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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Historical profile information for TBWA Germany
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Oct 2019: "Every Job Brings You Closer Together". New ads from TBWA's German hotshop Heimat for DIY client Hornbach come along only once or twice a year, but are always cause for celebration. These longtime partners have one of the most productive relationships in the local industry, turning out a series of ads that are unusually quirky and more creatively adventurous than just about any others in what is otherwise a highly conservative and promotion-driven market. It's impossible to imagine equivalent stores like Home Depot in the US or the UK's B&Q signing off on a concept like this, or indeed any others of Heimat's previous work for Hornbach. The idea is pure genius: the love affair between a craftsman and his favourite tool.
Adbrands Social Media 11th Apr 2019: "Morning Belongs To Us". There's a marked change of strategy for the latest campaign from TBWA's Heimat for German home improvement chain Hornbach. The last ad a few weeks ago - in which the sweaty garments of German DIY-ers are shrinkwrapped and sold to Asian citydwellers - prompted what the Germans like to describe as "ein Shitstorm", no doubt deservedly so even if we did contribute to the furore by posting it here ourselves. No risk of that with the new campaign, a lovely paean to the peace and tranquillity of early morning manual labour.
Adbrands Social Media 15th Mar 2019: "The Real Smell of Spring". Any new campaign for German home & garden improvement chain Hornbach from longtime agency Heimat is an event worth savouring. This latest is no exception, though we're not at all sure how politically correct it is. At the very least it pushes the boundaries of good taste further even than previous campaigns from this agency and that client. The idea being, of course, that Spring is the busiest time in any large garden, and the smell of the season is not so much blossom as sheer hard work. The results are bizarre but brilliant. [UPDATED 29th March 2019: Perhaps not too surprisingly, the ad caused considerable offence among some Asian adwatchers, prompting a petition of protest and calls for its withdrawal.]
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.
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