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Freitag, Nov. 26, 2010, 16:48 / Germany
BOLD is anything but a typical PR or creative agency as we know it. First of all, the office; just an open space with a few chairs and a big wooden table in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Berlin – Gormannstrasse in Mitte. Shops are next to galleries, neighbouring with design bureaus, making that particular city corner something of a creative hub. BOLD fits in perfectly, because it does exactly this – connecting the creative community and finding inspiration outside of common places.
So what is BOLD precisely? To find out, TribaSpace sat together with Julia Winkels and Svenja Evers, the founders and driving forces behind the agency.
The duo have known each other for almost a decade from their studies at the University of Arts in Berlin. They knew from the beginning their paths would cross but had to go their separate ways first – to do “the career” thing and learn what it takes to become an independent communication consultant.
Urban art has always been in Julia’ mind: she completed her diploma with the intriguing title “Graffiti and Street Art as Global Communication Platform”, landed a job in a PR office, spent a year in Boston working for the sportswear brand Reebok and learned a lot before moving back to Germany, where she continued to work for a large advertising and marketing firm. This year was a perfect turning point for Julia as she reconnected with her partner Svenja again, and both felt the time had come to open their own, long-awaited agency.
Svenja gained significant international experience too: her Master of Business Communication in Australia opened doors to work as a brand manager for major beverage companies and be in charge of their communication strategy for a while before moving back to Berlin – where BOLD was finally born.
We were positively surprised to learn that since they started the agency with the launch in July, six clients have already signed up, and their biggest problem is how to handle everything that now comes in. The BOLD business plan suggests having three employed at the end of the year, they currently have team of five and still no time to proactively acquire potential clients. However, word of mouth among corporate PRs is working so well that they might not need to.
Julia and Svenja know what is hip and what is “in”, and their audience are not only trendy Berlin folks. They seem to have a natural ambition to reach many different demographics using their experience, their creative imagination and their (very German) way of working – efficient, reliable and straightforward. It is a combination of creativity and the business logic that is still missing in places offering similar services, which makes BOLD a desirable partner to work with.
TribaSpace: What defines BOLD and marks its speciality?
Julia Winkels: We are bold in what we do – simple, effective communication concepts that work. Sound pretty easy on the surface but extremely difficult to execute, as many big and small companies fail to do exactly this – reaching out to their customers and their target groups.
Svenja Evers: We plan everything very thoughtfully. We always think commercially and try to transfer creativity into numbers without losing it. BOLD supports clients all the way through – from the initial marketing concept to final execution, be it a pop-up store launch, communication training for the client’s own PR department, trend research or an ad-hoc project, such as community creation for a big brand.
Do you select whom you work with?
JW: That is the luxury of running our own agency: we chose the brands we represent. We would not do tobacco companies for instance, as we have to feel the level of authenticity of what we believe in. Simply said, we would not carry out any campaign if we cannot be convinced of the product ourselves and buy into it.
Because of our international experience, BOLD have many requests and some clients from the US entering into European markets and wanting unconventional ways to find out more about the potential audience.
And that’s where BOLD comes in?
SE: Exactly. Berlin is so great for this, the city is simply the best playground naturally evolved, because it is the most cost-effective environment to try new ideas and at the same time to see how they are received. It is kind of an innovation marketing window to Germany.
JW: The city is more international as one would assume. I know so many people from all over the place who somehow are connected via Berlin but again, there is a rotation of people in London, New York, Paris or LA knowing each other… it is a relatively small, global community of like-minded people, I think.
Do digital technologies play an important role in establishing your network and keeping up with your communities?
SE: Absolutely. But we are not that high-tech savvy. If we don’t “get” something, we always know someone who does, and does it better – and we would invite them to be part of the project.
Using and utilising resources of our networks is simply part of the BOLD strategy. Giving back to the local community is another part. BOLD hosts art exhibitions: “The Tree Story” by Leila El-Kayem, a showcase for the charity organization “Trees for Cities”, found its home at the agency premises.
JW: It is important to us to involve creative people and give them space to explore their ideas.
What inspires you?
JW: Street. I love the noise, the happening on the street, I have always been amazed by urban art.
SE: The city of Berlin and the opportunity to be part of something that is just in the very beginning. The city is so young and has so much energy, and I simply love that. The idea of building something together, in a bigger creative network, does not seem so much of an utopian world because it works here.
Natasha Binar | TribaSpace
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