Enes Karakash, our proud representative at SoMo Borac two years in a row 

Fresh from the buzz of SoMo Borac 2022 in Zagreb, Piksel had a story to tell, an exciting one. Last year’s edition gathered 221 award applications in various categories.  

Piksel attended the award ceremony and was one of the winners in the “Best Storytelling” category with the project created for the needs of the campaign of the three pension companies called “Plant a wish,” which was Piksel’s first entry in a regional competition.   

This year’s edition received over 230 applications for the SoMo Borac Awards in the SoMo Advertising and SoMo Media groups. А full-day conference was held for the first time, with more than 30 regional and international experts sharing their knowledge and experiences. The feedback is still coming in.  

In this interview, we talk with Enes Karakash, Head of Marketing at Piksel and a jury member at this year’s SoMo Borac Awards. We’ll dig into his insights on the exceptional projects, the challenges faced by the jury, and what these events mean for the dynamic digital marketing industry.   

Can you share the key elements that you believe contributed to the success of the storytelling campaign that won last year’s SoMo Borac award?  

The key elements that brought us this award are probably the ones that were the most challenging during the creation of the campaign concept. 🙂 You know, the classics – How to reinvent something already seen and done throughout the years?  

But, as the saying goes, The harder the struggle, the greater the reward. And the result of our creative struggle was indeed different in every way possible, focused on Storytelling through the growing-up of the main character, closely connected with the target audience and all the elements that followed that story, which gave the campaign a whole new life and meaning. 

Design for Sava Penzisko's 'Zasadi Zelba'

What was your team’s approach to crafting a compelling narrative that resonates with the target audience?  

It all started with the simple question – Why? Why would a campaign about pension companies and funds provoke interest among the target audience and not be just another yearly educational campaign that quickly fades into forgiveness? As a bonus, from the very beginning, although nothing was guaranteed, we set the objectives for the next two iterations of the same campaign. This approach added value to the campaign and the client, in this case, the three private pension companies in our country. 

How do you determine the most effective channels for delivering a storytelling campaign, and how has that evolved with changing media landscapes?  

As everything evolves, everything stays the same in the marketing world. 😊 We were motivated by the everyday habits of the target audience and focused our effort on digital channels, mainly social media. But, the real joy to do and see were the plantings of new Pension parks in multiple middle-school yards throughout the country done together by the pension companies’ representatives and the pupils.   

zasadi zelba somo borac

As part of the jury committee, what criteria did you consider when evaluating this year’s campaigns?  

This year, for the first time in the decade-long history of SoMoBorac, the jury members were divided into separate teams so every member could evaluate in three categories. That made the task a bit easier but also gave me time to give each submission a more detailed look.    

For me, the main criteria were creativity and the implementation of new technologies to tell stories in a completely new way.   

Given the increasing number of submissions this year, how did the jury at SoMo Borac approach the challenging task of selecting the shortlisted projects in your appointed categories SoMo Web, SoMo Tech, and SoMoritanac?  

Something that the SoMoBorac organizers should be proud of is the system of voting that doesn’t leave room for speculation and the question – How in the hell did this campaign make it to the final? It’s simple – every jury member evaluates, often leaving comments and opinions about the submission. We even had the case of a campaign being completely scratched from the submitted category because it didn’t meet some of the main criteria we were looking for.   

As a jury committee member, what qualities did you look for in the campaigns that stood out to you?  

As I said before, creativity and new technologies. And, for a category such as SoMoritanac, a story that made a difference, promoting an issue that helped the ones that really needed that help, and hit all the right buttons on emotional and empathy levels. 

In what ways do you think the projects showcased at SoMo Borac reflect the current trends and challenges in the digital marketing landscape?  

Every new SoMo Borac is practically a case study of the evolution of the region’s digital landscape. A ‘case study’ that proves that this region is full of creative marketing people capable of producing world-class campaigns. Like this one: 

Based on your experience as a jury member, what common mistakes do you see?  

Trying to tell too many cool things they’ve done in the short 3-minute window that is allowed. Future tip for everyone – make it short, sweet, and to the point. And try to do it in 120 seconds.   

Did being on the other side of the process influence how you approach marketing campaigns now?  

Being on the other side just reminded me of why we do what we do. And that is to give our clients and brands a new scene to shine and add value with every campaign segment. 

As a marketing professional, how do you perceive the role of events like SoMo Borac in bridging the gap between regional markets and global standards in digital media?  

Looking at everything that marketers from the region created in the last couple of years, I don’t see that gap at all. 

