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The Influencers

The Shifting Landscape of Germany's Ad Industry

INFLUENCER: Sehsucht's Frauke Fudickar on how agencies and production companies are adapting to adland's digitisation

The Shifting Landscape of Germany's Ad Industry

The current advertising landscape in Germany is still largely influenced by the continuing change towards overall digitisation. Platforms and technical formats are changing, behaviour of target groups and business models are changing, and we know there is more technical developments yet to come, that will affect our industry further.

This is not new - it’s been like that for a while now, and production companies and agencies are learning to become adept at navigating the ever growing digital jungle of new approaches to content and different media formats, in order to survive.

Compared to other countries, like the US for example, I think Germany is behind in technical trends. This perhaps, has a lot to do with the overall political approach towards digitisation and the accompanying fear and arguments on topics such as protection of data privacy.

But slowly there is change, with German companies now concepting more and more for formats like VR and AR, in turn requiring local production companies to develop alongside them.

At Sehsucht, we have always enjoyed combining technical change with our creativity. We draw inspiration out of any new production technology. Our success within the innovation field has led us to explore interactive production technologies/methods in a specialised digital unit called Sehsucht Voyage, producing content from games to VR and AR experiences.

Examples of our work include the E-heroes project for the Swiss Electronic Association, which won Gold at the German Digital Award this summer and Reminder, our award winning VR music video for Moderat. We also teamed with Google Spotlight Stories last year and are their exclusive production partner for this special format.

From a production point of view, this shift in technical developments, which has seen agencies design campaigns around digital formats, has allowed us to be part of a bigger game and to have more influence and creative input on more than just a 30-second TV ad. 

For our creative minds, which are used to three-dimensional thinking and developing asset-tailored pipelines for film, there is plenty of room for geeking out on new possibilities. We now have a larger playground for our creative ideas. 

This evolution has also changed how various departments and expertise work together across the industry.

If you edit a film for a snap-ad that is about 6-seconds long, you need to understand a lot more about social media behaviour than about film editing. If you want to create a VR experience you have to think about story, approach and technical possibilities alongside each other. This shift changes the industry, the jobs and the people who work for it and how they collaborate together. Creative success on a project no longer comes from staying within the traditional roles expected from each partner throughout a project’s duration.

I think it will still take a while until such traditional roles are forgotten and cross-over producing is the norm in all German agencies and clients, but as the industry here currently stands, there is definitely a breakthrough of talent and companies who approach today’s challenges from a new and exciting perspective.

We have all been moaning too often about decreasing budgets and the struggle with agencies who start producing in-house, which these industry changes have brought. But hey, that’s the way it goes and who can or will stop this?

Instead, I think it is time for agencies and clients to team up with their production partners further and take each project to a place, where everyone focuses on both ideas and how to make them happen. 



Frauke Fudickar is senior producer at Sehsucht

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