One-On-One with Digitaria’s Daiga Atvara

CPC Strategy specializes in creating ecommerce content on the Internet for a number of top level clients. They routinely blog about advertising, covering topics such as native advertising, insights from industry leaders and more. Read an excerpt of their interview with Daiga Atvara, Executive Creative Director at Digitaria, which originally appeared on the CPC Strategy Blog, written by Jon Gregorie.

Hooking up with a digital agency is no minor undertaking. Whether it’s for (re-)branding purposes or the need to tighten up site optimization and analytics, a digital agency will profoundly affect the outcome of your brand perception, on- and offline. Named OMMA’s (Online Media, Marketing, and Advertising) 2013 Silver Agency of the Year, Digitaria is one the nation’s premier digital agencies, serving big-name clients like Del Monte, Rolex, Qualcomm, Petco and Vonage.
Digitaria happens to be only a few miles away from the CPC Strategy office, so we were curious to see what they had to say. It was our pleasure to catch up with Digitaria’s co-founder and Executive Creative Director, Daiga Atvara.
  • Describe Digitaria in 50 words or less.

Digitaria is a digital agency founded in 1997, owned by WPP and aligned with JWT. We are rooted in the disciplines of design, data, marketing, and technology. Through immersive experiences, we transform the way brands communicate and how businesses run. We’re a fun group and a great place to work.

  • In your eyes, what’s the future of digital advertising?

Ha! What’s the future of any kind of advertising? Throughout history, we have continually invented more and more media channels and forms of communication, but it’s always just been a different way to tell a story – letters, signs, songs, pictures, books, newspapers, film, radio, TV, websites, apps, etc.
Digital brings ever more immediate connections – the Internet, mobile, social. Advertising is increasingly interactive and conversational, and that’s forcing brands to become transparent – and believe me, forcing them is the right word, because almost none of them actually want to do it, though at least most of them now realize they have to.
Even so, it’s already become less about “communicating” and more about “experiencing” the brand. It’s about building brand relationships, and, in some cases, relationships with the people who make it – people felt they “knew” Steve Jobs, for example, and felt they could trust him to deliver a quality experience.
Advertising has evolved – and it is an evolution, a step forward – from media-driven awareness to desire marketing: from think-feel-do to do-feel-think. That’s why we are talking so much about content, event marketing, cause marketing, social management, Big Data, attribution, and so on.
Advertising and marketing in general will become much more integrated, and we’re starting to see that already. The separation between “above the line” and “below the line” will become “through the line.” But by then I’m sure there will be another medium that will make things even more interesting and complicated.

  • As the Executive Creative Director, what drives your creativity?

The moments when we can create ideas are very peculiar, almost an out-of-body experience. It’s definitely not driven by some outside factors like listening to music, reading, seeing a film – those experiences can be invigorating or emotionally inspiring, but not creatively.
For me, it’s the right people to think with. And the ability to “think” with someone is not based on anything specific – it’s just the right fit. So, to me, there are two types of people – one kind I can think with and the other I can’t.

  • What’s the best and worst part about working out of San Diego?

Best: Undisturbed space to think your own thoughts while not being in the middle of nowhere and a laid-back attitude that keeps big egos at bay.
Worst: Absence of big talent to poach and the laid-back tendency that provides temptation to settle for a soothing but deadly mediocrity.

  • What is Digitaria’s unique selling proposition?

The melding of creative ideas with creative technology. We are a rare agency that has both strong creative and design departments and a team of technologists who can build the ideas we create. It speeds up and simplifies the process to have both kinds of creative talent under one roof, and there are still very few agencies that do. I’m not going to say it’s unique, but it’s rare. Very rare.
Also, we have a distinct ability to deliver innovative thinking and products that a lot of companies in our space don’t have because we are digital agency aligned with one of the world’s largest traditional agencies – JWT. We can do small, fast and disruptive things and we can also manage some of the largest global brands.
And because of that we can always stay on top of trends and be innovative while never losing sight of the big picture.
This article originally appeared on the CPC Strategy Blog.
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