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Florian Haller: Thinking outside the box, constantly reinventing yourself – is “rethinking” part of the DNA of tech companies like Facebook?

Angelika Gifford: I would even go as far to say that constantly questioning and rethinking things is a key part of our Facebook DNA. Our guiding principle is that, in everything we do, we remain true to our company mission, i.e. using our platforms to bring people together and give them a voice. When rethinking the services we provide, the question we ask ourselves is: what do people who use our services need right now? Only last summer, for example, we launched Messenger Rooms – a simple video conferencing tool in Facebook Messenger that anyone can use – and also increased the number of participants for group video calls in WhatsApp to eight, all based on feedback we had received. For me, rethinking also means never being satisfied with how our product currently stands, but instead always asking how we can improve things – how we can simplify, speed up, adapt and further develop them. This kind of thinking is very prevalent at Facebook.

Florian Haller: The Facebook we know today is very different to what it was 16 years ago. Were there any specific milestones that marked key changes during this time or was it more of an ongoing process?

Angelika Gifford: It is an ongoing change process, which is why adjustments often occur continually and gradually over time and are not immediately obvious. On the whole, however, we have clearly evolved – for example with regard to “election integrity”, i.e. everything we do to ensure transparent and secure political elections. I am also seeing a significant change on the communication front: I believe that, over time, we have got better at explaining who we are, what we do, how we think, how we approach things and why. Giving a face to Facebook is also my personal ambition. We need to be more accessible, more tangible. Needless to say, we make mistakes too – and have a long way to go before we are where we want to be. But at the same time we are a learning organisation and are constantly advancing and reinventing ourselves.

Florian Haller: With regard to innovation, what do companies have to do to keep one step ahead?

Angelika Gifford: I have worked for very successful entrepreneurs in my time – 21 years for Bill Gates and now almost a year for Mark Zuckerberg. And I see a lot of similarities. Point one: the vision and perseverance needed to launch strong, relevant products on the market. Point two: a high level of diversity within the company – not just a healthy gender balance but also a healthy mix of people with different religious, geographical, ethnic, cultural and political backgrounds, etc. You need to hear a lot of different voices and reflect the diversity of users and customers within the company. Point three: a certain restlessness that you need to be able to keep pace with. The Americans really toughen you up in this regard! This means resolutely business-minded thinking and the willingness to change, to create a learning organisation. In other words, making mistakes is allowed – and even encouraged – as long as you learn from them and use them to grow. And the fourth point: keep employees in the picture, empower and encourage them to constantly question themselves and the company.

Florian Haller: What form does empowerment have to take so that it actually makes itself felt by your 56,000-plus employees around the world and has an impact? What is your secret?

Angelika Gifford: First of all, we try to materialise our culture throughout the company – including physically. Our posters, screensavers, stickers and documents, for instance, carry messages like “Be bold”, “Move fast” or even “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. You have to inspire and encourage people again and again, reminding them that we are all in this together, that all opinions are heard and everyone can and should make a contribution.

Florian Haller: Posters and screensavers – is that all you need?

Angelika Gifford: No, those are just a few specific examples. Overall, we are a very permeable organisation with a very transparent, participative corporate culture. Some companies have an open-door policy – in many cases, the workspaces in our offices don’t even have doors! Apart from that, I really love the notion of making others look great: if you have a cool idea, you should feel that you can develop it and get other people on board and actively involved. And you should also have the courage to approach management with it – that’s the most important thing as far as I’m concerned.

Florian Haller: German society is not – as yet – very diverse. How do you bring diversity into your organisation at all your different locations?

Angelika Gifford: First of all, by setting great store by diversity in our recruitment and training activities. Everyone involved in job interviews has been trained in dealing with prejudices and taken many other mandatory training courses as well. As a global, English-speaking company, we can offer many employees the opportunity to move to another country – Germany, for instance – for two or three years to get to know the market and the customers there.

Florian Haller: How much mobility do you expect from potential employees?

Angelika Gifford: Right now, we are also hiring people in places where we don’t even have an office and providing them with the equipment they need to work from home. This allows us, for instance, to secure top Eastern European talent who are not necessary willing or able to work in our central office in Warsaw. I see this as being yet another step towards more diversity at Facebook but also towards new, more flexible working models. We estimate that one in two Facebook employees will be working from home permanently in the next five to ten years.

Florian Haller: What role do high-profile entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk play in the context of innovation? Are they overrated by the general public?

Angelika Gifford: These entrepreneurs have a strong vision and an exciting business idea. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, is a truly exceptional person: he is 36, a visionary, disruptive, unconventional and also provocative in certain ways. And he has a very clear vision: to give people all over the world – more than 3.1 billion people at last count – the chance to interact and form communities. As well as this, he established a truly open, trust-based and feedback-oriented culture at Facebook, where everyone is enabled and encouraged to question their own thinking and act on their own responsibility. He shares not only his ideas but also things that have not gone well. He is the only CEO I have ever seen that answers questions from his entire workforce every week. These are not discussed beforehand – anyone can bring up issues that they are concerned about, from IT equipment to corporate strategy, and Mark addresses it and explains his standpoint. As majority shareholders, entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg also have the scope they need to pursue a long-term, coherent strategy and to invest in innovations.

Florian Haller: Most of Facebook’s employees are quite young, which must make you the “adult in the room”. Shouldn’t the European boss be 28 or 30 years old too?

Angelika Gifford: Perhaps that would be better (laughing)? No, I don’t think it would, actually! We have no end of highly creative, agile, quick-thinking, smart people at Facebook. While participation and empowerment of individuals are important, agility can’t be allowed to lead to chaos. We are growing as a company, which calls for clear framework conditions, game rules and a definite course and set priorities – all to establish order out of this rich creative chaos and to derive a goal that everyone can then work towards. As I see it, what is needed is a symbiosis of structure-giving management on the one hand and creativity and agility on the other.

Florian Haller: Germany isn’t exactly cutting a very fine figure on the digitalisation front. What factors would you urge the country and its companies to rethink?