What key insights or takeaways from the SoMo Borac Awards do you believe will influence the future strategies and campaigns at Piksel?  

Innovation and uniqueness. That is the way, the only way.   

Piksel X Startup Macedonia: A Fresh Teamwork for Sustainable Innovation 

In the spirit of perpetual innovation and sustainable growth, we are thrilled to announce our fresh strategic collaboration with the dynamic force – Startup Macedonia. Our journey ahead is not just about shared goals. It’s a commitment to cultivating a culture where sustainability, innovation, and knowledge-sharing flourish.  

So, combining our goals of sharing knowledge and strengthening the startup and innovation ecosystem, after a short and ambitious discussion we teamed up with Startup Macedonia.  

ECO-TON Hackathon: Creating Eco-Friendly Ideas 

Our collaboration started with Igor Madzov, Program Director at Startup Macedonia, who has wholeheartedly approached our “ECO-TON” project. Held at Innofeit, this hackathon brought together eight teams with the goal of creating sustainable solutions under the theme “Plant a wish for a sustainable future.” This event was organized by the three pension companies – Triglav Pension Company AD Skopje, Sava Pension Company AD Skopje, and KB Prvo Pension Company AD Skopje. 

For this hackathon, we crafted a special landing page as an open call for young innovators to get the chance to win a special prize. The outcome was amazing and so were the ideas.  

This wasn’t just a competition, it was a space for sharing ideas. Mentors like Natalija Burgieva from Mama Organa, Gorjan Jovanovski from Air Care, Olga Rajcic from Challenger, Dime Galapchev from FinqUp, Ana Gjorgjieva from ProCredit Bank, Enes Karakas from Piksel LTD and Mile Shosevski from Drill Tech played a vital role in guiding the participating teams.

startup macedonia event menthors

The jury team, including Igor Madžov, chose the top three solutions. 

igor madzov startup macedonia

The three teams with the best solutions won cash prizes worth 1000, 750, and 500 euros. The Mycelium Packaging team took first place with their sustainable packaging project, followed by EcoDreamers with the ECOREST project in second place, and the G-CHANGE team with the Green Change project in third place. 

This success shows our commitment to supporting young innovators and sets the stage for more projects in the future. 

Global Entrepreneurship Week North Macedonia: Piksel’s Ongoing Commitment 

Our dedication goes beyond one-time events. Dimitar Jovevski, Piksel’s partner and General Director for Business Development, participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Week North Macedonia. Dimitar played a key role as the moderator of Session 3, titled “Opportunities for Financing Innovations and Development of the Financial Sector.”  

dimitar jovevski at startup macedonia entrepreneurship week

This event, organized by Nest Group and the M6 Educational Center, provided valuable insights into building global companies from North Macedonia. Dimitar covered important topics like funding, talent acquisition, and infrastructure development.  

Part of Piksel’s senior team, together with the rest of the attendees, participated in the event as an opportunity to upgrade their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation to enrich their contacts and acquaintances with potential collaborators, mentors, and investors, but also to learn more about topics such as startup innovation, digital transformation, creative industry, advanced skills, female and social entrepreneurship, green ideas and many other topics in the field of entrepreneurship. 

Entrepreneurs had a chance to learn and connect, making this event a valuable opportunity for everyone involved. 

dimitar jovevski moderator at entrepreneurship week

Paving the Way for a Sustainable Innovation Revolution 

The collaboration between Piksel and Startup Macedonia is more than just a partnership. It’s a visionary effort towards a sustainable innovation revolution. From the impactful “ECO-TON – Hackathon” to Piksel’s active role in the Global Entrepreneurship Week in North Macedonia, our journey is shaping not only the business landscape but also creating a culture where sustainability and innovation thrive. 

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting collaboration. Together, we’re not just creating plans, but we’re building a balanced and sustainable future, showcasing our joint commitment to a brighter, more innovative world. 

Piksel in 2022 – Year in Review 

Yes, it’s a sunny day in November 2023 and we are writing our “report” for what happened in Piksel in 2022. This fact should prepare you that we have many events (and campaigns) to cover, and honestly, we were very tempted to jump to the jubilee 2023 year.  

But here we are, successfully fighting the urge to take the easier road. We hope you’ll enjoy taking a walk with us through the 2022 memory lane.  

New Piksel people in 2022 

As Dilated Peoples say, “Our peoples come first.” 🙂 These are the great colleagues who came to stay and make our lives easier.  

Ida Delinikolova became our first and lovely HR manager aka Kadrovo.  

Aleksandar Jakimovski, or simply Alex, joined us as our Head of Design.

