Great design draws attention to advertising and strengthens a brand message. In an interview with The Restless CMO, Jürgen Metzner, Creative Director Digital at SevenOne AdFactory*, talks design trends, how brands present themselves and award-winning advertising campaigns.
Jürgen, let's start with the basics. Why is a key visual so important for a campaign?
A key visual is the "key image" and thus the linchpin of every campaign. It has to be extremely high quality, because it should ensure recognition value and at the same time improve brand awareness. If possible, a key visual should be distinctive and thus a unique selling point, comparable to a professional logo. Furthermore, it must appeal to the consumer, be quickly understood and allow quick association. An example of a great key visual is the "MILKA cow".
What are the main design trends this year?
The following design trends have emerged this year:
Street art / graffiti look: Inspired by the general trend for retro. It is reminiscent of the punk scene of the 1970s, the neon-coloured 80s and the grunge of the 90s. This trend has been represented well by Banksy (British street art artist) in the motif "Superhero-Nurse" during the current Corona crisis.
Monochrome design / Monochrome colour filters: With the revival of minimalism comes the return of the monochrome design trend. Monochrome refers to a colour relationship (colour composition) in which a single colour has a dominant role in the work.
Clean Line Art - illustration, logo design & outline elements: Describes mostly one-colour drawings, which consist exclusively of lines, do not use any kind of coloured areas or shading but instead rely on contrast.
Futuristic colour scheme: includes "Cyberpunk" with bright neon colors, liquid look and gradient color in 90's retro look - combined with quiver effects for a modern pixelated image distortion look.
Geometric shapes & paper collages: Combine drawings with pictures & photos / surreal representation.
Heavy but simple fonts: dominant, thick, yet simple fonts.
In times of Corona, numerous brands have also, for example, adopted the message of keep your distance & social distancing to present ad-hoc visual adjustments for distance in their logos. This can be seen in the logos of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, McDonalds, Audi, VW and Coca-Cola, for example.
What have been the most successful advertising campaigns you have worked on?
Of course my team and I try to get the best out of every campaign, whether it's a classic or viral 360-degree campaign. However, if I had to highlight two campaigns, one that stands out for me was my very first independent digital campaign for 20th Century Fox, the US film production company. I executed the iRobot (movie) campaign using one of the first large-area big ad advertising formats on PRO7 website. The campaign won the NEO award in the category "Best online advertising campaign". A second very successful campaign was the BMW #Miniblockbuster case. This was the first viral social media spot (360 degree campaign) with TV extension.
Which campaign are you most proud of since you started at ProSiebenSat.1?
There are numerous campaigns and projects from the past few years that I am very proud of. One very recent campaign would be the "miteinander.füreinander." (With each other. For each other) B2B campaign. I helped to create the website and various advertising media, including newsletters, for the SevenOne Media and SevenOneAdFactory.
The aim of the platform is to support our customers in times of Corona quickly, easily and effectively with creative solutions of regular bookable advertising media. We adapt commercials flexibly to the situation and create completely new campaigns together with our customers. The project is cross-departmental and fully underlines the project title "miteinander.füreinander." as well as the great team spirit!
You created the key visual for our SevenVentures Pitch Day 2019. What was the challenge here?
In general, for every communication campaign there is the challenge of developing a design which reaches the target group and conveys the core message of the campaign's theme. Of course, the design also has to be scalable and "playable" on all channels, and I think I did a pretty good job of that when I created the key visual for SevenVentures Pitch Day 2019.
Memphis Design Elements consist mainly of basic shapes, which were placed appropriately for each motif and format and animated as required, as well as a constructed font. The result was a modern, fresh and fluid design that fits the start-up theme and for which we received very positive feedback.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
In my profession there is virtually no standing still. Even if you can usually rely on the basic rules which you learned during design training, each campaign is a standalone project. Every project is a challenge to find the right path. The competition in advertising is huge and most of the time there are only a few seconds, especially in online advertising, to "catch" the consumers and users. Every campaign and every concept is different. Therefore, there is no routine in my work: I create digital made-to-measure solutions with my team, individual and perfectly suited to the customer - this is always a new challenge and at the same time a lot of fun! At ProSiebenSat.1 I am able to transport advertising onto the most modern channels and also develop new advertising formats. State of the art!!!
*SevenOne AdFactory is the expert for integrated campaigns and cross media storytelling within the ProSiebenSat.1 Group.