A Munich-based team dedicated to bringing the web to life
Munich, April 8, 2016
Adwyse & Co. is a close-knit digital advertising agency from Munich, Germany that aims to bring to life digital stories for their clients. While website development is a large part of the business, it is just one component of the big picture. Social media marketing, app development, and corporate branding are just a few of the services offered by the agency.
What started out as a flash web design shop grew to include the elements of a full-service agency. Self-labeling themselves as “different from typical German agencies, Adwyse & Co. boasts impressive clients like Uber by combining both skill and passion in the work they do. To get to know the agency better, we chatted with managing partners Igor Suslov (Creative Director), Daniel Pasternak (Managing Director), Patrick Kögl (Consultant), and Thilo Pilkat (Project Manager) about their business and the relative future of digital marketing.
What is the history of Adwyse & Co.?
Igor: Back in 2007, we began as a flash web design agency. We were always intrigued by advertising, but the business began purely focused on this segment of the industry. Times changed and so did technologies did, but we did not. Still aspiring to be creative, we started to gain more insights and experience in print and corporate design. Luckily some years later, HTML5 became the new standard when it comes to digital experience design. That’s when Thilo and Patrick joined us. In this period, we did not even have a real office of our own. We would hold meetings in our own apartments, always on the lookout for new and promising clients and projects to make the web “awesome again”. That was like 4 years ago. Steadily we grew, finding enthusiastic and innovative believers to work with and are now simply thrilled to wake up every day. Work really becomes fun when the right people are around you can count on.
Currently, we primarily work with clients based in Germany, but we have also had chance to gain experience in working for some clients all around the world, which is always exciting.
How did you all become interested in digital media and marketing? At a young age or at the university level?
Thilo: Who does not like creative and hilarious commercials? So yes, it’s always been an idea to join that business for me. But it was not until I met Igor and Daniel that I decided to actually join forces and take this path.
Daniel: Igor persuaded me. I actually wanted to become a banker!
Igor: Yeah and that ambition of yours is noticeable ever since. No, honestly, Daniel and I were actually not really the “advertising guys” we are now back then when we started – we simply were inspired by the future trends the world wide web promised back in the 2007. And with “jump in experience” flash websites, that just was the right path for us to choose.
What project/client presented the hardest challenge for you?
Igor: That was nautilusfilm. It’s an awesome client, open for creative ideas. And it’s breathtaking content, all around nature and wildlife films. The only problem was the target audience is mostly 50+ years old. So it’s hard to have these absolutely crazy material you can get creative about yet always keeping in mind, that most users of the website might just “not get it” if you become too bizarre about navigation and usability. But in my honest opinion, we’ve managed it quite well to combine these aspects.
What is a campaign you worked on that was especially successful and why?
Daniel: We made a Christmas campaign for a small local business and helped double output for the holidays compared to the previous year. Though it was not a high budget project, it was a great experience and simply, as the Germans put it, “balm for the soul” to know that we actually helped someone personally and his business with our advertising concepts!
In your opinion, what ingredients are key to create a successful digital campaign?
Igor: Don’t underestimate the impact of social media and video. Of course SEO can be a traditional approach one may stick to, but I doubt that it’s here to stay much longer – at least not in the way we’ve known it. As for me, the design and experience has to be “share worthy” to see success. You can have the best SEO and social media fellowship in the world, but if your product is garbage it will not go viral. Plus, of course, PR – where again it’s key to have a great story to tell. To sum it up, digital campaigns should include:
1. A well told story.
2. One which is packed in a great digital experience & design.
3. An experience that’s spread along the relevant channels via social media and press according to the content strategy.
What does the word creativity mean to each of you?
Igor: Creativity for me is the combination of creation and activity. You must to be proactive and willing to create something. That’s just the time creativity strikes.
Daniel: I firmly believe that creativity is something that everyone can acquire, but not in any sphere. It has to be something you are thrilled about and have the ambition to make better. Something you’re passionate about and what you love doing. So these pre-conditions have to apply before someone really can get creative.
What are a few of your favorite digital brands:
Daniel: WatsonDG, Hello Monday and Active Theory caught my attention lately.
Patrick: WatsonDG where the guys with the Holywood Movie Websites?
Which countries excite you most in terms of digital creativity?
Daniel: The Netherlands & France.
What do you all like doing in your free time?
Daniel: If it’s just one specific thing it’s watching great movies.
Igor: We have quite an interesting side project going on currently and I try to be active there a lot.
Patrick: What is “free time”?
What is a digital trend that is here to stay, at least for the relative time being?
Igor: I won’t stop believing in digital experiences. Simply because diving into something is way more awesome then just watching a video or see what your friends share. Especially if you think about the potential of head mounted displays – you will not want to use these type of glasses to visit facebook, right? Neither to simply watch videos… So I guess that’s something that will really strike soon.
Daniel: Head mounted displays are a casual progress that can’t be overlooked. There’s simply no other way the innovation in media can go. So yes, agreed that you won’t be using them to simply check your mails – it’s like watching TV, you do not switch it on simply to check the weather broadcast – you keep watching. So you will keep browsing and searching for something that will astonish you. Interactive websites, for sure will more and more become a must have.
Where do you see app development going in 5 or 10 years?
Daniel: Down. Think about it: How many apps do you actually use on your smartphone? And to further prove the point, when was the last time you installed an app that you were using more than 2-3 weeks in a row? That’s just it. Currently most new apps do either already exist and simply optimize or copycat from other apps or don’t do anything a responsive website couldn’t do either.
What advice do you often give to people who are starting to work in your same field?
Igor: Think differently. Really, the advertising business is currently experiencing a severe paradigm shift, doubting and questioning all that has been there before. People simply do not want to see advertising anymore – but they have no problem with being told an intriguing story about a product or project. Storytelling and the ability to craft good stories is more important than ever. Learning to find your voice and be able to push a message through a crowded environment via video and digital experiences is important.
Tagsbrands clients Daniel Pasternak development digital experience design flash web design shop full-service agency germany Holywood Movie Websites Igor Creativity Igor Suslov Igor Think marketing media paradigm shift Patrick Kögl Profiles SEO social Storytelling successful digital campaign Thilo Pilkat video
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