Meet the Executive Producer of the “6 Millionth Tourist” Campaign

Interview

Nobody will have missed the 6 Millionth Tourist campaign and the main character in it, Jesper Black, who suddenly became a celebrity in Georgia. The campaign was even selected this year in Cannes Lions, one of the most famous advertising awards in the world, in the categories of Public Sector, Territorial Marketing and Events. There, it won two Bronze and one Silver award, a first for Georgia. But who knows about the main producer of the campaign, Ringaile Lešcinskiene? This Lithuanian-born woman has been in Georgia for four years and worked with a lot of advertising companies here before this recent campaign. She also produces movies through her own company. We met her to talk about the campaign, her future plans and get her feelings about Georgia.

Why did you come to Georgia?

My husband came here to open a business four years ago. And after two years here, I thought it would be interesting to get involved rather than be an ‘at home mum’. My daughter was really small at the time and we went everywhere together. Windfor’s, the company with whom I did the 6 Millionth Tourist campaign, invited me to start with them. Last year, I was also nominated in Cannes with this same company. And this year we had three Lions, including one Silver, the first one in Georgia and Lithuania, too, and two Bronze awards.

Were you surprised about the award?

Yes- you are always surprised! We were expecting Hammer (another advertising award). But when we knew we were in the selection for Cannes, I told myself we would win. Because last year we were in selection, so it was sort of a continuation. I guess I was more excited by the challenge than really surprised.

What do you see as making Georgia so attractive right now?

As a producer, I already worked in Lithuania, Belarus, Romania, and Latvia, but in Georgia, the clients are always open; they love nice commercials and have bigger budgets. In Lithuania, companies just need to sell the products and don’t care a lot about creativity. In Georgia, clients say “we need to do the best” in terms of quality and everything. I love Georgia in this way. Also, in terms of life here; I’ve travelled a lot, I love the food and I love the people because they are really open and friendly. I never really know my plans when I get up in the morning. I like this spontaneity here. I’m always travelling and all my friends coming here are excited as me.

In the 6 Millionth Tourist campaign, you emphasize the hospitality of the Georgia you describe here. How did you work?

The first part of the campaign was the website hostme.ge, which is why the company was chosen by the Department of Tourism. But then we increased the project with video clips, because I like this advertising format. For the website, we worked with food stylists from Ukraine, because it doesn’t exist in Georgia, to sublimize Georgian food. Then we started with this 6 millionth tourist. The goal was to emphasize the fact that Georgia is really a European country, really open and that it has the same standards as Europe. Because everything is fashion here, and the service is very good as well. But the project process was natural. For example, we were going to go to Batumi by train, but then we decided to take the bus, which was quite terrible. We planned the whole trip months in advance, but when Jesper was here, we changed everything to the point that at the editing part, we were sort of surprised by the result, which looked natural, but not like we planned.

The question many people ask is, how did you find Jesper Black?

It was really simple. Weeks before, we knew the flight which the 6 millionth tourist would be on. And when Jesper came, it was my birthday but I was literally living at the airport. We knew everybody on the flight; memorized all the names and faces. But we didn’t choose Jesper until the last moment. I didn’t know he was a blogger then and it was difficult when he started to film everything because there were cameras everywhere and I was behind him all the time, trying to coordinate everything. Plus, we had the police and prime minister’s security, so it was really challenging to keep the campaign secret. We never knew how the campaign would look until the end.

Any plans for the future?

Right now, I’m preparing a short movie based on an old Georgian tale. The scriptwriter is Slovakian but the story is Georgian. I’d like to find a good director from Georgia, and another from elsewhere. I really hope we will make a very good movie, because everybody knows Georgian film is very good. I hope we’ll go to Cannes again, but for movies this time! We expect to release it in three years.

David Mongazon

10 July 2017 16:52
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