Violeta Macheva-Raykolesku, owner of Magic Outdoor, redefines advertising business in Bulgaria
Every step you take in the streets of Sofia and beyond, you absorb the messages of brands who have trusted the expertise of Magic Outdoor, a studio for wide-format digital printing, design, and advertising. From billboards to building meshes and malls, Magic Outdoor has mastered the art of promoting brands, products, messages in an effective, attention-grabbing way. Magic Outdoor also eagerly evolves to adapt to the everchanging advertising environment. In a year, the printing house went into digital marketing, has stepped on the international market as manufacturer of protective shields for taxis and indoor spaces, and branched out into Magic Indoor, a company for home decor.
We met with the company's founder, the energetic and determined Violeta Macheva-Raykolesku, to learn more.
In times of expanding digital marketing and advertising, why do companies still need outdoor advertising?
In 2021 outdoor advertising such as billboards, megaboards, meshes for buildings and city lights is actually expanding as people are tired of staying at home and spend more time outdoors.
Violeta Macheva-Raykolesku. Photography by Kostadin "KOKO" Krastev
However, Out of Home advertising is richer and covers branding of stores in malls and high streets, business buildings and malls. Magic Outdoor is a leader in commercial spaces branding. We make stickers, vinyls, illuminated stands, light boxes and 3D letters, promotion zones, advertising constructions. We are experts in covering facades with pvc folio or vinyl. A number of chain stores for fashion, children and sports goods, and malls are our clients. Our digital wide format printing house offers the full circle of services: design, printing and instalment of the advertising materials all over Bulgaria. We are also into digital advertising and offer graphic design and practical advice for developing a successful personal or corporate brand on social media.
What does effective outdoor advertising look like in 2021?
It should fit its target group. Billboards and megaboards on busy crossroads and roads, along with the Sofia underground, are best for active working men and women aged 25-54 who spend a lot of time in traffic. Advertising targeting mothers should be in malls, high streets, parks, clinics.
Successful outdoor advertising is simple, easy on the eye and contains main elements such as logo, slogan, specific offer, and contacts. It is visible from a distance. To be effective, billboards need short text, bright and attention-grabbing colours, and provocative design. Story-telling also makes effective outdoor advertising. For example, a billboard starts the brand's story, the second one develops it and the third one concludes it. Teaser is another successful technique. A billboard might ask: "Why does the princess not sleep at night?," and the other will answer: "Because she does not sleep on a comfortable mattress by..." Highly effective outdoor advertising uses augmented reality. The client scans it with their phone and the advertising becomes alive. People react more eagerly to such an approach and transform from passive viewers into active participants in the advertising action.
What was your most challenging project in 2020?
On 13 March 2020, I experienced the worst shock in my 14 years as an entrepreneur. The national lockdown closed all malls. Corporate advertisers froze their budgets. I was thinking only how to save my company and my team. This was how our most challenging project for 2020 was born: the invention and manufacture of protective shields for taxis. So far we have provided a safe environment to 25,000 taxis in Europe, the US, Australia and Canada. The project introduced Magic Outdoor on the international market and made 2020 one of our most successful business years. We and our partners in the Netherlands are now working on a UEFA project that will equip the cars for transferring footballers in the different countries hosting the European Football Championship. We also developed elegant and easy to install protective shields for offices, stores, hotels, gyms and schools.
How can Magic Indoor help us decorate our home?
Magic Indoor creates easy, original and affordable home and office decoration: paintings printed on canvas, photo wallpapers, wall stickers, personalised gifts. Magic Indoor was born in April 2020 to help people make their homes cosier and nicer. Our most popular product is Magic Photo. The client sends us an image and we print it on a wood-framed canvas. We print reproductions of classic masterpieces and partner with Bulgarian painters and photographers as well. We also create photo wallpapers with different textures and we install them if needed.
Why did you decide to join the charity initiative Children Help Children? What are its goals?
I am a mother of two wonderful girls, and I have always wanted to help. In 2016 I joined the Inner Wheel Club Sofia, a branch of one of the world's largest women charity organisations.
Children Help Children uses kids' visual and performative arts to help other kids in need. We have organised charity concerts, bazaars and art classes and have collected money for children suffering from cancer and diabetes, instruments for Sofia's Music School, renovation of the National Cardiological Hospital's paediatric yard and Christmas food for socially disadvantaged people. During the national lockdown we helped Hope for the Little Ones Foundation and donated over 400 protective helmets to hospitals in Bulgaria.