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24th Golden Drum: Leave Your Mark

This article is also available in: bsBosnian (Bosnian)

By: Ekrem Dupanović

Golden Drum is knocking on our doors. If we take into account that 18 August is the deadline for entries, then we are definitely counting days until the end of registrations for the competition part of the festival, which some consider to be the most important one.

It’s important to be at the Golden Drum and embrace the challenge of competition, especially for agencies and advertisers from the Adriatic region. Why this is so, you will learn from our interview with Mojca Briščik, President of the Festival, and Madea Mojca Majhen, its CEO.

Media Marketing: Let’s start our talk with the Adriatic region. Last year the agencies from our region had great success. What are your expectations regarding the entries and delegates this year?

Mojca Briščik: The Golden Drum again this year supports the development of creativity in the region. As in the past, this year again participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia, beside the main Golden Drum Awards, can also compete for the prestigious Golden Drum Adriatic Award. I would like to remind you that all applicants who apply for the Golden Drum, also compete for the Golden Drum Adriatic Award competition without a special application. Agencies in the region are doing great, as evidenced by the awards and prizes that they win at the largest advertising festivals. That’s why Golden Drum is an excellent opportunity for creatives from the region to shine.

The deadline for entries was extended until 18 August 2017, so that applicants would have an additional few days to enter their work. Undoubtedly, we want, and expect a tough competition, the kind of which has always been characteristic of the Golden Drum, and we believe that it will be so again this year.

Media Marketing: As you announced last year, this year the festival will take place in a single location…

Madea Mojca Majhen: That’s right, and that makes us very happy. The festival campus will be in the very center of Ljubljana, at Grand Hotel Union. Some know this location since last year, when we had the exceptional Cindy Gallop on the stage there. I’m convinced that those who will be coming to Ljubljana for the first time this year will also love it. The three-day festival event will be very interesting, we will host more than 25 exceptional speakers, top experts from the creative industry. All eyes will surely be on the winners of the Golden Drum competition, which will be announced on Friday night at the award gala. There are plenty of reasons for coming to the Festival, and therefore everyone is invited!

Media Marketing: This year’s jury is remarkable. Two presidents alone have more than 110 Cannes Lions on their mantle. Is that a good sign for an intense competition?

Mojca Briščik: As you said, this year’s jury is remarkable. We are honored that the entries will be judged by such eminent experts. Jury for Best Piece this year will be chaired by Bruno Bertelli, Global Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Worldwide, who boasts 53 Lions, 11 of which are gold. Jury President in Best Practice, John Mescall, Global Executive Creative Director and Global Creative Council President at McCann Worldgroup, owns over 60 Cannes Lions. If we were to add the lions of the other members of both juries to theirs, it would be a huge number.

But let’s not talk only about the jury presidents. In the 22-member jury there are creative directors from the region. Coming to Ljubljana is the Executive Creative Director of Publicis One Macedonia, Vasilije Ćorluka, who received the Golden Watch Award last year, and along with it the flattering title of the Creative Director of the Year. Igor Mladinović, Creative Director of Agency Imago Ogilvy from Croatia is also coming, who last year won for his agency the first major prize at the festival. Jana Savić Rastovac, Creative Director of McCann Belgrade, and winner of the first Serbian Cannes Lion is coming from Serbia. Dušan Drakalski, the most experienced communication expert in the Balkans and currently Executive Creative Director of the Austrian agency Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann, is also coming to the jury. Last year Dušan was included in the Golden Drum Hall of Fame. And we must not forget Petra Krulc, executive creative director of Grey Ljubljana, who won two Cannes Lions for Slovenia with her team, and thus celebrated remarkable success.

And with great pride and pleasure I may add that in the main jury we have seven women, and in the Young Drummers jury three. The percentage of women’s representatives, compared to the last year, has increased considerably, reaching 37 percent.

Media Marketing: This year’s program presents speakers from all spheres. And you have also prepared an interesting workshop for the young creatives.

