All creatives out there, this is the maker age. There is one big insight of this age, what starts with a desktop pc and now is the smartphone will be the city in the future. So, please lets stop talking and thinking in devices and media. Lets MAKE things based on digital infrastructure!
From scratch and without any experience regarding the advertising world I decided to establish my own business. Starting from the beautiful Bavarian Alps, I then established a second office in Bangkok Thailand.
What’s your job role?
I’m currently working as Creative Director Innovation Advertising at MRM Frankfurt, Germany. MRM is a agency for consumer-brand interaction. Started in the digital business 20 years ago, we are a pioneer in this industry.
What do you do for inspiration?
The truth is, nothing. What must be, must be. But I figured out, laying in the sun on the beach, without any electronics - except my iPhone for music - is most helpful.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
There are several proven tracks like GrantaPet Snack Check. Check-in with Foursquare at the billboard while walking your dog; and GranataPet dogfood comes out of the dispenser at the billboard automatically. It’s a creative innovation that’s been voted as one of the top 5 campaigns in 2011 by Advertising Age.
How do you relax or unwind?
It sounds snotty, but I dont really relax, because my job is also my hobby and passion. It’s more using my free time to travel arround the world and get inspired. But, I’m always working a little bit in my mind.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
The hardest part of the job is to convince people that nothing is impossible. And then, I love it when a plan comes together.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
When I sold my agency to become a CCO I didn't realize what that meant, and I failed -- I still didn't realize it. But today I know, it's good being persistent, but there comes a day you should let things go.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
The first website I built was about 14 years ago, it was the new brand website of a famous German yoguhrt company called Ehrmann (Almighurt). We built it with HTML, Lotus Notes and (shame on me) layers. And of course, this website is no longer online, but it was a fantastic experience and I learned something about coding, too.
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
Sports. That is the perfect reset after a long day.
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
I think we live in a thrilling age. In order for these projects to be truly realized, a completely new way of thinking and structure within agencies and creatives is necessary. So digital is not a media! Digital become an infrastructure like power. Everything will be digital, our food, a chair, my skin...
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
When I started at MRM and our Flash-connoisseur and Group-CD Martin Biela told me his thoughts about Flash, I was not sure about the future of this technology. But 9 months later I changed my view, because we built BalticMiles completly in Adobe Air and Flash...and I saw some really great websites in the past month. I think, Flash will change, but hopefully never die.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Research. Research. Research. And listening to different people - everbody you meet arround the world.
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
The South American countries are really up front. Some really great projects are happening in Argentina. Mondelez installed an innovation incubator in Buenos Aires together with Contagious Magazine and they invite creatives, planners, engineers, marketers and innovators from all over the world to work as one team to develop customized digital enabled consumer connections and breakthrough ideas.
What do you think about innovations?
It’s in my job title, but it’s overrated. It is a buzzword from the press, but it describes in a way what we will do in the near future as a digital agency. Collaborating with clients on a new level, we will develop products and services for digital enabled consumer connections.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
The biggest challenge is, how will agencies win the trust of their clients to realize new innovative ideas and not just be a contractor, but rather a partner to develop and invent new products, services and clever campaigns.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
A really delcious beef-filet for BBQ with friends.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Bad question. :) All creatives out there, this is the maker age. There is one big insight of this age, what starts with a desktop pc and now is the smartphone will be the city in the future. So, please lets stop talking and thinking in devices and media. Lets MAKE things based on digital infrastructure!
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you and please let me say thanks to our great CCO Christoph Mayer, our Group-CD Martin and my BalticMiles team Philipp, Dimi, Dominic, Mark, Maurice, Chris, Gift, Zoe, Andrea, Diana, Normann, and Christoph. Thank you for your passion and enthusiasm working on this project and your trust! You are the winners.