Eka has been in advertising for more than 15 years. Her first job was in advertising, she has been in account, planning, and creative departments. JWT Metro is her fourth agency and she has worked there for 10 years as a creative director.
Interview with Eka Kipiani, Balticbest jury member from Georgia.
Please describe the advertising scene in Georgia.
Advertising is a very popular and well-known industry in Georgia. The popularity has even increased during the last five years. Many young people want to work in this field, it is a very desirable job.
People from creative industries are celebrities, they are often invited to TV shows. Even regular people follow agency FB pages and interact there.
The number of agencies has skyrocketed during the last 5 years. Many small independent agencies, design studios, branding studios have emerged.
The ad industry is at a good level in Georgia, I would say. The education scene is also active, recently Miami Ad School opened in Tbilisi.
In many parts of the World, young people desire to work in startups and the advertising industry has lost its glory.
Not so in Georgia! In Georgia, the tech sector is not so active compared to the Baltics.
What is different in Georgia is that many agency people have business school education, not the art school background,
Many people come to work for the agencies from the client-side. They believe it’s a better environment, nicer offices, not so bureaucratic structures.
The workforce is very young, the average age of an advertising person is 28.
How big is the export potential of Georgian brands?
At the moment, the most well-known Georgian brand outside is Borjomi. But most of their marketing communications are executed by Ukrainian agencies.
The most active business sectors marketing-wise are banks and gambling, but they are mostly local.
Georgian wines are also exported, but their focus is mainly on the packaging, not advertising.
I hope the number of Georgian export brands will grow in the future. Startups have global ambitions and they may need global advertising one day as well.
What is the biggest challenge for the ad industry in Georgia?
The biggest challenge is the media landscape – Facebook really dominates the media scene. That makes Facebook very cluttered, it is very difficult to stand out.
TV is very expensive.
So the big question for the marketers is where to place the ads?
The clients are willing to take fewer risks and the marketing budgets are tight. I hope this will change after the COVID ends.