Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Tomislav Bader, a partner at the Zagreb-based agency Švicarska (Switzerland), was hailed as one of the “brains of the future” during his student days when the EPH bought his concept for the promotion of Jutarnji List utilising new technologies. After completing his studies in the management of market communications, he started capitalizing on his talent at the early age of 22 whilst working for Proximity Zagreb agency. He started out as a community/content manager, and soon took over accounts and had imput into strategy and creative. He won and lost competitions, he led large global and small local clients, and with the projects he led he often entered the finals in local competitions such as Mixx. He soared again and made significant step forward three years ago, when he opened Švicarska agency with partners
The list of clients with whom he worked so far includes adidas Croatia, Brown Forman (Jack Daniel’s), Hewlett Packard, Audi Croatia, Volkswagen Croatia, SEAT Croatia, Mercury Processing Services International, Erste Bank, UNICEF, Njuškalo, Lamb Lovers Club … In short, he came to the first Weekend Media Festival as a student, and now, through the French and Italian cantons, he is representing Švicarska. In addition to marketing, he loves music, so at the last Days of Communication he was DJing.
MEDIA MARKETING: Back when you were a student, Jutarnji list bought your campaign concept. What kind of a campaign was it?
Tomislav Bader: In 2008, EPH launched a student competition called “Brains of the Future”, the goal of which was to create an advertising campaign for Jutarnji List using new media and technology. A couple of months before the first iPhone came to the Croatian market, we created a Bluetooth citylight through which you could download short audio news, coupons, and participate in surveys, thus influencing the creation of content. Back then, only 3% of the population had regular access to the Internet via mobile devices, and the digital citylights, which we have today, were unimaginable.
MEDIA MARKETING: Domagoj Davidović brought you to Proximity as a 22 year-old junior, right after you finished studies, and now you are a partner in Švicarska agency. How did this lightning fast development happen?
Tomislav Bader: It’s a great feeling when you know that someone who was your mentor is now your partner. From the first practical agency advice (if you can’t explain the concept in one sentence, it’s no good) and nowadays life advice, Domagoj has always been easy to learn from, or get motivated by anew . On the other hand, at the job interview, I presented a project with the help of a perceptual map, and when we started working together, I never hesitated to ask what he’s doing, why, and whether I can help. You learn fast with a good mentor, and with a bit of craziness and fortune, you progress is lightning fast. In my case, thanks to a set of circumstances, I had the opportunity to jump in and do senior jobs. I did them successfully and progressed faster than expected.
MEDIA MARKTING: How do the former boss and junior collaborate now as partners?
Tomislav Bader: Easy. Debate always wins. That was the lesson number two, and the reason why I was able to fulfill my potential. In seven years, we became friends and partners, and even if we disagree the real owner, Ana Lozica the first lady of Switzerland (Svicarska) is there to keep us together.
MEDIA MARKETING: At Švicarska you think as consultants, work as a studio, and deliver as an agency. Your primary services are strategy and creative concept development. It’s less important for you to set the framework in-house, or with some other agency. This essentially means that Švicarska is first and foremost in the business of selling ideas but ideas are not something that clients like to pay for. Creative ideas are something they would rather avoid paying for.How do you manage to charge for ideas?
Tomislav Bader: Fortunately, in most cases clients buy our ideas. It’s true, an idea, ie strategy/creativity is sometimes harder to charge for, and yes those are the skills we emphasize, but along with the communication goal we always have the business goal in mind. When a client feels that you are doing what’s best for them at any given moment, and when they feel progress in business, the creative idea is justified and validated. To our great satisfaction, with almost all clients we have a long-term and honest relationship.
Švicarska is a young agency. We have just started, and there is a need for creativity and strategy, so we are extremely pleased when we are invited to every new pitch.
MEDIA MARKETING: Švicarska is not that big an agency that you, as a partner, can sit in your cozy office, hold meetings, receive reports and issue directions. I suppose that, as a true Swiss, you are a hardworking and diligent man. What does the scope of your work include?
Tomislav Bader: I do whatever needs to be done. It’s mostly operative tasks, ie. project management and correspondence with clients. Sometimes I dabble in both strategy and creative, and of course there is agency management. A little accounting as well. We don’t actually have titles in Švicarska, but rather live by the motto “all for one, one for all” and I jump in where I’m needed, and sometimes even where I’m not needed.
MEDIA MARKETING: What does your work day look like?
Tomislav Bader: I make coffee, check the accounts, finalise receipts, write emails, run at least one Facebook and Instagram page so I keep in touch with any changes, I type FB ads, go to meetings, pitch for offers and shorter deadlines, oversee and direct the social networks team, I compile bills, eat chocolate, analyze, do reports, presentations, google something I don’t understand, check the design stage, introduce colleagues to obscure soul and funk music, and then I call and ask for even shorter deadlines.
MEDIA MARKETING: How do you envision the future of Švicarska?
Tomislav Bader: Practically everything would stay as it is now, except for the invoices, which I’d like to see in the Swiss currency. ?
Švicarska will always be a small, independent agency, ready to offer business strategy aaccurate as a swiss watch and as creative as a Toblerone. I hope that we will launch some of our own projects in the future with which we will find hidden agency talent and, in some ways, become even more independent.
MEDIA MARKETING: And where do you see yourself in the future?
Tomislav Bader: Nearby. I’ll always be here somewhere. I don’t care about titles. That’s why I’m here I guess. But I do care for communication challenges and connecting my personal interests and talents. I don’t know where this will lead me. We’ll be in touch. Perhaps I’ll be sitting in my cozy office, holding meetings, receiving reports and issuing instructions. ?
MEDIA MARKETING: Would you advise young people to join you in the communications industry, or to look for some other job?
Tomislav Bader: Agency job is a way of life. Otherwise, it is difficult to justify the flexible working hours, the pressure of deadlines, the amount of multitasking and the stress that all of this carries. On the other hand, if someone loves communication, creativity, a bit of drama and euphoria, this is the place for them. The downsides are immediately forgotten when a campaign you’re happy with is launched and it works. And you also need to be personally motivated. If there are no personal reasons besides money, it’s not worth it. There are many more peaceful and profitable positions in marketing. You can work from 09:00 to 17:00 and forget about campaigns at the end of your working day. You can buy something for a cent and sell it for 5. It’s easier.
I definitely recommend young people to try this lifestyle first and see if it suits them. Because it is a lifestyle. It compensates for the job that at first glance seems cool, creative and relaxed. Offices with dogs and Instagram photos with #Agencylife hashtag.