleasure to host a lunch for Nataša Kregar Brus, director of central marketing for the Atlantic Group, and Ivana Timotijević, whose responsibility in Atlantic is PR and media relations. Nataša and Ivana came to Sarajevo for a meeting with Mirsad Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, regarding some innovations in Atlantic Group’s sponsorship and a greater presence of Sarajevo Film Festival in the region. Great idea, but I’ll write about it when all conditions are met, and when they check whether the whole thing is even possible. It would be a big step forward for SFF and further evidence of the dominance of the Atlantic Group in the region.
Of course, we also discussed our cooperation. I thanked the Atlantic for the sponsorship of the conference Cannes Lions in Sarajevo. We expressed our mutual interest to continue to develop our cooperation. Atlantic is the largest regional producer of food and one of the largest advertisers in the region, and because of these facts they should be interested in the development of the communication industry. Since it’s a regional player, Atlantic should also be interested in the harmonization of the advertising markets in the Adriatic region. These two things are the backbone of Media Marketing’s mission. On the other hand, can we claim that we are the most relevant medium of regional communication industry, if we don’t have strategic relationships with regional leaders, among which Atlantic is one of the most important? Of course not.
We agreed that on Monday we would send them our proposals and that Nataša and I would meet on Wednesday in Ljubljana and continue the conversation.
Date mussels and St Pierre at Vinoteka are delicious.
I returned to the Branding Conference just when the lunch break was ending. I stayed in the packed café with Amir and Adnan. Špela Oblak came by. She said she was laughing in the morning at the hotel as she read my diary, where I wrote that I would ask nothing about work over dinner, and she was very grateful for that. Let me remind you that five days ago Špela left Luna TBWA after 14 years with the agency, where she was CEO for Slovenia and for all the agencies in the region. And that’s why I wrote that I would ask nothing about work over dinner, to which I also invited Vlatko Dimovski (I&F McCann Group) and Damir Ciglar (Imago), who later canceled the visit to Sarajevo because at that time he was in Dubai (everyone goes to Dubai to soak and enjoy, only Damir goes to work). Špela said that the whole day (even in Sarajevo), she was communicating via email and phone (and as she sat with us her phone was constantly ringing), with colleagues from the TBWA Network with whom she worked for 14 years. They all ask why she left, where she is going, what is she planning… That’s why I said I wouldn’t ask any questions about it.
At the conference was also Edo Numić, Marketing Manager at Violeta. I introduced him to Adnan and Amir, and I tried to explain to them the history of Violeta and Edin’s role in it, and how much of Herzegovinian stubbornness it took to take the company to today’s level. But this story can’t be told just like that. There’s so much to it. I told him: “Edo, I told you already, you have to write a book.” He answered: “The book will be written when you write it.” “Wait for a while, I already have five of them lined up,” I said.
I was in touch with my guys in Bihać the entire afternoon. All speakers had arrived except for Božo Skoko who, according to the agreement, was coming from Banja Luka on Saturday afternoon directly to the conference.
Upon completion of the Branding Conference, Vlatko and I went to Baščaršija, for ćevapćići and sudžukice (as an appetizer for dinner). We sat in the garden, under a parasol, enjoying a good barbecue, while the rain poured. A fantastic feeling. Rain stopped suddenly as if someone in the heavens just turned off the tap, and the sun immediately broke out. A sun as I’ve never seen it before. As if some natural wonder had happened.
I use every opportunity when Vlatko is in Sarajevo to spend as much time as possible with him. He doesn’t come as often as he used to while McCann was in red numbers. Since Vesna Vlašić significantly improved the balance, he rarely comes. Vlatko is an experienced wolf. And not stingy – you can learn quite a lot from him. I’m still learning. We always find a topic to exchange some opinions, and learn from it. The entire regions is a playground for both of us. Vlatko is responsible for the McCann’s advertising agencies in the region, and I’m responsible for writing about it.
We went to pick up Špela at the hotel, and from there headed for dinner. It was the second time for me that day in Vinoteka, it was the first for Špela and Vlatko. I suggested date mussels and fish for Špela, Vlatko and I prefer to stick to the terra firma and steak. You will not believe this, but I managed not to ask Špela anything about her departure from Luna. We talked about ordinary life things. Two hours flew by in no time.
I received a message on Facebook from Bihać. It was Ilija Brajković: “On Monday at the MM, read how Ekrem Dupanović stood us up. I have a premise, but I’m still thinking about content. But first thing’s first, one’s got to eat – Begova sablja is on the table.”
We then arrived at the Via Media party amid the Branding Conference, in the Sky Bar at the top of the hotel Mariott, with a fantastic view of Sarajevo. At the entrance we were greeted by Vesna. I apologized for stealing Vlatko and Špela, and she says: “Oh, no problem, I read this morning in your Diary that you were going to ‘snatch’ them. What nice things did you eat?” she asked Vlatko and ŠpeI. “You’ll read about it on Monday in his Diary,” Vlatko responded.
Vlatko and I shortly stayed at the party, after which we went down to the lobby and talked for another hour.
On Saturday I was getting ready for the trip. I will be on the road for the whole week: Zagreb, Ljubljana, Maribor and Belgrade. A lot of meetings – just meetings and driving. It’s because I do not travel often – I don’t have the time. I wish I traveled more often, so I could relax a bit. But it’s OK, I immensely enjoy this pace.
Seven of us are communicating within the working group for drafting the development strategy of the Golden Drum (Zenel, Mitja, Ana, Špela, Mojca, Lučka and I). We exchange ideas for the GD slogan and vote on individual proposals. We’re nearing the final decision, we just need a little more time.
On Sunday morning I received a mail from Zdenka Milanović. A year and a half ago Zdenka transferred from the I&F McCann Group, where she was responsible for business of McCann’s agencies in the region, to the Skopje Brewery, which includes two companies: Pivara Skopje and Coca-Cola Hellenic. There she is responsible for the marketing operations of the Skopje brewery. She writes, among other things, that she is very satisfied that she has the opportunity to be a player in the advertising industry from the perspective of a company. She proposed that we launch a topic on the portal about innovation and specific practices. It would also include agencies which would present their innovations, on the basis of which we, at the end of the year, could declare the most innovative agency in the Adriatic region. An interesting and useful initiative that would certainly garner great interest.
It’s Sunday evening and there still no text from Ilija about how I stood them up. It seems that he was satisfied with ‘begova sablja’ dish. But there is also no text and photos from the Creative Republic of Bihać. A message for my young friends from Bihaš: “That’s not how things are done! Work on the organization of the third session, scheduled for October, starts when the second session ends. And you allow yourself the luxury that the portal will go online on Monday with no text about the event in which you have invested the past few months of your lives? You’re being irresponsible to yourselves, to the speakers who gave their time to come to Bihać and take part in your conference, and you’re irresponsible to Media Marketing which was trying so hard last month to publish a text about the event nearly every day, that would attract people to come to the Second Session of the Creative Republic of Bihać. That’s not how things are done!”