Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Asja Dupanović
Iva Kirin is a young, successful and talented account manager of BBDO Zagreb. Their harmonious relationship has lasted for six years now, and, according to Iva, there is no end to it in sight. Iva did her mandatory student practice at BBDO and returned to the agency as soon as she completed her marketing studies. Today she runs projects for some of the biggest players on Croatian and foreign markets, all effortlessly and with a smile on her face, according to people from Croatia’s agency of the year.
MM: How did your advertising story begin? What attracted you the most to these waters?
Iva Kirin: I was still in primary school when the ads started to fascinate me. I knew them by heart, and I used to constantly bug a family friend, who worked in a marketing agency in Zagreb, with questions about what they are currently creating. I made the first serious steps in advertising in 2011, when I spent a month in BBDO as part of my mandatory student practice. I liked the job and the team I was working with so I promised myself that I would certainly return some day. And so it was – immediately after finishing my studies, I got hired by BBDO and it has been almost six years since. The job is interesting and dynamic and that is exactly what attracted me, but also what still keeps me in the agency world.
MM: People at Croatia’s Agency of the Year consider you to be one of the young leaders of communications industry in the Adriatic region. How does that make you feel?
Iva Kirin: First of all, very honored. I love my job. I look forward to every new project and client, and I’m glad that this reflects in my work and, of course, that my superiors and colleagues are noticing it. This is definitely a strong wind in my back and an incentive for new business victories. With such colleagues, the atmosphere in the agency and great clients, it’s really not hard to make the extra effort.
MM: Where did you gain the knowledge which helps you successfully tackle all the challenges of agency work today?
Iva Kirin: I graduated from Zagreb School of Economics and Management and after that I got my MBA in Marketing. During that time, I spent a summer semester in Cleveland at John Carroll University. I studied and lived in Toronto for seven months, and I did my practice at several PR, event and marketing agencies in Zagreb.
Although I have specialized in marketing through formal education, nothing prepares you to work in advertising. There’s no template, no rules and no formulas – only work and experience can really teach you how this industry works.
MM: What kind of projects do you prefer working on?
Iva Kirin: Throughout the six years I’ve been working in the agency, I have led projects for very diverse clients – both local and global, from different branches of the industry. The client on which I’ve learned the most about business is certainly the Croatian Tourist Board. My colleague and I sometimes ran campaigns for 15 markets simultaneously, and some of my favorite ones are definitely the Epic Week, Out of The Office Award and Croatia Feeds, on which we collaborated with a team from Google.
The project particularly close to my heart was Orbit gives the gift of a smile – a CSR project which we created for Orbit. In two years, with our mobile dentistry ambulance, a.k.a. Zubomobil, we visited over 200 primary schools hoping to show kids that a visit to the dentist is nothing to fear – on the contrary, it can actually be a lot of fun!
I like challenging projects – those in which I have the opportunity to encounter and learn something new. The more demanding the project, the sweeter its successful completion.
MM: When we talk about crazy and brave ideas, it is a general belief that there is fear throughout the communications industry. An agency is afraid to lose the client, the client is afraid to lose his/her job. How to overcome this fear and how much can you young leaders contribute to the industry’s exit from this state?
Iva Kirin: It takes courage. There’s no shortage of brave ideas, but what there should definitely be more of are brave clients who trust their agencies. Everyone wants to be different. They ask the agencies to come up with something new and crazy, but when they see such an idea in front of them, they are suddenly not so sure they wish to be so brave and different. The situation is improving with each passing year, and the advertising blocks are becoming more interesting / of better quality, however, there is still plenty of room for improvement. The key factor in this is the long-term cooperation between the client and the agency which takes time to build. Pitching every year, or even for each individual project, is by no means a good modus operandi, neither for the client nor for any agency.
MM: What should the young leaders learn and adopt from their senior colleagues?
Iva Kirin: The magic of work is that we constantly learn from each other, regardless of the years of work experience. Every day I face situations where I ask the experienced colleagues for advice, and they ask us youngsters. But I could definitely learn to be less nervous, which is something that my colleagues successfully do.
MM: And what should they definitely discard from that legacy?
Iva Kirin: Since the answer “Nothing” would be too short and boring, I would agree with my colleague Marjanović from Ovation BBDO, who couple of years ago replied to this question that you should drop your colleagues home if they live along the way. My driver’s license has been collecting dust for a couple of years now, so I don’t really have the means to drop any of my colleagues home, but I do often have a stroll towards downtown with one of them :).
MM: What do you consider the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the years you’ve been living the agency life?
Iva Kirin: You should always have a written trace on all negotiations and agreements!
MM: What are your passions outside the agency?
Iva Kirin: I spend most of my free time with my family and friends, with my dog Jacky and in planning new trips which are a great passion and joy to me. I’m a big basketball fan, especially of the NBA, so I often stay awake all night to watch the Toronto Raptors play. Playoffs are slowly coming to an end, so I’ll finally be able to get some proper sleep soon!