The department also got a creative refreshment with Marija Dojcinovska, Natalia Aceska, and Dejana Petrusevska.  

The empowerment of the Account and Digital management team came with Jovana Peneva and Zivkica Boneva. The copywriter’s team became stronger with Tea Jovanovska.  

The Devs department started shining even brighter with Angela Shutinovska, Ivana Savic-Georgieva, Aleksandar Nusheski, Sebastijan Zindl, Aleksandar Temelkov, Marjan Taskov, and Damjan Stamenov.

Just WOW! 🙂 

What we achieved with a stronger team 

Well… a lot! Much more than we can cover in one article. However, we’ll try to paint you a picture. 

The year started with joining forces with the Becutan Kids Vits club. Here’s the result: 

In the spirit of empowering young people, we were delighted to take part in the Coke Summership 2022 promo campaign. The goal was to improve the reach and awareness of Coke Summership, attract more student participants, and develop a long-term strategy to create a culture among young people to strive for personal and professional growth. Read all about this project here. You can also check out the web destination for Coke Summership made by our Devs team. 

Here you can watch the video with testimonials from the participants:

On the subjects of video production and Pivara Skopje, we were happy to work on the Break the Bias campaign. Make sure to watch all 3 videos on YouTube.  

Smiles, positive energy, music, and Insta Grand are what lead us to complete enjoyment every day. Especially when we take part in creating awesome social materials that will spread positive vibes through social media. Is there a better feeling than when you do something that others can enjoy?

In 2022 we also went to the IQOS Originals DUO launch two-day event where we enjoyed… well, everything! The music, the food, and the four types of cocktails celebrating the four new IQOS Originals DUO devices. The cool photos were inevitable.  

As we are always part of cool events, it was only logical to organize the 18th Vivax COOL Day together with our dear Vivax Macedonia team. More than 200 Vivax partners, colleagues, and friends enjoyed the latest news from the industry and of course, the unforgettable party and the stand-up show!   

Piksel & Vivax is a perfect recipe for good times. Ask anyone of the hundreds of hikers who joined our Vivax “I jas sum na Vodno” events. This epic adventure turned into an outdoor event series.  

Picture this: Vodno mountain, vibrant tunes, and refreshing juices, setting the scene for unforgettable moments. This is how we build a thriving, close-knit community.  

Another big win was the second edition of Zasadi Zelba (Plant a Wish) campaign for the three pension companies Sava Pension Company A.D. Skopje, Triglav Pension Company A.D. Skopje, and KB First Pension Company A.D. Skopje, supported by MAPAS.  

The end of the campaign was marked by planting trees in the courtyard of the Faculty of Architecture in Skopje and awards for the students with the best solution for the design of the largest ever “Pension Park”. In this edition of the campaign, 75 seedlings were planted in 4 secondary schools with more than 200 students and our dedicated partners!  

“Azuriraj, doniraj” was another socially responsible campaign that we crafted, this time for Sava Pension Company. A simple and paper-saving activity of their members – updating their personal data and choosing to receive their annual reports electronically, helped Sava Pension Society to establish a fund for donating equipment to the University Clinic for Children’s Diseases – Skopje. 

This year brought us the start of a beautiful story with a new client – Replek. We joined forces to build well-being for everyone. The result was: two super successful product campaigns, which were actually the first ones after the rebranding of Replek.   

After the Neuro-vit and Oralsept successes, we ended the year with a nice emotional video with Replek employees who shared their warm wishes. 

The Devs department also worked hard, and came up with cool solutions for several clients, among which we would point out the websites for RK Alkaloid, TZG Europe, and this year’s cutest – Peazy!  

These are only a few of the bigger projects that marked 2022 for us and our clients. We absolutely love everything that we work on, and we share it on social media. So, make sure to give us a follow and try to keep track. 🙂  

We shared and received knowledge (as usual) 

Thanks to Galeksia, our dear Mila appeared as a guest lecturer for the students from the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing Program on the topic “Website vs Facebook and Instagram Shops”. 

To our great pleasure, we were invited to visit Polyesterday, our long-time collaborators. We had the opportunity to see what they actually do after they receive our inquiries (always urgent, of course).  

We also enjoyed the Time Management training by the wonderful Zorica Serafimovska Arsovska who helped us continue our professional growth.  

Then, we had the pleasure of conducting training about the use of LinkedIn for the amazing team of Würth Macedonia

Piksel girls attended the 5th edition of the biggest e-commerce conference @ecommercemacedonia and they had a great time.  

We were also conferencing, team building, and bonding at the special Mavrovo edition of AllWeb.mk. 