Angelika Gifford: I have long been disappointed by the level of digitalisation here in Germany. The fact that we are doing so poorly in this respect also has something to do with our mentality. People in Germany are often afraid – or, at the very least, sceptical – of new things. I get a sense of that when I talk to people, and especially when I talk to small and medium-sized companies. People often have reservations about technology; they are afraid that artificial intelligence will rule the world. We need to assuage this fear. A change of mentality is needed – people shouldn’t see technology as a threat but rather as an opportunity and as something that enriches their lives. And then there are the bureaucratic hoops that you have to jump through in Germany today if you want to drive forward innovation. Don’t get me wrong: we do need strong data protection laws, for example. But if, as Bitkom claims, new, innovative projects fail in half of all companies because of data protection concerns, then that is very alarming indeed. And then there’s also the matter of implementation: there’s a lot of talk about digitalisation and plenty of brightly coloured charts being bandied about, but very few companies actually invest properly or actually implement things that would change their business models and their culture. However, all of this needs to happen if a company can be said to have successfully embraced digitalisation.

Florian Haller: From Facebook’s perspective, where is the technology journey headed? What is the “next big thing”?

Angelika Gifford: Our focus is on three areas in particular. First of all, we have our Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research Lab with an international team that conducts fundamental research in the field of artificial intelligence. I’m not a techie, but what this team is doing is truly cutting-edge stuff. My other favourite subject is what Mark Zuckerberg sees as a major mobile trend, namely virtual and augmented reality. We only recently unveiled the latest version of our Oculus Quest headset and there are very exciting application opportunities, not only in the private sphere but also in a business context: such as virtual training sessions in DHL distribution centres, virtual operations training at Johnson & Johnson or virtual hotel tours for Hilton staff. Smart glasses are also set to make waves next year. We are working on integrating all applications in a small pair of glasses, which, for example, would allow you to have directions displayed when exploring Munich on foot. A third area is sustainability. Many people are not aware of this, but Facebook is already the second-largest user of renewable energies in the world. We have also set ourselves clearly defined climate neutrality targets for 2030: this means that our suppliers will also have to have implemented sustainability targets of their own and we want to have the world’s most innovative data centres on the net. We have also created a climate information centre, a tool on Facebook that anyone can access from their menu – by providing specific examples and facts here, we aim to inspire our users to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

Florian Haller: Speaking of which, can I mention that you are talking to the boss of Germany’s first climate-neutral agency group? We were certified after just one hundred days and are very proud of this. But to return to an earlier point, I have the impression that things have gone rather quiet on the AR and VR front in recent months. I don’t feel there is a real connection to people’s everyday lives.

Angelika Gifford: At the moment, we are working on this very aspect – bringing technology into everyday life, for example in glasses that we want to develop together with EssilorLuxottica brand Ray-Ban. It will definitely take years before we have a mass-market product that people can put on in the morning like a normal pair of glasses. But our vision is to develop useful products for people and we are also taking them with us on this journey of innovation.

Florian Haller: What is the most important advice you would give companies regarding future viability?

Angelika Gifford: If I had the magic formula, we probably wouldn’t be talking here today (laughing)! Seriously, what do we need to do? We need to advance digitalisation resolutely, to actively drive innovation. To do that we need the relevant skills. Which in turn means teaching our children these skills and making IT and digital media fun for them. And this is exactly where policymakers need to create the right framework conditions, be it for education and training or for flexible working models. And we all need to recognise that technology is an opportunity rather than a threat. We need to use it sustainably to keep ahead of the pack in the globalised world.

Thank you for talking to us.

This article first appeared in TWELVE, the Serviceplan Group’s magazine for brands, media and communication. In the seventh issue, you will find further inspiring articles, essays and interviews by and with prominent guest authors and renowned experts centred around the magazine’s theme “Rethink!”.  The e-paper is available here.


Disruption in viral form

For the past year, the coronavirus has been turning our world on its head. Rules and practices have changed radically and this is making itself felt on all levels of communication, particularly personal interaction. Working from home and video conferencing are the “new normal”. This poses a dilemma for business meetings, but above all for sales events, trade fairs and product presentations that depend on large numbers of guests coming together.

How is it possible to communicate in a way that is still personal? How can events continue to be organised and staged in such a way that they are relevant and stimulating? How can products be presented to prospective customers if presentations are not permitted because of coronavirus restrictions? This is a situation in which digital standard marketing and the structures that have evolved around it are being severely tested.

“Say goodbye to handshakes and the old way of doing business.”

Charlie Fink, AR/VR evangelist and Forbes columnist, sums it up in a nutshell. Instead of analogue and personal, we are suddenly faced with digital and virtual. What still seemed like a long way off yesterday is now here with a vengeance. Digital video conference tools like Zoom, website videos and online collaborations are nothing new, but it is only now that they are being widely used and well on their way to becoming standard.

These tools can also be used to set up digital communication channels for product presentation and staging relatively easily. However, all companies step up to challenges differently and not all products lend themselves to being presented on a digital stage.

What exactly is a digital stage anyway? Here’s an example: Apple, better known for highly choreographed live events with presenters on a stage talking to press representatives and the fan community about new products, unveiled the new iPhone 12 accompanied by nothing more than a video on its website. However, the staging of this video was highly impressive: a number of different speakers took it in turns to have their say and the scenes were blended together seamlessly with tracking shots and zoom-ins, meaning that around two hours of information were turned into an experience in feature-film quality. Afterward, viewers had the opportunity to try out the showcased products for themselves in web-based augmented reality experiences on their own smartphones – all via the website.

Another form of digital stage event was the 2020 Emmy Awards and their virtual award ceremony. The nominees were filmed in their own homes and interacted with a live studio presentation in a mixture of pre-produced clips and live sequences. Although there were no great scenes of jubilation, it did prove that the show must go on. And it worked. Essentially, it was nothing more than cleverly combined variants of normal communication tools that people use on a daily basis when working from home.

Anyone following the 2020 NBA season restart and playoffs will have noticed that the games all took place with “virtual fans” instead of real spectators. Via Microsoft Teams and the new “Together Mode” function, lots were drawn for virtual seats that showed the spectators’ webcam images on large LED walls during play. This is yet another form of participation – with the added bonus that fans might even end up appearing next to live images of actual celebrities.

These tools can also be used on a smaller scale and in other contexts to help stage digital events successfully. Here, a brand or company needs to concentrate on what is important – after all, the real challenge lies not in transforming an analogue event or sales format into a digital one, but rather in selecting the right communication focus and the right mix of content and, of course, in how it is organised. Technology is just the tool used to make this happen.

