After we were named the best agency in the region at BalCannes, HURA decided to sit down and have a chat with our very own Very Creative Director Vanja. In the following paragraphs find out what they talked about, what does he think about awards and how did we turn this promo article into Señor’s little ‘critique’ of award festivals. Oh and… don’t forget to tell us what award did you get.
With one more BalCannes coming up, we wanted to check how you celebrated the title of the best agency in the region?
VB: We won’t say the process didn’t include a serious hangover and soreness of some newly discovered muscles. Usually, when an agency gets loads of awards, they send out some clichéd PR with a typical headline that reads ‘Anybody have a spare shelf, we need a place to put these awards?’ But when the euphoria settled down, we turned to what we do best - creating. So, to celebrate this award and entertain our advertising colleagues who’ll be reading this - we came up with S.W.A.G. - Señor’s Wonderful Award Generator.
Looking with envy at your colleague’s Shangahi ADbombs Festival bronze statuette? Jealous of the dust cleaner your boss uses to polish the Grand Prix she won at Lebanon New Wobbler Days? You tremble at the thought of the Basel Shelf-divider Biennale falling into somebody else’s hands? Don’t worry, one click on Señor’s Wonderful Award Generator will grant you all the awards you’ve ever dreamed of. And once you get them, be sure to brag on social media. We won’t tell anyone about your little secret.
What did you want to say with Señor’s Wonderful Award Generator? We got a good laugh out of it, but is there a deeper message behind it?
VB: First of all, we wanted to have some fun. Awards are definitely the greatest agency swag but we shouldn’t take them too seriously. Acknowledgments are cool, but it’s much more important to focus on doing quality work. Awards always come as a consequence (in this case, literally). It seemed to us that, because of the hyperinflation of various advertising festivals, the value of awards in our industry is dwindling. Do all these awards have the same value? Which ones do the creatives respect, which ones are important to the clients? Are some festivals worth the time and money if they only serve as an opportunity to post something on social media, information that will soon be forgotten given today’s information clutter. What’s the point of an award if everyone gets one? Does recognition have to be a reflection of public opinion or of the high standards of the festival jury? And shouldn’t the biggest reward really be the results and the satisfaction of doing great work? These are some of the questions that we frequently discuss amongst ourselves - we love to question things and, what’s more important, always try to keep both feet on the ground.
Which festivals seem like they are worth the time and resources?
VB: Experience shows that it pays off to be a prophet in your own land. It seems that it’s convenient to focus on national and regional festivals like Ideja X, Kaktus, SOF, Effie and (we’re not sucking up) BalCannes. Those festivals are from the markets we gravitate to, whose context we understand, and whose awards clients perceive as important. The most important applause is the one you get from the people you compete against on a daily basis.
Sometimes we need to test our strength against big global brands with big budgets that operate on huge markets. Those awards lure creatives and give them the motivation to weather all the adversities of this job. That’s why I can’t avoid mentioning the world’s biggest festival - Cannes Lions that undeniably brings a lot of publicity, global recognition and a whole lot of satisfaction to creatives. This award carries special weight around here because it’s not a common sight on agency shelves in this region. By winning Agency of the Year at BalCannes, Señor got the chance to enter the Cannes Lions competition and boy, what a competition it is - more than 30 thousand entries last year. With so many entries I guess it’s more like a lottery than anything else - but you know the old saying: you can't win if you don't play. So, wish us luck.
What does the title Agency of the Year mean for Señor? Now that you’re the proud owner of a golden lion, what has changed?
VB: One’s thing for sure, we didn’t rest on our laurels. We launched a new Iskon campaign - Opportunity of a lifetime, that has immediately become one of my favorite Iskon campaigns. The Great Croatian Naives have already been rewarded and awarded at Ideja X, and I also think it’ll do great in the regional competitions. The jury of the next BalCannes can surely expect to see our charity campaign Gloomy Christmas or the digital project we did for Franck - snogoo… We’re also in the midst of preparing a campaign for an important social cause, but I don’t want to give away too much.
I have to admit the award didn’t come as a total surprise. We didn’t expect it because we learned over the years that festivals are unpredictable. On the other hand, we were very proud of the projects we entered. When it comes to festivals, the last couple of years have been really kind to us because we managed to win the most important domestic awards for advertising, branding, packaging and digital. Being among the best creative agencies in the region and keeping a high overall standard is important to us - you’re only as good as your worst project. What’s the effect of winning awards? You get recognition from your peers and clients, but you also get fresh talent from the region wanting to work with you - and that’s the most important thing for winning awards in the future.
You arrive at Weekend Media Festival empty-handed and leave with some mighty big lions. Did the new shiny colleague successfully adapt to the new surroundings? Do you have any advice how to transport it home?
VB: We didn’t have problems with the Agency of the Year lion - he was quite calm, slept all the way home, I think he felt rather natural in our company. But now that you mention it, he does seem to be leaving a lot of glitter around the office, every time you cuddle with it - he leaves you covered with creative dust.
This interview was originally published by hura.hr