Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović, firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve spent the second half of last week in Ljubljana. I rarely travel to Slovenia and I wish I could do it more often. I feel the need to go there for pleasure, not work, and meet with my friends Jure Apih, Meta Dobnikar, Jernej Repovš, Vlado Kreslin, Uroš Lajović, Damjan Damjanovič … I wish I could relax and enjoy Ljubljana, which is getting prettier and prettier, and with every visit it leaves me even more amazed. But time is a problem. I’m mostly “imprisoned” in the triangle Sarajevo – Belgrade – Zagreb, twice a year I go to Rovinj, once in Ljubljana, and that’s it – unless I get invited to some conference and they let me say a thing or two.
Since visits to Ljubljana are rare, every one of them triggers an emotion. As a rule, on every trip to Ljubljana I travel back in time some forty odd years, to the time when we traveled to Ljubljana to learn and spend entire nights in Ljubljana bars and restaurants (usually at Pen Club with Miki). We used to “drown” in creativity hanging out with Jure, Jernej, Meta and a few others who laid the foundations of modern marketing communications in the former Yugoslavia. Those were the times that each of us will remember for a lifetime. Back in those times, Vlado Čeh and I used to spend about ten days in Ljubljana each month. We would go home to catch a breath, to shake the hangover, to do some work and then go back again to Ljubljana. We didn’t make arrangements for it. Our home base then was the hotel Kompas in Miklošičeva. Whenever I came to Ljubljana, the first question for the receptionist in Kompas was: “Is Čeh here?” And vice versa.
And I encountered that same history now, during my two-day stay in Ljubljana, when I visited Jure in his office. I found him with a stack of papers on his desk. I saw immediately these were texts typed on a typewriter, meaning that they were written twenty or more years ago. He explained to me that he is not satisfied with the history of advertising as written by some ‘authors’, so he decided to upload his records with projects he worked on, letters he wrote and other documents, on his website www.apih.si. It’s just that… Slovenia is small for everything that Jure has to say. This is solid gold material for the whole world. I’ll have to convince him to have this material translated into English. It’s a pity that Jure’s ideas can’t inspire all the people who are today dealing with advertising throughout the world.
Otherwise, my visit to Ljubljana began at Valicon, with a meeting with Zenel Batagelj. He showed me some examples of neuromarketing they’re working on. In the final stage of production of TV ads they conduct neuromarketing tests which clearly show the viewer’s attention while watching the video. Based on the obtained results they conduct corrections, and sometimes even production from the scratch, in order to make things work and be more efficient. This testing phase is very critical both for the agency and for the advertiser, because it shows all possible defects and errors whose correction requires additional time and budget.
After Valicon, I had lunch at the Pen Club with Marjan Novak. Again, as twenty days ago in Rovinj, our lunch lasted four hours, and again our lap time was a bottle of wine per hour. The only smart thing we concluded in that conversation was that we should introduce a section about pets on our portals, because the common trait for almost all creatives in the region is that they have either dogs or cats that are always with them, often even when they go to work. The next day Janez Rakušček told me that at Luna they allow bringing dogs to the agency, because they have a nice garden where they can play. After a meeting with Špela Oblak, while waiting for a taxi in front of Luna’s offices, a girl was also leaving for home, followed by her two dogs, lazily dragging behind – tired of playing and unhappy they’re leaving their ‘work’ places.
A section on pets would certainly be well read.
Near the end of the lunch with Marjan, we were joined by Mitja Tuškej with whom I was agreeing the last details about publishing his book No Friends No Brands, which I translated from Slovenian language. It’s always nice to meet him. A pleasant and good-natured man. Marjan issued the Slovenian edition of the book, I will do the regional. Mitja in the company of his publishers. It was nice.
From there I hurry to Vander to meet with Bane Brkljač. The icing on the cake of a beautiful and exciting day. We talked about everything, and mostly about Mokrin. We made plans for this summer. Bane is preparing for the C2 Conference in Montreal. He promised to report for the portal every day. Meanwhile, the will write a column inspired by Alfred Nobel. He has an excellent idea – he continues his story about how people are the future of the media industry, because they become media themselves. For two years his columns were most read on the portal. I can’t wait. The cellphone chirped. A column arrived from Lazar Džamić, which he promised me as a birthday present. Bane and I continue to talk about Lazar, and the story seems to have no end, until Bane had to go to attend some of his responsibilities, and I was off to a dinner with Vedrana.
The next day (Friday) it coincided that I spent the whole day sitting at the restaurant Harfa. First Janez Rakušček and I agreed to have lunch at Harfa. Then I arranged a meeting with Tomaž Zontar from Europlakat who said that Harfa is in the same building as the Europlakat. Mitja Petrovič called in saying it’s a nice restaurant, and that he and Tomo Peršuh will come to Harfa. So it happened that I spent almost the entire day in this restaurant.
Conversation with Mitja Petrovič was extremely pleasant. He’s just finalizing a major project in which he recorded four CDs of piano music performed by 27 of the best young Slovenian pianists. Through the Art&Business portal and the project Friends of Young Artists we exclusively sponsored the project. Mitja created the PianoRoom in his house near Kranj, a state of the art recording studio for piano music for which he provided a Fazioli, the best studio piano in the world. He had to do something during the two years of break from advertising which he had to make after leaving Publicis. Given the passion with which he now talks about music, I’m not sure that it will be so easy for him to go back to advertising or similar business. He’s too much enjoying what he does now.
