About a year ago, the idea behind Romania’s FIBRA Awards was being born. With most of the local communication industry as counsel, what seemed at first like a touch of madness became reality in 2016, between the 3rd and the 6th of May at the Caro Hotel in Bucharest.
Conferences, workshops, creative talks and debates going on as 8 top international creatives from all over the world were deliberating entries, the award gala where the best and brightest of our communication campaigns were acknowledged – all this took place generating either pride or discussions. Without any false modesty, FIBRA succeeded in bringing together the Romanian local industry if only for a few moments; forgetting past discontents and present ambitions in favor of looking towards the future, with piano music in the background.
With its good and bad, this was the first edition of the local creativity festival that awards courage, supports the creative idea and believes in the local creative potential.
Let’s see how it all went.
The FIBRA Events
The know-how sections of the event were built through working with 96 speakers from the local industry who we would like to thank for bringing debated communication topics to the table, for constructively discussing the industry’s mishaps, for generating audience questions throughout the event.
The FIBRA Awards places the client-agency dynamic close to heart, so we hope that the second edition will attract curious clients, agency people and young people who are eager to learn in even larger numbers.
We also thank our moderators who kept the event in line: Dan Petre (D&D Research), Matei Psatta (Leo Burnett Group), Andreea Strachina (Kaleidoscope Proximity), Costin Radu (Saatchi&Saatchi & The Geeks) and Sergiu Floroaia. Last but not least, we appreciate Claudiu Teohari’s work on moderating the FIBRA Award Gala and all his witty, on-point jokes delivered in tense moments.
The Judging Process
The festival’s biggest success stands in bringing over to Romania 8 of the best creatives in independent agencies from all over the world. The FIBRA Awards Jury was presided by Kevin Brady (Executive Creative Director, Droga5 New York), who we called on board using a monumentally absurdist campaign called "Droga versus Bogusky".
The best creative jury ever to come to Romania was comprised of: Evgeny Primachenko (Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam), Karpat Polat (KARPAT Istanbul), Bruno Luglio (R/GA New York), Robert Nagy (HEAVY, Copenhagen), Olivia Walsh (apple tree communications, Barcelona), Radinka Danilov (Ruskin & Hunt, Serbia) and Wendy Richardson (72andSunny, Netherlands).
The judging process entailed 371 entries with 724 case studies entered in the 14 categories of the festival’s competition, of which the jury selected a shortlist and, shortly after, the winners.
On his first impressions and the judging criteria, Kevin Brady said: “Often times it was about making more with less. Really creative use of media especially, this was really the strongest category for us. You found original solutions, either through technology or just using a different insight. […] Another thing we looked out for was the question “Was it real?”. Nobody wants to award fake work so that was a big deal for us too.”
Wendy Richardson added: “Sometimes it’s not good enough to just have a social cause, to say ‘we care about women or gender’. How the cause connect to the brand was also very important. What’s your message and how do you get it across purely should be the main question. Because everything, whether it’s design or advertising, is a message”.
The deliberations were very open, as the jury members told us themselves. Robert Nagy: “It was really fun and interesting, especially since we’re a diverse group of people, experts in different fields, working with this democratic way of discussing. If one person brought up a unique point of view, then the whole group would try and understand”.
On the results: “I liked the work I saw. I can’t say I’m surprised because I’m a big fan of Romanian advertising. When I was working in Russia, I had the chance of meeting Romania at Golden Drum and other international festivals. I nearly hate how, when it comes to creativity, you have so many good ideas that I envy […] Similarly to Russia, when your budgets don’t compare with the global ones, you need to be creative. And I love that your work doesn’t depend on budgets and becomes even stronger”, said Evgeny Primachenko.
"It’s cool to see that over 700 works were entered in the festival. This means you really want to make things happen and that all of you want to develop and improve. Which is great for the entire market. […] At the same time, it’s interesting how you can take a small thing and you manage to turn it big without much effort – you can see that in all the new media and social media categories which take creativity to the extreme without necessarily having a big budget", Bruno Luglio noticed.
