The 2021 AME Awards Grand Jury bring innovation, industry expertise, and a 360-degree global perspective to the judging panel. This powerhouse jury panel is known for their ability to create results-driven work for prominent international brands and they are respected globally for their award-winning campaigns.Their stellar reputations and commitment to creative and effective work set the benchmark for innovation.
2021 AME Grand Jury member Nadine Mueller-Eckel is Strategy Director for RGA Berlin, she brings 12 years of experience in strategy in Germany’s leading creative agencies. Nadine is spearheads brand and creative strategy on a variety of projects including brand purpose development, integrated campaign building, communication and social media strategy. Throughout her career Nadine had the chance to successfully work for many prestigious clients including Google, Netflix, Nikon, Opel, E.ON, Sparkasse, Free Democrats and Kaufland.
In the interview below Nadine shares her industry perspective on innovations within the creative space, how data can play a bigger role, what advertising will look like next year, her most favorite campaigns and so much more.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative effective advertising?
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: Resolution. Clarity. Simplicity. Truth.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: Effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards are important because (1) they remind the industry how creativity should never be an end in itself. And (2) they prove to brands how creative innovation accelerates business success.
AME Awards: How has the brand’s voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: Purpose driven Marketing has become quite popular and yet also a buzzword throughout the past year. But there is simply no reason of having a purpose if it’s not lived actively and authentically through an ecosystem. Brands need to remind themselves of what they can credibly stand for and connect their key assets to culture in a way it is genuine. Otherwise it will backfire in a second. So, not every brand needs to own a purpose. But every brand needs to live up to the values and proposition it claims for itself.
AME Awards: What will advertising look like next year?
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: My optimistic vision: Liberated, I hope. And more conscious about the cultural impact brands not only can but should make in society. That being said, I feel the pandemic has increased awareness and accountability on how cultural topics and movements are not only being perceived as potential threads to creativity but as fuel to rethink and redefine the rules of advertising when it comes to equity, inclusion and proper representation of groups, communities and topics.
Consumption has become a reflection of lifestyle. And if brands want to succeed they need to be part of that lifestyle. And this means to drive resonance with customers through relevance in culture.
AME Awards: What innovations are changing the way agencies create on behalf of brands or launch new products? Does big data and AI play an even bigger role today?
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: When it comes to the role of data, I assume it will play an even bigger role. While we see data being used for inspiration quite prominently as a source of new truths. But data will become even more important to spark growth and possibilities. Such as data for decision making to create evidence for new actions based on the cultural, marketing and business impact of our work. Or data to drive real “innovation” of ideas that deliver two-way value at every touch.
I also expect an increasing role of leveraging the potential of culturally relevant channels and gaming such as Minecraft, Twitch and Spotify like we’ve seen this in the “Uncensored Library” Case from DDB this year. This is where brands can really make a difference by finding unexpected ways of innovating the creative space.
AME Awards: What is your all time, favorite most creative and effective ad and/or ads (share the link or a visual) and why in your opinion did they triumph?
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: The brands that move me the most and stay with me longest to me are mostly the ones being commitment to a core idea. Brands creating a true platform, always linking everything they do back to culture. Like Hornbach - a brand that has committed to the idea “passion for projects” and to the fundamental truth of “creating big things with bare hands” for so many years already – it never gets old. My all-time favorite “There is a part of you in every project”.
And of course Nike: Not only is everything they do at the speed of culture but even ahead of it, shaping it – be it through innovation and or through insight based communication. One of my favorite ones is a simple print headline “You either ran today. Or you didn’t.” And let’s not forget about the “Find your greatness” campaign. Everything they do speaks to heart AND mind, nudging behavioral change. At least for me it does – thanks to Nike and my husband I became a slow but decent runner.
One campaign that stuck out to me last year was Halo Tops campaign. To me the most excellent creative when it comes to tackling a human insight (of the stressful, depressing adult life) in the most original way and linking it all to one core product benefit of being delicious while be low on calories. How much we all deserve this ice-cream.
Halo Tops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kio3t3nXJo
Hornbach “Part of you”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sG-rmheVmI
Nike “Find your greatness”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYP9AGtLvRg&t=140s
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Nadine Mueller-Eckel: Be pointed: Be pointed: Find the one narrative that tells your story in the clearest, original and most exciting way. Do not get caught up in explaining the unnecessary. Find focus on the important red thread. Be precise: Back your story with substance. Find the right data to support your arguments to make your case as convincing as possible.