An hour later we were joined by Tomo Peršuh, Director of Branimir Slokar Academy. Tomo is committed to the idea of supporting young artists and has planned a large project for the autumn –the Three Bridges. Since our missions overlap, Tomo believes that we should cooperate. I completely agree and we agree that the Art&Business will be a media sponsor. These are the projects that we are looking for. I love Art&Business, but I don’t have time to devote to it because of Media Marketing. For three months I’ve been thinking how to reconcile in myself these two projects and it’s not working. I’ll have to find space and time for A&B. If only the day lasted longer. A tray of pates came to the table, a homemade specialty of Harfa. The wine pours even better with them.
Noon is the time for Tomaž Zontar, leader of service development and innovation in Europlakat, with whom we’ve been collaborating for years as media sponsors of Outstanding, the selection of the best posters in Slovenia. Tomaž is accompanied by Urban Korenjak, marketing manager at Europlakat. I’m very glad that I had the chance to meet him. He’s very interesting and told me a lot of new things about the outdoor, especially on the digitization of this media. Europlakat is our sponsor for the project AD Woman of the Year. With colleagues from Zagreb and Belgrade they have agreed to give us 30 billboards for AD Woman in the autumn each. This is very important for us because of the sponsors. While Urban and I talked about serious matters, Tomaž and Mitja talked about tomorrow’s picnic and logistical matters – who will bring what. It just so happened that we all found ourselves in the same place a day before their picnic that was previously agreed.
It’s lunch time, and Janez Rakušček arrives. We have very nice cooperation with Janez. He writes great columns for us, and we met two or three times, but only briefly. Today we would have the opportunity to talk a little longer for the first time and it made me very happy. Janez is one of the most educated people in our industry. He is especially dedicated to the philosophical literature in which he finds many explanations of today’s world. This is obvious from his writings and quotations which he occasionally uses. Janez is one of the twenty creative directors that I want to write a book about. We talked about this, but also one other book as well. On the way to Ljubljana I thought that it would actually be useful to write a book about twenty young creatives in which we would present their work, so the world could meet them. Every day I listen to the complaints that we are lacking young creative people and that a new generation is nowhere to be seen, which should take matters into their own hands in a few years or so. Is that so? Janez agrees that there should be more of them, that young people should be motivated to get involved in this business, nowadays called advertising, and tomorrow who knows what we’ll call it. Janez talked about a new profession – the conceptualist in advertising. Interesting thinking. To me it was especially important that Janez accepted to be our consultant on this book about young creatives. I greatly appreciate his opinion. The day before, while we were drinking coffee, Zenel Batagelj also told me that the day before he had a meeting with Janez and that it was one of the best meetings he had in 25 years since he is in this business. That’s Janez Rakušček for you.
Once we had a good talk, we went to Luna TBWA, which is only a hundred meters away, to our meeting with Špela Oblak. It was my first time in Luna. A very nice building in a quiet neighborhood away from the city center. After I visited all the departments, Špela and I sat in the garden. A beautiful ambience. A haven for creative work. We talked about everything related to the industry and the problems that we have in advertising. We lack a little more cohesion in the region. She tells me that on Friday at SOZ they planned a debate on the Golden Drum and that they intend to include me over Skype from Sarajevo. The theme is how to make the Golden Drum more attractive for people from the region, what should be changed and innovated so that more people would come to this festival, which is important for the entire industry. Meeting with Špela, regardless of how long it lasts, is always short, because there’s an abundance of topics. I’ve always been fascinated with Špela’s energy and passion for work, which – truth be said – is the only way it can be done. You’re either made for this business or you’re not.
I return exhausted to Vander, and lay on the bed to get some rest before I go with Vedrana to dinner. The phone rings. It was Vito Verlič, creative director of Futura DDB, an old friend with whom I ‘missed’ the meeting the day before. My mistake. He had just returned from the BMW golf tournament and said he was coming to Vander. It was a very cordial meeting. We haven’t seen each other in such a long time, and we have so many things in common. When in 1993 I arrived in Ljubljana almost as a refugee, Vito helped me a lot. Such things are not forgotten. At some point, completely accidentally come Ana Por and Žare Kerin. Ana is a hotel manager at Vander, where she came from Futura where she worked for eleven years as an account. Žare is the Art Director in Futura. He came as a godsend because for days I had been thinking that Žare would be the best man to do the design of the book on the twenty most successful creative directors. He accepted. Vedrana came down and the team was then complete. Champagne was poured and Ana kept ordering fantastic sandwiches on toast. We chatted about anything and everything. Žare begins the story of Dragan Stefanović, an ingenious designer from Sarajevo who in 1985 went to work in Lausanne with Goran Takač at Studio 6. Žare says that, while he himself worked at Studio 6, as a freshly graduated designer, he learned the most important things in design from Dragan Stefanović. I was glad to hear that, because I was the one who convinced Dragan to go to Lausanne and agreed everything with Goran. The world is really small. The midnight came. It was time to go to bed, although we could have continued till the morning the way it was going.
In the morning we leave Ljubljana. It was nice and fruitful.
The journey ended in Zagreb, as it began, with a meeting with Marina Bolanča. Her agency ABECEDA is our partner in the organization of Art&Business Conference and Art&Business Awards, which we will organize in October in Zagreb. On Wednesday at Esplanada we had a meeting about the gala dinner for the award, but today (Saturday) we needed to look at the hall for the conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Everything was OK, the offer that Marina secured in the meantime was acceptable, the hall looks great, and now we know everything we need to be able to work on the project. Marina is a very serious business woman and she is in some way a guarantee that we will do everything properly. If everything were up to me, who knows where things would turn.
When you will be reading this text on Monday, I will be stepping into the 67th year of my life. I am the peer of united Europe, I was born five minutes after the first document on the establishment of the European Union was signed.