Nenad Došen, Creative Director: Good idea is a good idea, now and 20 years ago

Nenad Došen, kreativni direktor

When asked what is the difference in business today and a decade or two ago, our creative director says it’s the speed, and the fact that creatives have to be much more versed in all disciplines of the process.

“You are expected to have a good grasp of digital market, TV,  print and packaging design, interior design…” he pointed out and added that, no matter what, one thing hasn’t’ changed – Good idea is a good idea, now and 20 years ago.

The advantage is still – courage or knowledge, minds that never stand still, good co-operation with colleagues, but also of something else from his perspective, through a few short questions and precise answers.


Creative Director today and 15-20 years ago, is there a difference (in terms of what the job looked like then, and how it looks now)?

One thing has definitely stayed the same: the creative process that is at the back of every project is still the most important segment and that part hasn’t changed. A good idea is a good idea today, as it was 20 years ago…

The biggest difference is speed. With the development of digital technology, the complete creative process is drastically accelerated, somewhat facilitated in some segments, but the deadlines have become much shorter, the idea creation process as well. Now it’s all about instant solutions, which, unfortunately, have very short and very poor use value.

You are expected to have a good grasp of digital market, TV,  print and packaging design, interior design…


Does creative work today require more knowledge or courage?

You need more knowledge, no matter how courageous, it does not mean that you will inevitably create the best or most interesting solution.


They say that creative minds never rest. Does that apply to you too?

Probably, because I no longer notice that I’m “off”.


And what about when creativity gets “dormant” or maybe a bit lazy?

Then you get slapped by an idea of a colleague or competition and you are like: “F***, this is good, how come I didn’t think about this?”, and you snap out of it.


Good cooperation with colleagues from the same and other departments. What is that?

That’s when Dejan Šijuk and I start yelling at the account manager: “We can’t do it on that short of a deadline!”.

But seriously – good collaboration is crucial for successful functioning of any agency or any team work, in order to solve complex communication problems. It’s when you reduce meetings to 15 minutes of clear communication and everyone knows what to do.

I’m currently surrounded by probably the best team I’ve ever worked with (this one probably comes with age) – talented, interesting, hardworking and funny people in Aquarius.


How would you rate advertising industry in the last two years in the region?

Unfortunately, it can hardly get a passing grade. Most solutions are driven by the basic interests and ideas of clients, agencies are generally the extension cable to the media. Both are doing themselves a disservice because they are just drowning in the monotony of market communication and losing valuable time and money for good market positioning.

On the other hand, we have a lot of great examples from the region that act like some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.


How to raise level of creativity?

Well, I think we should work on educating clients, I’m not sure that the decision makers have enough knowledge or experience in market communications. It’s necessary to win the trust of the client, we are not here to take the money and leave, but to create solutions that both the client and the agency will be proud of.

There is also a lack of agency experience from people in the industry, we do not have people who have worked in larger markets, in large agencies, where the competition is much stronger in the creative industry, so they could transfer that experience and knowledge to the local level.