In October 2012, Romanian advertising agency GAV, an agency with 10 years of experience on the market, announced its repositioning as Content Accelerator, an unique positioning on Romanian market. After that, the agency refreshed its website and its team and started working at full speed.
Lucian Georgescu, Managing Partner GAV, answered, for AdHugger, to some questions about GAV, agency’s work, clients and team and more.
AdHugger: How is GAV differentiating on Romanian market? I know cultural marketing is one activity that makes a difference. Are there any other elements that help you to stand out from the crowd? Please tell me more about the idea of “content accelerator” and the way you implement it.
Lucian Georgescu: Content accelerator… We create, produce, deliver and accelerate quality content. Just a few years ago, we, Romanians, were craving for a better laptop, a more performant computer or a quality internet connection, today we have it all, including things we weren’t dreaming back in the days (Myself, I started in advertising with a Corona typewriter and the 1st upgrade was an electronic Sharp with a 9 pages memory!) such as tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. It is full of technology around us and the content hunger is even bigger. GAV is the 1st advertising agency in Romania that changed the positioning from package creator to content creator; for any type of support, with any shape and production format, anywhere, anytime but not anyhow.
We create and produce content. Or “accelerate” content that already exists, we improve it, we perfection it, multiply it, disseminate it. We deliver fast and efficient, on any type of communication platform, traditional or new media, and that’s why our services offer gets beyond Romania’s physical borders (see the case of Longanesi, Italian editor for which we produce B2B movies, booktrailers – format unknown and not used in Romania). We do excel though in audiovisual expression, as we are mainly a team of visual creators, we make editorial content, broadcasting, cinema. And, because we can create and produce with reduced costs and high quality, our strong point is represented by web videos, from the normal to the extremely viral ones. Which means all nuances, all registries, all styles.
AdH: Which are GAV’s main clients? How do you choose the clients?
L.G.: Mercedes Benz, Intersport, Billa, Newlook. We either approach them or we are approached, recommended. Still, we only take as much business as we can handle. we are 16 at GAV and our number cannot go over 20 ever, we are set to the max limit of our headquarters (Planetelor street) that we will never leave. Here is why we are choosing carefully our clients, the same way they carefully choose us. “Carefully selected” – I think that was the say.
AdH: What makes the clients come towards GAV?
L.G.: Clients are similar to agencies and agencies to clients. There must be chemistry beyond bureaucracy…
AdH: Which are the agencies you face most in pitches?
L.G.: GAV works on special accounts and cases. What we do is different and, in the same time, not necessarilyembraced by the other agencies. And that’s why I can say we don’t step on someone particular’s toes.
AdH: How much a good strategy matters within a campaign?
L.G.: Enormously. You can have a genius execution, but a second one won’t come unless you have a strategy. That doesn’t mean a good slogan cannot represent a strategy in itself.
AdH: Which are the mediums you use the most in campaigns and why?
L.G.: We make a lot of video although, for now, not so much is visible, so the answer is like this: web video, namely online TV. A lot of viral, web video, social media and online. We don’t forget though that some of us are old school boys and the way we made peace with online is also called video. We offer one of the best price-quality ratios on the market for the specified productions and that’s also the reason we export them.
AdH: At portfolio’s level, which are the main clients you worked with in 2012? Which are the clients that joined you last year? How do you think the clients’ portfolio will evolve this year?
L.G.: I just mentioned them – Mercedes Benz, Intersport, Billa, Newlook. I add also Raiffeisen Leasing that, although a small client in terms of advertising volumes, brought us a big prize, Silver Effie 2012. Last year, we didn’t had major changes in clients and budgets structure, we didn’t loose or win, with just one notable exception: Post Master.
AdH: How did GAV team evolved last year? Which were the departments that got the most attention and why?
L.G.: GAV isn’t anymore “an advertising agency” and doesn’t want to become, through restructuring, just “an online agency”. GAV became GAV evolution, the digital version of the classic agency. We hired the first online specialists in Client Service, Strategy, Creation and Production.
We keep the core of the creative team lead by Marius Rosu, my old partner. In the start of 2012, we implanted digital into this vigurous and creative structure, with digital coordinated by John Riley, a veteran in communication like myself, and, not the last, a movie maker himself. Almost half of my colleagues studied or made cinema. GAV 2.0 is a flexible structure, a young spring on a classical, healthy tree from which we removed all dead branches. There’s no systemic differentiation or a rigid delimitation between departments and, for us, online means a new platdorm to accelerate the content we generate. That’s why we now have in the team positions such as Creative Technology Officer, Content Manager, Social Media Expert or Web Manager, but that doesn’t mean we’re “another digital agency”. GAV strengthened in the last couple months mainly the Client Service team. Shortly, the fact that Alina Ghita (ex-Odyssey and BBDO) joined as Group Account Director and the hire of the 1st Digital Project Manager will make the difference between the old and the new GAV
AdH: What is the link between art and advertising worlds? Which is the best recipe to combine the two?
L.G.: There is a famous dichotomy in aesthetics, “art for art” versus “art with trends”. Advertising is part of the 2nd category, with the trend being clear: money.
AdH: You worked, in the past, as affiliates of an European advertising network. In present, do you think an association with an European or international network could benefit GAV? Why?
L.G: GAV is part from an independent entrepreneurial network, Interpartners, an association that only demands us to not make fools of each other, without useless bureaucratic reporting. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t open to international partnerships of any kind.
AdH: Which were the most important moments of the agency over the time?
L.G.: We appreciate responsibly each inspiration. And expiration.
When I left BBDO, after more then a hyperactive advertising decade, I didn’t wanted to make advertising anymore – I founded than, in 2003, the 1st and only company specialized in cultural marketing in Romania – a phalanstery, but what a beautiful utopia. I am saying utopia because we reached close to bankruptcy after 2 years of existence, so I had to take my gun and go out on the streets.
The years that followed aren’t necessary some glorious ones, but I don’t believe they could have been. To finish with a cinema paradigm, local advertising metamorphosed itself like the western from Ford to Peckinpah: from ideal to real, from romantic to hyper-realism, from individual heroism to strong charges, with or against crowds, depends on how you look at the scene. I continued to make advertising with GAV, but I didn’t give up cultural marketing and permanent innovation – the smaller and not-multinational veteran Lucian Georgescu still has a say in this profession and, starting 2012, we upgraded to GAV 2.0 , meaning we added a digital version to my classic movie.
AdH: How would you describe GAV 2013 in just one phrase?
L.G.: I believe strongly in the syntagm we added as a signature under the logo: creators and accelerators of quality content.