LEA STANKOVIĆ, Executive Director, Communis DDB: PEOPLE, FOR PEOPLE, FROM PEOPLE

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It is important to remain innovative as long as it serves accomplishment of a certain task given to us by our client

Our profession is still a profession of people for people from people, and the most important thing is to create a proper environment where human interaction can result in the emergence of good and different ideas

Heineken® is the first brand in Serbia to embark on a new era of communicating via Viber, in collaboration with Communis. What novelties does this approach bring?

Over 3 million people in Serbia use Viber and that is what makes it attractive, as well as the fact that its potential still remains very much untapped in terms of brands. Additionally, we think that dark social (i.e. sharing content outside social media, on platforms that are unreachable to web analytics) is something that we should pay more attention to because there is a lot of talk about brands there. Viber is quite suitable for brand communication because, unlike other chat applications and platforms, it offers numerous functionalities that brands and companies can use. Just as Facebook is focusing on having as many searches, views and activities as possible inside the network itself, and not on other websites, so does Viber, which just makes it logical for brand activation to be done on this platform. Chat is a universal format, and its use is intuitive for consumers so, bearing that in mind, it is completely irrelevant whether the consumer is chatting to an actual person or a chatbot. The most important thing is that the communication is clear, entertaining and motivating for the consumer.

How important is for advertising companies to be innovative, and what are the key resources for staying on top of innovation?

It is important to remain innovative as long as it serves accomplishment of a certain task given to us by our client. I am very much against insisting on innovation for innovation sake because we are not helping anyone by doing that – not clients, or consumers, or ourselves. All we do is bring ourselves into a situation where we have a bunch of solutions for non-existing problems. In order to develop useful innovation, the most important thing is for the people who are involved in campaigns to be open to new concepts, to be able to quickly grasp the basics of a technology or platform, to use them in a creative way, and by doing so, assign a completely new function to them from the consumer point of view.

How much can new specialized tools and artificial intelligence’s infiltration to your industry help with creating successful campaigns?

They can help a lot because they will enable us to have a better and more relevant insight that we haven’t had before. Databases and their management is something that we have been actively engaged in, because we believe that they have a really big potential in terms of individual targeting of consumers. We leave a huge amount of data behind us every single day, and marketing people still don’t know what to do with it although we have technology that we can process it with. It is a whole new science to manage these databases, while it is a real skill to use them in a way that it results in new and important insights about consumers.

What potential does the region hold in your industry providing that announcements about better regional connectivity?

That would certainly open up a lot of opportunities for the entire industry, particularly in regard of learning and presenting creative potential that does not exist on our market. I believe that the agencies from our country can be very competitive in the region and in Europe in terms of creativity considering the dynamics and the development level of our market. What we are missing here is a good regulation, and, in certain cases, courage to have good and different communication.

Do you think that domicile companies are investing enough in recognizability of their brands?

There are quite a few famous domicile brands, and some of them have a long tradition. However, I am not sure how recognizable they are in terms of export, particularly outside the region. On the other hand, companies, which are mainly focusing on foreign markets, have the recognizability that you are talking about, but it is more a byproduct of successful products rather than well-thought out, strategically-oriented investments in branding.

What are your secret communication formulas?

Constant learning and working good, creative and open people in our team who create conditions conducive to great ideas which are developed and shaped together with our clients who are ready to think outside the box, so to speak. Despite huge technical progress, our profession is still a profession of people, for people, from people, and the most important thing is to create a proper environment where human interaction can result in the emergence of good and different ideas. We, in Communis, nurture and foster that kind of environment.

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