Digital and analogue events are not the same

Benchmarks in the digital world don’t correspond to their real-life counterparts. This is true of both size and execution and also with regard to internal and external expectations. Video connections and virtual participation notwithstanding, participants are ultimately alone at their computers. The spatial context of an event location is missing and, in most cases, interaction with other participants as well. This means that mistakes are more glaringly and unforgivingly obvious. While AGM participants always had the buffet to look forward to in the intermission and audience members at shows could always chat with the people next to them during slow sections and technical snafus, the online format comes with a merciless exit rate. After all, why would you spend several hours concentrating on a boring stream when you feel you could be doing something more useful at the same time?

It is a cardinal error to assume that an offline event can be transferred one-to-one to a digital format. Rather, it is a question of getting to the heart of the most important aspects. Online participants behave differently than they would at real events. Rather than a carefully paced drama, they expect a snappily staged affair, a summary of which can be clicked together quickly if necessary.

Similarly, it is rarely a good idea to transfer an event architecture one-to-one on a visual level. At the end of the day, even an expertly staged virtual reproduction – a 3D trade fair hall, for instance – is still just a copy and there will always be limits to how it is perceived. However, a small number of virtually recreated architectural elements can be used to wonderful effect – as long as they are staged with a specific objective in mind. For example, a smart alternative can be to use a deliberately exaggerated virtual representation of a fictional architecture. And while we’re at it, why not stage the kind of (brand) worlds that would be unthinkable in a real event context? When all is said and done, it’s all about keeping viewers and users entertained.

The costs and work involved don’t have the same proportions either. With digital events, costs for catering, stage-building and logistics are not likely to amount to much. At the same time, however, it would be a mistake to think that only website costs will be incurred. Depending on the type of event and how it is staged, it is necessary to factor in budgets for production and, in some cases, video feed scripting and 3D design for virtual spaces. And then there is streaming infrastructure for guaranteeing a smooth, immediate experience and, of course, conceptual design.

Self-recognition and self-examination

When raising their digital profile, companies need to ask themselves the following questions: who exactly are we? What is our essence? What is our brand message? With digital events, anyone who wants to be authentic cannot simply hide behind show interludes or celebrity presenters. And for the most part, digital events are not designed to take up the whole evening – they are significantly shortened online brand shows that very much cut to the chase. The kind of bells and whistles that are par for the course at gala dinners are not found here. And users are a tough crowd. If the broadcast is long-winded or a product presentation fails to capture their interest, their attention wanes and their staying power is tested. This means that companies and brands need to examine themselves and their structures.

Are we the brand? Are we the product?

Experience has shown that the best ambassadors for a brand or product come from the ranks of the company’s own workforce. After all, who better to extol the virtues of a product than the people who design, produce and market it, day in day out? Yes, we have seen this before with analogue events. But in times of digital perma-availability with communication and collaboration tools, production and participation is being retained more and more in-house. Which brings us to the next challenge: how digital-savvy are your employees and how flexible are your company structures? With digital events, it is immediately recognisable if, for example, the company behind the event is making heavy weather of the presentation technology.

Is live really live?

When there is no onstage programme, there is no pressure to keep to a schedule in real time either. The main advantage of an online event format is that anyone can call it up at any time. And since it is not strictly necessary for presentations to adhere to a specific timing, it is a good idea to pre-produce some or even all event sequences. Live elements can then be mixed and matched with pre-produced content. Avoiding elaborate live transmissions also helps to reduce errors and keep down production costs.

An exception to this rule are formats that call for direct and close communication. Webinars might be a good choice for digital events with a manageable number of users. This is conducive to a more personal exchange, including between the event participants themselves. Another possibility would be to start with a pre-produced main event, followed by a direct live exchange with smaller groups.

Digital event and virtual showroom

A digital event can have an additional, explorative aspect. Combining a digital event and product staging with a well-balanced mix of short video messages and interactive content helps to keep things interesting while ensuring that viewers remember what they saw.

Virtual showrooms are another possible addition that has the added advantage of fluid boundaries: once an event has taken place, users can try out the products in question. Here, the “digital” factor opens up a virtually endless volume of staging possibilities, which can also be interactive (and which can hold their own without the event part). Differentiators can include technical features that offer a whole new kind of product experience.

Thanks to advancements on the augmented reality front, users anywhere can dive into brand worlds at any time without having to wait in line or hang around in crowded spaces. Products are no longer touched by countless people before being purchased but can be discovered by prospective buyers in holographic form at their leisure and in the comfort of their own homes. And best of all: it all already works via the web, which theoretically means that anyone can access it without difficulty.

Here, one event part can transition seamlessly into the next. For instance, mobile microsite URLs can be inserted into the current stream via a QR code so users can visit them that way. While a moderator is presenting a product, users can try it out on their smartphones virtually and in 3D – in a kind of parallel AR showroom. And the holographic avatars of sales assistants could be on hand to help them. Another conceivable idea for fashion brands would be to allow users to try on clothes virtually using AR via a selfie camera on their smartphones – perhaps even with links to the online shop. Tourism locations could use AR to “teleport” users away to other destinations – without them ever having to leave their own living room.

A new opportunity for brand and event communication

Bearing all this in mind, the coronavirus crisis can therefore also be seen as an opportunity: all of the aforementioned technologies have been around for years but are only just gaining widespread acceptance now – and, in turn, demonstrating their true value for society. Digital events and virtual showrooms are a welcome addition to traditional brand and event communication. For one, they help to ensure ongoing customer proximity in the age of social distancing and unanticipated coronavirus restrictions. As well as this, the best practices that are now taking shape will, even in a post-coronavirus world, establish themselves as an equally valid part of the communication and service mix – one that is expected by users.

On closer inspection, it’s not really all that complicated. Companies will need to muster up a little courage but will find that it is well worth the effort to establish new ways of thinking and new production approaches. Those who are busy investing in digital staging now will not only be seen as innovators but will also be able to continue honing their digital edge once the coronavirus has passed.

This article first appeared in TWELVE, the Serviceplan Group’s magazine for brands, media and communication. In the seventh issue, you will find further inspiring articles, essays and interviews by and with prominent guest authors and renowned experts centred around the magazine’s theme “Rethink!”.  The e-paper is available here.

Memes are part of the Internet in the same way as food pictures are part of Instagram. Success Kid, Bad Luck Brian, That’d be great or Grumpy Cat are some of the best known memes out there and have had countless users laughing. At first glance, memes seem like trivial forms of modern online culture. But if you look again, many memes are really creative, pick up on current events and convey political opinions. So, it’s also time to take memes seriously in online marketing. You can discover the different types of memes and how to use them for communicative purposes here.

