Igor Škunca
07 ― 03 ― 23

Igor Škunca: How to seize an opportunity?

I believe that 'creative' thinking towards tasks is one of the essential values we possess. All our media strategies have a creative component; we creatively approach new media and formats, starting from the PR work for clients to digital campaigns in our agency's digital department, and even to packaging design. What they all have in common is that we have an erudite and comprehensive approach to the tasks at hand for our clients.

What is positive disruption?

When a brand prompts us to think about things, or about the brand or product, in a different way than 'previously expected,' almost without exception, positive disruption comes with an affirmative result. It is oriented more towards 'how something should be,' and I believe that the results of these disruptions are more intrinsically motivated towards the brand. It's a moment in which consumers resonate with the messages and values the brand advocates, and they choose it because they trust it

How does it affect small businesses?

It is an opportunity – seize it! This applies to everyone – both large and small. Larger businesses are often more sluggish and 'timid' than smaller ones, so here's an opportunity for those 'small' ones. Personally, I don't like to categorize businesses as small or large – I prefer the distinction between 'fast and slow' companies

How to convince consumers that brands are honest, authentic, and entertaining?

Through actions – not just slogans. If brands want to be honest and authentic, they need to advocate for things and values that are important to consumers, and not view consumers as mere 'consumers' or data, but as partners in the same universe. If we know that environmental care is essential to (not just) new generations, let's create a product that leads in that segment. For example, the Kravica Kraljica milk brand is the only milk in Croatia packaged in material made from 82% plant-based sources, and even the 'cap' is a special sugar cane-based plastic. Sometimes, it's worth closing our eyes a bit on profit and cheaper raw materials to give back to the local community. For instance, Kravica Kraljica is 100% Croatian milk. There are producers of other food products who may be able to source cheaper raw materials globally, but they choose, for example, surplus lemons in their products.

How crucial is it to be a 'full-service' agency today, and why?

There are two main reasons – the first is that by choosing an integrated full-service agency, clients avoid the finger-pointing style of 'the other is to blame – we did our part well.' When things go wrong, creative agencies often shift blame onto media agencies, while media agencies shift responsibility onto the creative side. The second, in my opinion, and more important reason, is that today, the impact of campaigns and brands on consumer market results is fused and hard to separate. It's challenging to set strict boundaries where creativity begins, how crucial PR or social marketing or design is in that creativity, how consumers are brought to the website, what they search for, which media they use, what the touchpoints are in the entire process – and know how to shape and utilize all that information for continuous campaign evolution and optimization or brand development. It is much more productive for clients to have a conversation with an integrated team rather than with five different teams from different agencies and, of course, to gain comprehensive knowledge from interdisciplinary areas that are aggregated in such an approach in one place.

How do you create brand stories?

We try to identify which values we can develop, preserve, create, and establish a connection with the consumer – what are the main emotional links in that microcosm, in that relationship that we all create with brands. Around these elements, we start building the story and everything that stems from it

What is the most challenging part of this?

Reconciling a cautious approach with an adventurous one. We are all very focused on ROI and considering the profitability of all activities, as well as understanding that at the end of the day, the client must sell something and not just be 'super cool.' Meanwhile, we must work on innovation and creating 'disruptive' things. I believe that the integrated approach precisely facilitates this process because, in the creative process, we have the support of interdisciplinary teams that can immediately provide advice and assessment for specific areas. For example, does an idea make sense in relation to the required investment for its realization or the desired position on a digital platform? It doesn't make sense to do something just because it's 'nice and cool.

What challenges does the digital age pose for you?

We have been immersed in the 'digital' age for so long that I don't see any insurmountable challenges – except for making sure our device batteries last until the end of the day. A good portion of agencies has mastered these fields, and within the agency, we even delve into the realm of big data analysis. With the knowledge of analysts, we can determine the direction of creative development and the placement of messages. I think the real challenges are in front of linear commercial television and their content, which faces the challenging task of competing in terms of content and production with the on-demand world introduced by Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime. This presents unique challenges for both us and brands if we want to establish relationships with consumers – considering channels that are more direct, experiential, and high-quality. The digital realm significantly facilitates this dialogue.