Neckermann Film, Digital The worlds most powerful banner by Ogilvy & Mather Frankfurt

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The worlds most powerful banner

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Industry Transport, travel & tourism
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market Germany
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Frankfurt
Executive Creative Director Matthias Storath
Creative Director Helmut Meyer
Copywriter Dr. Stephan Vogel
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2013
PR Lions Sectors & Services; Crisis and Issue Management Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Sectors & Services
Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Advertiser: NECKERMANN
Product/Service: NECKERMANN.DE

Chief Creative Officer: Dr. Stephan Vogel (Ogilvy Germany)
Executive Creative Director: Matthias Storath (Ogilvy Germany)
Creative Director: Helmut Meyer (Ogilvy Germany)
Copywriter: Dr. Stephan Vogel (Ogilvy Germany)
Account Management: Christoph Isenbuerger (Ogilvy Germany)
Account Management: Tibor Henseler (Ogilvy Germany)
Creative Planning: Sabina Pal (Ogilvy Germany)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Hanna Maschke (Neckermann)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Heiko Klauer (Ogilvy Germany)

Describe the campaign/entry is one of the most traditional employers in the city of Frankfurt. It had established itself and even co-invented the mail order business. With thousands of employees and hundred thousands of customers it is a company which is more than a business.

With its claim “Neckermann makes it possible” it stood for opportunities and accessibility of goods for everyone. The long established company got into distress when it had to file for bankruptcy in July 2012. tried to shut down its mail order unit and started to focus on a much leaner business model with only online retail. Thus, they got into a tough spot because due to troublesome layoffs lost its investor’s support.

With no media budget at hand and many confused customers was at a point where it was essential to stabilize sales and reassure customers. Through a savvy strategy sales reached up to €4.800.000 and more than 500.000 visitors on the website were generated.

Describe the brief from the client
Since there was no media budget, we had to create a media buzz around the special sale by picking up topics that would catch the media attention and therefore give us access to “free media” by having the campaign mentioned as often as possible.

By saying “Bankrupt. So what?” and “You are broke? We know what that feels like” we created such a provocative campaign-claim that the media had to pick up on it. We supported the banners with a press release which explained the context.
3 main goals
1) Create awareness and public interest
2) Reassure consumers
3) Stabilize sales


Within the first weekend of the campaign, the banners were already clicked over a 100.000 times.

Through the whole campaign the banners generated over half a million clicks.
Weekly sales of about €800.000, totalling 4.8m throughout the campaign were made. Approximately 12.000 items were sold.

Neckermann’s newsletters, which had the campaign headlines in the subject line had an increased opening rate of 3%.

The demand for the item advertised through the campaign had an increase in demand of over a 100%.

Before the campaign, sales were down by 66% compared to 2011. After the campaign it stabilized at -13% compared to 2011 sales. This was a huge leap towards getting through the bankruptcy and a clear signal to new investors that is a viable business.

Because of the provocative campaign we were able to generate free media equal to €2.000.000+.


The campaign was launched through only 2 banners on the website because there was no media budget to spend at all. Through its provocative message it caught massive attention from the media, who were watching very closely at the time.

All relevant media picked up on the topic and found the fighting spirit of neckermann very positive. Many even featured the banners on their websites which drove additional traffic to the neckermann website.

For 8 weeks we would launch at least 1 new banner with a message that on 1 side documented the companies fight to get past the insolvency and on the other hand gave customers access to great offers and reassure them of the well working delivery services.

The Situation

It was obvisous that no-one would buy at out of charity. To support and keep the business going and in order to avoid closure we had to cope with three main tasks.

1) Create awareness and public interest
Get consumers’ attention and drive as much traffic as possible to the website.

2) Reassure consumers
Give consumers back the feeling of security when they buy at

3) Stabilize sales
Regarding the bankruptcy, sales had been rocked hard and needed to be stabilized to get through troubled waters.

The Strategy

The Insight:
A few old-established German companies had to file for bankruptcy this year. Due to many layoffs and therefore flying tempers the undertone in Germany couldn't have been worse in 2012.
Companies who had to file for bankruptcy were called dead and due to exclusively negative media coverage people thought of them as dead. But why be so negative?

The Idea:
The only chance for to survive the bankruptcy was to get the business going again and make sure to serve customers. But the customers were unsure whether it was safe to buy at and if it was ethical at all. With our banners we were able to get the medias attention and drive traffic to the website and show the consumers that was far away from giving up without putting up a fight.