360 Session: Okan Kavurga UAE at Kwalee – secret behind Tiktok

Published by Richard Bond August 9, 2021
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Transcription below:

Okan:
I mean, the funniest thing is that tic docs tagline is also don't create ads, make tech docs, and they really nailed it on the head because we all see, you know, taglines like the Sansei. Okay, fine, whatever. But on this specific case, we really did make tectonics and then all of the work. So it was kind of like a no brainer that just sit there, right in front of our faces.

Richard:
This is an interview with Okan Kavurga, from Kwalee, he talks a great deal about how UI and creative can work better together. He talks about failure, about the importance of communication. He talks about successes and failings and some really great stuff about social and adapting for things like tick tock. He had some lovely things to say about Replai, but we edited them out because we didn't want this to be an advert of. I just made that an advert, what the hell listened to Okan and what he has to say. I'm Richard Bond. This is expert 360. Okay. Hello. I'm joined here by Okan Kavurga. Okay. And do you want to introduce yourself?

Okan:
Yeah, sure. So Okan Kavurga here, UA and long executive at Kwalee for over a year. Now, previously I was also in a UA rola in Coda. And before that I had a long history of agency work back in Turkey. I've been in the digital advertising industry for over seven years now. So yeah, that's pretty much it. Yeah. Okay.

Richard:
Let's see what we're actually going to be talking about today then. So, okay. How can UA and creative work better together? Big topic. Yeah. Okay. Probably a good place to start. How can someone even identify if their UA and creative teams aren't working well together?

Okan:
This is going to sound really cliche, but I would say the first indicator would be the lack of communication and this, to be honest, this has nothing to do with like pre or post COVID stuff. I I'm a firm believer that UA and creative has to speak the same language. They have to be in the same room. And if there's a gap that really is the first step to failure because oftentimes people kind of tip the scales against one or the other. They either see UA guys as the geniuses that somehow bring in all of the users or the creatives, creative team as the, the great artists that somehow alure the users into the game. But it's basically a combination of both. So when we are talking about measurable success, it only comes from the combined efforts. So I would say, you know, just check how frequently UA team and the creative team is talking to each other. And if there's a gap, definitely. Yeah.  

Richard:
That's really interesting. If you've been there, you know, in quality for a year, then you've been there through the whole pandemic. So you must've had to form these bonds. Like what through slack, through chat channels.

Okan:
Slack, Skype, you name it, all of that stuff. So you can be physically in a room, but if you're not having like meaningful conversations or the, the communication isn't there, I mean, being in the same room, doesn't equalize, like having great communication. I think one of the things that's, you know, we should kind of focus on is either everyone's speaking the same language. What that means is they don't necessarily have to understand. And that also applies to you as well. The creative doesn't necessarily have to understand everything that we make. Like the sausage principle, you don't have to know what goes in it, but you can always enjoy a hot dog. So, and again, that the same principle applies to me too. I couldn't find my way around after effects, even if my life depended on it. I know that the things that they create, the creatives that we use on our ads definitely require time efforts, you know, a lot of law going into it. So the same principle applies to you as well. And that, that's why I wanted that. One of the first things that when I came into quality, Vosloo bridged that gap because I kind of see that it was kind of kind of separated or not as close as I would like it to be. So yeah, during the pandemic, I mean, I definitely pushed a lot of agendas, pushed a lot of meetings, but I would say that we are in a better place when, when we first started.

Richard:
Okay. So it sounds like you're already kind of addressing, or, you know, you've got an understanding of how to address these issues. So if people are seeing the teams communicate poorly or they're not using a shared language, is there anything else that you would suggest

Okan:
Kind of comes back to the spot? Individuals understanding each other's work is really imperative because here's the thing from a UI standpoint, our job is like a three letter acronym. How like CPR, CTR, CPMs flow, flying all over the place. And if you're not familiar with that stuff and which is totally fine, it's not your job was having a wider understanding, should be easier for everyone to speak the same language because that's also something that I kind of want to touch up is regarding sharing feedbacks. Like we could go back to the metrics and see that the creative isn't working, but when you are addressing that to the creative team, you can't just pull up the video and say, this isn't working. But if you had like a common language or a taxonomy where you can say, okay, D concept a isn't working, why don't we swap that audit concept B, at least now you are speaking their language and providing the data point from your end. So everyone is on the same page. Everyone is going into the same direction.

Richard:
I'm loving the way you're describing this. It sounds like a really good and healthy and productive work environment. So let's, let's kind of follow that trend. So we said like what isn't working, we started talking about what is, if you've got any examples or something where good UI and creative teamwork like provided either some major win or something really interesting.

