By Michael Meyer, Partner and Creative Director
People who like to judge others, should always begin with themselves. The rotten apple in my awards barrel is a case I was once very proud of – one I’m still ashamed of to this day. I was a junior copywriter at Springer & Jacoby and, after one year at Germany’s best agency, a prize was long overdue. Back then my mentor, Amir Kassaei, together with his AD, Florian Grimm, had the key idea for the famous HUNGER campaign. Those who know Amir will believe me when I say he terrorised every German publisher in the business until they gave in and allowed the campaign to be run in all the major publications. On top of that there was a whole load of ‘Out-of-Home’ advertising too. I was surfing in his slipstream and had the bright idea of implementing the campaign as outdoor communication, too. In line with the campaign look we rounded up a black showroom dummy, dressed it with a Red Cross blanket, and set it up in the window of a friend’s boutique at Jungfernstieg with a dispenser for donation cards. The initiative was only actually live for three hours. THREE! In the evening everything was taken down again. However, the photo required for the awards had been taken, and we were able to submit the case for evaluation. I won my first bronze ADC nail. I was up on the stage – then at the bar, thinking I was a real big-shot. Looking back, it was stupid and embarrassing; a sin of my youth that still restrains me from producing eye-catchers for award shows. That’s the only positive thing I can say about the experience. Now, I’m much happier crafting communication that really does have a market impact. If, incidentally, there is something worthy of consideration – yes, we submit it. If it wins, it’s a good feeling.
By Fritz Schuhmann, Creative Director Copy
That’s exactly what happens when ideas are developed purely for the purpose of winning awards. Advertisers create and solve their own problems – quite often the problems are completely fabricated – like seagulls shitting Nivea! Where should I begin?
Lions, nails, Grand Prixes and excellent rankings amongst creatives are undoubtedly the result of hard creative work – but must never become the goal. The word we use for creativity for creativity’s sake, is ‘art’. However, the true art of communication is in being able to serve the ends of the client – and our own ends – by solving an actual, real problem creatively. This type of creativity is what makes clients truly happy, and what generates real success. So that’s how we work: Brilliant always – but always with maximum relevance.
Fritz Schuhmann, Creative Director Copy, 19:13