As it opens in Berlin, Adam & Eve argues case for physical offices
After winning the business for German telco giant Deutsche Telekom, Adam & Eve/DDB is planning to service its client through the quaint vehicle of a physical office. Its team explains why remote work would have wasted a rare opportunity.
Adam & Eve/DDB is launching a new Berlin office on the back of its Deutsche Telekom account / Unsplash
The departure-lounge days of agencies launching outposts across the globe to meet client demand have not been totally curtailed by Zoom. Adam & Eve/DDB, the British jewel in the DDB network crown, has bagged the business for Deutsche Telekom, the Bonn-based telco giant, and is using it as an opportunity to open its first European office in Kreuzberg.
Glen Lomas, president of DDB in EMEA, tells The Drum that “Deutsche Telekom’s exceptional global growth and local stature deserve world-leading, truly innovative creativity. Bringing Adam & Eve/DDB’s unique offering to Berlin and to the mix of existing DDB and Omnicom agencies that support Deutsche Telekom in Germany and other key European markets will catalyze the fulfillment of this joint ambition.”
According to global chief creative officer Rick Brim, the business was won without a pitch. DDB Germany maintains a relationship with the company, says Brim – Adam & Eve’s London office had done bit-work for it in the past. “They really enjoyed the process and said well, let’s do this a bit more. They came to us and said, ’would you consider this?’ and we said, ’absolutely.’ It’s a really good client, but it also gives us an opening to start in a meaningful way in Europe.“
The agency’s work for Telekom will encompass marketing its 5G services and new technological innovations, at a time of enormous change and opportunity for the sector.
It’s also a big moment for the business, and a considerable investment for Adam & Eve/DDB; alongside its offices in London and New York (where it holds the accounts for Peleton, Jim Beam and JetBlue), Berlin marks its third outpost.
Though DDB Germany will be providing support, the account will be led by Adam & Eve; according to Brim, the account was too good a chance to launch in Germany to pass up. The idea, Brim says, is to bring Adam & Eve’s “semi-independent“ creative offering to the German market (DDB Germany already has offices in Hamburg, Berlin and Dusseldorf), where it hopes to wield the strength of the wider DDB network while enjoying the long leash afforded to Adam & Eve.
Philipp Schwartz, the agency’s new chief strategic officer, says: “It’s definitely the most creative place in Germany and maybe even in Europe. Kreuzberg, where the office will be located, is a really vibrant, energetic area.“
A physical location in the famed East Berlin hipster district is key to its initial hiring strategy, the former BBDO and Mullenlowe strategist says. East Berlin has been the heart of the German startup scene for the last two decades – a fact Schwartz hopes can lead the agency to the next generation of ad wunderkinds. “There’s so much creative talent running around, mostly working in startups. But we want to get all of them in advertising again.“
New hires Schwartz and Jens Pfau, chief creative officer, will be shepherding the agency forward as funding leaders. Pfau, who joins from Jung Von Matt, was the subject of “envy and irritation“ during his time at the German shop, according to Brim. “We are stupidly lucky that they are joining us, and we can’t wait to get cracking building something exciting.”
Pfau says the agency will be targeting German clients that are ”serious about the type of advertising and the type of work they want to put out. If we can agree on future plans then they could be a future client, no matter if they are small or large.”
Germany is not an emerging market, however. As well as other network satellites in the country, it boasts its own lauded agency scene and Adam & Eve will have to compete with Serviceplan, Heimat, Kolle Rebbe and Pfau’s former employer Jung von Matt for clients and recruits.
“There will be competition and there are quite a few great agencies in Germany,“ says Pfau. “But I think the offer we’re going to put in the market is different. It’s different in terms of how we got here, how we’re going to approach the task, how we’re going to make brands effective – and that is very rare in Germany. We believe there’s a huge opportunity for Adam & Eve to really make a difference and get a fair share in the market.“
In the meantime, Brim hopes to expand Adam & Eve’s mandates with its existing clients into Germany. Brim says: “We have teams working on brand briefs for New York and New York teams working on briefs for London. Given the close proximity, that’ll happen a lot more with Berlin. It’s not just about the location; it’s about getting the right people around the table to answer business problems in the best, most interesting, most progressive way.“