BalticBest 2023 jury member: by winning major international competitions, one becomes a member of an invisible club

An interview with Anti Jürgenstein, Creative Director of Optimist Creative (Estonia).

How do you see the importance of (international) advertising contests today? What do they provide?

Advertising and marketing people are quite self-confident, and we often have a pretty good opinion of ourselves. International competitions provide an opportunity to compete with the best from nearby countries or to test your best work on a global scale. This gives a very good picture of whether to give more gas or choose a new direction. Big wins give confidence, unite the team, but generally do not bring customers. Epica, Clio or Cannes trophies do not really sway the Estonian customer, but when going outside Estonia, these recognitions give potential customers the opportunity to show that we are not just plaster heads from somewhere on the periphery. The same applies to communication with colleagues from other countries. By winning major international competitions, you become a member of an invisible club.

What major changes do you see in the advertising world in the near future? How do you feel about AI?

The form changes, the working methods change, the uses of the channels change, and certainly there are new outputs, but the content does not change. Our job is to embrace new solutions and make them work to our advantage. The biggest game changer is probably AI, which is already such a worn topic that there is nothing new to say about it. I’m not afraid of artificial intelligence. Yet. AI is a tool. It is not capable of discovering or generating private new original ideas, strategies, etc. If one day there is, then big trouble will come. And not only in our sector.

What new skills/knowledge do the changing circumstances demand from marketers and agencies?

I don’t know. From the beginning of my career, I have believed that the primary goal of our work is to bring results – to change people’s behavior, according to the client’s goals. And to do it with a clear conscience, believing in the product, service or idea that the client wants to sell. If it can be done in a special creative way, it’s great, but it’s not always possible. I believe that meeting sales targets will become more and more critical and for some time we will no longer see “nice to have” items on our tables. The hard times are not over and it will probably get more difficult. But then it gets better again. Let’s wait.

In marketing there’s often talked about data and measurability. How does it affect your work and creativity as a creative director?

A large part of my work is developing strategic solutions for creative teams. Without data, it would be difficult to do this in such a way that I would believe what I am saying. It’s nice that we can see which messages or visuals have caught people’s attention and draw conclusions based on the results on how to proceed, but I would like to make an appeal here to start measuring brand love on a regular basis.

How people feel about a brand is still not considered as important in many organizations that have one or more well-known brands in their portfolios. Fame alone does not bring bread to the table.

Interview was conducted by Laura Reiter


  • Adwards creative competition win gives you points for Baltic Agency of the Year ranking! (read more about ranking)
  • Winning any prize at BalticBest  and become part of shortlist gives you more points for Baltic Agency of the Year ranking!

BalticBest 2023

You can find rules HERE. 

Submission deadline: 09.08.2023

Shortlist published: 18.08.2023

Live judging and awards announced: 23.08.2023