Not so far ago, I wrote an insightful article about Real Time Marketing and it’s Balkan appearance. There, I very much criticized marketing industry for staying immune on this hot trend. Moreover, I provided some several firm reasons why is that so. Now, we are turning to the Chokolategate “scandal” which got triggered recently.

These days, we all witness an anarchic salvo of politically backed accusation coming from both sides of the border. An outstanding bundle of spins of inappropriate, nonconstructive and intolerant statements which are only heating up the water to the tipping point (which I hope we dont see any time soon). However, perfect sum up in the following picture.

real time marketing balkans

You have got it. So, let’s roll.

What is Chokolategate “scandal”?

The whole fame about this got triggered by Croatian president Mrs Kolinda who was visiting city of Dubrovnik and thereby giving a small presents (her picture and a small candy) to children she met there. Normally, this would be a 15 seconds news max. But, not in the Balkans. Since the candy in question is of Serbian origin, to be more precise Pionir Subotica, it launched a massive public outrage for neglecting domestic products and favouring Serbian ones. This, of course, being completely politicized and groundless. This is a reason enough for a political crisis and endangering of barely any purposfull relations that exist. Balkan at its finest.

real time marketing mony pionir


Baby Steps of Real Time Marketing Just Got Real

Without going into details, there are bunch of articles online and offline covering the “scandal” itself (bundle of articles on, text 1, text 2, text 3, text 4, text 5, text 6, text 7, text 8, text 9, text 10 etc). Suddenly, almost all influential portals and media in the region were writing on this development and directly raising awareness of a rising star – Mony candies and Pionir factory. This was and is still and remarkable opportunity to engage and gain a momentum of these events. And, they did it.

real time marketing pionir

This poster was a direct response to all and out political chase that is still ongoing. Although, very minimalist and modest, it represents a promising step toward more acute and relevant real time following of the events of interests. In the past we have had few sporadic real time marketing samples in the region (Battle of Croatia, Real Time Marketing in Balkans etc.). As such, we find it as one of the founding bricks in establishing real time marketing in Serbia.

Crucial real time marketing hints:

  1. Timely action – Pionir definitely marked this dot successfully. Although there were few days of completely no action/reaction, which might be enough for peak of attention to be gone, we have finally got an proper answer;
  2. Be ready for a curve ball (or make few possible scenarios of action) – having said this one, I must admit that Pionir’s response was not encouraging us to believe that some scenario appeared to exist at all. This, of course, might be completely false.
  3. Stay positive and funny – very reasonable and constructive hints. In this example we saw that company took neutral standpoint, which is fully understandable considering all political mess behind. However, after the dust come down I suggest company to work on this and engage again in a humorist manner.
  4. Don’t overdo it – in this case, we have a problem of undergoing it. Only one activity as a reaction to the whole story. This must be better, at least 3/4 well coordinated actions in forms of PR statements, video, posters etc.
  5. Be original – without exaggerating, minimal funds for this kind of events resulted in minimalist result in form of this poster. Do I have to mention that you can find hundreds of thousands of posters of this kind in internet? Zero creativity and uniqueness, this is a huge setback and epic fail.

On a scale from 1 to 5 this Pionir’s action deserves:
real time marketing balkans

All in all, a promising baby step in the real time marketing development has been made. Thumbs up for Pionir on agility. But… This must have been way better performed, with more creativity, more flexibility, more coordination and with more understanding of real time marekting as a concept. Like it is now, it seems as a ad-hoc reality that has nothing to do with real marketing practices in the company.

We really hope we all see more examples like this in the future and that real time marketing is not going to be a dead letter of theory in Balkans – like many things are.

Stay tuned for a follow up story.
BalkanMarketingStories Crew