Why do the Germans do so well in Cannes?

So German agencies occupy two of the top three slots in the independent agency network of the year.

Not widely regarded as a strong culture of creativity, it does seem to be the case that German agencies seem to do pretty well down in the sunkissed champagne glass of Cannes.

Without wanting to rely too heavily on national stereotypes, it does appear to be the case German creativity is neat, crisp, well organized and intelligent. This means that what is good about German work is always very clear. This makes it easier to relate to in a cluttered judging environment.

I also get the distinct impression that German agencies really focus on Cannes. This could be because there are fewer competing outlets for recognition domestically; it could also be that German agencies feel as though they need to demonstrate global creative credentials more.

My impression of the agency market place in Germany is that not only is it much more regionalized, it is also less competitive as a result. In the UK we have a very crowded and cluttered scene. It is fraught with fractions and factions, breakaways and break ups – all competing for time, attention and money. In Germany, there is more stability, and much more of a longer-term view. You get less short-term aggressive growth and more steady and sensible profitability.

These factors, when added to the good concentrations of significant global companies, mean that German agencies tend to be high margin, generating good levels of cash.

They can afford to be choosy. They can afford to take their time to pick out work that has better-than-average chances of being recognized in Cannes. They can spend more time and money on the award submissions. They can even spend more time understanding ‘how to win’.

So it would seem that the very same qualities the Germans have that make them so good at making things of high quality (cars, kettles and kitchens), and so good at competing and winning in sports (football) also see them do well in global creative awards.

  • paul c-c

    Just like their economy

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