Barcelona Cultura

Rosa Romà: "Advertising is creator, user and transmitter of cultural references"

Dean of the Advertising and Public Relations College of Catalonia and currently working in the Direction of the Citizenry, Marketing and Innovation Area at the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut), Rosa Romano is a communications expert, specializing in strategic management, digital transformation, marketing and creativity. In the framework of the sixth edition of the Impacte Awards, for which the central concept is “Everything starts with an idea”, we spoke to her about advertising and culture.

How can advertising provide ideas that translate, in the long run, into significant social changes?

Every brand seeks to increase its value in the market and it is through creative ideas that it gets to express itself, connect, influence and generate changes in behavior. When materialized, these ideas generate content that will be channeled into form, space and time. Advertising finds the most obvious and effective way of expressing this content and this forces us to be in tune with the social environment, lifestyles, culture, values ​​and avant-garde; and even to identify concerns and worries and to be ahead of social changes. This leads us to increasingly activist and committed brands, and in this way, creativity and the impact of advertising necessarily affect social behavior.

Advertising tends to be seen as a reality alien to the cultural. What is its role in this field?

It is a very important one. At an international level, advertising is considered one of the main cultural creative industries, both by volume of business and by number of professionals directly or indirectly linked to it. It is a hybrid activity of disciplines and in constant transformation, able to use all kinds of channels, references and creative, technological, social and communicative techniques to arrive in the most effective way and with the greatest possible impact in order to reinforce the attributes and values ​​of a brand or a service; and that means that advertising is a creator, user and transmitter of cultural references.

Despite the rise of digital environments, traditional media remains the first choice for most major brands.

Advertising is, from its beginnings, in permanent transformation, because it goes where the people are in order to measure their performance and results. That means knowing the points of contact through which a brand can relate to its public and decide the best strategy and creativity, always looking for impact, effectiveness and efficiency.

Where do you think an increasingly atomized sector will evolve?

Today brands have very diverse needs: large companies and international brands; small companies with global strategies; native digital start-ups that are growing globally ... In a sector where talent, the creative capacity to drive the business of a brand and the resolutive one prevail, we also move between this heterogeneity of models, vertical specialties and aggregate services.

Every time, more and more brands are joining the “Brand Activism fever” to connect with audiences, defend values ​​of justice and ethics and at the same time enhance the growth of their company and reaffirm their values. What is the key to a real Brand Activism?

A real brand activism is born when its company does it, because it is part of the purpose of its creator and is in the most intrinsic values ​​of the company, its business values ​​and its commitment to and for society and the world. The rest are corporate responsibility strategies, and I hope they are here to stay, because we need more committed, activist companies with a long-term vision.

If we talk about place branding, what do you think should Catalonia project as a brand? And most importantly: what should Catalonia project as a brand in order to attract talent?

In terms of place branding, Catalonia has an enormous potential because of its climate, geographical position and lifestyle. That is why it must project its essence and strategic assets: its culture, its quality of life, its diversity, its industrial-technological and economic power, and its knowledge and innovation. Due to its values, legacy and geostrategic position, Catalonia as a brand has a singular DNA that is very attractive internationally and is relevant in a global environment of constant change and transformation. It should invest in that creative, innovative and dynamic potential, and strengthen the association with referents (personalities, brands, architecture, companies, etc.) that strengthen this positioning of dynamism and vanguard.

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