Each type of communication has its own rules. A tagline works differently than a headline, and an editorial serves a different purpose than a letter to the shareholders. The challenge is to meet the exact requirements of these specific measures and occasions while developing a characteristic tone of voice for the brand across all media. Our team has mastered this fine art, with many years of experience in the fields of advertising, journalism, literary studies and linguistics.

 

 

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Alexa, Marietta Slomka and the Catbot

09/13/2017 | Everyone’s talking about conversational interfaces these days. But why? What are they? And what do they mean for users, companies and designers? Messenger services like WhatsApp are conversational interfaces that connect two or more people. So-called chatbots also use this way to communicate between humans and computers: People can chat relatively normal, and the bot answers. (Tip: The Catbot allows you to chat with a digital cat about fish). Voice-controlled systems are also available, including programs like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. These seem especially effortless – after all, each one of us is naturally equipped with his or her own enhanced conversational interface: the face.

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»We are floored«

To mark Cardinal Ratzinger’s selection by the papal conclave 10 years ago, the language mutilation specialists at Germany’s Bild newspaper landed an unexpected coup: »Wir sind Papst!« (“We are Pope!”) The grammatical and thematic audacity of this headline reflected an extraordinary situation in a just as extraordinary and popular way. In the end, the 70% of Germany that isn’t Catholic were happy to accept the title.

It became an instant sensation overnight – about as popular as Trappatoni’s legendary »Flasche leer« statement. But while this pearl of a verbal blunder remained unique, the formula »Wir sind« (“We are”) + singular noun generated an explosion of variations. As expected, the satirical title of the ORF program »Wir sind Kaiser« was outdone by far in reality. From »Wir sind Angst« (heavy metal album) to »Wir sind Bund« (German Federal Administration’s HR page for civil servants), »Wir sind Hammer« (hammer throwers), »Wir sind Klima« (The German Green Party in Leipzig), »Wir sind Günter Wallraff« (play) and »Wir sind Zirkus« (interactive circus in Linz), pretty much everything you can imagine has already been done.

But “pretty much everything” isn’t the same as “everything”. There wasn’t a fish in the list yet – and Nordsee had it. While conserving as many language resources as possible, the company created the tagline »Wir sind Fisch«. It takes us back to the beginning with the fish – an early Christian symbol, just like the pope – and promises an end to this “Wir sind” plague. After all, fish are mute. And who cares if the entire thing is a little worn out – we’re not talking about shoes.

Simplicity was the motto, which was why the tagline and entire commercial were immediately declared the new brand strategy. And why not? This move saved a huge amount of resources required for positioning, definitions and implementation. It’s amazing that the answer can be so simple! The way things look today, we’ve not seen the end of it. How many companies could still launch this fresh new strategy? “Wir sind Auto. Wir sind Bank. Wir sind Mobilfunk. Wir sind Elektrogerät ... In the end, we’re truly floored by how little can be used to achieve so much. In other words: Wir sind Flunder - we are flounders.            

Author: Àxel Sanjosé, Director of Copywriting at KMS TEAM

 

 

 

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Showing a «warm shoulder»: The potential of an open creative process

There is a term in the design process that many creative wish were eliminated altogether: The creative review meeting. For them, this is the ominous day on which their beautifully designed ideas and drafts are hacked apart into pitied shells of themselves, only to be transformed into lukewarm compromises.

In contrast, many clients see it in a very different way — completely opposite, to be exact. They see the creative review meeting as the emergency brake to get wildly misled creatives working in the right direction — with a great deal of effort, and sometimes even threats.

Clients and creatives are often brought together by just one thing when it comes to creative review meetings: A more or less pronounced sense of aversion. Even experienced marketing and communication managers see it as a necessary evil rather than a moment of potential greatness.


New teams instead of fairytales

The creative review meeting is the ideal tool to achieve outstanding results in communication, in both the creative and thematic sense. In order to make the best use of its potential, the people involved need to forget the idea that everything creative falls into the realm of spontaneous, impulsive, even aimless happenings, while analysis, structure and practical relevance form an alternate universe — and that the two are fundamentally incompatible.

This contradiction is a superstition. Good communication is the result of a development process involving logic as well as intuition, emotions and reflections.

The process becomes really productive once the client gets involved — as a full-fledged member of the team. This is the opportunity that the creative review provides. If it is possible to make this a truly productive and creative team meeting, the benefits are enormous. The concepts resulting from this collaboration will always move in the right direction, and won’t require massive, unexpected cuts or corrections in strategy after the fact.

It is essential to break down preconceived notions to make the creative review work. It also takes a stiff upper lip — to integrate the creative conceptual ideas and suggestions provided by clients without dismissing them as inconsequential ideas provided by amateurs. Clients also need the courage to seriously consider ideas that creatives present that directly impact operations without smiling condescendingly on them as unrealistic fantasies.


