Creative Serviceplan World Creative Rankings

How Serviceplan’s ‘übercreativity’ blueprint helped it become Europe’s most-awarded agency

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By Sam Bradley, Senior Reporter

February 28, 2024 | 5 min read

For the second year running, the German agency has been named the best creative shop in EMEA in The Drum’s World Creative Rankings. Partner and creative chief Alex Schill explains how it tethers creative wit to commercial growth.

Serviceplan's Alex Schill, stood against a blue background

Serviceplan Group CCO and partner Alex Schill / Serviceplan

German agencies are some of the best in the world, as is fitting for companies that serve one of the biggest advertising markets on the planet.

Creative recognition for the likes of BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi in Dusseldorf, Ogilvy Germany and Accenture Song Germany combined this year to make the nation the top non-English-speaking country for advertising creativity in 2023, according to The Drum’s World Creative Rankings.

It was Serviceplan’s Munich shop, however, that led the charge, ranking third globally and number one in EMEA. It has also charted an effective course commercially in the last year, according to chief creative officer and Serviceplan Group partner Alex Schill, who says consistency in the company’s approach to new business has kept the ship steady through last year’s stormy economic weather. Central to that strategy, he says, is a company motto: ‘übercreativity.’

“We haven’t made any specific changes to our approach to new business. Rather, we focus on the general trend of individualizing our clients’ messages for the given target groups while remaining committed to highly creative ideas and best-in-class executions in crafting our ideas.

“Living by our mantra of ‘übercreativity,’ which involves combining input from every angle of our business, any given culture, and a diversity of perspectives, leads to a consistently surprising outcome for any given task.”

An eye for quality control, he says, has kept both clients and creatives content. “The most effective way to produce good creative work is simply not to present inferior options. Therefore, there is no alternative but to aim for the best.

“Regardless of the trend we’re following in our business – whether it’s AI, craftsmanship, or being 100% data-driven – we must always take pride in the agency’s output and the company for which we work. Being proud of the work, the team and our values is the most important aspect that we strive to maintain to keep top-class talent in our group.”

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Over the next year, the German firm – once known as a relatively traditional, conservative business – is grappling with questions around artificial intelligence. It has launched two labs piloting AI solutions in Europe and the US, he says, and benefits from a partnership with American agency Pereira O’Dell, which has its own AI efforts in play.

“Since 2023, we’ve been heavily investing in AI. We continually strive to invent new tools and methods to combine the power of data, media and creativity. But most importantly, we will always adhere to our core values – independence, honesty and respect – regardless of how challenging the circumstances may become.”

Creative Serviceplan World Creative Rankings

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