Dia: Retail Chain Has Store Concept Designed in Croatia by Real Grupa

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Andreas Koscec writes on the 8th of October, 2020, Real Grupa, a Croatian marketing communications agency, has done an excellent job in Brazil. The company devised a brand new store concept, redesigned the existing ones and created a new strategic positioning campaign For the Spanish retail chain Dia, which has 900 stores in this huge market of 211 million people. On top of all of the above, it also is continuing Dia’s campaigns on a monthly basis.

”I must admit I wasn’t ready for Brazil. I worked on markets like Lithuania, Ukraine and Portugal, so I considered myself a cosmopolitan immune to the phenomenon of culture shock. I believed that our client would be similar in temperament, life and business habits to the Mediterranean-Portuguese, and thus to our way of life. Brazil presents itself through football, movies and series as something close to us, but in practice the life of a Brazilian is as similar to ours as the life of someone in Japan. I had to dare to fight with my own Eurocentrism and the perception of everything unknown and different as primitive,” describes Goran Pecanac, Real Grupa’s art director.

”To get to know the customer’s habits first hand and help construct what we call the shopping experience, I went with a colleague in the cheapest training clothes with only a printed copy of my passport and several thousand reais in my pocket in the infamous favela Capao Redondo and walked. Only then is it possible to abandon some of the prejudices and truly get to know people and their lives. Communication problems on the market are endless and difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t actually experienced it,” explained Pecanac.

Real Grupa has been working for large international clients for many years, and works on the Brazilian market according to a proven principle – using the knowledge and experience of the parent agency as a driver of creative strategy and local partner agency MRM / OU which is part of McCann Erickson Group.

However, Brazilian marketing campaigns, as it turned out, are conceptually different from Croatian ones. Brazilians love solutions rich in different communication elements. In addition, just one display of an advertisement on TV is enough to make an impressive sales effect in the largest country in South America, which is incredible for Croatian media terms.

”It took some time to get rid of the established visual values ​​to which we’re accustomed, which have so far been part of automatism and which haven’t been questioned in the previous setting of communication. It was necessary to relax in exaggeration, allow myself to go a few steps further than usual, use a much broader colour scheme, more visual elements, more sound and effects, and then revise and reduce all that if necessary. I managed to make a mascot that was accepted as an element on which to base any further communication suggesting freshness, product variety and bargain purchase, and when I managed to lay it as a foundation for further communication, I knew we’d managed to overcome the initial barrier and that it would all be much easier from that moment on,” said Matko Jovicin, a fellow art director.

The creative director of Real Grupa, Maro Pitarevic, came to his senses when it turned out that he didn’t study Portuguese in vain.

”At the first meeting, the Brazilians couldn’t believe it when I gave a presentation in Portuguese. I felt so satisfied that me, from little Croatia, without a translator, managed to come up with the slogan ‘Melhor em cada dia’, which is an ambiguous message and means ‘every day better’, but also better (products and prices) in every Dia store,” Pitarevic explained, adding that the advertising industry is like football.

”Brazilians are the great masters, but sometimes even little old Croatia can achieve great results,” he claimed.

”Organizing a communication strategy in such a place is an extremely difficult task, which is why I’m proud of what we’ve managed to achieve,” revealed a satisfied Pecanac.

”The relationship with the client was also atypical, in the most positive sense, there was a rare feeling in agency practice that we’re together with the client in an attempt to solve the problem, that the project is joint and that success will also be,” he added.

Kresimir Renzo Prosoli, President of the Management Board of Real Grupa, is also satisfied with the work on the market of 211 million inhabitants.

”We’re proud of this cooperation and we’re glad that as an agency we ‘ve proven that success is possible anywhere. Since its establishment, we’ve based our business strategy on working in Croatia, but also on other, foreign markets, which are also a challenge for us and we always look for good opportunities no matter where they might be,” concluded Prosoli.

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