Latvian advertising market is not stable and stagnant

August 5, 2015

Balticbest 2015 jury member Ulrika Plotniece (DDB Latvia) talks about their recent European success and trends in Latvian market.

DDB Latvia won Euro Effie Gold for the SSE Riga donation campaign in 2014. This is probably the highest achievement of all times for any Baltic agency. But most Baltic agencies do not send their works to International competitions. Why did you send?

International judges are important, they have fresh view to your work. Sending your work to International competitions is a moment of truth for the agencies. And if you win, then it is good contribution to agency credentials and reputation. Euro Effie is even more important award show than Cannes Lions, because its judges the effectiveness. Effectiveness is more important than creativity for the clients. Winning European level gold in effectiveness award show is really solid argument. We have the reputation of being the agency who´s works are creative and effective as well.

Do you already feel the effect of Euro Effie Gold, has it helped to get new business?

Hard to say, the award is not the only reason why clients choose an agency. Its just one of the arguments.

It is quite expensive to submit works to the festivals. And also it takes time and money to produce a really good case film. That is why many agencies claim it´s not worth the effort, the ROI is no good.

We first submit works to the local festivals. Then to Golden Hammer. If it wins there, then will submit to the International festivals. For Euro Effie, we submitted only one work and won the gold, we did not submit hundreds of works to win one prize. Smaller festivals indicate the potential to win in the bigger festivals.

We also split the submission cost with the client. Clients also want to win important awards. We also discuss our best works with DDB Worldwide Network and ask for their opinion.

Do you think DDB Latvia could have international business?

We already have pan- Baltic projects. If DDB Stockholm can make International campaigns, why cannot we? We are looking for International clients, it’s a question of time when we will win some business. We pitch the local offices of International clients here and hope that they can give us more business in other markets as well. We need to build trust, long term relations with this client. You need some time and patience.

What are the main trends in Latvian advertising market? Some big Estonian and Lithuanian agencies complain that market is saturated, the clients do not have ambitions to grow and do not want to take risks. The clients want to play safe.

I can speak about the experience of my own, in DDB Latvia. We try not make just campaigns, but build conversations with clients, to address people’ s needs and problems. Conversations are more relevant to the audience than „push“ campaigns from the brands.

I would not say that Latvian marketing people want to play safe, they are always looking for something new, fresh, special. Sometimes we, the agencies, are even more conservative. I dont think our market is stable and saturated. Competition in retail and telco is especially hard. It is challenging time for both agencies and clients.

Read more about the Euro Effie win.

Interviewed by Hando Sinisalu, Best Marketing international