Twenty-seven young creative thinkers from across Europe got together in
Munich under the auspices of CommClub, Art Directors Club of Europe and
local school of graphic design Akademie U5 to learn, network and hone
their skills at CREATIVE CAMP. The result?
So it’s not surprising that the title of her talk — “Move Your Ass” — became the buzzword at CREATIVE CAMP. The event marked the next evolutionary step in the CREATIVE EXPRESS concept of Munich-based advertising pro Hans-Peter Albrecht. Nominated by members of the Art Directors Club of Europe, the budding advertising whiz kids were handpicked and presented with an exciting assignment — this time from Audi. To get psyched up, they were first treated to a number of high-caliber quickie talks.
“I wanted to show what the CommClub professional network and what
Munich can offer. And I think that being able to once again tap into the Art Directors Club of Europe network, which is otherwise such an underutilized resource, was definitely a bonus for everyone concerned. For me, the cherry on top was staging the event at Akademie U5,” said Albrecht, who not only runs his own agency but also heads up the U5 school.
The lineup of speakers alone promised great things: Olaf Hartmann of Touchmore, Dr. Rosa Kriesche of BRANDDATA in Vienna, Matthias Kindler of THE COMPANIES, Tom Batoy from Mona Davis in Munich and Los Angeles, Maximilian Weigl of thjnk Hamburg, Anja Staszewski of DDB Vienna, Michael Stiebel from Downtown in Hamburg and Dubai, Irina Metneva from Michurin in Kiev and Mirko Borsche who has his own studio in Munich. They offered a cutting-edge take on topics spanning strategy, planning, haptics, branded entertainment, music, YouTube as well events and design. Hungarian singer Boglárka Csemer, who performs under the name Boggie and will be representing her country with “Wars for Nothing” at the Eurovision Song Contest, was a surprise highlight on the program. In the morning, she and her director talked about the music video that catapulted her to fame and, in the evening, the songstress gave a private concert for the Creative Campers.
Typographer and designer Mirko Borsche is one of the top names in his field in Germany. In 2007, he garnered the title Visual Leader of the Year at the Lead Awards, which honor the best in German media.
For this event, Hans-Peter Albrecht succeeded in winning over an attractive and open-minded sponsor and partner in the shape of Audi. In its brief, the carmaker intentionally left the participants ample creative leeway. “At Audi, we have long since stopped thinking along conventional lines. What matters is the concept — it has to be a real whale of an idea. Just how it galvanizes our target groups into action is secondary,” explained Michael Finke, head of Creation/Sales Media in Marketing Communications at AUDI AG. Although the campaign goes by the name of “quattro,” the Ingolstadt manufacturer was careful to emphasize that no car needed to be shown. The focus should be on emotions rather than technology. All of which was just up the young creatives’ street.
Thanks to CREATIVE CAMP’s pan-European reach — participants came from Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland — CommClub managing director Petra Lorenz was able to bring on board a slew of other backers. Topping this list was Josef Schmid, Deputy Mayor of Munich and head of the city’s Department of Labor and Economic Development, who greeted the multicultural group at Munich City Hall. “Puma, printing and production company Ellerhold, The Pschorr tavern, BONAGO and our friends at AMC Media Network were all immediately taken with the idea. We were also lucky enough to enjoy the generous hospitality of Holiday Inn Munich (City Center), which the Bavarian hotel and restaurant association put us in touch with,” said Petra Lorenz.
Mirko Borsche led the workshop Public Painting in which 70 creatives brought their ideas to life in front of an audience.
After the talks and briefing, the campers only had time to develop their ideas from Friday afternoon to 6pm on Saturday. Put together with an eye to international diversity by Albrecht, the nine teams of three creatives each soon had their thinking caps on. “The fundamental idea of ensuring that no two members of any team share the same mother tongue is a neat trick,” explained camp captain Albrecht. “Because that first hurdle — having to speak English — forces everyone to drop their guard. After that, no one is shy about sharing ideas. And the result? We ended up with some truly awesome concepts.”
Two Audi staff members came to see the presentations. Both Michael Finke and project director Florian Langer were blown away. “The quality and quantity of work produced in this short space of time is truly incredible. A couple of approaches we already had in mind ourselves — only here they’re given a different spin. Then there are the ideas that are way outside the box.”
The movie Dracula was a focal theme. Without preparatory sketches or erasing anything, the participants had to use black acrylic paint to put their ideas on paper.
Some teams actually delivered as many as three ideas. They ranged from “Talking Roads” to “Street Dating,” and from special quattro parking spots to the totally out-there thought of ordering a litter for your quattro to be delivered in.
“It’s hard to single out any one piece of work, but the idea with the stunt drivers who have to be retrained because of quattro was really great. And ‘You can’t control yourself. But you can control your car — quattro,’ was right on the mark,” said Michael Finke, head of Creation/Sales Media in Marketing Communications at AUDI AG, who can readily imagine producing one of the concepts.
As the initiator of the event, Albrecht is more than satisfied: “We met with enthusiasm from all quarters and I believe that everyone — the participants, speakers, sponsors and organizers — are leaving richer for the experience. I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last CREATIVE CAMP in Munich.”
Participants, speakers and organizers together with Munich’s Deputy Mayor Josef Schmid (center) during the reception at City Hall.
Hans-Peter Albrecht (copy) und Berry Meyer (photos)