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.