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Julie Descamps 2023-07-12

Today we pass the mic to Duygu Su Ocakoglu, Director of Ads and Events at Marketing Türkiye. The magazine has a huge reach in Turkey reporting on marketing, advertising and communications, PR, media, social media, and more. Duygu Su shares her inspirations, her take on what makes a campaign moving, and on what journalists can do to advocate diversity and inclusion.


What’s your role at Marketing Türkiye - and what are the latest developments there?

I am the Director for Ads and Events of Marketing Türkiye. Our year entails 11 monthly-printed magazines, multiple award ceremonies and summits on different topics such as e-Commerce, B2B Marketing and Management and Experience Design of which I am responsible for. 

We recently concluded the Brandverse Awards, a national creativity festival that has parallels with the Epica Awards, bringing the Turkish creativity industry together. After a much-deserved break, we will continue organizing a Republic Ball, due to 2023 being the 100th year of the Turkish Republic, and there is no better way to celebrate the republic, as it is custom in Turkish history, than with a ball… 

We conducted a research alongside Pulside, a Turkey-based research company with the aim of finding out which brands carry the characteristics of the term “republic” in the public’s opinion. It is through these results that we will link the world of brands with the celebrations we will be holding.

What inspired you to become a journalist and how did you get into the profession?

I studied to become an academician in the field of Sociology and although both topics are closely related as they both cover all that is human, the journalism path was paved for me by my mother, Günseli Özen, who has been a jury member for the Epica Awards as the Editor-in-Chief of Marketing Türkiye, Turkey’s leading marketing, communications and business magazine. I have been introduced to the world of journalism and to the Epica Awards at a very young age. Therefore, when I graduated, I wanted to see if this profession was meant for me and with the pandemic hitting at a very early point in my career, I held onto it and made it my own as much as possible. It has been 6 years and seems like it will keep on counting.

As a member of the Epica Awards jury, how do you approach evaluating and selecting the best creative work from around the world?

I am moved by work that employ something simple to create a difference. It's a subtle yet strong criteria when awarding points. The creative work’s presentation, accessibility and how well it addresses the problem at hand are also just as important. 

A good example is The -uncertain- Four Seasons by AKQA, Jung von Matt, Hugh Crosthwaite and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, where they creatively used data on climate change to foresee how the seasons will be affected in different parts of the world and brought it to life by altering Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

The web site and UI for the campaign was well organized, with each country’s own symphonic orchestra playing the specific piece when clicked on the desired country on the map.

There is always something new in the creative community that journalists can spread to wider audiences.

How important is the relationship between journalism and the creative community, and how can it be further strengthened?

I would say very important, as there is always something new in the creative community that journalists can spread to wider audiences and via this bond, whatever the news covered is, whether it be a new campaign or approach to the work itself, can be told from a more neutral, accessible and deeper point of view by the journalists. 

Before the pandemic, journalists and the creative industry used to physically come together much more and, in Turkey’s case, in much larger groups. Yet now, with the remote way of handling business and the economy putting a quotas on the size of the gatherings, coming together to strengthen the relationship between journalists and the creative industry has become harder. To be able to overcome this barrier, we as journalists could bring industry professionals under relevant topics where fruitful discussions can be held, which in turn would lead to new business opportunities for all.

What are the most memorable campaigns or creative projects you’ve covered and what made them stand out for you?

In addition to The Four Seasons I mentioned before, and although being from Turkey, I may be biased, the campaign "Refill" by Zon Project Management stood out to me. It allowed the OMO detergent bottles (Unilever's detergent brand in Turkey) to be refilled at one of the most visited Migros supermarkets in Istanbul. This campaign was the sole award by Epica Awards given to Turkey last year. The reason it stood out to me is that it brought together two advertising powerhouses, Unilever Turkey and Migros Turkey, in a simple yet effective way to achieve an important goal. Creativity has the power to unite different actors and components to create something effective and beautiful.

How d’you stay informed and updated on the latest trends and developments in the creative Industry?

I depend on my colleagues from all over the world. Being a representative of a platform primarily focused on marketing and business, I follow what happens in the creative industry from multiple resources, religiously. Another thing I do that I find really helpful is to meet up with the representatives of different brands and agencies as much as possible whether it be face-to-face or online, to hear about the latest developments directly from the source. 

Finally, one of Marketing Türkiye’s most important and active partners is Deloitte Turkey. Whether it be the content of a summit we are planning, creating a methodology for an award mechanism, or preparing a research file to be published on our platform, the brilliant team at Deloitte keeps us up-to-date on what is happening and most likely going to happen within the upcoming months, with their reach on over 150 countries’ data and expertise.

What role do you see journalism playing in promoting and advocating for diversity and inclusion within the creative industry?

When terms like diversity and inclusion become engraved in the mainstream global dictionary, projects that truly accomplish and portray these terms are set to motion along with those that seem to do so, but not really… 

In return, terms like greenwashing and pinkwashing are born. What journalists can do to advocate for diversity and inclusion within the creative industry is to have a good eye for projects that take the extra step to truly shed light on these issues and highlight their work, allowing more people to see these efforts while encouraging those who vigorously work for a better society to keep doing what they do.


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