Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Asja Dupanović
Tina Slivnik has many middle names among which, the most common, are “why?”, how? and “are you sure? “. She is the loudest project manager in Slovenia’s agency of the year 2019. She takes both work and fun seriously, which is why her incredible abilities to vocally direct the team and the phases of the project during the week, often lead to a sweltering Sunday morning. A proud citizen of Novo Mesto who, primarily due to a sincere desire for good projects, migrates to Ljubljana every day and runs projects for clients such as Petrol, Pivovarna Union, JTI, Shark, Atlantic Grupa and many others. Tina’s account software has special sensors for detail and a built-in capacity to work on a hundred things at the same time. Her superpowers allow her to simultaneously lead the launch of a TV campaign and notice a missing comma in the social media plan. In her career project folder there are numerous projects awarded by professional juries of the regional and local communication festivals, all the way from BalCannes to SOF.
MM: How did it come to you working in an advertising agency? What attracted you most into these waters?
Tina Slivnik: Although it hasn’t been long, I do not remember exactly what was the reason I applied for a student internship in an advertising agency. In the first year of studying communicology, I had no idea what all one can do in the field of marketing and advertising. I remember that the agency was located very close to my apartment in Ljubljana at the time at the time and that the working hours were flexible.
In the agency, in which I started to work, they were looking for people to manage the Facebook pages of micro-enterprises. I have to admit that this didn’t attract me at all, especially because I had to convince everyone, from masons to carpenters around Črnomelj, that they need a Facebook strategy. Fortunately, this tactic was quickly abandoned, but I did get to know a part of digital marketing which seamed crazy interesting to me, so I wished to continue working in that field. Within the Slovenian Marketing Association, I became part of a team responsible for social media. With a little luck and a recommendation by the Executive Director of the Association, Tanja Karvan, I later got my first serious chance and experience in a digital agency Innovatif where I fell in love with advertising in all its dimensions.
MM: This year you won the Agency of the Year title at the Slovenian Advertising Festival. How did you experience this confirmation of the value of your work?
Tina Slivnik: Being the Agency of the Year is a great confirmation by the Slovenian advertising profession that, as a team, we create good projects and have clients who trust us. Personally, I was most thrilled that several different projects we have implemented for different clients, got awarded. I would also like to point out that the awarded projects reflect the specificity and competitive advantages of our agency. In addition to, what we call the classical advertising profiles, in our agency, we have very talented professionals in product and technology innovation. This is particularly evident on projects like Union Red Ale Box and Volkswagen Pure Power. This victory is sweet especially because our agency was not at the top of festival rankings, ever before. This is, so to speak, our breakthrough year, coinciding with the agency’s 10th anniversary in the market.
MM: Is all that indeed worthy of the daily commute from Novo Mesto to Ljubljana? What is your drive?
Tina Slivnik: Haha. Ljubljana is not that far from Novo Mesto. What’s more, commuting is a pleasure when you have good company on the road. I am not the only girl from Dolenjska region in Agencija 101. And when you know that, in the Masterchef room of our agency, five liters of fresh Turkish coffee, Čokolino and ten sleepy, but smiling colleagues with whom I debate all of the biggest gossip and happenings in the Slovenian reality shows, await, everything becomes easier. Yep, we are not afraid to admit watching Ljebezen po domače and having Čokolino for breakfast together.
MM: What kind of projects do you most like to work on?
Tina Slivnik: First and foremost, I like projects in which we get clear goals from the client, a clear brief. And, of course, I love projects where we have the opportunity to create something new, “non-classical”, where our creative innovation comes to light. If both coincide, the joy in working is ensured. No matter what.
MM: Is there anyone among the senior colleagues in the profession, from whom you have learned a lot? Do you have a role model in Slovenian or international advertising?
Tina Slivnik: Tanja Karvan, who spotted me somewhere in the background, in a way opened the doors to advertising for me when she invited me to be part of then newly established DMS group for social media. She later always stood by my side. She gave me her recommendation when I got the first serious break in an agency. We all know how much recommendations mean in this line of business. That is why I am very grateful to her today and appreciate her very much.
MM: How to overcome the fear often standing in the way of implementing brave and crazy ideas?
Tina Slivnik: We youngsters must be brave and confident. I think the young people I work with are just like that. Fear is something completely normal. If you are, deep inside, aware that, occasionally, the seemingly most silly and bizarre ideas turn out to be the best ones, fear simply loses its role. In doing so, we youngsters also have to be aware of our advantages. Very often, clients, in one way or another, wish to reach the younger target group, that is, people who define thinking and trends and are best known to us, young experts in the agencies. We have to be brave and trust our ideas and reasoning. In this way, we can do the most to overcome the fear you are talking about. It was probably the case 20 years ago, and will be the case 20 years from now. I believe it is true that this business was always refreshed and powered by the new generations. Fear, as a general state of affairs in business, needs to be looked at from another angle. We often exaggerate, too much fear is mitigated by the fact that our potential mistakes in the real world rarely carry severe consequences. You will not really find in the newspapers an article saying: “Due to a disastrous Internet activation, a company let go of 200 of its employees.” In advertising, we can sometimes allow ourselves to fail. Why fear then?
MM: How do you visualize the future of advertising? How about creative communication in general?
Tina Slivnik: Advertising and creativity will, in my opinion, be subordinated to data, all forms of data in the future. I strongly believe that in this reality, it will be possible to produce even crazier, bolder and more innovative ways to communicate with the users. I am glad that we are aware of this fact in our agency and are trying to think in this way. The users are demanding, too much information is available and a non-responsive communication will soon be irrelevant. I very much look forward to those times
MM: What do you consider to be the most valuable lesson you have learned in these years since living an agency life?
Tina Slivnik: We are often under stress in the agency, which is logical. Our job is predictable to the extent to which we can safely claim that it is unpredictable. Such a situation, especially to us project managers, creates some sort of a permanent discomfort. The biggest lesson I have learned in this job is that it is necessary to urgently understand that something, which today represents a major source of stress and a burden will, in 99% of the cases, be so banal and irrelevant in a month, or even earlier, and we will no longer even remember why we were burdened in the first place. Our problems are often of short duration and the stress should be reduced. Nothing really is as dramatic as it seems in one moment.
MM: Do you have any spare time and how do you prefer to spend it?
Tina Slivnik: Despite the daily commute, I have some free time. I like the time off, I need it and am happy to work in an agency where free time is a self-explanatory value. A good afternoon for me is the one spent on a sunny terrace of my home, with my dear ones around, with good food, well-chosen company and emotions mixed with Gin & tonic. That’s just it – small everyday joys.