Memes are now an integral part of social media

My grandmother and older generations are probably shrugging their shoulders when it comes to the question of what memes actually are. The term meme is a derivation of the Greek word “mimema”, which means “imitated”. Memes are photos, videos, GIFs or social media posts whose content, form or message is imitated or modified in a creative way. Memes are then shared via channels such as Instagram and Twitter or even special meme websites and blogs.

39% of German Internet users know what memes are and more than a third have shared these kind of images and videos before. Memes are already very popular with 16 to 29-year-olds online. In fact, 43% of young users regularly share them and 37% even regard memes as art (Bitkom Research, 2019).

Meme marketing: a creative content format for brands

Memes are no longer only created by millennials and GenZ’s – more and more customers and companies now also use memes to reach younger target audiences and to transmit a humorous brand image. To do this, brands can follow two different strategies. They can either create their own, new memes, or jump on the hype wagon of an existing meme.

The beauty brand Glossier often integrates memes it has created alongside product photos on its Instagram feed and effortlessly combines “Internet Ugly” with modern Instagram aesthetics.

How brands can modify and adapt existing memes for themselves can be seen in the current example of Area 51 memes. Background: Two million users responded to a Facebook event on 20 September 2019 that invited them to storm Area 51 in Nevada. Conspiracy theories suggest that aliens are hidden in the highly classified United States government facility. Thousands of memes have resulted from this event and many brands have joined the hype with creativity and humour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether created or adopted, if brand memes are done well, they can lead to high visibility and increased engagement. In times of infinite content but limited receptivity, memes are an appropriate format to stand out from the crowd and grab consumers’ attention.

Meme accounts and memers as content producers

A company decides to integrate memes into its marketing strategy and tasks its marketing agency with the implementation. But where can the agency employees find the right memes to use for their customers’ creative marketing? Websites such as reddit, me.me, cheezburger and knowyourmeme have extensive meme collections.. Knowyourmeme is particularly helpful as it also explains the meaning and the origin of the meme, as well as showing several variations of the meme.

There are also a number of meme accounts on Instagram, which have considerable reach with millions of followers. The biggest accounts include @epicfunnypage (16.8 million followers) @fuckjerry (14.4 million followers) and @sarcasm_only (14 million followers). These accounts are bigger than the accounts of many beauty, fashion and lifestyle influencers. This is why it is time to take the meme community seriously and to see memers and operators of meme accounts as relevant content producers or curators. They know their community and understand the humour of their young followers the best, so agencies and brands should make use of their expertise and collaborate more with them in the future.

2019 is already knocking on the door – new year, new trends. At the end of the year, we asked the Serviceplan Group experts about their personal trends for 2019. What’s coming next alongside influencer marketing, new work and sustainability? The communication professionals give their verdict here. Happy reading!

Scrum, Kanban, design thinking, prototyping and collaboration are working styles and methods that have their origins in product design and software development. In recent years, they have found their way into the development of digital platforms, products and services. Now we are experiencing how they are beginning to change the way people work across communication agencies: in the future, communication strategies and communication campaigns and measures alike will be designed and planned more and more collaboratively – including in partnership with customers – in sprints.

 

This article is part of the Trends 2019 series of the Serviceplan Group.

Value creation is destroyed by communication. Admittedly, this is a bold suggestion. Especially as it comes from the pen of a representative of the communications industry. But while it might sound daring at first, the idea can easily be explained.

I do not want to bother with the superficially obvious examples of communication between companies and customers. We all know that this can sometimes backfire, simply because someone neglects to master their tools, or forgets to give the customer their glasses. Camel’s bungled brand management or Nestlé’s Kitkat PR disaster are just a couple of examples.

Instead, I want to focus on three different kinds of communication that are much less well known. And they also have a significant – but greatly underestimated – impact on a company’s value creation power.

1. When two parties meet and communicate with each other…

First, let us consider the interpersonal level, communication between two people. This might at first seem banal. But it is not! Thanks to ideas such as Schulz von Thun’s “four-sides model” of communication (the quality of communication is influenced by factual information, self-revelation, relationship and appeal) and Paul Watzlawick’s “constructed reality” (we perceive the world like a picture puzzle), we know that interpersonal communication is a highly complex process. A complex process that often goes wrong – and destroys value creation on a grand scale.

Steven R. Covey recognised this connection in the 1980s in his best-selling “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and therefore attached great importance to interpersonal communication: three of his seven effectiveness habits are dedicated to it. For example, rule # 5 reads: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.

We talk more, but communicate less

Active listening as part of an effective interpersonal communication strategy is becoming harder for us collectively. Although we are constantly talking and posting online, we are rarely able to truly communicate meaningfully.

And so it is not surprising that many New Work approaches aim to add value to interpersonal communication in the VUCA age. To name just two examples: the Tactical Meeting format is a highly efficient way to run weekly team jour fixes. And the retrospective (part of the Scrum rules) aims to identify factors which limit value creation in the process and to counteract them accordingly in the team.

Smart corporate leaders are understanding the importance of ensuring that the level of interpersonal communication skills is high throughout their organisations. And they inspire the entire team to look critically at their meeting formats to eliminate factors which destroy value creation early on.

2. When two parties meet and communicate with each other

That’s right, this title is the same as in point 1. Because it might seem that everything stays the same when you add the “organisation” dimension. But this is far from the truth.
Now new forces come into play, and their effectiveness is underestimated, since they are invisible at first glance. This realisation is only very slowly gaining traction in top-level management. Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory offers a helpful explanatory model: a social system is a closed system with a life of its own that exerts influence on the individual people in the system (in systems theory they are considered environmental). Thus, an organisation consists of people only at first glance. In the system-theoretical sense, it is actually based on communication.

A popular metaphor for illustrating Luhmann’s systems theory is the board game. Without the players (i.e. co-workers) the game cannot be played, but the players follow the rules of the game, which means the game (for which read: the organisation) makes the rules. The organisation’s rules of the game include the many explicit, and the even more numerous implicit rules, cultural norms, and beliefs that have accumulated since the company’s founding. They are the guardrails within which the possible is reduced to the probable.

Employees come and go, but the influential system remains

And now comes the really exciting part, because it shows the effectiveness of this explanatory model: If you lose one employee and replace them with a new one, I could almost guarantee that in virtually every case you will observe similar patterns of behaviour as before, and the bigger the company, the more likely this is. This is quite simply because only the environment has been changed, and not the influencing system.