In the endeavor to increase the organizational capacity and improve the overall competitiveness of the company, we took part in the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program. Check out what our Filip Ristevski has to say about it: Our experience with the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship program.

And the last, but very exciting event in this chapter. Our Creative Director Vladimir Ristevski took part in the jury team of the regional Kaktus Festival in Belgrade. The 2022 edition of the festival celebrated the local power of creativity through the slogan “Self-reflection”. Here you can read his short interview for the Serbian Marketing mreza portal – “Our industry is still afraid to experiment.”

We also received great recognitions 

Speaking of Vladimir Ristevski, 2022 was a big year for him, and it brought lots of happiness for us. 😊 

He was selected as one of the 40 most successful and ambitious young business leaders in South-Eastern Europe! Here you can read more about his prestigious Business Elite Award.  

While working on the ending of the second edition of Plant a Wish campaign we received our first SoMo Borac award for Best Storytelling! This was our first entrance to these regional awards, and we are beyond proud that we came back with this recognition for this campaign that is very close to our hearts. (And this story doesn’t end here, as you will read in our next Year in Review report)  

Celebrations of Piksel in 2022    

We just love celebrating things, days, and life as it is! So, aside from our client’s wins, proper holidays, and many, many birthdays, we have celebrated World Cocktail Day with signature cocktails named Jason, International HR Day (thank you, Ida, for bringing one more cause for celebration), Burger Day, and Chocolate Day which had a healthy string thanks to Healthyish Skopje.  

We also appreciated Seno’s 5th anniversary in Piksel, World Coffee Day, and International Gin&Tonic Day with the unbelievably tasty, first Macedonian gin – Smidgin.  

Who could resist the big palindromic day on February 22nd? We couldn’t.  

We always encourage and motivate each other to keep going and RUNNING, but the circumstances asked for a celebration after crossing the finish line at @skopjemarathon. 

With the coming of the fourth Stranger Things season, we got pretty hyped and started looking for a song that could save us from the curse of Vecna (which we usually call CORRECTIONS). These were the suggestions: 

  • Vlade: Dr.Dre – The Watcher 
  • Seno: Foo Fighters – Times Like These 
  • Marina: Depeche Mode – It’s No Good 
  • Nina: Joe Esposito – Lady, Lady, Lady 
  • Efinski: Kate Bush – James & The Cold Gun 
  • Tea: Street Dance – Break Machine 
  • Marija: Taylor Swift – Trouble 

They don’t work. 

Being aware that we cannot always control our stress levels and challenges during the day, we realized the dire need for an easy and effective anti-stress mechanism. We presented it to our social media followers on World Mental Health Day. But it works every day. You should try it. 

Find a quiet spot, take a comfortable position, and try to free your mind from any thought. Now, follow the circle and breathe to its rhythm.  

Piksel culture additions in 2022 

Looking for a new motivation and effectiveness solution, we came up with a new rule: the last Friday of the month shall be a Happy Friday! The work ends at 2 PM, and we spend the rest of the day having fun, drinks, laughs, or afternoon snoozes that will help us go through a fun-filled weekend.  

We also started a Book Exchange Club on Book Lovers Day, which sparked the #Pikseloteka tradition of monthly suggestions for good books. (You can check them out using #Пикселотека hashtag on social media) 

While humanitarianism is not new for us, in 2022, we had our first cooperation with the Doniraj Kompjuter (Donate a computer) initiative. It was our great honor to be one of the companies supporting this great cause. We were happy to receive this Thank You note to remind us of the warm feelings when doing a good deed. We hope we’ll continue this beautiful tradition together. 

With all the hype around AI, we decided to start experimenting with it and it stuck with us. We asked Midjourney AI to create promotional art for Piksel. Here are the results. Disclaimer: No graphic designers were fired during this process.  

Did you think we forgot the Piksel birthday? 

Ah, dear friend, you should pay more attention to our vibe. Of course, we had a party for the 9th year of our existence! We danced, sang, played games, tasted the Kimov Winery wines, and took over the DJ booth for a hybrid karaoke. 🙂 

Read more about the event and the statements of our management team: We celebrated the ninth Piksel birthday!

And now, we are ready for the wrap! 

As you will surely agree, 2022 was amazing! 2023 is going even better (intentionally teasing you again to wait for the new Year in Review article).  

If you follow us on social media, you have the gist. And in that case, just know that you make everything better and sweeter, and we are greatly thankful for your support.  

In case you are a new Piksel fan, brace yourself for a joyful ride ahead. 🙂 

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