We publish below the article by Elisabetta Flamini taken from the special issue Media Key 35 years.
GWC World is a full service communication agency, that he was born like a play thanks to two brilliants guys during the Graduation party in the 2004 and he has starting to grow up abroad 3 years ago. Good success. But, we thought to ask directly to Alessandro Malnati, one of the two partners incumbent, to tell us the real history…
Alessandro Malnati manages GWC World with Damiano Antonelli, after having conceived it 13 years ago together with a colleague of studies.
At the time, he was moved by the extraordinary passion ‘to communicate, make himself understood, help to understand things, products or services that are’ and today, the agency boasts a team of 25 people, working in over 20 countries ranging from Europe , to China, to Russia, to the United Arab Emirates. It seems that this passion led him far away. We talk with him.
TWO MEMBERS: WHAT ARE THE INTENT PROGRAMMATIC OF BOTH … FROM ORIGIN TO OUR DAYS?
Me and my partner of the year of birth of GWC World, 2004, we were young, full of hope and the idea was born after a night spent celebrating the degree just obtained. There were no studies or business plans at the base of the idea to create a communication agency: the projects came later. Our history, in reality, was built day by day, following each project and client with absolute dedication. We could not and can not afford to make mistakes, so we have always been … maniacs of perfection.
TODAY AT THE ‘TOPICS’ THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE, BUT YOU HAVE BEEN DRIVING WITH A NEW MEMBER. WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING?
I have a humanistic education and a degree in ‘International Relations’. I imagined a future in diplomacy and I went close, but then the passion for communication took over. Damiano Antonelli, my current partner, has a creative and artistic training. Thus, we are absolutely complementary.
WHAT DO YOU TAKE IN ACCURATE AND WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIALTY IN THE COMPANY TODAY?
GWC World is a full service agency. However, we love d challenges and it is a fact that over half of our turnover comes from cross-media projects, with at least one digital component. We are lovers of novelties and we always experiment with new technologies. We were among the first in Italy to develop an iPhone app when it was presented by Steve Jobs. Today we are working on the progressive web app launched by Google recently, trying to improve our code in favor of our customers and the usability of our projects. In the last decade we have developed considerable skills also in the community management and, more generally, in the management of social platforms. However, we never abandoned our first loves, which are pure advertising creativity and event management. We grew up in fifteen years with our customers and, when we did not know how to do something, we assumed who had an important background in that sector, learning, in the meantime, and improving the project-by-project performance, with evident improvement of our skills.
YOU HAVE AN EXCELLENT SITE. BUT THERE IS SOME VOICE THAT WOULD LIKE TO DETAIL?
The site represents us well. We talked about us through our projects and faces. We like to choose and be chosen, and this philosophy translates into the continuous search for stimulation for us and for those who work with us. Those who choose us do so because they know that we will always bring proposals that go well beyond the brief, while respecting it, and that we like to add pearls of technology applied to each project. Whether it’s an event, an activation or a new mobile project, there’s always room to innovate and create new relationships with your own targets. I would say that we love creating original dynamics and high added value between people and brands. That is, we do not limit ourselves to carrying out the task assigned to us passively, but we suggest innovative, creative solutions, in agreement with the customers.
SOME CONCRETE EXAMPLES?
We have brought for the first time a leading Italian fair in the world (Mido) on the Apple App in 2009 with exceptional results. And still today we innovate from year to year thanks to this customer who believes in us, reciprocated. Then, we opened the Facebook profile of Comedy Central, a well-known Viacom television network, on the Sky platform, starting a journey that has been going on for years and which has given us so much satisfaction in terms of interaction and tune in, developing in fact one of the first relational connections between social platform and viewers’ habits. Together with CDV and Cosmetica Italia we created the app ‘Sole amico’ which, in its launch in 2012, was included by Wired in the 100 Must have of the year: a real gem.
BUT OF GEMS ALREADY ON YOUR SITE I SEE MORE: WE WANT TO SPEAK?
The store is always one of the main arenas on which to compete. But now people come with more precise ideas, after having done webrooming and clarified what they are looking for. Our strategic research then aims to do this: reach people in a way that suits the medium you are using, telling a coherent story, regardless of the screen you are working on. We try to create projects, thinking about the answers that brands should give to the increasingly complex questions of buyers.
IS THERE A SECTOR THAT YOU CHOOSE TO IMPLEMENT?
No. We continue in parallel with all activities. I do not believe in the specializations of the moment. Is activation marketing so trendy? Suddenly you find dozens of agencies that happen to do it ‘always’. Everyone talks about ‘real time marketing?’ Ready: all doing it since the dawn of time. Ours is a sector full of self-reference and lies. We do not want to fall for ourselves: we consider ourselves good at marrying different visions on very distant sectors, passionate about each other and dedicating body and soul to every project, without secrets or magical recipes.