When it comes to adding value, the system-theoretical approach helps by allowing a differentiated view of cause and effect. And it reminds us that there is little point in attempting to treat the symptoms (that is, the behaviour of employees). Rather, it is better to work out the causes (the rules of the game that produce the symptoms). This means working ON the system instead of IN the system.

Work ON the system – and not IN the system

If you ignore these interconnections, you can talk all you like, initiate every change programme you can think of, or change up all the central managers, you still won’t get the change you want. And you must have noticed the recent trend for “letters of admonition”, in which board members, for example, publicly blame the employees for behaviours that destroy value creation. This practice really achieves nothing (what it damages is another matter). Instead of trying to find choice phrases to describe alleged causes, this time and energy would be better spent exploring the cause behind the cause.

3. When two parties meet within myself and communicate with each other

Yes, you read that right. We shall now turn to the intrapersonal level: communication with ourselves. Do not be alarmed: this is not an esoteric approach, but a true value creation factor.
The question “Who Am I? And If So, How Many?” is not only a best-selling book by the philosopher Richard David Precht, but also very strikingly describes the concept of multiplicity of personality: In addition to a leading ‘self’ we also contain – often unconsciously – various different personalities within ourselves, whose feelings, beliefs and memories are firmly anchored in our brains.

Even if these different personalities are not (yet) known to us, they are constantly at work within us, busily engaging in dialogue with one another and sometimes, depending on external circumstances, they get the upper hand. We have all had the experience of witnessing a generally meek and quiet person suddenly exploding in rage. This was not the person we thought we knew as an adult, but the injured inner child or the inner rebel who briefly took the reigns, because an external impulse challenged that part of their personality.

Managing these different aspects of inner personalities is important

Another example: our internal movie gets hijacked by some destructive part of our brain and starts playing negative thoughts and painful memories on a continuous loop, over which we seem to have no control. This has profound negative consequences for our own energy levels and how we choose to act. It also has a significant effect on our personal contribution to value creation within the company.

The successful management of these inner personalities, including awareness and professional handling of them, is hugely important for value creation. I would even say: due to its leveraging effect, it is one of the most significant factors in value creation, because it significantly influences all three previously mentioned communication levels.

And in the age of VUCA and NEW WORK – when the traditional corset of familiar routines and standards as well as the guardrails of pre-existing chains of command are being eliminated, our inner personalities are challenged more than ever. The result is that even this level of communication will increasingly enjoy more attention from top-level management, simply due to a vested interest in a robust “bottom line”.

Let us return to the initial thesis: is communication fundamentally destructive for value creation, or is it a significant leverage factor in value creation – that is the question here. The answer depends largely on factors such as the level of self-reflection of all corporate stakeholders, and what significance the four levels of communication have in the top levels of management.

Enlightened business leaders have long since recognised the relationships described and used them for their own competitive advantage. Outstanding value creation has been the reward for their courage.

Shift to Post Smartphone World

A new era “after Smartphone” arrives. Powered by soaring mobile traffics, AI (Machine Learning), VR / AR / Fictionless computing are hot icons to catch up with. And autonomous vehicles, for sure!

All this techs are continuously connecting us from this to that, here to there. On December 14th 2016, Wynn hotel announced plans to equip all 4,748 hotel rooms at Wynn Las Vegas with Amazon Echo. And on the same day, Amazon succeeded their first drone delivery service with Prime Air in UK. And what else? Uber started its first autonomous vehicle operation in San Francisco whereas Silicon Valley start-up, Lucid Motors launched the luxury electric car, Lucid Air which goes 400 miles on a single charge. All these are happening day to day and we even do not have enough time to get surprised. Let’s not forget: For all that, Future is made for us, “human-beings”. Let’s enjoy this new techs and ride the comfort and convenience to the fullest.

Mobile All

In 2017, mobile is expected to stand even more at the centre of all communication in Korea,  which ultimately leads more to mobile commerce. With 91 % smart phone penetration rate (No. 1 globally as of March 2016) & the fastest internet speed, South Korean will likely consume more contents at mobile. (even TV contents are consumed at mobile)

In line with this trend, contents (including advertising) will be developed & formatted in mobile platform. And mobile advertising  will be further developed to reach right audience with more sophisticated performance measurement tools.

Tech-driven Contents

As the novelty factor of VR/AR technology cools down, creating more relevant contents will become essential. With Naver and Kakao – two of the biggest online industry giants in Korea – beginning to invest heavily in AR/VR content development, Korean consumers are sure to be presented with various, yet more relevant, contents to choose from.

Along with VR/AR, other technologies – such as AI and Livecast – are being implemented in various marketing platforms. This suggests that now more than ever, technological developments are pushing the evolution of marketing tools – something that the content creators must keep pace with.

O2O Almighty

The O2O (online-to-offline) business, which has emerged as an icon of Korean start-up since 2014, is steadily growing. In fact, the O2O service barriers are relatively low. Now, however, diffusion and differentiation are more emphasized in O2O biz in order to settle in the market.

Large platform companies such as Kakao are expanding the scale of service diffusion by acquiring related O2O services or providing various services within one type of app by combining the power of O2O service in the related area for win-win.

Personalized O2O services are on the trend such as ”Travel Accommodation” service reflecting the characteristic of single target who enjoys his / her life, “Personalized Beauty” service reflecting the consumer tent that pursues wellness and “Services aiming at 3049 target” that has emerged as the premiere of the health consumption market.

This O2O service, which makes consumers’ lives convenient and enriched, is expected to grow further thanks to mobile acceleration and easy mobile payment service.

The old year is drawing to a close. It’s time, therefore, to take a look at the coming year.  The experts of the Serviceplan Group have summarised their personal communication trends for the year 2017.

Dr Peter Haller, Founder and Managing Director of the Serviceplan Group

Public discussion has adapted itself to a good dozen mega trends. They trigger business trends and these lead to consumer and communication trends. Those who want to develop faster than the economy as a whole have no choice but to follow the growth trends. But which ones?

There are hundreds of trends and counter-trends. All of this against the backdrop of an accelerating change in digitalisation. But which of these trends are relevant to which industries? Which can I embrace for my brand? And which of these in this confusing process is the reliable guidance for my brand management?

