The World's Leading Independent Agencies: Kolle Rebbe

Passion and great ideas are key to successful advertising, Stefan Kolle and Stephan Rebbe say.

Why are you reading these lines? Why are you stuffing your head with more information when it is already well fed? Why don't you go out and start a revolution? Why don't you just drive home, lie down on the sofa and close your weary eyes? Only for a few minutes. Go on, just for a little bit. Lie back, get into the comfort zone, lower your blood pressure and let the day's dreariness subside.

Add some gentle music and a drop of fine red wine. Why aren't you doing it? Why do you still carry on reading when we are writing the next line without looking at the keyboard?

Wao3oinm pTjwj #OUhhe ghfeuM osjnn?

We have always been like you. We started somehow and carried on. Then Campaign asked us to write an article on the future of advertising. Of course, we are not going to do that. We are going to use this time to show you a few of our preferences.

When we go out for dinner, we prefer small, hidden restaurants. Where we know the chefs go out into the fields to gather and pick fresh herbs and spices to flavour the fish that an angler had caught that very morning from a river nearby. We go to such restaurants because we know the food tastes absolutely delicious. We also know that the cook would have rather turned over and slept a little longer, that he could have bought the fish from the supermarket. But he didn't. He understands his trade.

We love football. When we want to go to a match, then it is at 9.30am on a rainy, wet Sunday, with two teams from the local district playing against each other in the lowest league. Social types clash, shin-pads break and bruises are measured in square feet.

Old men stand on the edge of the field, so excited they could talk themselves into a heart attack. They eat lukewarm sausages with mustard and a dry bun. They make a mad dash into the bushes when the ball has been hit over the boundaries. It is not the result of the game that makes us come out on such a Sunday. It is the people.

When we want to go to the movies, we avoid multiplexes. We go instead to small, off-the-beaten-track cinemas where arduously financed festivals have got off the ground. Here, the films cost the same as the contents of a multiplex popcorn machine.

With hotels, we prefer them smaller and more personal, such as the Dorfpost.

Of course, the Hyatt Hotel is also really good, because you always know what you get, and it does not matter in what part of the world you are staying in. The giant supermarket discounters with 1,500 car park spaces, 1.5 million products and 20 cashiers are also good. Nevertheless, the small delicatessen located at the corner is still a little better. There is one thing that you cannot find in these large international supermarkets: a soul.

Owners hold their businesses in their hearts. Entrepreneurs move the world. Think Google, Apple, Amazon and you will think of many more. All of these businesses have one thing in common: they are driven by entrepreneurial vision.

You can attempt to branch out and duplicate passion, commitment, thirst for innovation and personality. After millions or billions of euros, dollars or yen, you may well find out that it does not work. Even with globalisation, optimisation processes, target-group compatibility, opinion-leadership, multiplication, networking processes, headquarters, global brand directors, co-ordination fees and so on: advertising cannot be standardised. If that were possible, all US networks would have American business leaders around the world.

Good advertising is a definite craft, from people, for people. We see ourselves as manufacturers of advertising. Without love, life-blood, courage and, of course, a pinch of desperation, advertising cannot function. It can, however, be done without the control-driven, efficiency-mad demands of an unknown, powerful figure, who is sitting, half-drunk, on his 30-metre yacht.

Since you have actually managed to read up to here, we would like to reveal something about the future of advertising. The future of advertising knows only one single theme: people who develop new ideas with passion and obsession. This is what we believe in. By the way, that was also the theme in the past.

- Stefan Kolle and Stephan Rebbe founded Kolle Rebbe together. Kolle is the creative while Rebbe works in client services.


Name: Kolle Rebbe

Founded: 21 October 1994

Principals: Stefan Kolle, managing director, creation; Stephan Rebbe, managing director, consulting; Olaf Oldigs, managing director, creation; Andreas Winter-Buerke, managing director, consulting; Dominic Veken, head of strategic planning

Staff: 121

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Mission statement: Act as if your client's company was your own

Describe your agency in three words: Down to earth.


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