Madea Mojca Majhen: The Dynamic Creativity workshop is part of the congress program we prepared for participants up to 30 years of age. It encompasses everything: working meetings, simple techniques, and creating a playful atmosphere that is needed for the creative process. The workshop will be led by two exceptional experts with unusual titles. The first is Director of Fun and Games Joe Howard, and the second is Director of Unstoppability John Pallant. Both hail from Brouhaha, UK. The workshop is intended exclusively for agency people and the sign-up process itself is different from what we are used to. Creative directors have the task of nominating only one team from their agency department by sending the members’ names to [email protected]. As far as the Festival Workshop is concerned, the number of seats is limited and therefore I call on the agencies to send their applications as soon as possible.

In the rest of the program, the festival participants will be able to listen to a number of international experts who are all extremely successful in their respective fields. One of those who will leave their mark on the festival stage is Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Moth Studoa from UK. She will take the participants through the most famous animated works by Moth Studio from the past seven years. Carla Cammilla Hjort, founder and CEO of Danish Space10 will present the SPACE10, Ikea’s external laboratory for life in the future, and will explain how they confront some of the world’s challenges and will present the methods of their work. We will also see a well-known face of the Golden Drum and a member of its Hall of Fame, Michael Conrad, the president of the Berlin School of Creative Management, who will present how culture, especially local, brings competitive advantage to brands and their communication. Marco Cremona, lead creative for Google in Russia, will treat communication in the age of the golden fish, explaining how to survive creatively in a world where the average span of attention dramatically decreases, while technology is exponentially developing and the data is revealing our whole lives.

Many other speakers will line up at the festival stage, and you can see the entire program at the

Media Marketing: What’s in store with the refreshments to the Young Drummers Competition?

Mojca Briščik: First of all, we refreshed the name of the competition. Last year’s competition was called the Ljubljana Poster Award, and this year we renamed it the Young Drummers Competition, because we want to invest more in creatives under the age of 30, and give them special attention within the Festival. If the Golden Drum once was considered a place for exceptional experts to grow and test their metal, we would like to bring that glory back to it. Again this year we joined forces with the City Administration of Ljubljana, which will provide a prize of 3.000 euros for the winner, and the Golden Drum will provide full participation fee for the Golden Drum 2018. Also, full fee for 2018 will also be given to the second and third best poster. This year, we invite Young Drummers to come up with the best and most creative poster on the topic of brand promotion, with the theme: Ljubljana – a city to experience culture and art.

The aim of the competition is to encourage the creativity and innovation of young people, and on the other hand, to strengthen the brand of Ljubljana as a city of culture and to remind the international and local public that Ljubljana ranks among the largest metropolises in Europe in terms of quality of life in all areas of activity. Applications will be received by Monday, 4 September.

A significant aspect for the Young Drummers is this year’s novelty – the ten best works will not only be presented on the big stage, but will also be commented – this will be done by the Jury President of the Young Drummers Competition, Tereza Svěráková and deputy mayor of Ljubljana Tjaša Ficko. Personally, I believe that this will be an experience for young creatives which they must not miss.

Media Marketing: Since we’re talking about youth, Friday afternoon this year will for the first time be dedicated to young people. What will actually happen in the afternoon of the third day of the Golden Drum?

Madea Mojca Majhen: On Friday afternoon this year we will focus on young people for the first time, and that is why we called it “Young Friday Afternoon”. The stage will be taken by “Young Influencers”, and I am certain that they will be talked about much more in the future. Among them are very successful young copywriters from the most-awarded agency from Russia, Voskhod, and they are Daria Ovechkina and Anton Rozhin. There’s also Alice Burton of CHI & Partners, London, and the Slovenian representative Filip Muki Dobranić, digital strategist at LUNA \ TBWA.

And, as Mojca has already said, we will have the opportunity to listen to the presentation of the top ten works submitted for the Young Drummers Competition.

Media Marketing: There has been a lot of talk over the last two months about Publicis’ decision to pull out from competitions. How will this reflect on the Golden Drum?   

Mojca Briščik: Every year we face great challenges. Last year, to recall, it was the severe economic and political crisis in Turkey, and this year, it’s the decision of one of the largest networks. As organizers, we have to be prepared for “unforeseen events,” but we did not expect something like this. And since you are asking whether we will be able to fill this void fully, my answer is – of course not! However, we are very pleased with the growing interest and good response from independent advertising agencies for whom Golden Drum provides an opportunity to rise above the average.

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