This is the theme of our 2017 Brand Roadshow together with GfK, which is once again sponsored by the German Trade Mark Association. “Dynamic brand management through the jungle of consumer and communication trends” will take place on 7 March in Munich, 9 March in Berlin, 22 March in Frankfurt, 28 March in Cologne, 30 March in Hamburg, 9 May in Vienna and 11 May in Zurich.

Jens Barczewski, Deputy Managing Director Mediaplus Strategic Insights

2017 will be the year inflationary KPIs become the measurement of success for campaign and media performance. In 2017 there will be an agreement between AGF (the television research working group in Germany) and Google/Youtube over the designation of a common video currency. The ‘Quality Initiative for Research into the Effect of Advertising’, driven by the Organisation of Brand Advertisers (OWM) in cooperation with Facebook and Google, will deepen its work and define the first indicators. The AGOF will firstly designate reach on a daily basis and therefore facilitate a continuous improvement of the booking units.

With the associations’ initiatives the individual publishers will open up their own measurement and success indicators to customers and agencies in order to obtain greater transparency in the market. The commotion over the erroneous increase in video viewing times on Facebook showed that not every KPI should be accepted without deep understanding from the customers and agencies.

Winfried Bergmann, Head of Human Resources, Serviceplan Group

Political correctness is on the retreat

Overly cautious political correctness has definitively disqualified itself as being the spiritual leader towards populism. The US presidential election was marked by dishonesty – from both sides. You did not know what was worse – the evident lies from the one side or the awkward, fearful avoidance and concealment of highly relevant issues from the other. Someone who conceals topics, about which large portions of the public worry, because of an alleged sense of decency and misunderstood consideration, must not be surprised when the sovereignty of interpretation is lost in societal discourse. This is even more so in Europe.

Therefore, dear reputable conservatives, break free from political correctness and in the coming year engage strongly in your issues. Let us argue about all of that – from the centre of society, which would then have found the courage for free debate once more. For when we do it like this, there will be nothing more for populists to do other than peep out from the right side of the screen. And it will be lonesome again and they will go back to their crossword.

Stephan Enders, Head of Mobile Marketing of the Plan.Net Group

Chatbots

With the first bot shops among messengers the subject flared up in 2016. And, as it often happens when a new trend emerges, a euphoric, partly activist test phase was swiftly launched, sometimes even when the worth and meaning of a certain discovery could not be estimated. However, chatbots are merely the cherry on top of an older idea, whose impact stretches far wider than it looks at first sight. It’s all about the perfect customer dialogue.

Chatbots, together with artificial intelligence, are (or, rather, will be) a valuable instrument, perhaps the most valuable of them all. Because the trend of 2016 will be the mega trend of 2017, meaning that it will pool together different mechanics, half trends and instruments:

01 CRM: Customer service with a chatbot, whose reaction is always quick and precise.

02 BIG DATA: Only learning chatbots, with all customer data at hand, will be able to unfold their power. The evolution of chatbots will enforce Big Data processes.

03 MOBILE FIRST: Chatbots are perfect for mobile use and, therefore, ideally fit for the future – wherever the user might decide to roll: Facebook, (mobile) web, you name it.

04 SERVICELAYER: In a world of information overload, it will be vital to deliver the right information, at the right time, in the right place. Nothing more, nothing less. A chatbot will be able to do just that.

Gerd Güldenast & Marcus Person, Managing Directors at hmmh

Voice control
Google Home and Amazon Echo open up new possibilities, however still clearly show us their limits . 2017 is the year the merits of the products and services will be demonstrated convincingly without a graphical user interface. Creative individuals and developers are asked to smarten these systems and to further develop companions for everyday life or for an intelligent touchpoint in connected commerce.

Big data aids human customer service
The topic of customer service in the online world stands to change in 2017. Today chatbots are being used more commonly. They show however shortcomings where subjective feelings and emotions play a crucial role. With new customer intelligence systems and smart chatbots based on big data analysis, customers will receive a completely new quality of service in 2017.

Oliver Grüttemeier, Managing Director of  Serviceplan Cologne

Digitalisation only succeeds with empathy.

For years, we have experienced dramatic changes in the workplace through technological developments. Although companies attempt to increasingly fuse their processes along the supply chain, the digitalisation often only comes along sluggishly. 2017 will change that, because the top management currently recognises that leadership through ‘command and control’ no longer works. In the future, executives managers of successful companies will therefore be measured less by their accomplished goals, but rather much more by their social competence—the foundation for every form of cross-departmental collaboration.

In this area, Google is already 10 years ahead. Since 2007, Google already offers its employees the opportunity for personal growth and the development of business empathy with the program ‘Search Inside Yourself’. The success of Google is not only based on the accumulation of more data, but on the knowledge that the best search engine is our spirit.

Stefanie Krebs, Managing Director of Plan.Net Technology

In 2017 a creative thinker requires analytically and technically broad shoulders. While the mega trend digitalisation advances rapidly, the majority of companies have reacted and digitalised their structures. Now, together with their associates, they are facing the challenge of building an integrated business model from the emerging digital island which can also exist in a future shaped by big data, machine learning, the internet of things and perpetual digital innovation.

Those who want to deliver creative responses and celebrate communicative success must be able to develop organisationally and technically complex systems in a short amount of time. 2017 will therefore be the year of the creative team player, where it pays to deliver elegant solutions to complex questions using the input from your multi-faceted team with specialists for tools, technology, processes and people. It is no longer about the colourful façade, but the whole package.

Andrea Malgara, Managing Director of the Mediaplus Group

TV works

According to the ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) TV is still the most important advertising medium when it comes to building a broad reach and increasing return on investment. E-commerce companies are investing more and more in TV advertising. In 2015 almost every third TV advertising spot was occupied by an e-commerce product. TV advertising is strongly increasing online shopping traffic. Digital business models require a wide reach, however, to generate significant turnover.

If the appropriate special interest channels are chosen and screen planning is optimal for an advertising campaign, the advertising recall, brand awareness and the conversion rate all significantly increase. Through brand-unique and innovative media strategy, we can achieve a 20 percent increase in turnover with a targeted media mix.

Kevin Proesel, Managing Director of Saint Elmo’s Berlin

In 2017, IOT (Internet of Things) and clever ideas are changing retail marketing.

We have observed that the classic sales funnel of companies is changing: through the technology shift and the increase in use of smartphones, customers themselves are becoming points of sales and points of information, because they are networked everywhere and can obtain information as well as provide information at any time. As a result of this, personalised and networked campaigns that are implemented close to consumers will be the most convincing in the future. In 2017, we will be seeing the first campaigns which will use networked Smart Buttons as marketing incentives in the Internet of Things.

