IQads launches “FIBRA Awards", the local creativity festival, supported by IAA and UAPR

In an internationally recognized communication industry, where we export creative minds and bring home the most precious metals in international festivals, it is all the more necessary to also recognize creative efforts at a local level. FIBRA Awards represent the backbone for supporting them.

In this market, FIBRA Awards stands for a necessary endeavor in setting the standards in professionalism and for supporting the development of the communication industry. Through the FIBRA Awards, we acknowledge, encourage and award the value of local creativity and we bring enthusiasm and courage back in the game of creative debates.

And to ensure the impartiality of this approach, the festival will be judged by a panel of international judges, nominated by powerful independent agencies.

 

Why FIBRA?

Creativity is the essence of communication and creativity means boldness.
Boldness is the fiber of creativity. At FIBRA Awards, we reward boldness in creativity.
Therefore, boldness is everywhere in the format of the festival: the judging criteria, the prizes, the very affordable registration fees, the companies supporting the industry, the award for the boldest client.

 

Organized by IQads. Supported by IAA and UAPR

It is time for the industry to consolidate and become a positive force.
We know that together we can make things better: agencies, clients, freelancers, professional organizations.

UAPR President, Stefan Iordache, believes that the existence of a creativity festival is a sign of maturity of the industry:

The organization of a local creativity festival is a clear sign of the maturity of the advertising industry in Romania. We support IQads in this endeavor and we are happy to be partners of FIBRA Awards. We see IQads as a serious partner, with experience in organizing events in the industry and we congratulate them for the initiative to offer the Romanian advertising industry a creativity festival.

 

Mihai Barsan (IAA President) added that such an approach needs support from the entire industry - clients, agencies and media organizations:

IAA's mission is excellence in marketing and communication and we cannot speak of excellence in advertising without boldness and creativity.

Romania lacks a creativity festival to recognize the boldest campaigns. Therefore IAA supports the FIBRA concept, as an absolutely essential step for the health of the Romanian communication industry. We therefore need the support of the entire industry: clients, agencies and media organizations for this important project for all.

 

About how the project was started, Marius Cristea (Managing Director, IQads & SMARK - Blue Idea) mentions:

Many creative directors have asked us this year - why not organize a festival of Romanian creativity? Based on all these questions we identified the need, and then, after several round tables with the stakeholders, during which we debated the idea of a festival, we gathered points of view and requirements.
We developed a framework that we discussed with IAA and UAPR.

This is how FIBRA, the creativity festival of the communication industry, was started, with the clear objective of encouraging local creativity. A festival that is needed by creatives, supported by IAA and UAPR and organized by IQads.

Based on the demands of creative directors, we will have an international jury, with members nominated by large independent agencies, in order to reward local boldness and creativity, while ensuring impartiality.

 

Creativity days - 3-6 May 2016

To represent the needs of the industry, the festival will cover all areas of communication, the competition being divided into 14 categories, 37 sections and 10 special prizes and will include a section dedicated to young creatives, under 25.

Also, freelancers will be able to enroll in all sections of the festival along advertising agencies.

Agencies and freelancers will be able to submit, between January 22nd and April 8th, 2016, campaigns conducted between January 1st, 2014 and March 31st, 2016.

 

Local. Inspirational. Bold

We want to bring back the excitement and glamour to the communication industry, and this festival is the very occasion to get noticed, both for creatives and for clients who support creativity and approve bold campaigns, trusting their efficacy.

“We want to generate effervescence and enthusiasm. We want every local campaign to be designed as ‘festival quality’. We want to rekindle the desire to give the best and recreate the feeling of being proud to be part of this professional community.

Creativity sells. This is what all bold campaigns have proven over time. We want this credo to become the rule, to encourage agencies and clients to work together to improve the communication landscape”, says Ioana Dogaru (Festival Director and cofounder).

 

About the need for a local creativity festival

Mihai Fetcu, Creative Director, Geometry Global, mentions that this festival should represent the T0 time. A moment of change of mindset, "because we had local festivals in the past, but we ate them alive”.

Romania is one of the strongest voices in terms of creativity worldwide. No exaggeration. Here are two recent campaigns that made the difference and were mentioned and debated by many international juries: "Why don’t you come over?" and "Ghita the social shepherd". And they are just two examples showing that Romania is a country rich in creative minds, with a very appetizing local flavor.

At least from this point of view I think a local festival is more than necessary. It should maintain this local creative microclimate and, not least, to spread in the industry and encourage it.

For a long time, Romanian creativity has been appreciated abroad more than locally, in many fields, so if we need an international jury to open our eyes, then so be it

This festival should be the starting point, the reset button. Because we’ve had local festivals in the past, but we “ate them alive’”.

Go Romania!

