The greatest results are achieved by curious creative people who create from “inside”, that is, from their own necessity to create.

Agency McCann Zagreb achieved a remarkable success last year, winning the title of the Agency on the Year at Croatian Days of Communication. This success has rounded up the good results that this agency, part of the I&F McCann Group, has achieved at the Days of Communication in recent years. At the same time, some other agencies from the same group in the last year achieved the same or similar success on “their markets”.

About these successes, the recipe for creating effective campaigns, creativity in this part of Europe, and a recent meeting of McCann’s creative directors in Belgrade, we talked with Daniel Vuković, Chief Creative Director of McCann Zagreb.

McCann agencies have been declared the best in their respective countries in the region – how much can you learn from the experience of your colleagues?

Daniel Vuković: Yes, continuous investments in people, their knowledge and motivation as well as agency organization have resulted in the titles of best agencies in many countries of the region. In permanent mutual communication, we learn much from one another, although our micro-situations are frequently different. However, with good will and positive energy, there are no problems we can’t resolve, no campaigns we can’t make, no clients we can’t satisfy and, eventually, no award we can’t win.

What is the power of creative synergy from different countries in the region and how much does it contribute to successful and efficient campaigns?

Daniel Vuković: The key to the success of McCann agencies lies in the broad and rich diversity itself. Namely, each member of the agency from any country within our group doesn’t only work with several dozens of people in their own office but actually with several hundreds of people who are only one phone call or one e-mail away. With such support to every individual within the system in everyday work, the power of such synergy becomes clear. In the end, it is also proved by the results.

Is the efficiency of a campaign more appreciated or less in this part of Europe?

Daniel Vuković: Efficiency has always been appreciated everywhere. After the global economic crisis, a special emphasis was laid on efficiency, particularly in the markets within the region. Today, when it is much easier to measure the results of our campaigns, it is logical that analyses are performed based on collected data in order to increase efficiency of our next campaign. Still, at the end of the day, everyone who deals with advertising knows that efficiency is closely connected with creativity.

What is a good recipe for creating an efficient and award-winning campaign?

Daniel Vuković: The greatest results are achieved by curious creative people who create from “inside”, that is, from their own necessity to create. Therefore, the recipe is to investigate contemporary society, art and science, various events and phenomena every day, or to study people, their needs, interests, habits and desires. That “dealing with life” or studying and researching will result in deep insights based on which experienced creative people simply create top-quality campaigns.

How willing are the clients to allow freedom to the agency in creating an efficient campaign?

Daniel Vuković: I think that the mentioned amount of freedom depends on the trust between the agency and its client. McCann has a large number of clients it has cooperated with for many years. The trust built in that long-standing relationship inevitably brings more freedom. Actually I don’t want to say that the agency can do whatever it likes, but I refer to the direct partnership in which both sides work towards the same goal – to make a campaign which will be recognised and loved by the target group, which will fulfil targeted goals both regarding efficiency and the development of the brand.

What is the advertising scene of the region like? Is it conditioned by the budget limits?

Daniel Vuković: Advertising in the region is getting more vigorous and dynamic. The entire business is transforming unbelievably quickly, budgets flow from traditional into digital channels; there are new young people entering the branch and working both for clients and agencies, budgets are gradually increasing, the agencies from the region have won esteemed awards at the most important world festival in the past few years. All of it tells a story of a positive trend in the region. Of course, wealthier markets can offer more opportunities initially, but I would say that we are also smart and hard-working enough to impose ourselves as serious competition in the existing conditions.

What distinguishes this part of Europe on the creative map?

Daniel Vuković: I believe that is the wish to prove ourselves, for approval and success at the world level. With this motive, in this part of Europe we encounter different challenges from our colleagues in the Western European markets or further afield. Some problems in our markets don’t exist in distant markets at all and they should be resolved in a specific manner, often with minimum funds available. So, when we find efficient and smart solutions to those specific problems, they tend to be exceptionally innovative, even on the world creative map.

McCann is recognised for its creativity both globally and regionally. What makes the campaigns of McCann network stand out in creativity?

Daniel Vuković: McCann has proved that it’s doing the most innovative world work by a large number of prestigious Grand Prix awards once again won at this year’s Cannes Lions, the most popular world festival of advertising. McCann is a special agency network whose essential values and way of thinking sublimated in the slogan “Truth well told” define the processes leading to the campaigns which stand out creatively. By studying the users and the society they live in, McCann defines “truths” and uses them for reinterpretation in a different, interesting, and creative manner.

How much do you apply world trends in creativity?

Daniel Vuković: The practice of all McCann offices is to listen constantly to the pulse of society, to watch its changes with wide-open eyes, to analyse and use them for their own development. However, with such engagement they also innovate or create trends followed by others. As for the offices in this part of Europe, they all adopt new ways of thinking and adapt to new situations quite quickly. There are quite a lot of works from the region proving this and that is why they keep up with world examples.

Are there any boundaries in terms of ideas?

Daniel Vuković: Simply speaking – no. Any creative author may reach ingenious solutions to any problem. That is also proved by our system structure. When you send a brief to a man who is not familiar with the context or the local character, from his unburdened perspective he may produce quite fresh insights and concepts which would never occur to the local creator because he simply takes them for granted. Since we work in more than ten different markets, our agency often uses the advantage I have just mentioned.

Belgrade was the meeting point of McCann’s best creative people from Europe. Why are these meetings important?

Daniel Vuković: The slogan of our group is “Power of people”. Actually, it is the people with their know-how, organisation structure and processes that make the agency. When creative authors from different countries get together in the same place, a miracle happens. Such collective energy, the entwining of completely different experiences and opinions from various markets, focused on a single goal – crating as successful a campaign as possible – is an incredible experience!

How do your foreign colleagues assess the creativity in Southeast Europe?

Daniel Vuković: With all the advantages mentioned so far, these meetings are an opportunity to make creative people from Europe even more familiar with our creativity. When they hear about our concepts, they sometimes find them a little exotic because they were made in a different context. However, they like our concepts and they also appreciate the energy, effort, and the fresh ideas we presented. Finally, the fact that the meeting of some of the best European creative authors was held here is proof and recognition of our local creativity, knowledge, and experience.

You often speak about inner energy in the agency – what is the formula for producing it?

Daniel Vuković: Humanity, respect, and tolerance. When you appreciate your people, and treat them the same way you want to be treated, everything pays off double. Our agency is full of individuals with different lives and interests, but all of them are true professionals who love their job and do it together, helping one other. That is why they have become much more than just colleagues through the years, real friends even. That is a great value of our agency. It is wonderful to know that the emotions we live through together and the friendships we have built will remain in the hearts of all those who have worked here, for life.

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I&F McCann Grupa jedan je od vodećih komunikacionih sistema koji 20 godina uspešno posluje u 12 zemlja jugo istočne Evrope i nordijske regije. Naš posvećen tim čini 600 talentovanih profesionalaca, koji svakodnevno sarađuju na integraciji marketinških kampanja, promotivnih aktivnosti, organizaciji događaja, dizajnu, planiranju i zakupu medijskog prostora, PR, produkciji, komunikaciji u oblasti zdravstva, kreiranju TV sadržaja,kao i na svim formama digitalnog marketinga. Agencije koje posluju u okviru I&F McCann Grupe deo su McCann Worldgroup (www.mccannworldgroup.com),jedne od najvećih svetskih agencijskih mreža,osnovane 1902.godine koja posluje u više od 120 zemalja sveta, i u vlasništvu je Interpublic Group (IPG) (www.interpublic.com) sa sedištem u Njujorku.