Czech digital
marketing:
A history

2004–2013

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year
2004

Image source: Facebook

Internet advertising is in its infancy

Only 43% of large and medium size Czech companies invest in internet advertising according to the Asociace.biz survey and only 15% companies spend more than 500.000 CZK a year. Three years later, in 2007, 93% of the companies invest in internet advertising according to SPIR.

Mobile marketing
appears on the scene

Český direkt awards introduce a new competition category: “Mobile Marketing".
This term means mainly premium SMS, consumer contests and popular logos people can use on their mobile phones.

The first affiliate marketing network

Advertures launches its affiliate program Potenza.

“Bóbika” in TV

Internet portal Centrum.cz launches famous TV campaign "Bobika"

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Nydrle enters the market

Michal Nýdrle and his friend Lucie Nováková establish a new web design shop, Nydrle. Amongst their clients in the first years were mainly music clubs, restaurants and other advertising agencies.

year
2005

Image source: Youtube

The first online newspapers

The first Czech online newspaper, Aktualne.cz, appears on the market. It is planned to be profitable within a year.

1st Internet Effectiveness Awards

Asociace.biz and Economia organize the first year of the Internet Effectiveness Awards. The winners are amongst others Patria Online portal, Letuška.cz, and Škoda Auto "Konfigurátor". Marketing Initiative of the Year wins promotion of TV Prima’s show Vyvolení.

year
2006

Image source: Twitter

Google establishes Czech office

Google Czech Republic opens in Prague. Google’s market search share - on the Czech market - is about 20% at that time.

The first Czech PPC network

Seznam.cz introduces the trial phase of its PPC advertising system Sklik.

The year Alza was born

Czech online retailer Alzasoft.cz changes its name to Alza.cz

New technologies in mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is transforming. Companies try to use MMS and Bluetooth alongside SMS.

year
2007

Image source: Apple iPhone

Angel of Christmas by Kofola

The blockbuster of this year’s Christmas is the Kofola Angel postcard. More than 1,2 million users sent this Christmas wish to their close friends, predominantly by e-mail.

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Uniform standards of ads

In order to improve the quality and clarity of online advertising SPIR introduces uniform standards of the advertising formats. The recommendations are enrolled by 20 subjects including Seznam.cz, Mafra, and Ringier.

Seznam.cz buys Stream.cz

Seznam.cz buys shares in the company Global Inspiration, owners of Stream.cz. 100% stake was acquired in 2011.

Revolutionary web of Toni&Guy

Nydrle creates the first video website in Czech Republic for the Toni&Guy hairdressing saloon.

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year
2008

WPP acquires Advertures

WPP acquires a majority stake in the largest Czech digital agency, Advertures. The agency changes its name to Mather Advertures and disappears from the market in 2014.

Global services in Czech language

Facebook and YouTube are localized to the Czech language. Thanks to this, these services are now open to much wider spectrum of users.

Digital in network agencies

Network agencies open specialized digital units in the Czech Republic. The new names on the market are Publicis Modem, McCann Digital, Euro RSCG Digital and later also Grey Digital in January 2009. JWT founded its digital unit before.

year
2009

Online marketing benefits from crisis

Due to the economic crisis, many companies shift their marketing investments to the internet to improve their ability to measure effectiveness of the campaigns. First campaigns are purchased on the performance marketing and lead generation basis.

Brands discover Facebook

With its 1.7 million users, Facebook is, in terms of marketing, still regarded mainly as a trendy accessory. Yet, there are some very successful campaigns: people sent more than 10 million beer glasses with the "Pošli Plzničku" app created by Symbio and the number of users exceeded 886,000. The success was followed later by a similar app from Hewlett Packard, "Pošli motýla".

Behavioral targeting about to boost

Google introduces the beta version of behavioral targeting. Until now, it was possible to target online ads only by keywords or by a selection of specific websites.

New media player Neo@Ogilvy

Neo@Ogilvy, an agency focused on media planning, online media, and performance marketing, enters the Czech market.

year
2010

Image source: PIAF

New trends in digital

Clients discontinue the practice of creating microsites to accompany their campaigns. It becomes more popular to promote corporate websites or social media pages. Viral content, social media, and working with online communities become trendy—the buzzword is “User Generated Content”.

The end of První multimediální

ET Netera buys the agency První multimediální and the oldest Czech digital agency is transformed into an integrated division of ET Netera. The brand name eventually disappears in 2012, renamed Etnetera Activate.

“Slevové servery”

Vykupto and Slevomat, the first mass discount shopping sites, enter the market.

Association for digital agencies

Following the example of iBTL, AKA launches a new division, “Digitální agentury”.

year
2011

Image source: AirBank

The rise of smartphones

Four years after the launch of the iPhone, the smartphone boom hits the Czech Republic and adds a new dimension to the term mobile marketing. Brands start to work with mobile apps, geolocation, and QR codes.

Zlatý ručičky by Ford

The Ford Focus DIY campaign “Golden Hands” redefines the standard of execution on the Czech market. The internet videos reach over one million views and Czech television broadcast them on terrestrial TV. The agencies, Ogilvy, Wunderman, and Mindshare received multiple international awards for the campaign, including: Golden Drum, Golden Hammer, Cristal, Louskáček, IEA, Zlatá pecka, and Český direkt & promo.

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Czech digital in Cannes

Unique success for Czech digital at the Cannes festival. In the Young Lions competition, a team from Prague Bistro receives bronze in the Cyber category.

QR Store by Mall.cz

Mall.cz copies a Korean concept of the QR Store. In cooperation with P&G, four metro stations are transformed into a virtual drugstore where people can buy products via QR codes. The execution was published on the pages of Advertising Age.

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Dark Side of Ogilvy

Tomáš Jindříšek leaves Ogilvy Interactive after ten years and along with other associates starts a new agency Dark Side.

Toni&Guy Interactive Shop Window

Nydrle finishes another innovative project for Toni&Guy: an interactive window display that responds to the movement of pedestrians on the street.

Toni&Guy
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year
2012

Image source: Red Bull Stratos

Slovak brothers in Prague

Slovak digital agencies Triad and Zaraguza establish offices in the Czech Republic.

M-Commerce about to grow

Smartphones are starting to be used in e-commerce. Alza starts a mobile e-shop.

Debilní Kecy go viral

ViralBrothers become famous with a series of viral videos Debilní Kecy, whose average number of views overcome one million.

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year
2013

Image source: Kindred

Digital agencies run start-ups

Several digital agencies launch their own start-ups. Bubble introduces Postheads, 2FRESH develops the Costlocker tool, and PositiveZero starts Socifi. They follows Socialbakers and Brand Embassy, which were created previously in Candytech and Inspiro Solutions.

H1.cz goes to WPP

Global communications group WPP buys H1.cz and integrates it into the GroupM network.

Kindred Group unites to grow

An independent holding, Kindred Group, is formed on the Czech market. Eight private agencies specialized in various areas of marketing communication grow in size by 150% after the first year of operation. Kindred Group starts to compete with global networks.

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...
The end?

No. The beginning. But anyway, this timeline of Czech digital market can be useful for someone. Hopefuly. So if you have some photos to any milestone or a tip to an important event we forgot to mention, send it to us and we will update it.

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