Stefan Iarca, Country Manager Romania within CarnationGroup part of Possible, gave us some insight on how the agency he manages works. He also offered us some insight over digital in Romania, about local digital budgets and Carnation’s projects.
Adh.: What’s Carnation’s positioning on the Romanian market?
Stefan Iarca: Our agency’s philosophy can be synthesized into a single question: “Does it work?”. And, to quote Shakespeare this is the question. We are a digital agency which believes in results.
This is our agency’s DNA that we use for guidance every day, part in any presentation, idea, technology, solution, and this is also our market positioning. Our Creative Intelligence process helps us to invent the future by making anything possible. No matter if we borrow Steve Jobs’s philosophy in being positive in everything we do (delusionally positive), we believe we can make things nicer through the ideas and technologies we’re implementing for the brands we are working for, so those brands can forge stronger ties with their consumers.
This is CarnationGroup part of Possible. At the moment, we are WPP’s biggest digital start-up. When one says Carnation Group part of Possible, one actually refers to a team of over 1,300 specialists with vast international expertise in 35 offices all over the world, from Seattle (US) to Singapore. Through CoLab (Possible’s internal communication tool), we are exchanging, on daily basis, ideas, challenges, info, victories and defeats. This ecosystem is our training terrain for better ideas, more ingenious solutions and daring approaches. This is our company’s culture, the knowledge base we are using every day.
AdH: How do you differentiate from the other important digital agencies on Romanian market?
S.I.: Mainly through our agency’s values: Bold, Interested, Relentless & Together.
- Bold – we are rewriting and reinterpret the briefs received fromc lients. We risk to loose by doing that; ideas out-of-the-box, future-proof. Everything is presentation. We have courage. We are changing the rules
- Interested – we unite with the brand, we understand it as well as our client does. We are asking questions. We are ready to learn
- Relentless – we never stop. We are trying more. Details are everything. We don’t give up. we want more than any rival
- Together – Big picture. We act with respect and amicability. We are collaborating with all Possible offices and with other agencies. We’re respecting anyone that teaches us something.
Another important thing to mention is the opportunity to be part of the most important pitches today, for clients like Microsoft, Coca-Cola, P&G, Revlon, Canon, Samsung, Gilette, Audi, Wella and others. Each creative idea is supported with insights from real life, so our work would have a strong measurable impact
A third thing is the openness towards future. Possible’s innovation center is localized in CEE, same as the gaming division Possible Games. This last one is the youngest branch of the agency which, during the last period, launched some products that were very well received by the market: Small and Furious, Die Hard (the game inspired by the most recent Die Hard movie), but also products like Smart Egg
AdH: What’s your competition?
S.I.: Our competition can be anyone with a vision open towards the future and who focuses on imagination, innovative products and results
AdH: What kind of services are you mainly focusing on in 2014?
Tech developments (from e-commerce area and not only) are very important for us. The strategic partnership we have with Sitecore recommends us as an important integrator for this system on the local and regional markets. The developments for Carrefour Group, Generali, ChelloMedia (TV Paprika, SportTV and Minimax) and TEDx are a good start on the regional market.
The mobile gaming is another important pillar of services that we are developing on the local market. Our objective is to orient the market towards this kind of communication, in which the degree of engagement with the targeted public is much stronger. We have on record known projects of great succes, such are:
- Totoya Creatures, a hybrid toy that serves as an accessory for an IOS app
- The End app (with over 3,5M download from iTunes)
- others, such are Moquu or Photogotchi.
We also offer services from areas like research, design, technology, strategy and planning, user experience, project management
AdH: What type of client do you want in your portfolio? Is there a certain category you are targeting?
S.I.: Any client and any challenge is an opportunity for us to show that we are an agency that puts results on the first place
AdH: How would you characterize the Romanian market of digital advertising? Is it recovering after the economical crisis?
S.I.: Comparing the actual local market and the market 5 years ago, I would say now we’re speaking about a much more mature market, with competent people that wish for results.
If we compare today’s local market with any Western market, we are pretty far behind in terms of budgets invested in digital communication. Unfortunately, this is caused more by the economic, social and politic developments affecting the entire Eastern Europe. The incertitude and the big geographical areas where digital isn’t representing yet an efficient communication channel are also reasons for a low level of investments in this sector.
Another important reason is also the fact that Romania is part from a geographical area usually coordinated from other countries when it comes of digital communication. This limits the liberty to spend more generous budgets locally.
I want to be an optimist and hope the market is out of crisis, there are enough good signs, and I think it can be even better
AdH: Which are the most important projects your agency made in Romania during the last 2 years?
S.I.: On the local market we are working very well with clients like Carrefour Group, Air France KLM, Sanofi Aventis, Delaco, MOL, Accenture and others. Our agency offers services like strategy, media, communication & design, creation, technology and mobile advertising.
An important local project is the one we developed for Carrefour Group, www.Carrefour-Online.ro. At the moment of the launch, it was the first fresh food hypermarket available online on the local market. Today, Carrefour Online is leader in fresh-food e-commerce in Romania and, together with CarnationGroup, it has big ambitions.
Another set of important projects we made together with Air France KLM, in order to promote Amsterdam and Disneyland Paris in 2013; this year, we focus on the fidelity program Flying Blue.
Also, during the last 2 years, we won more important local awards like:
- IAB MIXX – 2014 – Opel – Scent of a new car (impreuna cu Geometry Global si Mediacom )
- Mobile Conference – 2014 – Carrefour Online – best mobile website
- Webstock – 2013 – Delaco – the D is silent – best viral video
- GPEC – Carrefour Online
AdH: What must be the first thing a client must think when saying Carnation Group – part of Possible?
S.I.: To just one thing: he will receive an answer for “Does it work?” question