More is less

In the end, the goal is to bring existing strengths together on a shared project, and these strengths cannot be parceled out so neatly. Both sides benefit from the ability to think and make contributions to the other discipline. This makes creation a shared, holistic process with extraordinarily accurate, well-received results.

The additional effort and expense seemingly created by a highly-developed review culture is well worth it. It prevents «original» commercials that only attract people’s attention without any communicative benefit for the brand or product, as well as watered-down advertisements usually the result of poor compromises.

An open, equal exchange does not mean that tastes are defined from above, or that the creative team will anticipate every directive. It also does not mean forgoing precision and a connection to reality. This process reduces unsuccessful attempts to a minimum. Solutions developed together have the invaluable advantage of stability and the potential for long-term development. For all of these reasons, we should finally learn to love the creative review process. 

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Birkenstock

Website

BIRKENSTOCK, one of the world’s most famous German brands, is relaunching its corporate website. The most important update: The website www.birkenstock-group.com features a multi-client capable CMS, which makes it possible to accommodate the content and requirements of international subsidiaries.

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intive

Brand development, naming, corporate design

Three become one: Software companies BLStream and SMT Software as well as app agency Kupferwerk have merged to become a new global service provider for the development of digital products. This is where we come into play: We develop the new brand core, »Turning ideas into digital reality«. This is the starting point for the new brand values, corporate design and naming.

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2x precious metal

at the Graphis Annual Reports 2014-2016

11/02/2016 | We designed the annual report for Tom Tailor, entitled »Fashion Forward«, in the style of an exclusive fashion magazine. The project won the Platinum award at the Graphis Annual Reports 2014-2016 competition in New York. »Light is Life«: The annual report on OSRAM’s IPO, featuring a circle of glowing LEDs as a key visual, represents the company’s ingenuity. This project won a Gold award.

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Bauwerk Capital

Trogerstrasse 19 brochure

»Epochal living«. The title says it all: exclusive apartments from Bauwerk Capital in Munich’s best location. We made the graphic design and copy for this brochure just as exclusive and used a specially blended metallic colour and textured paint to highlight elements of the building façade.

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3x Silver

at Best of Content Marketing 2016

06/24/2016 | The Ruperto Carola research magazine we design for the University of Heidelberg won Silver in the special «Cover of the Year« category for issue no. 6 »Healthy & Sick«. Issue 7 »Shadows & Light« also won in the »Non-Profit/Associations/Institutions« category. The third Silver award in the »Retail/Consumer Goods« category went to our »Pure Cycling 2016« customer magazine for Canyon Bicycles.

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Bauwerk Capital

Product communication

Bauwerk Capital is a provider of premium real estate in Munich. The company's architecture expertise allows Bauwerk to support its contractors in planning and implementation efforts, as well as assisting customers in realizing their individual wishes. The communication focuses on the central theme of urban residential culture.

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A silver nail and two awards

04/28/2016 | We are thrilled about a silver nail we received at the 52nd ADC Festival. The ADC gave this honor to two issues of the University of Heidelberg’s Ruperto Carola research magazine, »Healthy & Sick« and »Shadow & Light«. Our three-color concept for the three Porsche 919 Hybrid race cars at Le Mans and KMS TEAM 2016 calendar »I shot the serif« also received awards.

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Schneider Schreibgeräte

Product communication

All product communication, packaging and manuals were redesigned and adapted for the international market as part of the new visual identity for Schneider Schreibgeräte.

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I Shot the Serif

01/28/2016 | Accompanying us through the year 2016 are 12 »misspoken sayings« - intelligent, ironic, tongue-in-cheek.

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OSRAM Licht AG

Annual reports

Light is OSRAM. The Annual Reports position the company as a leader with a bright future in the growth market of lighting. The cover of the yearbook 2013 glows with a circle of real LED lights. This key visual and its unique technology stand for OSRAM’s groundbreaking innovations. The key visual 2014, a horizontal beam of light interprets the great color variety in the spectrum of visible light and continues the guiding idea.

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pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Annual reports

pbb was founded through the merger of Hypo Real Estate and DEPFA during the financial crisis in 2009, representing an entirely new beginning for the bank. When designing the annual reports, KMS TEAM focused on the main feature of the company — the German bond — as a unique symbol of seriousness and credibility.

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DDC 2015

Grand Prix for the University of Heidelberg

12/08/2015 | A client-agency relationship shaped by expertise and courage yields outstanding results. The German Designer Club DDC awarded the Grand Prix at this year’s »Gute Gestaltung« (»Good Design«) competition to Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg for its bold approach to design. We congratulate our client on this tremendous success and are delighted to have been involved in this journey.

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OSRAM

Quarterly reports

We developed and designed the 2013 quarterly reports for OSRAM Licht AG. Essential aspects included the presentation of the light market’s future growth prospects as well as the company’s own potential as an integrated lighting expert.

