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06/07/2013: ADC MEMBER STEFAN BECKER REMAKES REALITY
ADC International Member, Stefan Becker has recently left Germany and arrived in NYC to take on the advertising and startup industry here. As a digital creative and copywriter with a load of experience in the classical disciplines of advertising, Stefan talked with us about his twist on interactive projects, which challenges he has been facing and what he loves most about the Tomorrow Awards.
ADC: How did you start in advertising and where are you now?
Stefan: 13 years ago, I started in classical disciplines: print, radio, TV, trade marketing, etc. In 2005, I moved in into digital and, three years later, founded the company, BUZZIN MONKEY to support brands and agencies alike with copy writing, campaign concepts, and creative direction, up to full service by assembling freelance and project teams. Apart from this, I’m also freelancing for ad agencies.
Stefan: It was so much more possible back in those days. In 2006, there were agencies coming up providing services specialized in social media and viral marketing. It was the time when Facebook started growing and with it the social media agencies. Smaller shops had been more flexible and faster than big companies. I wanted to work in this field because it was so exciting to have a bigger playground, to have so much more tools to create innovation and to do advertising.
Stefan: MINI Worldpremiere in your Hands. We had these newspaper ads; when you turned the newspaper, the 3D model of the car on the ad would turn too. If you’re changing the perspective, the object is changing the perspective. You’re going a little bit further away; it’s getting a little bit smaller. It’s really connected to the ad and follows your moves.
It was the first of many augmented reality ads, and it generated a lot of buzz. We got a lot of earned media, up to television even. It’s just a great story, a car world premiere in your hands.
Stefan: Years ago, if you were for example running a billboard or print campaign, you just had a visual and headline—it was all about a great headline, copy and visual. That´s it. Of course you had multichannel campaigns and concepts had to work in TV, radio, POS etc. too. But nowadays all the new channels have so many more facets. And it never stops. So I think the idea becomes more and more important: to be strong enough to work in every channel and to enable customer journeys over many touch points. The more you spread it across enumerable channels, the more you have to take care that everything is on strategy and giving the people the same message. Everything has to stick to this one idea. The concept phase is shorter than the whole execution, but it is as important then the execution.
ADC: What’s the backstory?
Stefan: A German university was conducting experiments: how can a computer detect the faces of people; can you track mimic; can you detect the gender; can you determine age? We thought, “How can we use this technology in advertising?” It was very exciting. Could we take something very, very technical and make it fun by creating a usage or an emotional moment for people. That’s when we started talking to Red Bull. And as an innovative brand which is happy to try out new things, they loved the idea.
ADC: What was one of the biggest challenges?
Stefan: To develop the software, to refine the tracking technology and to make sure that it was a good gameplay, a fun user experience. It was a big challenge to bring all technological sides together: the face-tracking software, the database, the Facebook connect, and the website.
ADC: Why do you think it did well in the Tomorrow Awards when it was entered?
Stefan: I think that the Tomorrow Awards are about innovation and just doing stuff, nobody had done before. This was pretty much the very first track-mimic browser game. We were the first to tackle it. We reached people with a new experience, something they hadn’t seen.
ADC: We just want to say that Mercedes AMG "Christmas" was hilarious. Did you enjoy making that?
Stefan: It was so fun to combine this very romantic idea of Christmas, cookies, Christmas tree, and stuff, with motorsports and a loud, fast car with a powerful V8 engine. We haven´t had much time to shoot and a small setup, but the spot tells the story very well and it went viral.
ADC: Did you eat a lot of cookies?
Stefan: (Laughter) We had to watch out that nobody at the set ate the stars of the spot.
ADC: Is there anything else you want to say to the ADC community?
Stefan: What I really like about ADC is that it has a strong legacy but is current. The StartUP events for example are great because they merge the advertising scene with the start-up scene. What is happening anyway out there. Participating in Tomorrow Awards was great. I think that I would advise young people to get the wide impression of marketing that ADC identifies with. You can focus on a certain area, a field you want to work, but today everything is connected and multichannel. Learn about how every channel’s works.
If you’re a member and want to share your story, upcoming event or a new project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!