‘Smart Button’? It sounds smart, and it is smart: in advanced retail campaigns, a branded button acts as a pivot point. It is not like the dash buttons on Amazon, which act purely as facilitators of a networked ordering process, but it is a starting point for a networked campaign storytelling, which unfolds once the customer connects their button to their smartphone—and once they press the Smart Button. Predefined processes now tell a story, which, through several chapters, leads the customer to more and more touch points of a company: always through the simple push of a button. In this way, a guided tour takes place from home to the retail department, which constantly further qualifies the customer and allows campaigns to be experienced fully networked. It is virtually engagement marketing par excellence, since it goes beyond only displaying content and includes the user directly: ‘2017? Press the button and see what happens.’

Dominik Schütte, Managing Director of Serviceplan Content Marketing

Content quality instead of quantity

In 2017, people will ultimately comprehend that the purpose of content marketing goes beyond simply selling. Therefore, companies will be more confident in finding narrative niches outside their brand. In the process, they will be astonished to find out that people actually have their own interests and that it is exactly through these interests that they can be reached and turned into customers. A win-win situation, for both companies and the people out there. Storytelling for the masses – yes, thank you. But make it qualitative, relevant and, please, don’t be annoying.

Klaus Schwab, Managing Director of the Plan.Net Group

I believe that 2017 will bring along two highlights:

First of all, it will be the year when voice command becomes widely adopted, meaning that digital services will be triggered through speech. And this will be the collapse of technical interfaces, such as displays and keyboards.

Secondly, we will witness companies developing platform strategies inside different branches. Namely, they will be more open to start-ups and work together, in order to facilitate their clients’ access to specific services within their own ecosystem.

Julian Simons, Managing Director of mediascale and PREX Programmatic Exchange

With the progressing digitalisation of the use of media, and even in most areas of life, the long known types of borders between offline and online advertising channels are beginning to blur. More and more advertising spaces are being digitalised, are therefore accessible via IP, and are going ‘online’. Subsequently, this also means that programmatic advertising will lead to an increased distribution and control of channels such as radio, out-of-home, and in the end, television. This will lead to big changes for the advertising market.

The tremendous opportunities of comprehensive control and of addressing someone individually are not without great challenges. Business models change and become more complex. Strategies and management logics that make it possible for the new complexity to be meaningful to use, have to be found to prevent campaigns from losing impact in an aimless atomisation. This change must always keep the interests of the user and their data protection concerns in mind, otherwise it will not be successful.

Klaus Weise, Managing Director of Serviceplan Public Relations

Digital enraged citizens are changing the world

Great Britain is to exit the EU, Donald Trump is moving into the White House. Who would have believed, last year, that any of it would happen? The two results are neither coincidences, nor singular political accidents. They are the beacon of a world quake that has just begun. The triggering force of that quake is the fear caused by a change in the world, brought along by digitalisation and globalisation. Similar fears have always existed, but today they are a million times amplified and multiplied through social media. Fuelled by shady hate speeches and sparkled by social bots and opinion robots, whose sole purpose is to rile up the crowds. In 2017, dealing with digital enraged citizens will be the main challenge of political parties, unions, companies and brands.

At Serviceplan Middle East, we’ve always counted on clients to recognize the fine line between defragmented and consolidated services as we stood our ground pro-integration. Here we share our successes and some hard lessons learned along the way.

A decade and a half ago, network agencies initiated the epic move towards specialization, marking the exodus of in-house media departments into global media houses. By the time we set up shop in Dubai in 2009, the argument has evolved into full service vs. specialist shops. Full service agencies were valued for their one-stop-shop solution, but were heavily critiqued for going broad but not necessarily going deep. On the other hand, specialist shops were esteemed for perfecting their individual crafts, but were deemed hugely lacking in macro perspectives.

Specialist agencies have become the norm as digitalization started to hound traditional full service agencies. Today, the territories are all but blurred. The demarcation line between creative and media houses have seemingly vanished – with media agencies becoming content creators, and creative agencies becoming learned consultants of content platforms. Specialist agencies started offering integrated and consolidated services, while big network agencies began shape-shifting again. Take the decision of one French powerhouse in late 2015 when it announced that it was restructuring its ranks into four consolidated hubs, putting client services at the heart of its mission. Transformation, it claimed, will be driven by the fusion of technology and creativity, with focused divisions in creatives, media, and technology among its four hubs.

Sticking to our “I” Guns

As believers of Integration, the plan was crystal clear from the onset. While we started the traditional route delivering only offline services in 2009, we stuck to our long-term vision of building a “Haus Der Kommunikation” in Dubai to offer specialized services under one roof. We knew there was no room for alternatives since we belong to an independent, family-owned agency group, headquartered in Munich, whose “Haus der Kommunikation” concept has weathered the industry’s shifting tides across 45 years of operations. 7 years into our own experience, we came to realize that boundaries aren’t limitations but opportunities to reinvent oneself, if only to stay profitable and above water in a region that has yet to see its full potential but is already besought with fierce competition from all angles.

When we started, well-meaning industry advisers were saying you either go big or you go boutique. Boutique was the preferred route to gain a good share off the pies of big-name regional clients who remained stable or were recovering fast post 2008. Niche offerings, they said, would help one zero-in on specific gaps that big networks may not be quick or flexible enough to fill in. Niche, they argued, would guarantee a steady flow of income for boutiques for as long as niche is delivered with measurable efficiencies.

The problem? We were neither big nor boutique. We were, in reality, gap-fillers in our own industry, occupying a niche somewhere between a big network agency and a specialized boutique shop. We were extremely careful not to get across as another “indie” house wanting to capitalize on Dubai’s diversity and central location as we highlighted the hybrid nature of our concept. “A subsidiary of Europe’s largest and most successful independent agency group poised to offer innovative communications, innovative digital solutions, brand-individual media, and strategic market research under one roof,” we soon realized, is a concept unheard of in the region. Worst, it is one that often leaves most clients baffled, and at times doubtful.

But their doubts weren’t unfounded. On lots of occasions, we were too adamant to prove our case that we barged into pitches for specific requirements with a full portfolio of consolidated ideas that span offline, online, even experiential. Most times we would leave presentations patting our backs, elated over pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed prospective clients, only to rub ourselves sore come decision time when we are finally told that while our concept was by all means strategic and commendable, budgets could only accommodate specified requirements. Yes, those heartbreaks came in a handful, alongside our more substantial wins.

