Russia as a journey

The day of September 23 marked the completion of an open workshop dealing with Russia’s tourist brand development. Its key outcome is the successful continuation of the development process. The project entered its next phase. The membership of experts who took part in the event comprised, among other specialists, Denis Shlesberg, Artonica’s executive creative director. He shared his impressions about the work progress with

First of all, I would like to say that it was an exciting experience, which speaks volumes. After many years in a certain industry, it becomes more and more difficult to get excited in the professional sense.

It took us three days to go through key development stages: exposure and analysis, search for the positioning hypotheses and creative design. One can argue whether it is a sufficient term for such a serious task. In spite of that, I am absolutely sure that it was one of the most productive “races” in my experience. The atmosphere reminded an episode from a disaster movie, when the world leading scientists gather in an emergency shelter, in order to stop a comet, prevent zombie invasion or keep the Earth rotating. The difference is that we did not have to stop the comet, our task was to build and launch it.

Our group consisted of true bisons: Ilya Lazuchenkov, Vova Lifanov, Erken Kagarov and Egor Myznik, whom I know as competitors in everyday life. With this in the mind, it was highly interesting to try to work as partners. The impressions from this kind of collaboration exceeded all expectations. It is now too early to speak about results, because we are still finalizing the concepts and this will take us some time. I am confident that we have found some really interesting areas which involved not only our group, but the entire “national team”. It became clear on the second day when we were discussing the positioning hypotheses. This was probably the first time when I saw so much wheat with the minimum chaff.

I was greatly impressed by Igor Pomerantsev’s work who moderated the first two days together with Andrey Gornov. To my mind, it was not easy for Igor go introduce creative methods to the audience which has a great deal of experience in implementation of creative processes. To his credit, he managed to resist scepticism and made it proceed constructively.

Speaking of the exposure stage, I would like to mention the presentation made by Vladislav Shulaev. He made an extremely interesting analysis of how Russia and the Russians are viewed in the world. On the whole, I was impressed by presentations made by many other people during these three days, but it is now hard to list all of them.  

It would be incorrect to assess the efficiency of the aforementioned work format and compare it against the traditional agency operations, because it is important to see the results first. This notwithstanding, it is obvious that concentration of branding expertise at the workshop was unprecedented in its size. It involved not only the professional resources, but also strong mutual motivation. In some sense we managed to create stress environment which made the leading industry professionals use their best efforts in order not to lose face before each other. Such an experiment cannot be carried out too often, which makes it particularly valuable.

The original publication


Russia as a journey