is paved with lots of life experiences
Bianca is our Account Manager handling Mondelez, Auto Cobălcescu and other exciting accounts. More exactly, she eats chocolate and often drives various cars, something that she loves. She speaks below about her career path in advertising so far, how she got attracted into this field, how it has changed over the years and a general perspective on advertising.
At the age of 21, as soon I graduated from the Faculty of Journalism, I got a job at Ringier, as a content creator. Later, I applied for a Masters in advertising and PR at the University of Bucharest, where I began to be attracted to the glam side of advertising.
Young people the same age as us, but who had become „big”, and who looked like gods to us, just because they wore expensive sneakers and went to all kinds of cool events. This is what the advertising industry looked like at the time – like a goddess. But I didn’t want to be a goddess, I wanted to be a journalist.
I didn’t want to move away from journalism, but I also didn’t want to miss the effervescence of advertising agencies. So after several years of working on entrepreneurial projects, I ended up in PR. And then in advertising… and I found my ideal place at The GOOD Company.
I was 21 years old. I had just graduated from the Faculty of Journalism, so I didn’t have the faintest idea about advertising, nor did it arouse any out-of-the-ordinary interest that was worth mentioning. I wanted to travel with the microphone in foreign lands, I dreamed of becoming a war journalist, working in television and saving the world. I remember very well that I was involved in an internship at Radio Romania Actualitati, just because one of the main tasks I had was to do a series of vox-populi in Cismigiu Park, at 8 in the morning, on all sorts of topics. This experience made me be stuck on the idea that my mission in life was to have spontaneous conversations with strangers.
This affinity for random conversations inevitably sent me to the press, so the first more serious job I had was in the media, at Ringier, the perfect environment for my expectations back then, where I was kind of a content creator for unica.ro, and also a kind of journalist. I loved writing and opening up all sorts of community topics. I think that was kind of a bridge between what I wanted to be and what I was going to become along the way. I was a kind of arbitrator, only on online forums, where people were civilized at that time, and you really had someone to chat with all day. It was beautiful…a shiny start.
And the cigarette breaks were just as shiny, especially since I was spending them all with Daniela, a girl who wrote for another magazine in the trust. Daniela had a kind of affinity for advertisers, so I always ended up gossiping about cool boys and girls in advertising.
How can you start a career in advertising?
There are several ways in which you can work in the advertising industry. The first option is the one in which you are very determined, so you have already set the intention of working in an advertising agency, and you do everything you can for that: you are rational, you do unpaid internships, you apply for an advertising course, you network with people at profile events and so you keep up to date with a community passionate about commercials, and boom – one day, you meet someone who proposes to you – How about working with me in an agency ? So it takes you to work with him in the agency and you will then see if it makes sense to you or not.
Or, option number two, the one where you take a slightly less conventional route and go on you’re your life without worrying about the future. You know, intuitively speaking, that sooner or later, all the things you experience, the people you will know, will somehow contribute to who you will be, the one of the future.
So I did my job and spent a few good years in the media, I worked in entrepreneurial projects with our main publishers, from Ringier, Internet Corp, Intact Media Grup, Evenimentul Zilei Publishing House and Capital, where I left with lots of knowledge, not joking!
Then I became nostalgic and returned for a while to my first love, a local television station in Brașov (I am from Brașov) where I was a reporter and I felt like I was on holiday every day. However, I changed my mind and returned to Bucharest, convinced that it was time to experiment with agencies, of whatever nature they were – PR, digital marketing, events and so on.
The first time, I arrived at a large agency, which was based in a beautiful house near Cismigiu Park, where I worked with several nice girls in the PR department. I was coming from the press, my mindset was totally different from what I had to do there. I only worked if I really believed in what I was doing. I never liked to come up with topics that were not of immediate interest to the reader, that did not have a well-defined role of information or education.
As a result, in the years that followed, I set out to learn something more practical, with a few more return on investment indicators, so I turned to digital marketing and strategy. I knew that things, which had a well-defined reasoning behind them, would help me accept this industry I had already chosen. I worked for a while in a niche digital marketing agency where I was an Account Executive, but where I didn’t quit strategy.
