How Balkan lions celebrate creative minds

Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

The BalCannes regional revue of the best agency projects has been the central gathering place for the region’s greatest creative minds for ten years. Although it was not originally meant as a competition but rather a fashion show, the organizers noted that a little competitive spirit was exactly what regional marketing experts needed. On the panel “BalCannes Special: The Story So Far…”, those who know best what’s gone on behind the scenes—Davor Bruketa, creative director of the advertising agency Bruketa&Žinić&Gray; Damir Ciglar, director of Imago and Ogilvy; Jelena Fiškuš, creative director of Sonda Studija; and Tomo Ricov, director of the Weekend Media Festival—discussed their many years of experience at BalCannes with moderator Miro Soldić, senior expert advisor at the Croatian Chamber of Economy.

“When it comes to celebrating one’s own achievements and projects, the marketing industry, as one of the creative industries, is actually the least vain. The film and music industries celebrate their works and projects much more. Creative industries need awards and recognition because creative people are often timid and need encouragement. This kind of competition is necessary for the industry to thrive and continue to work,” said Damir Ciglar.

Davor Bruketa emphasized that BalCannes is truly a unique and original concept in a world where people of different profiles—from journalists to agency colleagues—evaluate the very best marketing campaigns. This, he added, is very important in order not only to meet new partners and clients but also for agencies from the region to motivate each other and grow together.

Tomo Ricov explained that “the greatest value of the Weekend is the gathering of experts from the profession” and that the festival would not be the same without the BalCannes revue. Jelena Fiškuš, winner of three lion statuettes, added that the prize merely represents the quality of the end project, while the most important part is the application process each agency goes through when submitting their work to the competition.

Everyone agrees that this show is very much needed by the most creative minds from the region and that it is good that it has developed a competitive spirit. Organizers hope that next year the show will again be held face-to-face, because socializing and meeting new colleagues and partners is the best part of the whole story.