2 media trends, 2 cultural learnings

For my third post, I wanted to highlight a couple media trends and cultural differences that I’ve noticed this month that we can all learn from regardless of where we live/work.

PROGRAMMATIC IS KING. We all know the industry is shifting more towards programmatic display and video in recent years, but I’ve noticed Frankfurt has done a nice job of incorporating it into many of their clients’ media plans. For the HM International clients, there are a couple that are 100% programmatic, and others that are 50% or more. For one of the presentations I worked on this month, we recommended that about 50% of the budget be spent in programmatic (but in reality it’s probably more since the Mobile plan included some programmatic), in an effort to show how we could be more efficient, and create a more personalized approach from a creative perspective.

SHORT FORM VIDEO. In only 3 weeks in Germany, I’ve been served a number of video ads that were 10 seconds or less. Possibly more than I’ve seen in the US in the past 3 months. We all know there is a shift happening towards shorter video ads, especially on mobile devices, but it seems to be catching on a little quicker here. The Mobext and Affiperf teams here say they continue to push clients to submit shorter video assets, which will only improve user experience, and in my personal experience, it does help break through my extremely short attention span…


Now for some cultural differences I’ve experienced during my time in Frankfurt…one I had to learn the hard way…

BE PUNCTUAL. Germans follow procedure, and are very punctual. They arrive on time to meetings, and the meetings start on time. Unfortunately I can’t ALWAYS say this about me and some my NY colleagues…maybe it’s the workload that catches up on us sometimes, or a prior meeting running late, but it’s not so uncommon to start a meeting a little late back in NY…

Once a month there is an agency wide meeting very similar to our Town Hall in NY, where they serve a big breakfast to the whole agency, starting at 9:30. At breakfast, they speak about New Business updates, HR updates, and more (same as our Town Hall in NY).

One thing they do here every month is have the new hires introduce themselves and say a few words, so when my team and I were running a little late, and arrived at about 9:32, they were well into the presentation and were already calling my name to come up and speak! So needless to say I was a little flustered, but I took the microphone, said a few words, and ended it with two of the only German words I knew at the time (guten tag), which got a little laugh from the room (let’s just assume they were laughing with me, not at me…).

FRANKFURT IS THE MELTING POT OF GERMANY. This is the first year Frankfurt is participating in the Havas Lofts program, but they actually have their own version of an international exchange program that they’ve been doing for a few years now where an employee is hired into the program, they spend 2 years rotating to a different team every 3–6 months, including other countries! In NY, Socialyse is hosting Katharina right now, and Mobext will be hosting Elena next month, so make sure you find them and say hi!

Frankfurt is a very international city. It’s easy to see, not only from the people working here at HM, but also from the different areas of the city, where you have a number of different cultures being represented through the cuisines, shops, cafes, entertainment, etc. The diversity definitely brings a character to the city, which is probably a reason why 25% of the population is originally from outside of the EU, and more than one-third are originally from outside of Germany.

So to sum up -- stop being late to meetings, and go buy Rosetta Stone to learn another language! :)

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