Three Baltic advertising gurus and the last year’s BalticBest winners said that the current time favors the bold ideas it is important to react quickly – long-term planning doesn’t work for the brands today.
Janis Milzarajs (Bechtle & Milzarajs), Andrey Tykuavkin (Publicis Baltics) and Tomas Bartninkas (TRUTH Vilnius) shared their thoughts in the advertising field at a webinar, which was held on 26 May.
The response must be swift and different than before
Tomas Bartninkas said that the current time, when the end of the pandemic is coming to an end, people have more money in their hands than ever before and consumption is growing, it favors to act differently. “Brands need to communicate even more with their target group and communication companies have to do a good job, but in a different way than before. If before the pandemic the processes were slower, there was a long planning all the time, then now you can’t do it anymore – you have to react quickly,“ he said.
Bartninkas stated: “In fact, it has always been a good time, even during the peak of the pandemic – due to the fact that the processes have become faster, they have also become more favorable.”
“People have more money in their hands and they are thirsty for experiences, which means that brands have to be interesting, sexy and bold,” he added.
Tykuavkin said that big brands already knew that the pandemic was coming to an end. The new perspective is a new normality, and they have already responded accordingly, agreeing with the previous speakers that as processes have gone faster, they have also become more efficient and ideas more diverse.
“The pandemic has also made work processes more efficient – networking is better for synchronizing with others, there is less bureaucracy and meetings are used to the maximum, where as many things as possible are discussed,” he added.
Milzarajs agreed that brands must respond to global phenomena and problems, but it is important to know the position of their brand and find a unique way to bring their brand to the target group. According to him, the difference between others lies in the DNA of the brand – whether the brand has a big idea or not. “It is important to know your field, competitors and position yourself accordingly,” he said.
Milzarajs added that nothing had changed in the work process of their agency. "We are three international partners, the structure is still the same and we have always done our work virtually. Our office is Facebook Messenger and as we don´t have a physical office also significantly saves costs. ”
Local vs international market
Asked whether the new situation would allow more advertising for high-budget clients outside their home market, Tykuavkin answered that 99% of the brands served by their agency are international. “There is a trend that major international brands are also hiring full-time agencies without relocating.”
However, Bartninkas does not believe in globalization, preferring to operate in the local (Lithuanian) market. He thinks that good ideas shoukd be implemented in local market “Generating ideas is an emotional process that doesn’t always work fully in virtual meetings, so I prefer direct communication.”
Milzarajs added that they themselves are not looking for international projects, but they are coming in more than ever before, adding that a good partner can also be someone who has never been seen face to face. “Location is even less important today than before the pandemic hit,” he said.
Creativity vs measurable results
About 10 years ago creativity was still the soul and center of advertising, but now it has been taken over by technology, algorithms and other pragmatic activities and indicators.
Asked what the role of creativity is in today’s technology-centric world, Milzarajs replied that it is very easy to descend into numbers and analytics and measurable results that are only effective in the short term. “Building a brand could be a longer-term goal of taking it as close as possible to your target audience.”
Tykuavkin added that the need for both – out of the box solutions always work better, but it is important to include analytics.
According to Bartninkas, trends in the field of marketing and communication also go round and round. “Today, we have rather returned to the strategy.”
“People in the Baltics are richer today than ever before – when there is a lot of money, there is boredom and therefore especially creative and outstanding solutions are needed to attract attention, but it is important that these ideas are targeted as precisely as possible,” he added.
Does political correctness inhibit humor?
Today, we have reached a situation in society where, on the one hand, equality is on the rise and, on the other hand, satire and humor are increasingly being condemned in advertising. Great creators feel that they can no longer express themselves freely and are afraid of rules and regulations. Does such a cancel culture stifle creativity?
Bartninkas emphasizes that today is the time for brands to be brave, they have to take a firm stand and choose which side you are on (lovers vs. haters) and make the most of it – you can’t be liked by everyone. “Brands that want to catch everyone are starting to lose market. In addition, boldness is also encouraged by people’s short memories – even if you make a mistake, people will quickly forget it. ”
Tykuavkin added: “It’s important to stick to your positions, be bold and proud, and not care about the haters.”
The awards are still important
All three men emphasize that even in today’s world, industry awards are very important.
Milzarajs said: “The awards are crucial for the creative industry. When we stop comparing and competing, it lowers the quality of the work. Envy is the driving force – when you see a colleague or competitor picking up prizes at competitions, the next time you try to do better. ”
“We can only afford good works in our agency, because we do quite a limited number of projects. This means that we submit almost every work we do to the competition. Larger agencies can afford more laziness and less creativity by submitting a couple of awards worth of work, and for the rest they only accept the client’s comment.”
According to Tykuavkin, the measure of quality is ambition – whether it is or not. “Talent is good, skills and creativity can be learned and developed, but ambition is not. Competitions and competitions are a good point of reference for ambition. ”
Andrey Tykuavkin and Tomas Bartninkas are members of this year’s BalticBest jury.
BalticBest is an advertising competition mainly for agencies in the Baltic States, where companies from other small countries can also participate. In previous years, in addition to the Baltic agencies, agencies such as Georgia, Croatia and Malta have won awards at BalticBest.
The BalticBest 2021 competition opens on June 1st, and the deadline for submissions is August 12th. The work of the BalticBest jury will be broadcasted live on August 25th, where competitors will be able to see and hear the jury’s comments on their work in real time.