Chief Creative Officer of DDB Prague
Today, you will know Dora Pružincová as the fearless Chief Creative Officer of DDB Prague, having previously held the title of Executive Creative Director at Y&R Prague.
Behind the job titles, however, Dora Pružincová’s creative journey is an impressive story of perseverance and progress.
Beginning her career as a copywriter, Pružincová competed in the Young Lions competition no less than three times before she won and attended Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for the first time. Dora says she knew, however, that “the journey is also the goal (and I don’t mean going to Cannes!)”
Since then, her career has swung from strength to strength.
Her work has received a number of local and international awards – holding no less than 14 Lions in her repertoire. She is one of the youngest creative leaders in the Czech Republic and one of the most respected – having not only been listed on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list, but having produced work that saw the Czech Republic win their first ever Lion as a country.
In this upcoming episode, Dora shares what she’s learned through her journey so far – and explains that it’s not all just about the idea.
In the early stages of her career, Dora worked hard to make her way to Cannes for the first time, competing in the Young Lions competition three times before winning.
“The first time I went to Cannes was when I won the Young Lions competition in my country. That was the first time I came into contact with so much high-quality work from abroad, and it was so inspiring. I remember coming back full of energy thinking: “they’re doing so much amazing work all over the world… let’s do the same, y’know?”
From 2014 onward, Dora entered what she described as a “magical period in time” while working at VMLY&R Prague. After becoming the first agency in the Czech Republic to win a Lion – Dora’s work at the agency went on to win a Lion consecutively for 4 years in a row.
“To put it in perspective, we were one of the first agencies to win a Lion in the Czech Republic. To have such a string of achievement was quite unusual. I was lucky enough to be part of a group of people who were able to achieve this.”
In 2017, Dora took to the Cannes Lions stage to collect a Gold Lion in Print & Publishing for her work Some News Need A Week. “In today’s world of fast media, a piece of news can change in a few days. In a week, it might take on a new meaning, or the situation might change. The idea was really already there, it was just about phrasing it,” she notes.
“I want to say it was me who said: ‘Okay – that makes perfect sense! It’s Newsweek. Some news needs a week.’ But really, all you have at that point is a sentence.
When I was more junior, I thought the idea appeared and then my work was done. The longer I have been doing the job, the more I have learned that is definitely not the case… that’s just when the whole process starts. The idea may seem clear but how do you bring it to life? That took… weeks, months.”
“Unlike fast news sources, Newsweek believes that it’s good to take the time to gather all the necessary information and wait to see how stories unfold. By saying that “Some news need a week” we turned Newsweek’s title into a competitive advantage.”
Czechia has the most debtors in the EU. Every 10th person faces confiscation of property, among them over 4000 children. Almost all of them will carry this debt to adulthood, joining the tens of thousands of adults who are still trying to repay debts from childhood. “Kids were actually being put on trial for debt they had accumulated before they were 18. They were kids,” says Dora.
“To demonstrate the absurd situation caused by Czech laws, we used the only property these kids have – their toys – and displayed them confiscated in public using the same tape as the debt collectors do, along with one real story of an indebted child for each toy. For me what is important is that the work has an impact – full stop.”
“Winning an award is one thing, but knowing it changed lives is another.”
“I was lucky enough to be part of a group of people who was able to achieve this. If I have been this lucky, this fortunate, it is my job – in a way – to pass this on.”