Interview with Jana Savić Rastovac, Executive Creative Director, McCann Beograd

Love Is The Key To Enduring

McCann is the nucleus from which knowledge and expertise have developed over the course of 25 years, resulting in a system that today brings together experts from various fields of communication, media, production, digital, creative, strategic, and every new addition that is joyfully adopted and developed

Our passion is continuous learning and research; curiosity is one of our key values, and I would say that courage is thus a character trait. We have always been guided by these convictions – says Jana Savić Rastovac, emphasising that all of this has contributed greatly to the successful work of the agency and the creation of campaigns that remain remembered for years.

You are this year celebrating 25 years of doing business. How do you view this “journey” of your agency? We know that everything has changed over this quarter of a century, but there anything that has remained the same, anything that is a permanent fixture?

We know from experience that the world and everything in it is in a constant process of change, but ideas and love are what endure and remain.

We believe deeply that the best ideas emerge from love: love for life, love for people, love for new challenges. It was with belief in our people and the power of creative energy that we started working 25 years ago, and we believe that this love is the key to our durability.

McCann, and later I&F Grupa, laid the foundations of the profession and the entire industry from its very first days, establishing standards, bringing innovations, educating personnel… Can your pioneering spirit still be felt today?

McCann is the nucleus from which the development of knowledge and expertise has gradually created a system that now brings together experts from various fields of communication, media, production, digital, creative, strategic and every new addition that we joyfully adopt and develop.

Our passion is continuous learning and research; curiosity is one of our key values, and I would say that courage is thus a character trait. We have always been guided by these convictions and they are probably among the fundamental reasons for our success. Knowledge guided by the determination that we can do as well in our region as can be done anywhere else in the world, the courage to experiment and the audacity to build brands with clients in a different way – these are responsible for us being labelled pioneers. We are very proud of this. Generations of communication experts have grown up in our agency and contributed to the development of the entire industry with their work. Our campaigns have often determined annual trends in advertising, moved society to discussion and action, questioned the limits and possibilities of the media, created surprising partnerships. Our leadership position has always obliged us to learn more and try harder. That remains the same today. We believe in the strength of ideas and the power of our industry to contribute to the betterment and development of the communities in which we live and society as a whole. We want good things for people, business and planet Earth, which is our shared home.

It isn’t easy to be prepared for all challenges and tasks, to be even more innovative and relevant in all the areas of activity you deal with, but you nonetheless succeed… Is it enough to follow world trends or do clients still expect more?

It is today actually very easy to follow a trend as information and use its appearance for the purpose of causing a short-term sensation, and what is demanding is to use a trend to enrich the true essence of a brand. What’s most important is comprehensive understanding and continuous monitoring of the bigger picture: changes in society, lifestyle, movements in culture, politics, science.

What sets good agencies apart is thorough analysis of the broader context and timely use of the conclusions of that analysis. Strategic analysis and planning are among the most important services in creative and media agencies in communications generally. We know how important a valid strategy is and how demanding it is to build a brand that will live with, despite and after trends. We love such tasks the most. Our brand sometimes also becomes a trend.

You are known for your longstanding partnerships with companies and brands that bring change in both their own industries and society as a whole. Do you together change the world and make it better?

We are very proud of our longstanding partnerships with excellent companies and brands like Mastercard, L’Oréal, Coca-Cola, mts, Bambi. We know how precious a relationship of trust is and what kinds of results emerge from such a relationship and the joint creation process. We are the creative home for some of the most important brands on our markets, which is really a great satisfaction and confirmation of the way we work, but also huge inspiration for us to always move forward, together. The world needs good. The world needs understanding and creation. The world needs good ideas. We share these convictions with our partners and that is the first and most important step in any development.

How do you see the current and future position of your agency within the I&F Grupa? Do you all work together on the further development of the agencies in your system and on strengthening their connection in the Adriatic and Nordic regions?

All families look alike, and one thing makes ours special: it was born of love for creation and discovery. In it different languages are spoken and different topics discussed, and we all understand one another wonderfully. Multiculturality and diversity of knowledge make us a partner that can support, lead and achieve numerous goals.

We are always alert to the world around us; we observe with eyes and hearts wide open; we create services for our clients by monitoring the development of business and people’s needs, sharing knowledge with one another and with our partners, convinced that this is the only way we can progress.


Agency McCann opened in Belgrade in 1997, and subsequently also in the countries of the region, as a full service from which media agency UM and the first digital agency on our market, Drive, gradually separated. These agencies are all among the top five on their respective markets and today form one family, I&F Grupa, which operates in 12 Adriatic and Nordic countries and employs more than 600 professionals. Over the course of its 25 years of operations, some of today’s leading artists, writers and experts in various fields have passed through this family. During this quarter of a century, exceptional campaigns have been created that have become icons of advertising. Many of them have received prestigious global awards, while McCann Beograd and Skopje were among the region’s first agencies to receive the most important Cannes Lions, and the 25th anniversary was crowned with the winning of five Cannes Lions by the McCann Stockholm campaign that starred world-famous actor Alexander Skarsgård.

Source: CorD