 

The same opinion is shared by Razvan Capanescu, Creative Director, Leo Burnett Group, who sees Romania as a provider of creativity in all its forms, with a great need to strengthen the status of the IDEA:

I strongly believe that it is vital to have a local festival of creativity. Pure creativity, besides the already proven Effie. A local festival that will grow very strong and become a regional benchmark in terms of high standards for creative industries. I support it because I am so confident in this product that Romania can offer the world - creativity. We encounter it every day, from a public market with stalls with liver sausage and black pudding (have you seen the recent surprising slogans there?) to tax evasion solutions, to excusing absences or, for real, in software, advertising or design. It should be the best Romanian product for export.

But first we need to strengthen the national championship, if we want to qualify in the Champions League (forgive my comparison with football). I think a local festival of creativity is imperative, not only because it helps to cultivate a certain standard for the day-to-day Romanian creations, but also because it would make us reconsider, in each edition, the goods that we sell, and locally reconsider this commodity as precious - an intellectual product, called idea. Which shouldn’t be bought by the kilogram.

 

Referring to outstanding performers on this market, who grow, win international awards and get hired by big agencies abroad, while the average performer will not reach this level of performance, with no competitiveness and no format to encourage creative initiatives, Mihai Gongu, Creative Director, GMP, says:

Romanian agencies are beginning to do pretty well in the region and in the world. They participate and win international pitches, get the Agency of the Year award in the independent and network categories at the Golden Drum festival, are awarded lions of various metals in Cannes, get Eurobest awards, export creative directors to the UK and Dubai or Russia and Vietnam. Outstanding performers become outstanding by themselves, anyway. The average performer, not really.

I think the fights in Ad'Or and AdPrint brought the first lions to Romania.

We need a local festival to grow this market as a whole. One to consolidate, here in the country, respect for the added value that creative excellence brings. With a foreign jury, with powerful workshops, with uncomfortable debates, with entertainment.

Like in the good old days. It will help have more young people choose advertising as "the cool career option".
It will help have more clients who get bold.

 

Also related to the gap between “festival” and “day-to-day” campaigns, is the view shared by Costin Milu, Creative Director, DDB, who sees FIBRA as an opportunity to grow the market:

I recently attended a movie premiere with a large group of advertisers in the cinema room.

Before the movie there were, obviously, ads. It was an interesting moment: there we were (creatives, accounts, people that make and approve campaigns) sitting and watching our day to day products. Not the cream of the top, not the festival ads that we would (almost) exclusively see at festivals, but our usual campaigns. Those were 7 long minutes. Maybe the longest minutes I lived in advertising. I was looking at the screen, then around me in the room, then back at the screen. No one said anything, it was a kind of awkward silence. The movie starting came as a relief.

If we look at what we do in honesty, we realize there are 2 sides to advertising: festival advertising and the “normal”, day-to-day advertising. Anything, even a local creativity festival that can help bridge the gap between the two worlds, is more than welcome!

Personally, I started to appreciate more real ideas worth an 8 out of 10 (the ones you can see have been worked on, visible) than perfect 10 campaigns, “special festival editions”. I hope to see more campaigns and ideas from the first category receiving awards. That is the only way the real level of advertising will increase. And, in time, the minutes allocated to advertising before the movies, will not be that long anymore.

 

Claudiu Dobrita, Creative Director, FCB Bucharest, remembers the local creativity battles during the Ad’Or times with fondness and points out at the same time that they might be the sign that the industry has reached an understanding:

I don’t think there is much left to say about the necessity of a local festival, but so be it. Because nothing was cooler than having one, because we are now longing for Ad’Or, as it was, because we need to meet more often, other than being forced into it by a prankster client, because local insight has the biggest impact at home, because we never will have awarded creativity and creatives enough, because it would be a sign that we’re on the same page. I look forward to that.

 

Vasile Alboiu, Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Group, also makes a parallel with the king of sports. He emphasizes that, in order to play well internationally, creative teams should know their game locally and give up “Romanian bullshit” that made us famous:

I am not a big fan of football, I watch a match once in a while when the national team plays and perhaps some matches from a different planet, when foreign teams play. I am not a patient person. But, in a way, things are the same in Romanian advertising... One cannot “play” well against others from abroad, unless they play well on Romanian grass. A Romanian festival of creativity should offer this very practical training to allow us to confidently go hunting for lions, drums or pencils abroad. It is surely appropriate and very constructive to have such a festival but, beyond that, it is probably most important to have a credible festival. A festival that exceeds the border of “Romanian bullshit”, that is the country of “it’s not perfect, but it does the job” and takes the good creativity of Romanians, measures it, checks it and in the end gives it a good kick in the ass to send it where it belongs. Perhaps the most difficult thing is to create a mindset-changing festival. To change “stabbing in the back” into constructive criticism and the “If I go down, I take you with me” mindset into meaningful discussions.

