10 questions with with Dr. Michael Trautmann

co-founding partner, thjnk ag

The AME Awards are truly “glocal.”Michael Trautmann


1. What are your top three criteria when deciding if a campaign is successful?

1, a strong link to the business objectives of a brand or company; 2, effectiveness (did the campaign do the right things?) and 3, efficiency (did the campaign do things right?).

2.What are your favorite campaigns of all time?
  • Apple: “Think Different” – It felt as if I the commercial was talking to me as one of the crazy ones.
  • Obama: “Yes We Can” – It opened my mind more than any other communication campaign before.
  • Gatorade: “Replay” – What a striking platform! I am dreaming for a “Replay” chance since 1979 when my team and I lost the semi-final of the German Volleyball Championship (under 14) by just 2 points in the third and deciding set.
  • Procter & Gamble: "Thank you Mum" – Simply the best usage of a global sponsorship (in this case, the 2012 Olympic Games in London). The right target group, a strong and universal truth as the campaign insight, a global campaign with very nice local added content and the first "house of mums" at any Olympic Games in history. Just brilliant!
  • Chrysler: “Born of Fire” – The campaign has one of the strongest insights I have ever seen and the best use of a celebrity in a commercial ever.
  • Prudential: “Day One” – A simple and lighthearted campaign that is so relevant for every one of us.
3. Do you have any advice for our entrants?
  • Start to write the case before you develop your campaign!
  • Collect the right data from day one (or better, even earlier)!
  • Be honest and true to yourself!
  • Keep it short and simple!
  • Ask yourself if you would love to read the case brief and watch the case video!
4. How has the definition of success for advertising campaigns changed over the years?

It’s getting more and more complicated do define success for advertising campaigns as we have to face so many new communications channels almost every year. It is like searching for the “Holy Grail of Marketing.”

5. What’s the biggest campaign challenge you’ve faced?

The biggest campaign challenge we will have to face is the launch of the first and only top-level-domain with a pure social cause. The idea for “.hiv – The Red Ribbon of the Digital Age” was born in our agency, and the multi-level campaign we are developing now is definitely the biggest challenge for thjnk.

6. What, in your opinion, is the number-one mistake to avoid when creating an AME entry?

Boring the Jury.

7. What can a small market entry do to compete with one from a large market?

The size of a market does not matter. If you have an interesting case and great work you can win in any market.

8. Which aspect of the AME Awards made you interested in judging?

The range from regional cases to global campaigns. The AME Awards are truly “glocal.”

9. How do you feel regional judging and maintaining an international jury affect the outcome of a competition?

It is simply the success formula for the AME. If I had one wish I would love to have a final face-to-face jury session with all these inspiring colleagues from all over the world.

10. What do you consider the value of an AME Award to a winner?

It will help you in your career and it will make your client happy.

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