Okan:
Definitely. Here's the thing. We, besides our viewer responsibilities, that quality, there are also job to take care of certain accounts. And they always changed. Like when I first started, I was in charge of implement an iron source. Right now I'm more focused on the socials and tip-top being one of them. I'm not sure I even enjoy this title, but I'm kind of like the Tik-Tok guy at the office now. Yeah. I mean, I would always prefer UAE Amman executive, but I'll take ticket guy title on LinkedIn,

But my signature is still the same. Basically. I've kind of wants to try something because with SEK networks, it's pretty simple. The user is already playing a game. So seeing and seeing an ad for a game doesn't really disturb their flow. But with socials, our ads are basically between a Buzzfeed posts and your aunt's comments on a new cat video or something. At least what I think is that our ads shouldn't break that flow. But yeah, part of it, we basically use our creative team to create tech docs rather than just resize gameplay videos. And honestly they killed it like we have, we have some really undercovered tick-tock superstars in our ranks. So, and basically that allows, allowed us to spend much more budget on tick-tock, you know, get more users, get users from a different point of view, point of angle. So I would say that that was definitely a huge plus. And on top of that, like a little cherry on top, everyone had kind of made a fool of themselves and that brings everyone closer.

Richard:
I'm a big believer in making a fool of yourself to get close to people. I've done it. So can we just have a little bit of a divergent here and the social selling you mentioned that, that I think is genius. I had a really interesting meeting with some of the team from tick-tock recently, and they were saying that a lot of gaming studios are having a real hard time transitioning their creatives from, you know, other networks to tick tock because it operates in a really different way. And it sounds like you're already tapping into that

Okan:
In the industry, both for digital marketing and for gaming, it's really easy to have like a tunnel vision inevitably kind of feel that people should play our games, which they definitely should, but they don't have to. So we are not focusing on the day. Don't have to part that's the part that we need to change. If we are looking from a company or like a colleague point of view, we are showing a great ad. So why isn't the user downloading that? Here's the thing the user doesn't have to do that be VR breaking their flow. So why on earth should they be, shouldn't be the one that are breaking their flow, but if we can create some ads that are like have great viral aspects, who is fun at the end of the, it has to be fun because it's on a social network, it's kind of came in from a deconstructed place, I would say. And then it just, you know, came into what it is today.

Richard:
That sounds like ideal teamwork, ideal creativity, something emerging from a problem. And it sounds like really what you're using that for is you're leveraging the platform to give something to the actual, to the watcher in order to change them into a user.

Okan:
I mean, the funniest thing is that tic docs tagline is also don't create ads, make tick dogs. And they really nailed it on the head because I mean, we all see, you know, taglines like the Sansei. Okay, fine, whatever. But on this specific case, we really did make tick talks and they all did work. So it was kind of like a no brainer that just sit there right in front of our faces. Really interesting.

Richard:
That's great, man. Okay. Have you got any tools, any materials, any groups, anything that you think is like a really, really good first step in terms of like galvanizing UA and creative together, or even like, it sounds like you both had some fun making the actual tech talks, right? So like things like this, I

Okan:
Think one of the things that we are also kind of implementing is something that I kind of drew inspiration from. It's basically on a worldwide event event for a couple of nights is basically just stories of entrepreneurship. That's failed telling and sharing the success story is pretty epic and pretty fun. But sharing your failures is also quite fun as well. We just gather around and share our common experiences, you know, problems we faced or just things that we tried and just turned into massive piles of dirt that didn't turn out any way we perceive that they could, but that's a learning thing, learning curve for everyone. So the first thing is that you kind of establish a safe place where it's okay to try and okay to fail because we are kind of in the business of failing, we just call it iteration. You're also allowing everyone to learn from someone's mistakes. So the same five guys in the same team, doesn't do the same mistake five times in a row. Whereas one of them just does the mistakes for, for the sake of the team. And everyone hopefully learns from amazing.

Richard:
And you talk about taglines. I think I'm going to change the tagline of this interview too. We're in the business of failing. We just call it iteration. I think you nailed it there. Well, listen, I can't thank you so much for your time. <inaudible> if I said that correctly. Yeah. Okay. It's great to have you here and thank you so much for sharing this. Where can people get ahold of you if they want to kind of pick up this conversation and run with it?

Okan:
My name and surname is kinda hard to type in, but you know, find me on LinkedIn. Just reach out to me. I really I'm a real believer in like networks and connections. So if you have any questions or something that you want to pick my brain into it, just reach out to me and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Amazing.

Richard:
Thank you so much for your time. And it's been an absolute pleasure. Cheers.