A SECRET CAN BE A TEAM OF SUCCESS: FROM WHO IS YOURS COMPOSED? WHAT PROFICIENCY, FORMATIONS, ROLES? AND THERE IS ANY YOUNG MERIT COMPANY IN WHICH YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT?
We are about twenty-five people, coming from nine different and mostly young countries. The eldest is 41 years old, but shows 25, the youngest 21, but works as if he had five years of experience. We do not look at the identity card, but the ability to work in a team, the ability to understand and marry an idea of fatigue, passion and sacrifice because, let’s face it, in an agency of 25 people it is impossible to manage unproductive situations . Each day gives a real contribution, tangible to every project, and the fact of having a cosmopolitan team helps us to reason open-minded, without patterns or prejudices.
TODAY HAVE THREE VENUES: WHERE AND WHAT CHARACTERISTICS?
True, we have three HQs, in Milan, Prague and Moscow and team members can freely choose where to work from. I believe that traveling is a way to be a more capable professional and, in the end, even better people. More than half of our customers are multinationals or foreign companies operating on various markets: internationalization was necessary (and beautiful), to follow them to the best of different markets and to have a look that goes beyond national borders. The foreign experience then confirmed that in some areas, for example in the field of technological development, in which in Italy it is increasingly difficult to find suitable resources on the labor market at acceptable costs, looking East can find optimism thanks a broad, professional offer that meets every challenge.
AND IN OCTOBER ALSO DUBAI …
Yes: from October 13 we will also be operating in Dubai, with a new headquarters in the Marina area. For us it is a point of arrival and restart. We are aiming at Expo 2020, in which we will accompany some Italian companies that count on exhibiting their excellences, but we are also fascinated and enthusiastic about the possibility of developing a business there, one of the most interesting logistics hubs in the world. We already work with some companies operating in the United Arab Emirates and the experience is exciting. We want to capitalize on the know-how accumulated over the years and make it available to all those who want to land in that area, without having to choose an agency that is ‘only’ local.
CAN YOU TELL US A MOTTO, A MAXIMUM IN THE TEACH OF WHICH LIVES AND WORKS?
I would not call it a motto, but our ‘Get inspired’ logo accompanies us as a rule of life and profession. We must allow ourselves to be stimulated by what we see and turn it into a 2.0 inspiration for our clients, taking it to a higher level, complex in structure, but simple in understanding and development. I love the simplicity of great ideas, I aspire every day to have new ones. We do not always succeed, but we must try and try again, to be always proud of what we do. The real challenge today is to continue producing quality in a moment of extreme growth like the one we are experiencing, without ever allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by quantity.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: A DREAM IN A DRAWER OR A PROJECT IN A SITE.
I would not call it ‘dream’ … because it is already a project, which we are formally launching in recent weeks: it is called ‘Health’ and it is our new internal unit dedicated to the world of personal care, including medical. After more than ten years spent developing active and passive strategies for communication in the medical sector and considerable expertise accumulated, we have integrated into the agency new professionals from the field of medical communication. The goal is to capitalize on an in-depth knowledge of the field we have acquired in the field, with the skills necessary to master all the rules, limitations and regulations that those operating in the Medical Devices field must necessarily know and respect. GWC World – Health offers its customers not only an excellent marketing and communication strategy, but also the security of trusting who knows how to do things, what are the times and legal constraints and moves in time, so that every project be a success. Health ranges from the development of medical apps that can also be used in hospitals and research with a high technological content, up to the creation of projects for OTC drugs, dedicated to almost 20 thousand Italian pharmacies where more and more often we see activation marketing actions very interesting. It is a world that forces you to eliminate the superfluous and easy loopholes of common creativity, forcing you to be concrete and to aim at the heart of the message.
WHAT ARE THE RECOGNITION OBTAINED SINCE TODAY? DO YOU SPEAK, FOR EXAMPLE, THE PREMIUM OBTAINED TO THE ‘MEDIA KEY AWARD’?
We are very proud of this award, won for an important project and in a category (Mobile Marketing, ed) which is decisive for any contemporary communication strategy. Specifically, our team work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ‘Cosmetics Italy’ (Confindustria) trade association has allowed us to demonstrate the different natures of GWC World: all units of the agency, in fact, have organized to produce a new identity dedicated to the special event, a very intriguing creativity, a set of unique videos, Dem campaigns, social media management and finally a traveling event between Bologna, Milan and Rome, to tell the cosmetics to the Italians through the images and the voices of the protagonists, especially consumers. But then, why talk about past awards? Let’s think about the future ones.