The Story Behind “Scratch with a reason”

December 12, 2016

Winning Golden Sempler back in November, “Scratch with a reason” by BBDO Zagreb and Pragma Komunikacije for Croatian beer brand Ožujsko Pivo warned Croatian men about testicular cancer and emphasised the importance of self-check. We talked to Almir Okanović, chief creative director at BBDO Zagreb, about the idea and execution of the campaign.

What does winning Golden Sempler mean to you?

Awards can be nice. And if you win one, they’re certainly great. When you and your team love what you do, you know you are in right business. When you win an award, it means other people think that as well. So awards do matter, especially if they come from professionals and especially if they come from cool foreign festival like Sempler.

You won an award, but let’s get back to campaign’s primary goal – raising public and eventually brand awareness. Could you please comment the results?

I think people reacted well to this campaign (and hence the results), because the serious issue of men’s health was presented in a different, unexpected angle, companied with good creative work and good execution. Alongside we had provocative and well-timed TV teaser, but also good media and PR strategy that made the most of different media channels and activities. As always, good results come when everything comes together.


Moreover, Ožujsko’s brand message is communicated through public awareness campaign. Where did you see the opportunity for this combination to eventually work out?

We knew it could work not only because Ožujsko is leading Croatian beer brand, but because its brand essence and advertising communication is strongly connected to Croatian men, their “mateship” rituals and everything that interests men. So it was natural for Ožujsko to do such a campaign, especially since no one in Croatia (at least among major big brands) has tried to tackle issues of men’s health, primarily testicular cancer. We knew if somebody should do it, it should be Ožujsko. So we took the opportunity.

Also we’ve chosen humorous, more relaxed and lighthearted approach in order to make young men less anxious about the whole issue and also helping them to overcome initial fear of even thinking about self examination.


Since you collaborated with some of the well known personalities from Croatian public life, how did you come up with the idea for the campaign in the first place?

Crucial insight and initiative came from our colleague who had faced this illness himself (and had beaten it). Based on this initial insight we develop full 360 campaign very quickly. Also we knew we had to include celebs, because it would raise not only awareness, but would also give an extra “punch” to the campaign. It’s one thing when some unknown guy scratches his balls on prime time TV, and completely another when celebs like Neno Belan do it.

Also we’ve played a little bit with semantics, since expression “to scratch balls” in Croatian men’s jargon often means “to do nothing”. And “doing nothing” is something Croatian men really love to do 😉


Creative director: Almir Okanović

Art director: Ivana Klarica

Designer: Ivan Karaga