A few months ago, I received a message from a girl who works at an advertising agency here in Riga. The agency was involved in a pitch to make a promotional video for the Latvian Institute about Latvia taking over the Presidency of the European Council in 2015 – and, get this, they wanted ME to be involved. Seemingly, my foreigner’s opinion and insight would be invaluable. Although she didn’t sound like an escaped lunatic, or seem to be on drugs, I re-read the message a couple of times, and Googled the advertising agency and the Latvian Institute to make sure that they did actually exist.
Even though I was still half-convinced that it was some kind of hoax, or potential ambush, my curiosity won out over my common sense – as usual – and I agreed to a meeting. When I got there, it seemed that everyone in the agency had read the blog as they were all grinning at me; I was just happy they weren’t aiming at me.
The receptionist offered me tea (“with milk, right?”) and I was shown to a meeting room where an intimidating number of people were assembled. One girl broke the ice by saying “Our receptionist just said “You know you’re all going to be in a blog post tomorrow, right?” and I made a mental note not to write a blog post about it – the next day, anyway…
It had been a long time since I’d been in an advertising agency or had anything to do with brainstorming sessions so I was really nervous that I’d just be sitting there like a lemon with nothing useful to add. But, as it turned out, they were wonderfully open people with lots of ideas and I realised that I really wanted to work with them – and to produce a video that Latvian people could be proud of (but not some cheesy crap – I draw the line at cheesy crap).
When I got home, I sent a message to my friend, telling her that I was alive, that I’d had the meeting and met some really cool people, including some bloke called Eriks.
Ginta: Oh my god! Eriks Stendzenieks? He’s like THE advertising/PR guru in Latvia!
I guess you never know who’s reading your blog…
Anyway, I put together some ideas, wrote a short essay on Latvia and fired it off to the charming, ruggedly handsome Eriks. Around a week later, I was informed that the agency had won the pitch – naturally.
So, we got together a few more times, tossed around various concepts, drafted and fine-polished some scripts and eventually came up with the final version. Unfortunately, I was in Berlin while they were filming it, but when they sent me the final video…
I love it. I think the tone is perfect. I like to think that you can hear a little bit of me in there at times, but they’ve managed to strike the perfect balance between Linda and the Latvians. Even though the weather was absolutely awful that week, they’ve still made the country look amazing. And I must admit that I go a little weak at the knees when the actor smiles at the end. I take my hat off to the fine people at Mooz Advertising – it truly was a pleasure to work with all of you and I’m so happy that I had a small part in making this video. While my blog will probably be my main legacy here, I’m happy that I can also say that I had a hand in this.
So please, watch, enjoy, let me know what you think. I’ll carry on cracking coconuts in the meantime…
Well for what it’s worth I enjoyed the clip. I could sense a bit of your humor in it. All in all good job. I’m sure it felt good to be a part of it. I know I would.
Thank you very much! Yes, it was a lovely thing to be part of 🙂
in general – i liked the approach. althou – i can not think away some things. first of all – “honesty”. i have never ever seen any piece of advertising, that was both honest and stating honesty at the same time. it’s either one or another. and the smile in the end… i’m really sorry to say so, but it felt soooo unnatural… even up to a thought “hey, how long they had to train that poor Janis to get a decent smile, and still, it’s like squeezed out of him. really “izmõcīts”, i’d say.
and i did not feel shivers when that bloke smiled or untied his tie. felt more like creeps 🙂
Maybe it’s a woman thing 😉 The ladies all seem to like it!