WHAT’S UP? Igor Kalaba, who is the Client Service Director at Aquarius spoke about the situation of advertising industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What is the situation in Bosnian advertising industry right now?
The pandemic was a pretty big hit for the entire advertising industry. Major clients were cutting their budgets. Unfortunately, advertising expenditures are among the first that are cut.
In our market, advertising is still perceived as a cost, not as an investment. Now, more than ever, we are working hard to change that perception. The big agencies will survive the crisis, the small ones will suffer more. Anyhow, we rely on the fact that brands, now more than ever, need to advertise.
Our agency is the largest in the country, in both terms of employees and revenue, so the hit was not so terrible for us. Also, we have almost three decades of experience and a diversified client portfolio, so we firmly believe this will be just one of those valuable challenges for us.
Did you have to cut the costs and fire staff?
No. We even hired more people during the crisis. We got some new clients, we invested more in our digital team, and worked on new strategies. For example, we found that the demand for 2D/3D animation will surge, as one of our strategies is to advertise on foreign markets and export our services to clients and agencies abroad.
Also, we are an agency well known for believing in creating its own products. For example, we created and organized the biggest rock festival in the country for years. In the last five years, we are shifting towards movie production and gaming industry, for which we also needed new talent.
Advertising is still our primary business, but we don’t bet all money on one horse!
We believe that great ideas will always be great ideas. If we don’t have the clients who need our ideas, we have a habit of making our own projects and fulfill our creative ideas.
Would you recommend other agencies to start with own projects?
In terms of creativity – imagine a client, who would not harass you on ideas, who will not ask you to "make the logo bigger", will not reject brave ideas, etc – that client could be you. Create your own product and you will have the perfect client!
The business side of diversification depends on many variables. There is one constant – you need to work hard – it is the case with every successful business.
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