Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Vanja Blumenšajn, Very Creative Director, Señor
Iskon and Señor Agency returned home from the recent Days of Communication festival with five awards in their hands: gold and silver in telecommunications, bronze Effie, Campaign of the Year award, and the Advertiser of the Year title. Perhaps this result would have come as a surprise if it wasn’t a continuation of the ongoing dominance in telecom advertising over the last few years. This collaboration is also a phenomenon of sorts. So far, each joint campaign of Iskon and Señor has won awards. Along with the gold and silver awards at Ideja X, we should add the last year’s Golden Effie, a special recognition for the best copywriting, and BalCannes. This was our cue to investigate how creative solutions are made, and discover all the secrets of this successful creative-business relationship.
CLIENT VS. AGENCY
If you are reading this it means you clicked on the title – great, you have made the first step and you are ready for a mature relationship with your client. And before we go on, a small disclamer: if you’re expecting to discover some great secret, it might be best you immediately give up reading this. I don’t believe in recipes for success. A favorite platitude on both sides of the client-agency spectrum is “the partnership relationship”. For the client, this most often implies lower prices, for agencies it implies less corrections, and both parties use it for intriguing and civilized statements in interviews regarding festival successes. But can it really exist?
Señor’s collaboration with Iskon began several years ago, following a lengthy pitch in which the author of this text repeatedly questioned the meaning of life. Our relationship, as well as approach to campaigns, has developed organically. When we started working together, we detected that Iskon always strives to offer the most innovative services to their users. We established the Iskon Lab as the place where these ideas emerge and defined innovation as the brand’s main asset, which is reflected in the unpretentious but aspirational new slogan “Ideas from a Near Future” – thus we struck the foundations for future campaigns, in which we also strive to justify the innovative component of the brand in the communication sense.
Ideas from a near future:
LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS VS. ONE-PROJECT-STANDS
Mutual trust is something that takes time: happiness (if it exists) is impossible if you don’t understand the motives, wishes and needs of the partner. And it is impossible to reach it without sincerity (okay Vanja, sometimes it’s desired to omit some things). Señor takes its assignments very seriously, and Iskon recognizes it, so with every new campaign they are more relaxed than with the previous. This is perhaps our greatest success. Of course, there is always a matter of sensitivity and weighing what is best for long-term image of the brand and short-term sales results. Client’s insights from the field, sales, products are key to good starting positions in the creative sense. The classic boundary in the client-agency relationship is blurred here, there are no sides if our goals are shared. For us, work on the project doesn’t begin with receiving the brief. From the beginning we are involved in workshops where we are discussing goals together, defining the offer and compiling the creative brief. Together we rejoice a great scenario, or some viral posters in apartment blocks, or the record number of calls to the call center, or selling out the stock of some gadget. That’s why we love long-term relationships, not one-project-stands. Our task is not to agree with the client blindly, but to ask questions, test thinking and find solutions.
For the “Even the Rich Cry” campaign we came to the presentation with a suggestion of alternative proposition, we reversed the offer and Iskon accepted our suggestion – the result was the gold Effie for sales results. This would not have happened without open communication and readiness for quick reactions; ego aside and focus on goals.
Even the Rich Cry:
IMAGE VS. SALES
In a market that is in a constant recession, and the flywheel to the economy is not production but consumption, campaigns are sales-oriented, and the goals are short-term. For the brand hygiene it is impossible to think anything else but the long-term. Clearance sales are great, ok, but if you don’t build a dialogue with the user, and don’t develop your own service / product, there will always be someone who will surpass you – a better gadget or a bigger discount.
You lack great content in your life campaign:
CONSISTENCY VS INNOVATION
What I love in the last few years is the trend started with “Even the Rich Cry” campaign, and continued in “Casting” – it’s this stepping out from the form of a classic commercial into real life. Casting is in its form an anti-ad, which tears down the fourth wall and reveals the preparations for recording the “real” ad, while at the same time it is the “wet dream” of every client: celebrities continuously repeat the benefits of your offer. A clever, minimalistic idea, carried out without redundant additions and with a deviation from the standard – it was deservedly proclaimed the best campaign this year in Croatia.
We allow ourselves shifts in the genre because being innovative means to explore and, as the slogan promises, try to be a step ahead. Consistency is good for recognizability, but Iskon (and Señor as well) wants to be consistently innovative.
SMART VS. SMART-ASS
One of the challenges that the Iskon has put in front of us was the high visibility of ads. A stunt for stunt’s sake and cheap provocations are not our style, we love that idea stands behind it all, and visibility comes from surprises, humor, or something that’s relevant to the audience. The “Even the Rich Cry” spots were shot with a smartphone, in a single shot, playing with the format of the statements of protected witnesses. The chances that such a leap in style would go unnoticed in the advertising block were small, and more important to us – all of it was in the service of illustrating the “hard” lives of Iskon’s users and sales messages.
After the “Casting”, collaboration with acclaimed actors continued in the Smart campaign. Again these were acting commercials – the concept is that of a sandbox. The important thing is that they liked it personally, all of them are award winning actors who wisely choose their roles, and have made extra effort to get the best out of themselves.
Iskon users are used to SMART:
PAST VS. PRESENT
To return to the parallel with the relationships from the beginning, it is an ideal case if you have the freedom to grow in the relationship, and help the other side grow. That is why I am glad that this year, the title of Advertiser of the Year, in the competition of financially much stronger players, deservedly went to Iskon. It is the award for continuous investment in communication and confirmation that even without the largest budgets, with little courage and confidence, you can make great results. And to us, along with a shelf full of rewards, it brought a feeling that we have fulfilled their expectations and helped in that growth. And now, as I read this article again, no matter how hard it is to avoid pathos, it seems that we have just been warming up until this point, and that the great things are just ahead of us.
P.S. Okay, maybe I do believe in recipes for success. Unfortunately, not those that can be taken easily and painlessly from an article somewhere. Still, you need some dedication, knowledge, time and heart.