She created and launched over 300 hundred projects in the last 11 years of advertising experience and 15 years of integrated communication experience and worked for more than 60 different brands, including Coca-Cola and Unilever. After receiving over 30 awards and honors, Semida Duriga relocated from Bucharest to Cluj and started a new chapter in her career. More about the move and her plans in an exclusive interview offered to Business Review.
How did the collaboration proposal happen?
Well, it came in the most romantically-professionally possible way, with a diamond ring as a visual teaser and a personalized website created just for me and the most pragmatic, yet crazy reasons why I should say yes. Although incredibly moving the way my partners popped the question, it was a really hard and rather long engagement till I finally said yes.
What were the reasons that made you decide to give up your freedom (the freelancer life)?
Considering my well-known weirdness, I managed to come up with 3 atypical reasons that pushed for the final yes. 1. I truly believe that change is the only way to continue evolving; 2. I have a deep admiration for and great affinity with Adrian Docea (e.n. – Innovation Director) and Elena Hurjui (e.n. Strategic Director), my other two partners “in crime”; 3. I have the self-destructive ability to prove others that impossible is just possible combined with hard work. So, it wasn’t the city, nor the financial reasons that convinced to turn my life upside-down and give away my beloved freedom.
How long did it take you to take the decision?
The whole process lasted from May to August. During this time we each traveled back and forth (Bucharest-Cluj) for more visits, talks and even working sessions with the agency team.
What are your main goals for the first year?
Intensive growing of the creative department (both the skills of each member and enlarging the team); winning several accounts of my favorite type of brands (sports, wine and beer) and producing real, meaningful work that catches people’s attention and wows.
What are the partner’s goals set out for you?
Other than the commonly shared and previously stated goals, I believe that they expect me to start loving the city I now live in.
Was it hard to relocate to Cluj?
Although I had all the logistic and friendly support one might need, I have to say it was hard and still is in some aspects. This may come as a shock but Cluj is much more expensive than Bucharest in every possible way (rent, food, public or private transport). Plus the feeling that I’ve left behind great friends, clients and professionals that I used to work with and now I kinda’ start from the beginning with all of that. On the good side is that I really love my new apartment and neighborhood and that the last thing I see before I go the bed each night, from my ceiling-window in my bedroom, is the Ursa Major constellation. So I’m definitely closer to reach for the stars since I moved here.
What are the agency’s main clients? Do you wish for one new in particular?
We already started doing great work for The National Opera in Cluj, for Home Garden (the national leader in the caned-food category, considering the portfolio variety), for Benvenuti and Transylvania Philharmonic and quite a few others. And we are also in the process of luring a wine and a beer brand. So, you will definitely be hearing of us again pretty soon and with pretty great campaigns.