Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Photographer: Domagoj Kunić
Valentina Bugarin is an Account Director at the Bruketa & Žinić OM agency. She has been in the Agency since 2013 and since then has been managing projects for Heineken, The Coca-Cola Company (brand Cappy), Croatia osiguranje, Zagrebačka banka, Podravka, Pliva, Croatian Paralympic Committee and other advertisers. The projects that she worked on as part of the team won the Effie Awards (Podravka temeljci, Time Vault of Zagrebacka Banka), IdejaX Grand Prix and Mixx (Time Vault of Zagrebacka Banka), Creativity (Heineken Đuru – local guru) and also entered among the top 25 projects at BalCannes (Heineken’s Croatian Ingenious Customs and Natural is Better). These projects were written about by international publications devoted to the industry, such as Directory and Packaging of the World (Karlovačko Natur Radler Lemon).
MEDIA MARKETING: What attracted you to start working in the advertising industry?
Valentina Bugarin: There are areas we are passionately interested in, as well as those on which we simply remain indifferent. My paradigm is that each one of us has our talents and interests and that these predestine what we will be doing in life. It may sound funny, but to me, the interest for this world existed since I was a kid, when I looked forward to the advertising block on TV. And I remember asking myself who these people are who are coming up with all these “plays” that we watch, such as the iconic ad for Bronhi candy. Back then, of course, I had no idea of the breadth and possibilities that this industry holds. Fifteen years later, I found myself in this world and what motivates me is the idea that changes are in our hands. We have the power to develop new products whose purpose is socially responsible, which sensitize the public about certain issues and influence the change of attitudes. And to be credible, every message we create must be based on relevant facts that arise from analytical thinking and market research. And, like icing on the cake, you have the opportunity to work with exceptional talents from different areas – from designers, architects, producers, composers, actors and directors to customers who are the alfa and omega of their brands.
MEDIA MARKETING: And what brought you to the agency Bruketa&Žinić OM?
Valentina Bugarin: The ambition to do this job in one of the best agencies in the market. For me, that meant learning from the best people in the industry, and working on big projects for prestigious clients.
MEDIA MARKETING: You manage projects for some of the largest agency’s clients. How did you start, and how big of a responsibility it is for a young person to manage such large budgets?
Valentina Bugarin: As with any beginning, you hone your craft on smaller projects. With more “games under your belt” your appetites and multitasking skills grow, so you get the chance to work on ever-more demanding projects. The great mentors who followed me in my career, both in the former agency and in B&Ž, played an important part in developing a sense for adequate resource management. Today, when I’m a mentor myself, I try to point out all aspects of successful project management – from setting project goals, both for client and agency, to time management and measuring the success of the job done. The more responsibility I have, the happier I am. Because, when you are responsible for something, only then you have the opportunity to make your project even better.
MEDIA MARKETING: Were there any situations where you questioned whether this is a job for you?
Valentina Bugarin: Yes of course. According to the good old Murphy’s law, crisis situations occur simultaneously in multiple projects, and then you begin to question yourself. I think that that’s when true character comes to the surface, as well as the answer to the question whether we are really made for this job. Since it’s my seventh year is in the agency business, I believe I’m in the right place.
MEDIA MARKETING: And was there a project where you told yourself: “Yes, this is it, I was born for this”
Valentina Bugarin: Time Vault for Zagrebačka Bank on the occasion of its centennial anniversary. It was a huge and complex project we were dealing with for over a year, and the campaign rolled out in three communication phases that, for example, produced over 10 television ads, which gives you only a glance into the breadth of the project. In short, it was a real make-it-or-break-it project.
MEDIA MARKETING: Several of the campaigns which you led have won awards at festivals. What do they mean to you?
Valentina Bugarin: It’s a recognition that we managed to leave a mark on the target audience. There is no greater satisfaction than what you see at the end of the project that you have achieved your goal. It’s a message to the entire team, the client, and the agency, that they can push the boundaries together.
MEDIA MARKETING: What should young leaders learn from their older colleagues and apply in their work?
Valentina Bugarin: Older colleagues have experience. They have more projects behind them, and therefore more knowledge. They can better assess a particular situation and look at it from multiple perspectives, whether we talk about strategic thinking or dealing in crisis situations. With their experience and our enthusiasm and a fresh look at the task, I think we have the right formula for success. Generational differences are a benefit rather than a drawback.
MEDIA MARKETING: And what should they definitely discard from that legacy?
Valentina Bugarin: Talks about big budgets. Let’s work with what we got now :)
MEDIA MARKETING: When we talk about crazy and bold ideas, there’s a general opinion that the communications industry is gripped with fear. Agencies are afraid of losing a client, clients are afraid of losing business. How to overcome this fear, and how much can you, young people, contribute to overcome this situation.
Valentina Bugarin: First of all, we need to look at the motivation behind decision-making, so it will be easier to understand that fear. Do we want to keep the job because we have a loan to repay so we are opting for a safe solution? Or do we want to impress the boss so we decide for a more courageous approach? Or something else? Of course, there are a lot of reasons. But at the end of the day, we are there for each other, and we need to work as a team, because both sides have the same purpose – to grow their business. I think fears can be overcome if we build mutual trust. You need to propose an idea that matches the brief, because the client is then certain they are getting what they ordered, so their fear is diminished. But also, apart from that idea, I think the agency needs to bring another one, which is more daring and for which they believe will have a stronger impact. In my opinion, this crazier idea has better chances, because the client already received what they have ordered, and will have the will and desire to open up to new proposals. Proactive approach opens the door for better cooperation.
MEDIA MARKETING: What advice would you give to your peers? To join you in this industry, or to try and find a better job?
Valentina Bugarin: If this job makes their heart beat faster, if they have a developed sense of design and organization, this is definitely the right path to further growth. In this growth, I can only suggest that they seek advice and ask questions. There are no stupid questions. There is only fear of asking questions that can lead you, and the agency, into an unfavorable situation because you will have to do things from the scratch. Show boldness and take responsibility for your projects because then you manage them. And then you will certainly make an extra effort to do the job the best you can. Then, you guarantee for the project with your name and surname.
MEDIA MARKETING: How do you envision the future of advertising?
Valentina Bugarin: The future is here. We use the media differently. Consumer profiles have changed. Technology has changed. We use ad blockers, artificial intelligence, we communicate through video content and emoticons, brands are integrated into our lives. This job has become extremely analytic because we reach the end user through their habits, and through the experiences we offer them. That is why I think the key to the future is still in a good and thoughtful idea. The way in which it will be presented to the user will change from year to year, depending on the trends through which the media are used.