McCann Zagreb will next year hire new people, expand its digital arm and systemize internal education system

By: Ekrem Dupanović

Photo by: Boris Miletić

At this year's Days of Communication, the largest communication industry festival in Croatia, McCann Zagreb was declared Agency of the Year. McCann Zagreb is part of the I&F McCann Group, which this year marked 20 years of existence.

McCann Zagreb is working full steam. This year, they realized 14 television campaigns. They crossed the borders of Croatia and did two campaigns in Slovenia, one for the Slovenian Lottery, which has been already implemented, and the other for Gorenje(which is set to roll out in ten markets). Together with McCann Podgorica, they have won a pitch for a large international client for the Montenegrin area. All this confirms that the organizational changes that took place last year yielded results.

At the end of the extremely fruitful and successful year in terms of creativity, we talk to Daniel Vuković, the Chief Creative Director of McCann Zagreb.

Media Marketing: December is a time of reflection on the things we did during the year behind us. For McCann Zagreb, 2017 started great. At the Days of Communication you were declared Agency of the Year in Croatia. How important was this for the agency?

Daniel Vuković: McCann has always been in the very top of the advertising industry in Croatia, but it has been more than 10 years since last time it was declared Agency of the Year. Over the past few years we have gathered great people, built a positive atmosphere, devoted ourselves to work and progressed together, so the title you mention was not a big surprise. But it was very important for the agency because it has confirmed our value to everyone in the market – the clients, the competition and the general public..

Media Marketing: This year you designed and implemented 14 TV campaigns. Does this fact show that this was one of the most productive years for the creative of McCann?

Daniel Vuković: After the title of the Agency of the Year, we did not even consider this fact, we just continued to work in a disciplined, courageous and devoted manner, with an ever-present curiosity. However, this status has strengthened our position in the minds of the clients, confirming that McCann is a community of high quality, smart, responsible and decent people who know how to do their job and with whom it is easy to achieve high-quality and long-term cooperation. They contacted us, so this year we started some new, wonderful friendships. We increased the number of permanent clients and the result went up to as many as 14 television campaigns.

Media Marketing: Of these 14 campaigns, over the last three months you implemented eight, and you had 11 scenarios prepared for them. You must be working like miners there…

Daniel Vuković: We are working a lot, but we are also working smart. With a good organization, it is possible to establish a successful system in which, as a rule, you don't work on weekends and you don't work overtime. Most people in our agency have significant experience in the advertising industry and are not surprised by the amount of tasks or short deadlines. We understand each other, help each other, and together solve problems and issues.

Additionally, when you establish a relationship with a trusted client, you can always ask for a little more time to handle a task because the client knows that you really need it to make the solution with which everyone will be happy. In such circumstances it is possible to realize a very large amount of work in a short time.

Media Marketing: So let's conclude with November – You launched two Christmas campaigns, one of which was for Hrvatski Telekom with which you have been successfully collaborating for four years now. How big of a benefit is it having a long-term client?

Daniel Vuković: Yes, Hrvatski Telekom is our longtime… I would even say an "in-house" client. Apart from the parent company, we also work for their brand bonbon. We got to know each others well. We understand each others and we have clear goals and expectations in front of us. We are investing significant efforts and we are happy about the excellent results achieved on both HT and bonbon. I really think the reason for success is a quality, partnership relationship. For a Creative Director, this means deeper conversations with brand managers and a much more free exchange of thoughts on ideas, strategies and executions. For example, when designing a new pitch, you're trying to answer a certain task but often miss some information you should have. You don't know so much about the context and the solution then is not entirely tailored to that brand. The best campaigns come from the long-term agency-client relationships.

Media Marketing: This year you also crossed the borders of Croatia. You designed the entire creative communication platform, visual identity for a website, and other digital tools for the new game of chance, Vikinglotto, for the Slovenian Lottery.

Daniel Vuković: Yes, this was the beginning of a wonderful friendship, and it was the Agency of the Year status in Croatia that brought us there. The client approached us, offered us a chance to show what we know and that grew into a wonderful collaboration. With our help, the Loterija Slovenije launched their new Vikinglotto. I think we have done a very good job and made an extremely creative communication platform that will fully show its potential only in future campaigns. Everyone in the agency is delighted with the way the client accesses communication towards the agency, their humane relationship, understanding, patience and professionalism. For such clients, the agency is always ready to invest extra effort and energy.

Media Marketing: Will you turn more to the foreign markets in the future, and how much are in fact Croatian agencies ready to respond to the challenges of the international advertising market?

Daniel Vuković: In addition to the Slovenian Lottery, McCann Zagreb also did a campaign this year for Gorenje, another Slovenian client. The campaign will be launched soon and includes more than 10 different markets, and this is another example of cooperation that has inspired us and which we hope to continue. In addition, recently, together with colleagues from McCann Podgorica, we won a pitch for a large international client on the Montenegrin market. All the above is evidence that McCann Zagreb is well prepared to handle demanding projects from other markets.

Media Marketing: I suppose the strategy for 2018 is already made. Which direction will the creative work of the agency take? What will be the trends?

Daniel Vuković: We are constantly striving to improve all our internal processes, streamline the organization, and adapt to new situations. That's how it will be next year. We will hire new people, work on expanding the digital department, and systematize internal education. That last item on the list makes people particularly happy because they are growing as professionals through interacting with each other. Also, I think working with new clients from the categories we have not often encountered will introduce some freshness into everyday business. As the chief creative director, I will certainly – apart from the organization – strive to further improve the quality of creative output. But what matters to me personally so far will remain the top priority – employee satisfaction. My job is to listen to people and enable them to create a good atmosphere in which they will give the best they can. That's the key to success.

Media Marketing: Your personal, private wishes for 2018?

Daniel Vuković: Health!

The original interview can be found at: http://www.media-marketing.com/en/interview/daniel-vukovic-the-best-campaigns-are-born-from-long-term-agency-client-relationships/

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.