Jef bangs the Golden Drum
At the beginning of October, Jef attended the annual Golden Drum advertising festival in Slovenia, where he participated in a contest for young advertising professionals (that’s him in action above) and got inspired by campaigns from a region that’s geographically close but culturally still a long way away. Here’s his review.
“New Europe, New Thinking.” This year’s Golden Drum slogan got me interested. I can see 90% of what happens at the Cannes Creative Awards on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. So time for something new. Time to find out what’s happening in advertising on the edges of Europe.
Draw a line from Finland to Israel, then pull back to Austria, finish the triangle, and you’ll find Slovenia somewhere in the middle of ‘New Europe’. Did I get to see communist propaganda and Iron Curtain jokes? Not really. Some remnants maybe. Like a ‘save the babies’ campaign in Serbia, where the mortality rate for premature babies is around 60% due to the lack of modern incubators. But don’t get the wrong impression, ‘New Europe’ might have different issues to address but its communication approach isn’t so different from ours.
Our friends are totally on top of ‘new’ media, maybe even more than we are. With fewer established practices and less bad habits to unlearn, they’re working with a refreshing freedom and taking more risks than us jaded souls in the West. With both really good and really bad campaigns as a result.
But let’s stick with the good stuff. Remember Rom? Romania’s not-so-favorite candy bar got ‘Americanized’ last year. Stars and Stripes printed on the wrapper and so on. The result was uproar as people took to the streets to demand their Romanian Rom back. Now, one year later, Rom’s agency has done it again with a campaign that gave the Romanian people back their diginity:
The Rom case perfectly illustrates what sets New Europe apart from the West: different issues, more balls and often simple/low budget solutions which are attached to the national feeling and culture. Many campaigns were a variation on bad driving, drunk driving, insane driving or corruption. Even the conflict between Israel and Palestine led to award-winning work (see below).
Golden Drum was a week full of different perspectives. I met smart account managers from Bucharest and brilliant graphic designers from Skopje. Cheaper than Cannes, but still able to attract speakers from the likes of W+K, it should definitely be on your agenda next year.
Some of the campaigns that stuck with me:
Blood Relations – Israel
Your Last Journey – Romania
Make the Politicians Work – Russia