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Interview with Svetlana Copic, Golden Drum last edition jury member

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Oct
19,
2009
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“I am not advocating any kind of positive discrimination but I hope that more and more women will get to position to be invited to the juries due to their professional achievements.”

Svetlana Copic, Deputy Creative Director, New Moment New Ideas Company, Serbia, has won numerous awards in currently advertising festivals as Epica or Golden Drum. Now, happily from the other side of the barrier, could value the creative works of others as a juror in the latest edition of the Golden Drum, held recently in Slovenia.

 

How would you define the experience of having participated as a jury in one of the most important advertising festival as Golden Drum?

It was obviously an honour and, thanks to the brilliant president of the jury and a fantastic group of people I was judging the entries with for four days, it also turned out to be a real pleasure.

Seven or eight years ago, when I was a junior copywriter, Golden Drum was the first international festival I ever attended, so being in its jury intimately had an additional meaning to me. However, from that first visit I also remember my shock and disappointment when I saw that there was only one woman in the main jury. This year I was that only woman and I sincerely hope the time will soon come when juries at the most important advertising festivals will be more gender balanced. Just to make it clear, I am not advocating any kind of positive discrimination in jury selections here, but expressing hope that more and more women will get to position to be invited to the juries due to their professional achievements.

The incorporation of women into creative teams is a slow process. What is our influence on the creative performance [if there is any]? Do we contribute something characteristic that men don’t?

I don’t think that gender is relevant in our profession. It is performance, talent, passion and competence that count, and I love working with people with those qualities. In my experience, they are equally distributed in both sexes.

There are some surveys that show that the majority of women do not really feel identified with brands. Why does it happen? Do you thing that this could possibly change if there were more women engaged in making campaigns for women?

I am not familiar with these surveys, so I cannot comment on that. As much as it sounds logical that female creatives would have a better understanding and insight when working for women, I do not necessarily see that as a rule. What makes a creative good is hers or his power of imagination. And powerful imagination takes you beyond limitations of gender, time and space. My first young creatives gold was for a beer idea and I don’t even drink beer at all.

Campaign for the beer brand that won the gold for young creative and marketing for Cambridge Centar.
Campaign for the beer brand that won the gold for young creative and marketing for Cambridge Centar.

Do you think that there are enough target insights done when it comes to women-oriented products?

There is always a space for further improvements, both for women and man-oriented products.

In advertising agencies, do women perform freely? Aren’t they influenced too much by men surrounding them?

I think women are influenced by their male colleagues to the same extent as men are influenced by their female ones. It is a wonderful thing, we learn from each other.

Did you ever need to fight with your collages over what could possibly work (or not) with female target?

No, or rather- I don’t see it that way. I encourage exchange of points of view and opinions as a normal part of creative process.

It is said that advertising is too tough for women who want to have a healthy family life. Is this sacrifice needed to get a good job as creative?’

Ask me this question again five years from now. But I do hope the time will come when women will not be asked this question more frequently than men, for I believe that a healthy family life is not only a women’s “thing” or responsibility.

Just to know, how many women are there in your team?

In my agency, three out of five top management positions are held by women.

In the interview with Ruth Lee she told us an anecdote about one product for women, whose campaign have been created my men, and that it didn’t really work with its female target. Notwithstanding, it got to be awarded in Cannes, voted basically by men who found the creative idea very attractive and easy to understand. What if campaigns made for women would be judged by female jury…?

We are not in business of making jury members laugh, but in business of creating ideas that work and help our clients. I have seen this one and, as much as I find it funny, I can tell you it wouldn’t get my vote. And I am certain it wouldn’t win gold if the jury was more gender-balanced.

Which is, in your opinion, best campaign you remember?

It is a very tough question for a person so madly in love with this profession. I feel that whatever I answer now, I would remember something else and regret it an hour later. And then ask you to change my answer. And then again. And probably again. So you would regret that you have asked me as well.

And the one of a product or service for women?

I think that the campaign “Stop the suffering” by Leo Burnett Beirut for a hair-fall control shampoo that was awarded at the just finished Golden Drum festival is an exceptionally good piece of work.

Due to your experience, is there something like a female factor in creativity?

Not in creativity, but in the way that the business is done. I think that women have introduced some new qualities to this tough and competitive profession and are changing it in a direction that is more comfortable for both sexes.

Quick Test:

Your best campaign: My next campaign. I always focus on what could have been done better, which is probably very good for my career, but not so good for my nerves.

A nowadays campaign that you like the most: I think I might be watching way too much ads for my own good, because I find questions like these to be very difficult.

A friend from work: If I name just one, I might lose some.

One creative female professional: I have worked with two female creative directors, Vera Stankovic and Nada Milenkovic. Vera recognized that I had a potential for a creative director when I was professionally practically still in diapers. The latter has a completely unique way of leading a creative team, the one based on almost motherly encouragement and creating of warm atmosphere.

An advice for young creatives: If you come up with what you feel to be a great idea, throw it away and start working on a better one immediately.

A farewell: Do not forget to play! Hard work, passion and fun should all be there in our profession.

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