Corina Grigoriu (Tempo): “Tempo BTL is a marriage between creative and executional skills and our power to support entrepreneurs in advertising”

Advertising, People

Tempo Advertising recently launched the events division Tempo BTL. The new entity is run by Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru), former General Director at MediaPro Studios. Therefore, Zahiu comes back to the Tempo family, agency in which she made her advertising debut in 2004, as Junior Executive in the BTL department. AdHugger met with Carmen Zahiu and Corina Grigoriu, Managing Director Tempo Advertising, and found out more about the move.

AdH: Why did you choose this particular moment for launching the BTL agency?

Corina Grigoriu: Any moment is optimal to have a great proposition for our clients, this time the specific BTL services. Basically, this agency is the fruit of our special relationship with Carmen and her team, a marriage between their creative and executional skills and our power to support entrepreneurs in advertising. Think of the successful careers of highly visible and successful professionals such as Radu Ionescu of Kinecto or Eliza Rogalski and Alina Damaschin of Rogalski Damaschin PR, and you will find Tempo at the base of their foundation, on which they manage to built, using their exquisite skill sets, very valuable businesses.

Corina Grigoriu

AdH: Why an agency and not having a bigger BTL department and choosing to integrate everything under one roof?

C.G.: As mentioning previously, our business model of working with the entrepreneurs is based on shareholding, rather than employment, therefore we are partners in this new venture. A new structure was needed as clients and key people are different from Tempo Advertising. We like to motivate our key professionals and to help them achieve not only professional performance, but also financial performance as well. It results in a higher degree of motivation, responsibility and accountability, more attention to detail and care for the business, that’s why our companies were always attractive to investors.

AdH: How was 2016 for Tempo Advertising?

C.G.: Probably as for everyone in the industry, with ups and downs. We are living in a market that kept some bad habits earned after the crisis, but it’s basically our role to correct them. Without listing it in the order of importance, I’d say the level of the fees, the quality of the new recruits in the industry, the sometimes unreasonable (and definitely counterproductive) pressure during pitches, are topics we need to address as industry. For a start, as a principle, inexpensive, fast and qualitative, at the same time, is not possible in the real world, so I say one rather chooses any 2 of the 3.

Otherwise, 2016 was a good year for us, we strengthened our team, managed to provide more services to our existing clients, added few clients and finished on a 40% upside on PbT from our initial estimate.

AdH: How is 2017 so far and what do you forsee/ expect and desire for 2018? (teams, clients, growth, etc)

C.G.: 2017 looks good, slightly better financially than 2016, a weak double-digit growth. Major client changes were winning of Holsten Beer account, Mercedes-Benz, Ernst&Young, E.ON Energie, OMV Petrom Gas . However, we parted ways with Metro after 6 years of working together and I hereby take the opportunity to thank them again for the very rewarding relationship that allowed us to create many wonderful campaigns for them.

For 2018 we want to be healthy, the rest will fall into place like in any of the last 22 years of our existence.

AdH: Why did you choose Carmen? What are her best traits & qualities for the position?

C.G.: Carmen worked 10 years ago at Tempo, in our BTL Departament. She’s one of us forever :-). In the meantime, she strengthened her skills in extremely creative environments such as MediaProStudios, making and supervising projects for big clients as well as for the companies in the MediaPro Group (ProTv as maine example). That’s an invaluable experience and we like very much she enriched professionally in this way.

AdH: Did you only have her in mind for the position or where there other names you thought about?

C.G.: Again, Tempo BTL is a company we created especially with Carmen as partner, we were not scouting and didn’t intend so. The third partner is our beloved longtime colleague, Elena Visan Daros , a key operational executive contributing to Tempo’s success in the last almost 20 years, in charge of  HR and a lot of things that made our life a lot easier and more pleasant.

AdH: Carmen, What were the main decisions you took while entering the position?

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): The most important decision was putting together a team of experienced BTL professionals, all of whom I’ve worked with previously at MediaPro. At the risk of sounding less than modest I’d say they’re some of the best in the market when it comes to event organizing, production management and field. We put these forces together with Tempo’s creative and project management teams and what we got was a complete BTL team with a truly 360 approach. We have BTL-specific Event Producers, Event Set Designers, 3D Artist, Strategists, Copywriters, Art Directors. In addition the permanent team we have a wide pool of professionals we work with based on each project’s specific needs, from directors and set designers to technologists. The result is an entity that can handle projects of any degree of complexity, from events to TV shows. BTL is show business, after all.

Carmen Zahiu

AdH: How is Tempo BTL positioning on the market?

C.Z.: My experience in show business as MediaPro director changed my outlook considerably. In showbiz, the productions are very procedural, planning is extremely detailed. Because events happen live, the unexpected always happens and if you’re not very well prepared and working with partners you can trust, it can all go downhill very fast. The budgets are huge but so are responsabilities, and any mistakes are very visible. Just think about what a production error would mean for a show like Voice of Romania, in front of millions of viewers! At the same time, all this effort is single-mindedly put in the service of emotion, show, impressive effect.

Our vision is to bring this show business approach to our BTL work. Any event or activation is a show. We want to impress, inspire emotions and reactions, start conversations with people. For this we need rigour and maniacal attention to detail in planning, but also the courage to always to more, bigger, more glamorous, more impressive. The more more is put in at the planning phase, the more natural it all seems to those enjoying the experience you’ve prepared for them.