• General Director at Proximity España •
As a highly experienced professional, Anna Roca has worked on several innovative and award-winning campaigns. In an interview for the eBook "The Influence of Travel Video Marketing", she talks about her daily work while the leader at Proximity España, a multinational advertising agency.
She shares her thoughts on how to consolidate a brand and the role of videos in tourism promotion. The interview also shows the main challenges of a creative professional and the importance of winning awards.
Learn more about what inspires Anna’s daily work and what drives her to push creative boundaries in each project.
Can you please share a little about your experience, professional career, and how it feels to work at Proximity España?
I’ve been in advertising for about 22 years now. I started in the creative area, becoming Creative Director at Órbital and then at Contrapunto BBDO. Switched to strategy right after, uniting the digital world with traditional communication and leading the strategic area of the BBDO group in Spain. In 2021 I joined Proximity Spain as General Manager. Leading Proximity from Barcelona is thrilling since it is an agency with extensive experience in the Tourism universe over the years and works from the knowledge of the traveler and the client as a base. We unite the wisdom from data and transform it into emotional connection. In different words, we make people relevant to brands and humanize data to connect.
What makes you passionate about your work?
Blank paper has always fascinated me. The emotion of uncertainty. The adrenaline of the unknown. What I like most about advertising and marketing is that we work to understand and connect with society so that brands connect with it. Now, I also value the change we are experiencing. Everything is evolving, our industry, the environments, the profession... We live in more open source ecosystems, with more disciplines and where the alignment between business, client, data, technology, and communication must be more unison than ever.
What are some of the biggest challenges and difficulties you face when starting a new creative project?
On the one hand, one of the great challenges is that almost everything is done. Someone has thought of it before. Standing out is getting harder, and if we don’t go fast enough, someone else can come up with the same idea a few weeks before us. This happens! Another big challenge is the attention economy. We compete with millions of impacts and stimuli that try to capture the attention of people who spend less time consuming “advertising” content. Still, these same people are the ones who consume 8-season sagas on any content platform. And the last, and perhaps the most difficult, is time. Processes are accelerated, changes are much faster, and you have to know how to find the balance between efficiency and effectiveness. Although, quality has always required time.
According to your experience at Proximity España, what are the main challenges for consolidating a brand and bringing it top-of- mind? How can video contribute to this?
Consistency and long-term. A brand is not built with a one-shot or through short-term strategies that activate demand. Instead, a brand is built over time, with a consistent message and recurrent activations that reinforce it. Building the power of a destination or a brand takes years, consistency, and investment.
What drives you to push creativity limits in your marketing campaigns?
The no settling. Going further, even when no one asked you to. Also, know very clearly that the competition is fierce and if you don’t do it, they will. And, above all, understand that people are not waiting to see our work, nor do they want you to interrupt them with a fantastic campaign or a wonderful video. You have to add it.
"A brand is not built with a one-shot or through short-term strategies that activate demand. Instead, a brand is built over time, with a consistent message and recurrent activations that reinforce it."
Awarded campaign “No Joy in Life is Small” starring Antonio Banderas. Produced by Proximity España for Turismo Andalucía (Spain)
Proximity has experience in creating top-notch campaigns for Tourism brands. In your opinion, what is the importance of creativity for tourism marketing? How does video fit into this equation?
Our success formula is based on three major levers. A solid long-term strategy with an understanding of the traveler and their motivations, not the destination’s needs or motivations. Being experts in the destination, becoming almost local. And finally, always put everything in doubt. What has worked so far, will it certainly work again next year? What has changed? Where are the opportunities? Video is essential in our strategies. We live in a time when we consume more audiovisual content than ever. It is the universal language, and although it sounds banal if an image is worth a thousand words, a story told in images is worth much more.
How important is it for brands and professionals to receive awards?
An award is a gift for the soul or the ego, depending on how you view it. But, above all, it is a recognition of the entire team of professionals from clients, agencies, and/or production companies who have been working to make this brand more relevant to people. And it is also a showcase for the sector. Let’s not fool ourselves, who doesn’t like to receive an award?
Antonio Banderas in “No Joy in Life is Small”.
Which metrics do you consider most important for measuring Marketing success?
Efficiency, for me, is the concept that summarizes any specific metric. For me, it is the reason why we work on this. It is the balance between the decisions that have been made strategically and creatively and the results achieved. And another metric, which is perhaps less tangible, is magic. It is that unique connection capacity between the traveller and the place before it happens. The moment when he decides to travel to one location and not another.
As a creative professional, what inspires you and your daily work?
The questions. Definitely. Ask everything from thousands of different angles. As creative professionals, we must have a curious and non-conformist attitude. There is always another point of view. There is always a better question than just looking at my competition. How would another sector do it? Another discipline? Another era? What if I approach it from a cultural tendency? Ask nice. Ask awkward. And when you already have answers, ask again. For me, working like this inspires me.
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