2020 Grand Jury POV Interview: Diane Schulz

New York | October 22, 2019

The AME Awards competition honors not just campaigns that are creative, but campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness and AME’s Grand Jury are the genius minds behind many of AME’s award-winning entries.

2020 Grand Jury member Diane Schulz started her career in advertising in 1999. As Account Manager, she worked at different agencies in Hamburg and Munich on clients such as Miller Beer, Danone and Payback/Plenti. 

After finishing her Diploma in Marketing at the BAW, the leading German academy for marketing and communication at the time, she started as Head of Direct Marketing at Hubert Burda Media, one of Germany’s largest media companies.

In 2012, she joined the SERVICEPLAN GROUP to develop the group’s Innovation Team. In this position, she acted directly under the Global Chief Creative Officer Alexander Schill. 
As International Account Director for METRO C&C and member of the Innovation Team, Diane was responsible for navigating the SERVICEPLAN brand while it expanded internationally.
This was achieved by managing creative excellence, innovation and pushing integration across 20+ countries, as well as handling all relevant participation in creative and efficiency awards. 

In her current role as Business Director, she oversees the global key accounts of the group, is responsible to establish new structures and processes to steer and monitor clients globally plus developing strategic growth.

AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?

Diane Schulz: Successful brand communication has become increasingly complex and also more difficult in recent years. Brands are constantly confronted with new challenges, so that efficient communication concepts are gaining in importance and relevance more than ever. Competitions like the AME give brands the opportunity to reward their work and serve as inspiration to others.

AME Awards: What makes you share you time and energy to participate on the AME Grand Jury and what do you hope to learn?

Diane Schulz: It is an honor to be part of this jury and to see how other brands have mastered and solved their challenges. I’m very excited to receive first-hand insights and new ideas and use these in order to develop even better concepts and campaign for our existing clients.

AME Awards: What is your favorite most effective ad and why does it hit the bullseye for the brand?

Diane Schulz: My all-time favorite is Monty's Christmas for John Lewis. The creative idea is absolutely brilliant. In particular, the TV commercial is beautifully produced with great music. This combined with a 360° campaign enriched with the merchandising of Monty, the penguin, is fantastic.

In addition, sales growth was increased by millions of pounds and even led to an immense adoption of penguins at the WWF. It is a perfect example of legendary advertising.

AME Awards: Any advice for entrants? Will you share your tips for entry success?

Diane Schulz: Judges must evaluate hundreds of cases. Therefore, it is important to maintain the attention span. Try to present your work in an appealing and entertaining way. Make it easy for the viewer to follow your approach. The individual aspects, such as challenge (incl. relevant industry information), goals, strategy, etc., need to be explained simple and short.

A documentation in form of a case study with storytelling is always the best way to present a campaign.

AME Awards: What cultural and/or social changes do you think will influence this year’s work?

Diane Schulz: Climate change and gender will definitely affect this year's work. Brands will increasingly have to change their products in order to be sustainable and gender-specific in the market.

AME Awards: Who is your inspiration and how has this philosophy made you who you are today?

Diane Schulz: My daily life is my inspiration. As a single mother, I always have to find efficient and reliable ways to master all the challenges of my life. This also applies to brands.

You must be open to alternatives and be prepared for the ongoing tasks that need to be improved. Without efficiency and teamwork, you will not be able to solve your client’s tasks.