A fool is a fool is a fool.
“The fool is a fool is a fool” – that’s how Wolfgang Lünenbürger-Reidenbach, our digital communications management supervisor, described Saatchi & Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts, following his recent prophesy that the social network Facebook had only three years left to live. Here is his response to Kevin Roberts:
A fool is a fool is a fool.
I know, I'm always good for a forceful claim. And at the same time, it borders on naivety to assume that Facebook will always be the leading social network. I, for one, have often enthusiastically claimed that it won't survive in its current form. Nevertheless, Kevin Roberts' forecast is incorrect. And the conditions on which it is based are even more so.
Perhaps my position can be basically summarised as follows: I am not at all concerned regarding the future of Facebook as a company. Even though I regard the future of Facebook, the network, very critically.
Indeed, the speed at which Facebook, the network, is losing young people is impressive. The Piper Jaffray study speaks an unambiguous language which can surely be confirmed by anyone involved with young people. But young people leave Facebook to go to - Facebook, the company. After all, only nstagram is really growing, and this very fast.
Back when Facebook acquired Instagram, I called it a bargain. And over the years, it has increasingly proven to be one. The fact that the acquisition of Whats App is now finally in the can will also have a part to play. Likewise, the fact that Facebook has extracted chatting and messaging on mobile devices from the main App is a step that makes me so optimistic in terms of the future of the company. In the throes of App-isation of the next generation's communication requirements, Facebook as a company has got it right big times.
Nor will this be affected by the fact that many users feel the Facebook network is increasingly becoming kind of QVC. In fact, my team and I no longer regard it as a social medium – but rather as a high-performance performance channel. And (to get back to Kevin's other foolish point) it's obvious that creativity works differently there than in colourful brand communication.
Many but definitely not all users are increasingly dissatisfied with the Facebook network – true. That they can't get a grip on their algorithm, at least for heavy users. That they are losing style-setting groups (e.g. from the gay community). That they define freedom in a Steve Jobs way and how they do it ("Freedom is freedom from porn"). That they ignore distinctions between "anonymous" and "pseudonym" which are of importance for many members of the digital elite. All of these are certain to endanger the acceptance of the network over the medium term. But the way in which the company has handled the changes in communication requirements to date (especially those of the next generation) means that I still can't write it off entirely.
Early in the year, I forcefully claimed that Facebook would implode. It goes without saying that that wasn't even really true back then. Although it is in fact currently in the process of imploding in some areas of my peer group, this does not represent the mass market. And for me as a communicator and strategist, Facebook will surely remain an ideal channel for reaching adults with strong purchasing power by means of very precise targeting and retargeting. Even if it is no longer social media.
As for social media and creativity – there's Instagram, blogs, Snapchat, YouTube and whatever else is on the way and which I will keep to myself for now.
Djure Meinen joins achtung! as Micro Audiences Specialist
We are pleased to announce a fine new addition to our team: Djure Meinen (43) is now working at achtung! as our Micro Audiences Specialist. Micro audiences are chiefly comprised of bloggers. Djure previously worked for us as a freelancer and also helped to write our widely acclaimed Bloggers’ Code of Conduct . This Code now forms the basis for achtung!’s collaboration with micro audiences: http://bit.ly/1rt6CHa
“Djure’s task is to manage our excellent relations with bloggers and to improve them even further. As part of this work, he is representing achtung! in a highly visible manner at important conferences and BarCamps. We are delighted that Djure Meinen is contributing his expertise to help strengthen our Lab, which is currently taking shape,” says Wolfgang Lünenbürger-Reidenbach, Management Supervisor Digital & Innovations at achtung!.
8 places on the shortlist of the International German PR Award
achtung! does it again. And we’re mighty proud! We have gained no less than 8 (!) places on the shortlist of the International German PR Award – as the only agency to do so. Wow! The nominations are distributed across our clients eBay with the campaign “Germany’s favourite items”, ADVOCARD with "Angry Germans”, Trusted Shops with “Party Raid” and mobile.de with “From Polo to Porsche”.
Mirko Kaminski comments: “As always, we’re focusing on just one goal: to become even more inspiring, even more international. So far in 2014 we’ve won a total of 8 awards, including an ADC Nail and three PR REPORT AWARDS. What’s more we were nominated in Cannes. That’s exactly the direction we aim to go. I’m really proud of my team!”
Creative operations nucleus “The Lab” almost complete
We are happy to announce that we will soon be completing “The Lab”. The unit known as “The Lab” will open at the end of October and will become our creative and content-producing “operations nucleus” of the agency. In this way we aim to cluster all our communication disciplines, letting them work together even more closely and providing mutual inspiration. The interior architecture of the new rooms is derived from the interior design of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University in Palo Alto: sliding glass walls create independence from project norms and standards, and simultaneously serve as project boards. Large video displays reveal which themes are currently appearing in the social web, or are expected in the coming days. Similar to large media newsrooms, real-time communication and marketing are realized flexibly by task-focused project groups at one “global desk”.
Two Digital Communication Awards for achtung! client Advocard
achtung! has won the Digital Communication Award – not once but twice, with its production “Angry Germans”. The client is Advocard, Hamburg. This makes achtung! the only German agency to carry off the trophy as a double in Berlin, also being nominated no less than three times. Immediately before the award show a team from achtung! was required to make presentations to international juries. The result: one award in the category “Product Campaign” and one in the category “Companies”. Moreover, achtung! was nominated in the category “Public Affairs” with “Trust Alert” (client: Trusted Shops).