The same principle was backed by Radinka Danilov: "Actually, it’s the other way around; if you don’t have a great idea, or at least a good one, you really need a budget, you have to pay a lot of money in order for the message to reach people ".
"You guys manage to make big, impactful projects with very little. Which is great. Keep up the good work and try to better yourselves constantly. Keep your enthusiasm high because this is what it means to love what you do", encouraged Olivia Walsh.
Throughout the festival the Jury awarded 21 Gold Awards, 27 Silver Awards, 42 Bronze Awards, 3 Grand FIBRA Awards, one special award and five titles as follows: Client of the Year, Campaign of the Year, Agency of the Year, Copywriter of the Year and Art Director of the Year.
More so, 3 Gold Awards, 3 Silver Awards and 3 Bronze Awards were handed in the Young FIBRA section of the competition, dedicated to young creative under the age of 30 who had the chance to work on real briefs put forward by URSUS and Carrefour.
McCann Worldgroup Romania was named Agency of the Year in 2016 at the FIBRA, while the jury selected as Campaign of the Year Cohn and Jansen JWT’s "Purity Test", done for AQUA Carpatica.
Sandra Bold received the Copywriter of the Year title and Miruna Macri is Art Director of the Year in 2016.
The international jury decided upon Vodafone Romania as the best candidate for the Client of the Year award.
What you could see afterwards
The following is an unworthy rendition of what happened after the awards gala.
Through the Jury President’s piano playing – Kevin Brady used to both manage and sing in a new wave band – many local ad people, such as Mihnea Gheorghiu, Vali Suciu, Andreea Nemens, Mihai Barsan, Eugen Suman, Jorg Riommi, Dan Frinculescu, Sandra Bold or Nadejda Ghilca, left aside festival talks concerning potential ghosts, number of awards, going up on stage or not seeing the winning case studies projected on the big screen. What for? An epic karaoke session.
And on that note we’d like to leave you while expecting FIBRA #2.
From the inside
Made up of both strong and weak points, this was the first edition of the FIBRA Awards, Romania’s local festival dedicated to creativity. We celebrate the strengths and reflect upon the weaknesses so that FIBRA #2 grows more ambitious or more realistic, depending on expectation.
We have to thank IAA, UAPR and ADC*RO for supporting the FIBRA Awards, the creative directors and everyone who got involved in the pre-launch phase, GMP Group, Reload Film, FIVE's, Publicis Groupe and Grafica si Tipar for creatively supporting the event and the industry, URSUS, Carrefour, Doncafe, Absolut, AQUA Carpatica, eJobs and Bancpost for undertaking advocate roles to local creativity, but also to our contributors – pastel, Starcom MediaVest Group, ICEEfest, Millward Brown Romania, Urban Monkey, Rollin', Advanced Ideas, Casa de Traduceri, MVcom, BPV Grigorescu Stefanica, World Class, Hotel Caro Club, Sendal Studio - and our media partners: Kiss FM, BIZ, Progresiv, Hotnews, 24FUN, Catavencii, Invent Media.
The IQads team and its collaborators:
Marius Cristea (Managing Director, IQads & SMARK)
Ioana Dogaru (Co-founder & Festival Director, FIBRA Awards)
Mihaela Craciunescu (Senior Project Manager)
Miruna Spataru (Coordinating Editor & Social Media Manager)
Vlad Morarescu (Implementation Manager - Collaborator)
Daliana Barbuica (Implementation Manager - Collaborator)
Paul Balomiri (Independent Consultant Judging Platform)
Alexandra Aliman (Junior Project Manager)
Andrei Barbu (Project Manager)
Alexandra Badicioiu-Matei (Editor)
Andreea Badoiu (Editor)
Raluca Furtuna (Editor - Collaborator)
Diana Seceleanu (Editor - Collaborator)
Ivan Nicolae (Videographer - Collaborator)
About the FIBRA Awards
The FIBRA Awards are a necessary endeavour for the local communication market's level of professionalism and future development. Through the FIBRA Awards, we acknowledge, support and celebrate the value of local creativity, while bringing courage and enthusiasm back to the creative debating table.