We Are All a Bit Creative
On the festival's fifth anniversary, young creators (the age limit to enter the competition is 30) from Slovenia, former Yugoslav republics, Poland, Austria, Russia, Great Britain and France were very eager to show their talent as nearly eight hundred works in various categories competed for Magdalena's main awards - Magdalena, First and Second runner-up - and a series of 16 Golden and 40 Silver bras. Works (mostly posters, but also printed ads, TV or cinema ads, interactive media, logotypes and other means of communication) could be either already published, commissioned, rejected or created especially for the creative brief sponsored by different clients: a promotional gift for Delo, an ad for Miami AdSchool Warsaw, an ad for a new communication service MMS Stil by Simobil and one for Abanka's account for young people. The creative brief that stirred everyone's blood was sponsored by Futura DDB, one of Slovenian advertising agencies: to create an ad which will communicate that the building of a mosque in Ljubljana is not a threat for our nation. The provocative issue of Slovenian homophobia and intolerance inspired authors of nearly one hundred works, but most of them were a big disappointment for the jury; as one of the members, Lazar Dzamic of EHS Brann London, pointed out, many of the participants misunderstood the purpose of the brief and designed ads that were insulting for the client. However, the winner of the main Magdalena award, a series of two ads, created by Dejan Miletic, Marko Kadic and Jasa Gabrijan from Slovenia, did come from this brief: ads with a headline We are all a bit Muslim exposed an incredibly lucid idea and relevance to the issue, the jury explained. The ads also won two Golden bras for best poster and best work based on a creative brief. The First runner-up award went to an incredibly touching TV-ad named Endangered Species coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which communicated the architectonic obstacles for the handicapped in Sarajevo, and the Second runner-up was given to Croatian creators of a web site www.ulola.com, advertising hand-made soap. Learn and have fun Naturally, the competition was just one part of the festival - Magdalena offers young artists a great opportunity to learn something from the experts and to have lots of fun during these three days. Among the highlights of this year's programme, there was a lecture on shock and controversy in advertising, another one about marketing abusing people's anxieties, a slow-food cooking experience - food is a delicious means of communication - by a French chef, a creative workshop for a new image of RTV Slovenija...A web page where everybody can send their ideas, www.openad.org, was presented as well, and if one's is chosen by an advertising company, you can get very rich, guaranteed the authors. Probably the most awaited guest on Magdalena was a controversial French writer and ex-creative director Fr'd'ric Beigbeder, whose famous book 99 francs (in Slovene 2.999 tolarjev) was also presented at the festival in Slovene translation. The paradox of his presence at an advertising festival is in the fact that he left (actually, was asked to leave) the advertising milieu after having laid bare the supposed behind-the-scenes of advertising. In his 'lecture', he explained why in his opinion the job of an advertiser is 'impossible', why 'all creators have sexual and drug problems', why advertising is not art, but rather a lie and 'prostitution of art'. Still, he said he doesn't have anything against advertisers, as many might think, he only sympathizes with them a lot. And as masochistic as they are, he added, they keep inviting him to their festivals. The nightly chill-out moved from the conference hall in Narodni Dom, where the lectures were held, to Pekarna, Maribor's famous underground scene, where various artists ended each festival day with a mixture of electronic music, jazz, dub, rock etc. The organization of the festival is becoming more professional every year with a more informative, but still very fresh and innovative programme (especially the impressive closing ceremony with the unusual video and theatrical fusion), which makes Magdalena festival a credible feast of young creators' advertising.