(Photo Credits: Julia Nimke/Helios Media)
achtung! is one of the world’s top 125 PR agencies
In the world ranking of the top 125 PR agencies, achtung! now holds 107th place. In Germany we are already among the top 3 social media agencies, the top 15 PR agencies and the top 25 owner-managed advertising agencies. So far, so good: but the most important thing for us is that, in the latest customer satisfaction survey, our clients have awarded us an average mark of between good and outstanding. Now that’s great!
achtung! for Towers Watson
We are delighted to welcome our new client Towers Watson, one of the world’s leading management consultancies. Haven’t heard of them? Well, until now it has mostly been executive boards, CEOs and personnel managers who are familiar with Towers Watson. But in the coming period we’re going to change that, because we are now working for Towers Watson in the role of earned-media agency in Germany. “achtung! won us over with an excellently researched analysis and, above all, with a clear strategy for strengthening the media profile of Towers Watson. We’re looking forward to working together – we can sense that achtung! has a passion for communication,” says Reiner Schwinger, Managing Director at Towers Watson. And we’ll put this passion to use in positioning the consulting segments of company pensions and HR management.
achtung! premieres on Cannes shortlist
The team is extremely proud: for the first time, achtung! features on the shortlist for the Cannes Lions (37,000 entries this year). Together with the agency thjnk, achtung! ranks amongst the nominees in the category ‘Media’ with its LOOK TWICE project. (http://8ng.me/8h).
Mirko Kaminski, achtung! CEO: ‘At the start of the year, we made a promise to be more inspiring and international. Initial awards such as an ADC Nagel, three PR REPORT AWARDS, eight nominations and two awards at the ‘Deutscher Preis für Onlinekommunikation’ (German Prize for Online Communication), this shortlist ranking in Cannes and major new international accounts such as SWISS and Schwarzkopf Professional prove that we are on the right track. I am extremely proud of my people!’
3, 2, 1 – ACHTUNG
3, 2, 1 – this number series reminiscent of our eBay client is now complete. Up until recently, we were still missing the "2". But now we've got it: after three PR REPORT AWARDS and an ADC Nail, achtung! has been awarded two trophies in the German Prize for Online Communication in Berlin. And the entire agency is thrilled! Both "Deutschlands großer Streitatlas" (Germany's Dispute Atlas) (Advocard) received an award in the "Product Campaign" category as well as the "Parteien-Razzia" (Party Raid) (Trusted Shops) in the "Digital Public Affairs" category.
ACHTUNG! AWARDED SILVER NAIL FOR ADVOCARDS LITIGATION ATLAS
achtung! has won one of the coveted nails at the ADC Creative Festival. The jury awarded a silver pin to the "Deutschlands Großer Streitatlas" (Germany's Dispute Atlas) in the category of "PR / Branded Content". achtung! created this project in cooperation with the thjnk agency. The project involved achtung! evaluating millions of disputes, thereby innovatively mapping how Germans disagree in the form of an interactive atlas. Members of the German population are thus given the opportunity to establish their own personal risk of being involved in a dispute.
The result: a lot of buzz. 110 million contacts generated, 3.1 billion online visits. This data has been requested by Ministries of Justice, universities and the Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung. But even more importantly: The atlas has become an effective sales instrument for Advocard as well as the most successful campaign in the company's history. The project has already received the PR REPORT AWARD and has also been nominated for the German Online Communication Prize.
ACHTUNG! IS BREAKING DISCIPLINARY BOUNDARIES
According to the new agency rankings just out, achtung! is one of the top 3 social media agencies, one of the top 15 PR agencies and one of the top 25 owner-run advertising agencies in Germany – despite the fact that it no longer uses traditional disciplinary labels such as ‘advertising’, ‘PR’ or ‘digital’.
Mirko Kaminski, achtung! CEO, on the matter: ‘Amidst today’s hype of information and news, the only thing that seems to capture people’s attention is what’s important to them, personally. It makes no difference whatsoever whether it’s through paid, owned or earned media. We, in any case, have decided to leave this type of disciplinary thinking behind.’
The agency achtung! aims to go above and beyond these categories to create exciting ideas that trigger a response and set something in motion.
ACHTUNG! LEADS EUROPEAN AGENCY NETWORK FOR SWISS
As Switzerland’s national airline, global quality airline and part of the Lufthansa Group, Swiss International Air Lines has named Hamburg- and Munich-based communications agency achtung! its European lead agency for earned media and PR. The decision came after an extensive multi-stage pitch was launched with a number of agencies – including network agencies.
Markus Binkert, Chief Commercial Officer at SWISS: ‘This decision marks a new direction in that we will no longer be solely focusing on communicating business-like corporate news, but much more on content that is relevant to and makes an impact on individual markets and people. For the only thing that seems to capture people’s attention nowadays is what’s really interesting or at best, fascinating.’
In addition to setting up a European network of independent owner agencies especially for SWISS, achtung! is also taking care of communications in Germany and Austria. ‘We believe in the power of a customer-centric agency network and in the strength of ideas that are relevant to the individual. We are extremely proud to now be able to work for SWISS on such a large scale’, says Mirko Kaminski, founder and CEO of achtung!
Triple: Three PR REPORT AWARDS for achtung!
achtung! has become the first agency ever to win not one but three trophies at the PR REPORT AWARDS – the Oscars of the German PR industry.
A hat trick never before achieved in the 11-year history of the awards! An all-star jury awarded the trophies for three ideas and campaigns submitted by achtung!: ‘From Polo to Porsche’ for mobile.de, ‘Germany’s Great Dispute Atlas’ for ADVOCARD and ‘The Party Check’ for Trusted Shops.
Mirko Kaminski, CEO and founder of the agency, which meanwhile has 120 employees in Hamburg and Munich, said: ‘Our aim is to win over and inspire customers with ever more unorthodox ideas. These awards prove that we are obviously on the right track. I’m really proud of our teams.’