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Vanya Manova: Initiatives that help the planet became priceless

todayApril 24, 2023 51


What would our world be like without some of the most beautiful animal species?

This is what we saw on one of the capital’s favorite facades – that of the National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” during LUNAR in 2022. This year we return to the same place to imagine the world through the eyes of the smallest – the bees. A world that would not exist, if they were not on our planet. Our flight over the world, which brings inevitable delight, will also come with one of the most important messages of our time – that of protecting the planet.

For a second year, Mastercard is gifting this trip to the festival’s audience. What is the role of art in conveying important messages and what are the surprises that the public can expect in less than three weeks – this (and much more) shared Vanya Manova, Manager for Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania at Mastercard.

You are participating in LUNAR for the second time and again with a theme directing the public’s attention to the preservation of the planet. Tell us a little more about that.

One of our main directions, not only in communication, but also in the development of our entire business, is the achievement of sustainability through innovation – not only technological but also marketing ones.

Mastercard® is a leader in introducing innovative practices, and we have long been out of the financial sphere, because the truth is that as a large-scale ecosystem with millions of customers and hundreds of partners and institutions, we have the opportunity to reach many people. Last year, we implemented a large-scale project with our partners from DSK Bank, which aimed to support the conservation of over 2,000 critically endangered animals, in partnership with Conservation International. At the heart of our project was a real product – a card made of 85.5% recycled and recyclable material with the message “By the time this card expires, many endangered species may disappear.” By offering such a product, we cannot afford to use disposable and non-recyclable materials in our strategy, so we focused our resource in a huge digital installation that engages the thousands of festival visitors.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of Mastercard’s trademark – Priceless. “There are some things that money cannot buy; for everything else, there’s a Mastercard” – this simple message, uttered a quarter of a century ago in a TV commercial, captured the imagination of millions and became synonymous with the brand for creating special memories and experiences. In the recent years, initiatives that help the planet recover and prevent it from being out of balance have become invaluable to us. We must not forget that we are all part of it and it is time to rediscover it. This year our theme is tied to the smallest, but most productive workers we know – bees. Imagine how a honeycomb looks like – perfectly constructed hexagons created by “nature’s finest architects”. Each of them has an angle of 120-degrees, and the mathematical justification for this was given by Professor Thomas Hales in 1999, proving that through this shape the space is used most efficiently and with the least amount of building material. But these creatures are brilliant architects not only of their own homes, but also of our future. They have a direct impact on global economic development, and their involvement in agriculture is crucial and affects every aspect of our lives, and above all, the future of our food. Therefore, we give this stage to them and the message “To Fall in Love with Planet Earth Again: Priceless.”

What is LUNAR to you?

I was born and raised in Sofia. It is my home, I raised my children here and I love this city with all its peculiarities. To me, LUNAR is a celebration for Sofia and all of us. Shining, beautiful, lively, with thousands of people on the streets and in parks, just as it should be when it celebrates!

 How do these types of events change the environment we live in?

As I said, such events turn our everyday life into a celebration. We need days like this to appreciate where we live – from the city, to our planet. This creates a continuous and positive environment. If you rediscover and love the place you live in, you will want to take care of it, be part of its positive change, you will protect it and thus you will also love yourself more. At Mastercard we say we ‘celebrate life every day’ – that’s my personal take on it and anything that contributes to this celebration is important and should be supported. Here is my message to people who sit in high positions in the corporate world – support culture and art, because by standing behind such initiatives, we do not just get an original advertising medium, but a great value. Just as each bee helps the other to enrich its nectar by adding from its stomach juices and finally a superfood is obtained, here we all contribute to make a large-scale and valuable event happen that will positively affect the economy of the city, its image him, but mostly to the  feeling of the people who will stand in front of one of the facades and for a few minutes will forget all their worries to see and hear something beautiful.

We know that you are preparing a surprise for the audience. What is it?

For several months, we have been working on an idea for a special multi-sensory experience that would include not only visual and audio effects, but also touch other senses. Our message remains the same, but the location will be special. In the Knyazheska garden, under a specially built dome, we will offer visitors the only indoor experience within the festival, which deepens the understanding of the world of the bees.

About Vanya Manova:

Vanya Manova is Manager for Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania at Mastercard. She is responsible for the development of the company’s local strategy: maintaining the growth of card and electronic payments in these markets, introducing Mastercard’s innovations and technological solutions, creating stable partnerships with key customers, with the public and private sectors.

Written by:LUNAR Festival of Lights

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