Sorin Popescu, founder of the Romanian production house Sud-Est Production, talked with AdHugger about the work a production house does, Sud-Est Production’s work and about what survival on the market means in times of economical crisis.
AdHugger: How does a Romanian production house survives during economical crisis? Which was, for you, the solution?
Sorin Popescu: It is complicated with the crisis. In fact, I think it is complicated for everyone around us. To be able to survive, you have to make 3-4 simple steps:
- You must be attentive to all expenses – you’d be surprised to see how much money can be saved here
- You have to adjust downwards all the prices
- You must have better and better services – although the prices are smaller, at least in our domain, the quality increased visibly
- You must be very attentive to client’s needs, as here there’s no place for error
AdH: What do you produce most? Radio, TV or new tech?
S.P.: We are working a lot for radio. I avoided making big ads productions and we tried to position ourselves somewhere in the most complex and worst paid area 🙂 About new technologies, I can say that, lately, we did some movies for Aurasma app, used for mobiles…This is a start, I think.
AdH: Recent statistics released on Romanian market say that radio “died” and the number of ads for this medium decreases. Is it true? Does this reflect in your activity?
S.P.: I don’t know if radio is dying…I think that, always, a good ad made by a production house wouldn’t ever be equaled by an ad made “in house” directly by radio stations… About media volumes, I can’t comment because they aren’t directly related to our activity. But the radio volumes are far away from “dying”.
AdH: As you said Sud-Est Production made a big number of radio ads lately. What do clients ask when it comes of radio ads?
S.P.: I couldn’t say that clients come up with special demands when it comes of radio ads. In this sector, it is important to have very good tools so that a spot made by you to have a crystal clear sound. If you add a good voice and an inspired musical background, I think you managed to have a hit.
AdH: What is involved in making a Radio ad and which are the min and max prices for such an ad, in Romania?
S.P.: I just enumerated the needed elements. When it comes of costs for producing a Radio ad in Romania, they are of a couple hundred Euros and can increase once with getting a special voice or with the increase in numbers of voice overs needed. Anyway, a radio ad rarely costs more than Euro 600. When talking about a minimum price, if you use an internal voice and service an old client, the costs can be as small as Euro 100-200.
AdH: You’re the studio that entered the market with Aurasma. How do you think the future looks alike for this technology? Do you think we’re assisting to a trend of the moment or you believe it’s going to be a surge in numbers of ads developed with this tech, considering also the increase of smartphones numbers on Romanian market?
S.P.: For sure, the interactive apps or the dynamic ones will attract users attention. The QR codes are already something usual, a part of daily life. Why wouldn’t Aurasma became something similar?
AdH: What do you think there will be, in the next couple years, the activities the production houses will be most demanded for?
S.P.: I don’t think future will bring too many changes for production houses. Maybe just the approach. For example, I think there will be more and more clips for Internet – that will continue to be actual clips, but tailored for a different impact and for another budget. Much smaller budget
AdH: Internationally, there is a trend towards animations and content generated on computer. Is this trend also present on Romanian market?
S.P.: As far as I know, no. That because, for now, in Romania, the budgets used for production are pretty small. Of course, the exception is represented by large ads, but they just happen couple times a year
AdH: What are your financial objectives for 2012?
S.P.: It is hard to say what’s expecting us on the financial side 🙂 But I do hope we will maintain to the same level we had in 2011, from turnover point of view
AdH: Which are the projects you like the most to work on during last year and why?
S.P.: It is hard to single out the most liked projects. It is hard to say because I like to get involved in all my projects. Maybe I did treated with a bit more “attention” the Aurasma idea as it is something new and I was somewhat stepping on “virgin grounds”