Then I was lucky enough to continue working on a few entrepreneurial projects. The entrepreneurial environment has definitely changed me. Beyond the marketing and communication strategy, which you need to approach in a certain way, quite different from how you would do it for a multinational client, you learn all kinds of skills and discover all kinds of things about yourself, which you would never have thought of. You learn to pay more attention to the team you work with, to empathize, to listen, to express your opinion without fear.
I learned to work with people of all types (mandatory, later, in CS, in advertising), to arbitrate conflicts, to negotiate, to look for solutions no matter what it is, to ask for feedback, to speak in public, and so on. in short, to be rebellious and ambitious.
A campaign then and now
Among the first campaigns I worked on with all my passion for the field was a social responsibility project – Green Bucharest. I am from Brașov, by no means, I grew up in an environment which encouraged outdoor activities, and when I moved to Bucharest, I was shocked by the noise and traffic. Bucharest was at that time (maybe it still is, I don’t know) on the first place in the top of the most polluted big cities on the continent, according to a study carried out by the European Union. So, when the opportunity arose, (we were working for a non-governmental organization) we proposed a project to inform and encourage citizens on the measures that should be taken in order to reduce dust and pollution in Bucharest.
Coming back to the present – today I work with colleagues from The Good Company on projects quite different from my beginnings, for clients either from FMCG or from the automotive industry. In other words, I often eat chocolate and drive cars, something thing I love.
We always try as a team to propose consumer help projects, but we also constantly have digital projects with clear conversion and / or awareness objectives. Look, recently, for example, for one of our car customers, Auto Cobălcescu, BMW and Mini authorized dealer, we set out to make the first road trip and the first review of the new BMW M4 Competition Coupé on Romanian roads. You can read all about it in the project section of this website.
Less organized habits, in the good sense of things – to take your mind to places it has never been before, to let it fly. Be conscientious with yourself and at the same time be creative. Abstract, right? That’s gone. There will be a few more lost in the industry, but I don’t know them.
We are very much involved in problem solving issues. But the job of the creative industries is to constantly come up with new ideas. New ideas require moments of total relaxation, a kind of alteration of consciousness, so to speak.
Where has the sense of humor gone?
The worst thing that humor can do in advertising, if not used properly, is to attract the public more than the product it promotes. Most of the time, when you see a humor-based ad as a strategy, people remember the ad, but they don’t remember the product. I don’t know if you can easily win a customer just because you made them laugh. The consumer is quite educated today and quite fed up with practices that can easily hurt. In other words, humor is a double-edged sword in advertising. It requires being treated gently so that you have benefits, not long-term disadvantages.
From the brief to the feedback
I think the decision-making, resolution and executive processes in the agency have changed a lot. They have standardized quite a lot. And that can hurt the industry, for sure.
People need freedom, but also more training in areas you would never have thought of in the past, such as psychology for example. It is very important to know how to encourage a Junior Graphic Designer, who has to deliver a website concept, for example, in deadlines that have never been met for him. And then you have to help him, not leave him alone, advise him, encourage him as you can, if you can. And we can all do it, but we don’t choose to help each other. We have a different pace today – how not to exceed the deadline. That’s the rhythm. It doesn’t even matter what the team is, the people you work with. It’s a routine no one wants. That’s not why we got into advertising.
It is necessary to find a common front, to be all, again, in the same team – customers and advertisers.
What I liked in advertising at the beginning
Before, agencies were a bit more entrepreneurial, they had that good energy that we all look for in the beginning. And we enjoy it only in the first year. Why?!
We want jobs that demand our interest, but that still do NOT bring us to burnout. Will there be a chance to reach a compromise? It will be, more likely than not.
Changes in the industry over the last year
That some people remain loyal, no matter what. So it’s all about people, not industry.
Or, in other words, Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur. (The good friend in need knows himself).
In a difficult year, like the last one, a year in which we were all anxious, worried for our loved ones, and the projects in the agencies were reduced, however, most of us, the account executives and clients, did not we helped, we found intermediate solutions, we went further with our projects, we adapted them, we didn’t stay put, we got along with each other. That’s what I discovered and I was almost not surprised. I believe in people’s natural inclination to be good, to empathize, to understand our needs.
How advertising changed me
I am the same girl who came from Brașov to the city of all possibilities. With the same methods. However, maybe I have a little more patience with those around me, from colleagues, friends to family or even strangers! Yes! That’s how it changed me!