HONORING IDEAS AND FULFILLED DREAMS – DRAGAN SAKAN GETS A STREET IN BELGRADE
Belgrade, 21 May 2021 – On the eve of marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Dragan Sakan, a pioneer of marketing in the Balkans and the founder of creative thinking in Serbia and the region, the city of Belgrade gets a street named after him.
A street named after the “advertising whizz” also serves as a recognition for the entire communications profession since this is the first street whose name honors an advertising professional.
Dragan Sakan (19 July 1950 – 3 October 2010) was a visionary who believed that the idea was the strongest currency.
He founded the advertising agency New Moment New Ideas Company, one of the most awarded agencies in the Balkans, today successfully run by his sons Žarko Sakan and Lazar Sakan.
He introduced international standards in the field of advertising and design and was one of the first creative directors in Eastern and Central Europe. Sakan was a president and a member of numerous advertising festival juries both in Europe and worldwide. He was a conceptual creator and producer of many projects in various domains of human spirit expression.
The magazine Advertising Age, Washington, described him as “an almost mythical figure, a man who transformed propaganda into advertising in the region.”
The focus of his activities was positioning Serbia on the European and global stage, promotion of Serbian culture worldwide, introduction of local professional associations in global network and organization of international festivals and events. All this led to the creation of Art Director Club Serbia, which became the member of the European network, BeogrAD Festival, multimedia magazine New Moment, Festival Ideas Campus Piran, promotion of the National Museum of Serbia, New Opinion Council, presenting of the Serbian architecture at the Venice Biennale, Serbia’s performance at Eurovision, etc.
Several books talk about Dragan Sakan – Kako smo uspjeli: 13 legendi jugoslovenskog biznisa (How We Succeeded: 13 Legends of Yugoslav Business), Najsvetliji duhovi Srbije (The Brightest Spirits of Serbia), Kultni likovi Beograda (The Iconic Figures of Belgrade), Ko je ko u Srbiji (Who is Who in Serbia).
He authored three books: „Pretty Woman” (1996), „New Communication” (2005) i „New Idea Woman – My Profession is Dragan Sakan” (2010).
He was pronounced Creative Person of the Year at JFTK (Yugoslav Festival of Commercial Communication) in Portorož (1985), Creative Director at the Agency Borba gaining the largest number of awards at JFTK in Portorož (1985), Propagandist of the Year at JFTK (1986). He was a creative director of the New Europe Agency of the Year in Portorož in 1998 and the Ambassador of Serbian creativity in 2008. He received the award Žiža Vasić from the Psychologists Association of Serbia for the popularization of psychology (1986). He also received Lifetime Achievement Award by UEPS (Serbian Association of Commercial Communication) in Belgrade (2000) and Freedom Award assigned by International Peace Centre Sarajevo (2008).
Dragan Sakan’s life and business philosophy was based on the following principles: “Idea is the strongest currency”, “Nothing is created unless it was dreamt first” and “One sees clearly only with the heart”.
Dragan Sakan died on 3 October 2010.
His visionary spirit and ideas inspired many and continued to live through all those who love and follow him. The New Moment New Ideas Company made Saki’s dream come true after his death – they have won ten Cannes Lions since 2013.
His sons’ initiative to name a street in Belgrade after him was supported by numerous fellow citizens, artists, cultural workers, professors and the professional public.
On that occasion, Žarko Sakan, Managing Director of the New Moment agency, said:
“I am grateful that Belgrade gets street named after Dragan Sakan. He believed in creativity, ideas and dreams. I am glad that his business and life philosophy continues to live, bring success, win awards and inspire people to believe in innovation and creativity. Many thanks to the City of Belgrade, friends and colleagues who supported this initiative and turned this idea into reality. With this act, we are putting people who believe in creativity and dreams on the map of Belgrade.”
His brother Lazar Sakan, Creative Manager of New Moment, added: “Our father believed that there were people living in Serbia who could win the world market competition. He proved his credo by sending our creatives to international festivals where they were not only equal but often superior to others. Saki introduced a new profession to Serbia and took it out into the world. He is the father of not only a profession but also a view of life and Serbia.”