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>Nenad Dodić, Bojan Babić, Marija Milanković i Marko Prokić, artists in a world of advertising.

Creatives at work and home – this is how we can describe Bojan, Masa, Marko and Nenad from the McCann Beograd agency. They have unique ideas and solutions for a large number of clients, and  their imagination functions in their spare time as well. Bojan Babic is a copywriter, but also the author of books “Pli-pli“, „Noise in prose“, „Stories about happiness, „Inhuman comedy“ and „Girls, be good“. Marija Masa Milankovic is an  art director and the author of the „Images from life“ exhibiton, while Marko Prokic is a senior art director and the author of a Belgrade – themed collection. Nenad Dodic is an art director as well and also the author of a very interesting and unusual exhibition named „Onepercenters“. For Marketing mreza all of them speak about creativity, their work in the agency, where they find their inspiration, and how they manage to separate their professional and private life.

When you are a creative, you are one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but regardless of that the creatives agree that private and professional ventures should be separated. Masa Milankovic says that at home she often thinks about work, and at work she often thinks about home. „Work in advertising is very intense. Also, through everyday work, not all of us succeed in expressing our thoughts and feelings.“, Masa adds.>
„As Vuk Karadzic said, those two sorts of creativity are ’the same thing, only a bit different’. Their nature is different, the audience is different, as is the ambition that drives them. The means that help our goals are the same, the same people are involved, and even some knowledge and methods that are used are the same“, Bojan Babic explains.

In the agency, the working hours practically don’t exist. One would say- it’s work from dawn till dusk. However, the creatives we spoke to always find some „me time“, even if it’s just during the lunch break. The inspiration, they say, is all around.
„My private creativity is designed in such a way that it takes a minimum of my time during the day. A 5 minute break from work can satisfy my needs for this sort of visual expression. I am inspired by both the happiness and the misery of everyday life. Among other things, I am inspired by working in the agency. Naturally, my project Images from life is just 2 percent of what I’d like to do out of my work time“, Masa explains. Babic says that to him it seems that if he couldn’t write the so-called ’“fine literature“, he wouldn’t be able to create anything else.

Responding about the role of team work in stimulating creativity, Bojan, Masa, Marko and Nenad agree that it is very important. „Team work is essential. What comes out during brainstorming is often precious, but unacheivable or extremely hard to acheive, so we sometimes take a step backward, to make it acceptable for the presentation“, says Marko Prokic. Masa agrees, while adding: “Team work for me is a session of hanging out with the friends from the office, with some campaign being the topic. Creativity is encouraged by good atmoshpere, an understandable brief, and a relevant offer we are communicating“. According to her, it is very important to be guided by personal needs or, on the other hand, by the needs of the people who are different from us. „I would like for us to introduce artistic expression into a commercial block. I would like to make people think about some offer, question it, laugh at it, beside just being informed about it… Furthermore, I am not a supporter of mass communication ’Give the people what they want… The people like that’… I prefer to ’give the people what they need’. From what I know, the most wathed TV format is the reality show ’Farma’ which lasts for 4 months. Our commercials last 20 seconds. Now, that’s a real challenge“.

As we live in a time of the development of new technology, the McCann Beograd creatives agree that the technology itself can inspire and guide the creative direction of a campaign, and that it is very important to capitalize on all the potentials of digital. As they say, it is important to have a good idea, and then it is easy to use different channels of communication. Whether you are creating for online or offline, Nenad Dodic thinks that Serbia has great artists which need more public space to say that because of the Internet, people are no longer so locally bonded, and that is an indescribable feeling to have people outside of your country understand what you are trying to say. Marko Prokic goes on to add that creativity is the same everywhere, and that we have loads of smart and creative people, in no way different from their colleagues abroad, but it is the budgets that are questionable.

Bojan Babic compares creativity with politics and claims that „Serbia is on the right track, but not yet getting there“. It often happens that we have an idea which we present to the clients, but it remains unaccomplished and forgotten. The next year a very similar idea, but with an elaborate planning, lobbying and execution wins at the Cannes festival. I’d say that all those taking part in this business should aspire towards a plausible, original and innovative communication, so that we can be where some others are“.

At last, Masa considers that the level of creativity is hard to measure, especially due to the fact that it is never presents itself alone. „Creativity is a consequence of various professions, sociological, economic aspects of the their respective countries, destinies, horoscopes. Looking at the Balkans, I’d say that Croatia maybe has a better production. Creativity is probably the same anywhere, but the markets are different. From my point of view, the most creative people are the ones who know how to sell a good idea to the client“.

What is creativity for you?

Bojan Babic: When you think you’ve defined it, it somehow evades you. But it has to incorporate imagination, independence, an authentic will to create, criticism, playing God and – what is quite often neglected, a specific truthfulness.
Nenad Dodic: It is very hard to define creativity. For me, creativity is the desire and the ability to fulfill a thought that is inside you head picking through your brain, untill you throw it out.
Marko Prokic: It is the ability to pack your personal deviations into a socially acceptable form.
Marija Masa Milankovic: Creativity is when someone gives you ENSSE, and you make SENCE.

Author: Ivana Parcetic
Photography: Andjela Grozdanic