But with almost 8 years worth of learnings, we’ve come to reinvent ourselves. Not only are we the first agency established outside of Europe that ultimately catapulted the group’s internationalization, we are also the first to introduce a fifth communication pillar – Serviceplan Experience, which offers brand storytelling in a physical space. Today, Serviceplan Middle East continues to stand its ground, advancing the group’s three invincible “I’s” of Integration, Internalization, and Innovation.

 

Outrage across the world. How could Donald Trump, a hatemonger, racist and liar, have been elected as US President? The reasons behind the outcome are complex. However, one thing is certain: communication had a major impact on the result of the election. What can we learn from Hillary Clinton’s PR disaster?

First of all, political communication needs a vision. Trump packed his into the slogan “Make America Great Again”, however banal, primitive or vulgar you might find it. But can you remember Hillary Clinton’s slogan? No? That is precisely the problem. It was “Hillary for America”. So what vision was she trying to convey, what was she promising her voters and where was her call to act? In my opinion, the main thing that Clinton conveyed with her slogan was her desire to become President of the USA. If you were to summarise the essence of all of her statements, you would see that she hoped to bring experience, continuity and stability to the White House in times of political upheaval. She stands for relentless pragmatism, not dissimilar to the approach taken by fictitious President Frank Underwood in “House of Cards”. Even if you’ve seen just one season of this amazing Netflix series, you will understand why so many Americans failed to find their passion for a cold power politician. This is particularly true of liberally minded Americans, the Democrats’ core voters. They stayed away from the ballot box in their droves while political madman Trump and his sometimes insane-sounding tirades mobilised every fibre of his followers. Now let’s come to Angela Merkel and the current rise in right-wing demagogues. Do you know the Chancellor’s vision? Or her central promise? Experience, continuity and stability in times of political upheaval or something like that? When it comes to the next parliamentary elections, I am fearing the worst.

At first glance, it seems almost paradoxical that billionaire Donald Trump received a disproportionate amount of support from low-income voters and blue-collar workers. The answer to the puzzle is simple. In the battle for the White House, Trump was more successful as portraying himself as a good listener. In his speeches at the very least, he seized upon the fears of workers, those who feel alienated and afraid of social decline, and who have lost out due to globalisation and digitalisation. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” was Trump’s central promise. And it didn’t matter that his economic plans, such as closing off the American market and scrapping international trade agreements, have raised fears among economists. For workers in the Midwest, who are afraid of losing their jobs due to the mass “dumping” of steel into the USA from the Far East, Trump’s attacks against China, globalisation and free trade signalled one thing: at least one of the presidential candidates is listening to us. How many people here in Germany feel like they are the forgotten men and women of their country? And which members of Berlin’s political scene can appoint themselves as this group’s protector with any form of credibility? Gabriel? Nahles? Seehofer? I believe that one of the biggest problems in political communication is that too many people feel that politicians are terrible at listening and have lost their relationship with the people. If the CDU-SPD coalition wants to gain at least a governable majority at the next election, they need to make a credible and personal promise to the people who are feeling forgotten.

Trump was also skilled at making the most of media reaction. Each one of his incitements, his intentional displays of brazenness, was duplicated a thousand times over. This is how he kept his name out there, compensating for the fact that Clinton had a lot more money, supporters and TV ads for her campaign. Do you think that this game is restricted to the USA? And what comes to mind when you think of the words Boateng and Gauland or Petry and an “order to shoot”? These examples show that the right wing here in Germany is also capable of unleashing waves of indignation with their planned provocations. Their goal is to create talking points and stir up emotions among their own followers. Sometimes it might be better to just ignore this unpleasantness, instead of putting the disseminators in the spotlight and allowing them to play the role of martyr.

Trump also proved himself to be the master of social media. Trump, who many Democrats see as the political incarnation of a scary clown, used social media to generate discussion, provoke and mobilise. And he relied hugely on some high-tech helpers. A study by the University of Southern California revealed that 400,000 socialbots were involved in political discussions regarding the US presidential election on Twitter. A total of 75 per cent of these opinion robots produced positive messages about Donald Trump. In an era where an increasing number of people live in a bubble of social media filters, this is a major competitive advantage. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already suggested avoiding the use of socialbots in the next German parliamentary election campaign. The SPD, Linke, Grüne and FDP parties also refrain from using these software robots. In contrast, the AFD has announced that it plans to use bots to stir up sentiment on a large scale on social media. Just one more reason to fear them in the run-up to the next election.

While pollsters and politically active Germans were caught off guard by Trump’s election victory, one academic – the linguist Elisabeth Wehling – had already predicted his win a long time ago. She and her research team have been studying politicians’ use of language and discovered that Donald Trump was a lot easier to understand than Hillary Clinton. Because he expresses himself at the same level as a child of primary-school age and uses specific words to cultivate images in his audience’s heads, he is easy for all sections of the population to understand. While this has garnered him the derision of intellectuals, it also ensured the votes of less-educated members of the population. Established parties and the media can also learn when it comes to ease of understanding. Maybe it’s time for a new era of understanding, for more clarity and less political jargon. Otherwise, we will encounter a lot more Hillarys here in Europe: highly skilled, politically experienced, unpopular and spurned by the voters.

Two weeks of Cannes are over – an extremely great, exciting but also exhausting time. Strenuous for the brain and the creative muscle. 25 judges from 25 countries. 25 completely different minds with different views, with statements, inflammatory speeches and discussions; simply fantastic.

My conclusion from the area “Direct”: there weren’t any radical, major trends, but there certainly was a “hidden trend”, namely Gender Equality. This issue is becoming more and more important. No matter whether female, male, transgender or homosexual – every person has the same rights.

This is recognised not only by the NGOs but also more and more Super-Brands are showing a clear stance and taking a stand.
A great example is Doritos:

My other highlights

Snapchat, WhatsApp, mail and Facebook … That all trends in communications bring a work that Grand Prix shows that our voice is our most original communications organ, proving “The Swedish Number”:

And yes, breast cancer prevention can be fun. A lot of fun even:

My personal favourite is Case OPT-Outside of REI: it’s incomprehensible when an outdoor retailer abolishes its strongest sales day of the year and thus triggers a whole movement. And with a clear message: do not go shopping – go outside on Black Friday. Enjoy your life, your loved ones and nature. Great great great!

Until next year!!