Interview. Carmen Zahiu (Tempo BTL): “Worldwide trends point toward direct communication and live interaction with the brand”

Newsroom 22/11/2017 | 15:32

Tempo Advertising recently launched the events division Tempo BTL, which is led by Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru), the former general director of MediaPro Studios. Zahiu returns to the agency in which she started working as junior executive in the BTL department in 2004. BR had a chat with Carmen Zahiu and Corina Grigoriu, managing director Tempo, to find out more about the agency, its launch and goals.  

By Romanita Oprea

Why did you choose Carmen? What are her best traits & qualities for the position?

Corina Grigoriu: Carmen worked 10 years ago at Tempo, in our BTL Department. She’s one of us forever. In the meantime, she strengthened her skills in extremely creative environments such as MediaProStudios, making and supervising projects for big clients as well as for the companies in the MediaPro Group (ProTV as main example). That’s an invaluable experience and we like very much she enriched professionally in this way. 

Was she always your first option or did you have other names in mind too?

Corina Grigoriu: Tempo BTL is a company we created especially with Carmen as partner, we were not scouting and didn’t intend so. The third partner is our beloved longtime colleague, Elena Visan Daros, a key operational executive contributing to Tempo’s success in the last almost 20 years, in charge of HR and a lot of things that made our life a lot easier and more pleasant.

How is Tempo BTL positioning on the market?

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): My experience in show business as MediaPro director changed my outlook considerably. In showbiz, the productions are very procedural, planning is extremely detailed. Because events happen live, the unexpected always happens and if you’re not very well prepared and working with partners you can trust, it can all go downhill very fast. The budgets are huge but so are responsibilities, and any mistakes are very visible. Just think about what a production error would mean for a show like Voice of Romania, in front of millions of viewers! At the same time, all this effort is single-minded put in the service of emotion, show, impressive effect.

Our vision is to bring this show business approach to our BTL work. Any event or activation is a show. We want to impress, inspire emotions and reactions, start conversations with people. For this we need rigour and maniacal attention to detail in planning, but also the courage to always to more, bigger, more glamorous, more impressive. The more more is put in at the planning phase, the more natural it all seems to those enjoying the experience you’ve prepared for them. 

Who is your main competition and why?

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): Any agency that tries to deliver a complete and quality product to their clients, both conceptually and implementation-wise.

What type of clients to you target and why? 

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): We’re interested in any client and project as long as they’re willing to make full use of our expertise and put on a great show.

What is your main target for 2017 and 2018?

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): Widen our client base and create flagship projects that our clients and us can be proud of.

Along with the work for our clients, which take up most of our time, we’re developing projects of our own. One of them is Speakings, a unique concept in the Romanian training market that turns public speaking into a talent show in front of a live audience. For Speakings, we’ve partnered with the very talented trainers at SelfTrust Academy, who’ve developed the concept while we’ve helped with branding and implementation.

We have another project in the works that involves a wonderful photo collection from one of Romania’s most talented photographers. But we’ll reveal more about it when it’s ready.

What do you consider to be creativity in BTL in Romania today?

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): The years of management experience in a multinational environment have taught me to understand very well the client’s perspective, their worries and needs. My return to BTL comes with a new approach and maturity.

That’s why for me creativity in BTL now means two things, in equal measure: giving your target a memorable, innovative experience; and achieving your client’s objectives. You can’t have one without the other.

How is the developing of the technology influencing it? 

Carmen Zahiu (Rotaru): Creativity and technology work together, not against each other. In our area of expertise, we see how more and more events have a strong digital component. Both in the pre- and post-event communication phases, and for the activations themselves, as a way of interacting with something ultimately immaterial: the brand.

Because of the immense crowding of both digital and traditional media, worldwide trends point toward direct communication and live interaction with the brand. Brands are present at festivals and different events, offer them innovative experiences and the battle for attention and sales moves to the real world. At the same time, digital’s most important promise is helping events, which are by their nature limited in how many people they can touch, reach participants’ friends and their entire social networks. That’s why we believe so strongly in our idea of BTL as show business. We’re giving people a show that’s so great they want to share it with their friends.

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