TBWA Germany / Heimat : advertising & marketing assignments

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The local office of TBWA is among Germany's leading agencies, but performance had flagged since 2010. It had always retained a strong portfolio of international accounts, as well as local giants Henkel and Adidas, but another major local client Beiersdorf consolidated most of the responsibility for Nivea and other accounts into what was then Draftfcb in 2010. A difficult few years followed. By its own admission TBWA Deutschland lagged behind its other international outposts in creativity following the loss of Beiersdorf, and a series of different managers came and went as the agency tried to restore performance. That situation was finally resolved in 2014 when widely admired Berlin-based independent Heimat accepted an offer to join the group. Its founders took creative control of the combined group, with Matthias von Bechtolsheim named as group executive chairman. The two agencies continue to operate separately, but under von Bechtolstein's oversight. TBWA's own performance has improved, but it has been a slow process, further impacted by internal tensions and the abrupt departure of new CEO Andreas Geyr in 2018 after less than two years in his role. He was replaced as CEO by Tobias Jung. The combined group was Germany's most awarded in 2017, though it was Heimat rather than TBWA which collected the lion's share of the prizes. TBWA and Heimat are partnered by a small collection of marketing services satellites including direct & digital agency Tequila, shopper marketer Integer, B2B agency RTS Rieger and event manager Do It!

Capsule checked 12th October 2018

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Mar 2018: Ads of the Week: "Sweat It Out". No other agency in Germany makes ads as extraordinary, as inventive, as consistently excellent as those from TBWA-owned hotshop Heimat for DIY store Hornbach. It has to be one of the strongest creative partnerships in that country's marketing industry, with a string of superb films under their collective belt, almost all of which we have featured among our Ads of the Week over the years. This latest is even more bizarre than usual. But stick with it. It all makes sense - of a sort - at the end. There's only one really effective way, say Heimat and Hornbach, of exorcising all those daily frustrations: "Sweat It Out". Fabulous. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "And You? What Have You Done Today?". TBWA's German creative hotshop Heimat unveiled the latest in a series of witty and offbeat films for Das Handwerk, the association that represents Germany's professional crafts men and women. That may not sound like the most promising of clients; yet as usual Heimat manages to elevate the mundane to another level altogether, with subtle nods towards multiple iconic movies about epic confrontations between good and evil, including Deliverance, High Noon and even The Exorcist. All by way of illustration of the life or death struggle between a heating engineer and a badly behaved boiler. Fine work. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Feb 2018: Star manager Andreas Geyr - ex-Havas, ex-Axel Springer - was abruptly and unexpectedly ousted as CEO of TBWA Germany, despite reports that the agency is about to secure the account of insurance giant Allianz. According to German trade press, the departure was prompted by tensions between Geyr and local chairman Mathias von Bechtolstein, co-founder of Heimat, the former independent agency now controlled by the TBWA network but currently operating separately from the local agency. The appointment of Heimat executive Tobias Jung as Geyr's successor heightened speculation that the two agencies are becoming more closely integrated.

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd November 2017: Ads of the Week: "Together It's Christmas". Perhaps it's the general Christmas fatigue, but several retailers have taken the opportunity this year to try something completely different with their seasonal ads. Here's another such example, from German online and catalogue retailer Otto, who let agency Heimat and filmmaker Danile Mulloy tell a very different sort of tale. Christmas, and especially the Christmas spirit, are still the underlying themes but in a setting far away from wintry Europe or America, or even an Australian beach. Probably best not to think of this as a TV commercial, but instead as a cinematic short story inspired by the theme of Christmas fellowship. 

Adbrands Social Media 23rd Oct 2017: "We Never Said It Was Easy". The latest campaign from TBWA's creative hotshop Heimat for German DIY store Hornbach wrestles with the issue of female empowerment. It's certainly true that ads like this rarely feature women wielding the tools; so Heimat sets out to smash a few of the other accepted stereotypes. Some of those statues are just marvellous. Our particular favourite is that female Atlas supporting a roast chicken instead of the world on her shoulders. "We never said it was easy" explains the tagline.

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