I wish we could have a Romanian festival without any “Romanian bullshit”, as we understand this expression now. A clean festival, which shows us we all have something to win if anything that comes out of it is of any value at all.

 

The lack of a local festival of creativity to support those smart initiatives, that gained international awards for years, but that were not recognized for their true value in Romania, is also outlined by Eugen Suman, Creative Director, Kubis Interactive. Eugen also points out that an international jury will bring value, thus creating the premises for campaigns which could possibly win in Cannes:

I am very glad that we will finally have an advertising festival in Romania, with international judges from the creative industry. We have a mature industry, that is highly creative and wins awards in international festivals of highest profile and it really didn’t make any sense that we could not also “fight” locally. I expect the jury to be objective and that local Grand Prix have a chance to also win in Cannes, for example. At the same time I expect that works with local flavor, which might not have a chance abroad, be recognized for their achievements. I hope this festival will make us more competitive and I hope that more clients will want to buy quality advertising, recognized by the entire industry. Success.

 

Marius Rosu, Creative Partner, GAV, doesn’t see the FIBRA Awards as a training room for “catching lions”, but as a clean festival, created to educate clients:

We need a creative festival, but we need one that is built on solid grounds, which should raise the stakes for local players and, not lastly, show clients that this creativity is not some caprice of some departments, but an instrument in itself, which sells and makes the brand message relevant. This festival should not be a training room for catching lions. We need real creative performance, right here. Here in the country we must prove that we can and what we can.

 

Liviu David, Creative Director, Next Advertising, supports the festival, which should represent a sieve with larger holes than international festivals, allowing us to keep the "semi-precious gems and rare metals" that motivate the industry more than a few rare prizes:

The small hole sieves of international festivals, filtering platinum, gold and silver ingots, are very good but we really can’t afford to throw away all other valuable minerals that we put so much effort into producing. It is enough to watch TV to see how grateful we should be in this country for anything that doesn’t hurt our intelligence. We need a sieve with larger holes, capable of showing semi-precious gems and rare metals, which, through their accessibility, could motivate professionals in the industry more than the few contextual grains of gold from the remote Cannes.

No festival abroad can ever replace local competition. Golden Drum cannot be our AdOr. There are national records, not only world records, and if we want to grow we cannot do it by the example of exceptions only.

 

Dana Tocu, Creative Director, HIPPOS, points out the need for the jury to also include bold clients who understood the need for creativity and chose creative campaigns for their brands, with awards in international festivals:

I would be more than happy to include in the jury not only international creative directors, but also CLIENTS from the country and abroad, clients who had the courage to approve creative works that received awards in Clio, Cannes, Golden Drum, Internetics, Romanian PR Awards, Webstock, BIZ. Clients who chose not to sit silent, who had faith in their agencies, treated them as partners, not only as service providers. 

This is how others would get bold themselves, they would understand that, without creativity, a brand fades out in the mind of the consumer and is easily defeated by a wittier one, in words and in deeds.

Good luck, FIBRA, I can’t wait for you to come over!

 

Adrian Alexandrescu, Managing Director, INTERACTIONS, mentions that FIBRA Awards should distinguish between a good case and a good campaign, but also between a real campaign and a ghost one:

Undoubtedly, we need a local festival of creativity, which should encourage and reward campaigns that are indeed very good. And since Christmas is near, let me make two wishes.

1. It should make a difference between rewarding good PR around a campaign (or the size of the campaign) and rewarding the campaign itself. Basically, the festival should award the campaign, not the case.

2. It should reward real campaigns, which were developed based on a real brief, not the “ghost” campaigns, developed for awards only. I believe that, in the long term, this strategy will be a winning one, as it has the potential to move “senior” resources, usually appointed on such projects, towards real campaigns, which will naturally increase the quality of day-to-day products.

 

Costin Radu, Managing Director & Head of Creative Planning, The Geeks, says that it is not enough to have lukewarm campaigns, with good-enough results and that the industry needs courage and recognition of the positive impact at the level of results that creativity brings to campaigns:

The existence of international competitions cannot replace the need for a local competition. That's because clients operating in Romania need local benchmarks. They need to be able to compare agencies here and decide whom to invite to pitch. And a successful creative festival can become such a benchmark in Romania. There are many examples showing that a bold campaign (i.e. one trying something new, therefore a creative one) cannot only bring good results, but very good ones. And if we don’t learn, as an industry, to value boldness in communication, we will continue to see the same campaigns over and over again and we will have a sad job, we will make lukewarm campaigns, with good enough results. For some, this is not enough and I hope that FIBRA becomes a festival that is positively valued by the latter.

 

IQads is the platform dedicated to the communication and creative industries, activating the largest creative community in Romania: professionals, freelancers, apprentices and admirers.



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