While Magdalena Kozanowska’s career in advertising has been on the account management side, culminating in her current position as managing director at 180heartbeats + JUNG v. MATT, her interest in creativity goes way back to beyond the business side of the industry. As a child she played at audio production, recording news like she was on the radio with her friends. And a life-long interest in contemporary art has consistently kept her inspired.
Following fascinating recent campaigns for Burger King, jewellery brand YES, E.ON and more, the agency feels to be on good form. LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with Magdalena to find out more.
LBB> Where did you grow up and what sort of kid were you? Were there any clues back then as to the career path you’d end up taking?
Magdalena> I grew up on the seaside in Poland and I was constantly cold. One of the games I remember well was recording radio news on a tape with my friends around fourth grade, it was super-fun production.
LBB> How did you get into advertising? Was it a purposeful decision or more of an accident?
Magdalena> Well, at that time (late ‘90s) it was a dream job in Poland, the beginnings of advertising and creativity in a post-communist country. All the network agencies had international staff on boards, so the standards could be set up. I got my first job at Leo Burnett as a production traffic and I do believe this is the best job for starting to understand what advertising is about and how it is being done.
LBB> In the early days of your career, what were some projects/clients that particularly helped you to grow and understand the business?
Magdalena> I believe multiple projects, actions or short deadlines help to understand the business. That requires being responsible, focused, and strategic thinking, no matter what your role in the process. One of my first clients was Sony, which was very open to sophisticated campaigns and brought us a lot of awards and one of my toughest clients of all time… Also, Plus - a huge telecom business that required a dedicated team and an enormous amount of projects and productions in a pipeline - taught me a lot and helped me to understand how important it is to be single minded, focused and brave.
LBB> Are there any lessons that you wish you'd learned earlier?
Magdalena> I think what matters in this business is experience and that requires time. In general, it is good to be self-confident in this business, believing in the ideas and fighting for them and I do believe clients need it even more. It hasn't changed for years.
LBB> What's the thing you're most proud of in your career so far?
Magdalena> I’m proud of every brand's success and every piece of advertising that mattered to the consumers. The crucial moment for me was to join 180heartbeats + JUNG v. MATT. It was a huge change from networks’ global businesses and mostly ATL production into a more innovative, disruptive way of thinking and leading business. My first task was leading the Nike team and it was kind of a new dimension of advertising and experience.
LBB> What are you recently most proud of and why?
LBB> I know the social and performance departments are an important part of the agency's offer in terms of brand strategy and positioning, communication strategy etc. What are the most exciting things you're doing in that area?
Magdalena> Social solutions and innovations are a crucial part of every campaign. We are involving social teams at an early stages of briefing creatives as social solutions ignite the creative ideas and more and more often, they are developed in mixed teams. Sometimes social solutions come out from creative teams and are being discussed with social partners, so I believe these new constellations for cooperation are most exciting and keep evolving.
LBB> What trends in the industry do you find yourself ranting about the most and why?
Magdalena> Changing behaviours and new ways of consuming media are always most talked about and currently it is still the metaverse I believe. Everyone is watching whether it could be a new and effective way to reach their consumers effectively or it is just something new to talk about and show off. I’m very curious to see how metaverse solutions will develop - will they be new must-haves to bring results?
LBB> Outside of work, what's inspiring you right now?
Magdalena> The new generation and their insights are my greatest inspiration. Seeing how they learn, how differently they see social injustices in Poland and neighbouring countries (situation in Ukraine, injustices towards women and LGBT+ community) or work-life balance is mind opening and brings a lot of new perspectives.
My personal passion is contemporary art and I love when advertising sources from it, so I can’t wait for the 2022 Venice Biennale.