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NürnbergMesse

Brand development

NürnbergMesse is one of the 15 largest exhibition companies in the world. The new brand identity positions the exhibition company as a competent and motivating event partner while strengthening its position over the long term in the face of national and international position.

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Villa Stuck museum

Birthday campaign and magazine

02/21/2013 | KMS TEAM designed the campaign celebrating the 150th birthday of artist Franz von Stuck and a publication honoring the 20th anniversary of Villa Stuck as a public museum. 



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Graphis Annual Reports:

Silver for OSRAM Annual Report

08/25/2015 | Our annual report for OSRAM received a Silver Award out of 500 entries at the international Graphis Annual Reports 2014/2015 competition, and will be included in the renowned yearbook.

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Schneider Schreibgeräte

Tagline

Writing tool manufacturer Schneider refers specifically to the world of handwriting in its tagline to emphasize its significance in everyday communication.

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ThyssenKrupp

Annual report

The 2011 annual report issued by industrial giant ThyssenKrupp is the first piece of media to reflect the new company strategy. It illustrates the group's development from a steel corporation to a highly diversified provider of technical solutions. The "art of engineering" serves as the brand core and the inspiration for the key visual.

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Schneider presents the »Superroller«

05/15/2015 | Schneider launches the »next generation of ink rollerball pens« with the latest »One« series. We provided strategic and communicative support for the product launch.

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Credit Suisse

Financial report

Credit Suisse is a leader in corporate and money market communication within the banking industry. The Financial Report presents the brand at an international level and emphasizes the bank’s leading role with a communication and publication concept based on their employees.

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Villa Stuck

Birthday campaign »Franz von Stuck turns 150«

2013 marked the 150th birthday of Franz von Stuck (1863 – 1928), Munich’s noble artist who gave Villa Stuck Museum its name. We designed an international birthday campaign to highlight von Stuck’s role as a pioneering artist of his time.

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Second BCP Award for University of Heidelberg:

Silver for »Outside & Inside«

04/27/2015 | The »Best of Corporate Publishing« (BCP) has decided: The fifth issue of our research magazine »Outside & Inside« was nominated for the short list in the »Specials and Annuals – Non-profit Company Report« and given the Silver Award.

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Fair Value REIT

Annual reports

Fair Value REIT focuses on the acquisition and management of commercial real estate in Germany. We effectively translated the clear and streamlined corporate design of Fair Value into a print medium. The horizontal stripes in the logo provide the basis for all design elements used in the annual report.

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Tom Tailor Group

Annual report 2013

The annual report show the company’s success story and history of growth and positions the group as a relevant brand in the fashion industry, in the visual style of a quality fashion magazine.

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CXI Conference on June 10th:

Corporate identity using the University of Heidelberg as an example

03/20/2015 | The largest German-speaking conference on the topic of corporate identity will be held on June 10 in Bielefeld. Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch (University of Heidelberg) will join Patrick Märki (KMS TEAM) to talk about the brand architecture of Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Germany’s oldest university.

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Axel Springer

Annual report

More than just a media group, Axel Springer is a significant part of German post-war history. The annual report, featuring historic photos from the group’s own Ullstein photo archive, clearly illustrates the company’s role in shaping German public opinion.

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Klöpfer

Corporate image and product brochures

Customer orientation is the main element of Klöpfer’s strategic brand positioning. We consistently translated this mindset into the corporate image and product brochures to support company sales.

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iF design award 2015

for five projects

01/29/2015 | Five KMS TEAM projects received the renowned international iF communication design award out of 50 participating countries.

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Audi

Museum guide

We designed the guide for the Audi museum mobile to document the creation process. Blueprints are linked to images showing the actual realization, and sketches shimmer through on the back of the Japanese-bound pages.

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Vitra

Reference and product brochures

We worked within Vitra’s characteristic brand design to develop communication concepts for the renowned living and office furniture manufacturer – including reference and product brochures.

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Klöpfer

Slogan

KMS TEAM developed a new slogan for wood retail group Klöpfer. »Mit Klöpfer klappt’s« (»It works with Klöpfer«) expresses the company's mindset as a partner to retailers and craftsmen. The slogan serves as a promise and anticipates the customers' perspective.

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OMV Commercial

Corporate wording

With its slogan »Close to you«, the B2B division of Austrian mineral oil company OMV is doing more to make its customers the focus of all business activities. We developed language guidelines on this basis to ensure that the new positioning would make a winning, convincing impression in all communication. The guidelines are designed like a short language guide: »Close to you in five lessons«.

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Astra satellite television

Brand development

Astra is Germany’s leading provider of satellite television. We developed a brand identity that would be used throughout Europe along with the tagline »Celestial television«.

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O2 Germany

Corporate language

O2 entered the German mobile telecommunications market with a fresh, blue and bubbly identity – and became an instant success. In addition to establishing the brand, it was necessary to develop a unique language – but how do we put freshness in words?

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