The World: Insider's view - Germany

Present a strong brand idea, have your agency work the campaign like an orchestra and you cannot fail.

The finalists at the Effie German efficiency competition have been announced - and they are quite a surprise with orchestrated communication asserting itself more and more in practice.

A third of campaigns submitted are already the result of successful co-operation between several specialised disciplines comprising classic advertising, PR, online advertising and other genres.

It hasn't always been like this, even if this country's admen have been searching for a more effective solution for holistic communication for quite some time. The aim was to gain control over the atomisation of the media and fragmentation of target groups with "integrated communication".

However, the term "integrated" misled many because to "integrate" means to "combine what already exists". That's to say, a communication channel is supplemented by one more or several others and the work tends to remain incomplete. The structure dominates the idea. This is where the error occurs, because with any holistic creative achievements, the opposite should be the case - the structure should follow the idea.

This clear but basic necessity becomes evident when other creative disciplines are considered. A composer doesn't have 60 soloists playing as they fancy, he sets the musical theme. The choice of instruments is derived from the question as to which best supports the music.

In communication it is the same: the brand idea takes on the role of a conductor, the specialists are the orchestra. The "orchestra" idea is so simple and so convincing that the creative agency Scholz & Friends made it into its guiding principle many years ago. Since then, the term and the method have become established and have generated a new quality of holistic communication.

Misconstrued "integration" is not only an obstacle when conceiving campaigns. Agency groups also became "integrated" and new specialised companies were bought up for the purpose of entering new channels. Silo mentality, too much hierarchy and instrument-linked incentive systems have, however, disrupted this positive interaction.

It is exactly here that the structure of orchestration begins, and Scholz & Friends can be seen as pioneers in this field. The agency group does not give managers a share in special instruments, but in the success of the whole orchestra. This promotes interaction and the outcome is that Scholz & Friends was not only selected the best ad agency, but also the best PR agency in the country.

The idea, independent of any instrument, must be the driving force of a campaign, and it must be carried along by an orchestra structure. Those who understand this, exploit the potential of orchestrated communication. A glance at the Effie shortlist shows that it works.

- Sebastian Turner is a partner at Scholz & Friends.


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