Doerte Spengler-Aherns, Non-Executive Chairwoman, Jung von Matt

Pioneering Effectiveness: One-on-one with Doerte Spengler-Aherns, Non-Executive Chairwoman, Jung von Matt

New York, New York | April 04, 2024

AME's Effective Perspective goes one-on-one with the award-winning Doerte Spenger Aherns, Non-Executive Chairwoman at Jung von Matt in Germany. With a distinguished career journey from Chief Creative Officer to her current role, Doerte brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the table.

In the interview below Doerte reflects on her journey from Chief Creative Officer to her current role and shares insights into the transition that prompted this shift, delves into the elements that contribute to the success and impact of campaigns in today's rapidly changing landscape, highlights the significance of teamwork and collaboration in fostering innovation within agencies, and  offers words of wisdom for those beginning on their creative journey,

AME Awards: Can you tell us about your journey from Chief Creative Officer to Non-Executive Chairman at Jung von Matt? What prompted this transition, and how has your role evolved?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: After 20 years of successful, creative work for Jung von Matt, building up five JvM agencies, it was time to do something else, including my role as President of the German Art Directors Club with my commitment to women and my annual participation in all the award shows in the world for 20 years, the management had considered making more use of these sideline activities. 

AME Awards: As a member of the AME Advisory Board, you have a unique perspective on advertising and marketing effectiveness. What do you believe are the key factors that contribute to creating successful and impactful campaigns in today's rapidly changing landscape?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: I am convinced that more than ever creative work needs a momentum (special superpower impact). This is not only because this is the keyword to our JvM philosophy. That’s also something I experienced in my business life, the stronger the idea the more successful the campaign.

AME Awards: With your experience in the industry, what advice would you give to aspiring creative professionals looking to make their mark in the world of advertising and marketing?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: Go to the best and learn from the best - don’t make any compromise in this and lose time in mediocrity.

AME Awards: How do you see the role of creativity in advertising evolving in the coming years, particularly in the context of advancing technology and shifting consumer behavior?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: I think the magic part of creative ideas will be strong as ever. The only thing which could be different is the way to achieve this and to reach people. The most we can learn from younger generations in their media use habits is they never focus on short, middle or long story - they accept everything as long as it is great and entertaining.

AME Awards: In your opinion, what are some of the most significant challenges facing the advertising industry today, and how can agencies navigate these challenges to stay competitive and relevant?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: First of all, success leads to more jobs. If you have a successful case, everybody in the marketing area is admiring you and you will get more tasks and it is important to be more creative than others - now more than ever - as the machines learn very fast to copy.

AME Awards: Collaboration is often essential for successful advertising campaigns. How do you foster a culture of collaboration and innovation within your agency, and what benefits have you observed from this approach?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: I strongly believe in teamwork, especially when creatives and strategists are working together. I have my doubts that you have to separate social media creators from other creators in my experience very good social media ideas come from if you want normal creatives and the other way around -so stop thinking in silos.

AME Awards: Measurement and metrics are crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. How do you approach measuring the success of campaigns beyond traditional metrics, such as brand perception and long-term impact?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: I strongly believe in market research that leaves the opportunity to ask questions. I don’t believe in focus groups that sit together for hours and discuss and question the things. With this you encourage people to be critical. and simple “I like it.” Is not accepted. But that’s exactly what the consumer is doing. He looks at something and has a reaction. It’s not more or less so these people behave liking something is a mistake and leads to a nonemotional rational result.

AME Awards: Diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important topics in the advertising industry. How do you ensure that diverse voices are represented and heard in the creative process at your agency, and what steps do you take to promote inclusivity in your work?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: As always, if you have done things wrong for a long time and notice that, you tend to overdo it in the following. For decades the shown picture of people in advertising was stereotype, and now to prove that the times have changed many brands overdo it. They try to squeeze diversity in every 20 second commercial, which has absurd results. for young people it is totally normal that we have now a culture and accept all different variations to live your life. You don’t have to show them in advertising that a Muslim and a Christian or Jew can share a McDonald’s burger. This is immediately seen through and rejected.

AME Awards: What are your primary responsibilities in your new role, and how do you support the agency's overall vision and strategy?

My job descriptions fill a big page. :-)  I still have some clients who value my advice. Then there is the area of creative excellence and awards, which I can enrich thanks to my decades of experience. Then there is the big task of promoting the topic of women and encouraging women to support and develop their careers, then there is a lot of experience and need that I can pass on to the younger generation. Then it's a big task for me to support the two CCOs in their quest to improve the creative product of Jung von Matt. 

AME AwardsFinally, can you share a memorable campaign or project that you've been involved with during your career that particularly stands out to you, and what made it so impactful?

Doerte Spengler-Aherns: Since I've been doing creative work for quite some time, I hope it's not presumptuous to say that I've launched some very well-known campaigns in Germany. For example Zalando, which I accompanied from the beginning and helped with the advertising to build a unicorn billion global fashion company. Or we produced creative highlights for some customers such as BMW. Or the client netto with „dann geh doch zu netto“. Or the customer obi with a large, successful surprising campaign. And last but not least BVG the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe the most striking work for them that should be known nationally is the ticket shoe.