Winners & Shortlists


Entrant Company THJNK Hamburg, GERMANY
Advertising Agency THJNK Hamburg, GERMANY
Advertising Agency 2 ACHTUNG! Hamburg, GERMANY
Production Company MARKENFILM Wedel, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Armin Jochum Thjnk Ag Chief Creative Officer
Torben Otten Thjnk Ag Creative Director
Georg Baur Thjnk Ag Creative Director
Max Biedermann Thjnk Ag Creative Director
Alexander Müsgens Thjnk Ag Creative Director
Nicolas Schmidt/Fitzner Thjnk Ag Art Director
Felix Demandt Thjnk Ag Art Director
Stefano Sciolti Thjnk Ag Copywriter
Sven Keitel Freelancer Copywriter
Clemens Kandziora Thjnk Ag Copywriter
Lars Trzebiatowsky Thjnk Ag Etat Director
Andreas Sticken Thjnk Ag Account Director
Charlott Fauth/Schüller Thjnk Ag Account Manager Junior
Jessica Bartsch Thjnk Ag Account Manager Junior
Florian Weber Thjnk Ag Agency Producer
Swenja Krosien Thjnk Ag Agency Producer
Fabian Böttner Thjnk Ag Agency Producer
Florian Beisert Markenfilm Gmbh/Co. KG Producer
Tatjana Bolte Markenfilm Gmbh/Co. KG Producer
Phil Brown Director

The Campaign

Germany, 2011: The image of banks has hit rock bottom, with Commerzbank ahead of the rest. In the midst of this crisis Commerzbank decided to go on the offensive and openly admit its mistakes. In 2013 the successful campaign needed to be developed. It had to become even more radical. Once again, the bank sought out critical questions that the whole country was asking – and found the most unpleasant one of all: the bank questioned its own communication. Commerzbank decided to give its biggest critics a voice – and at the same time took away the basis for their criticisms and made the bank’s position clear: they were offering uncompromising honesty. The attitude instantly proved popular – in the press, in the industry, with customers, throughout Germany. It even helped Commerzbank quickly find allies that the whole country was watching during the World Cup year: the German national football team. Invigorated by Joachim Löw and his team, ‘new German honesty’ spread far and wide, was criticised, celebrated, parodied, discussed and finally translated into actions on the pitch. An indescribable success for Germany – and an equally big success for Commerzbank. No other brand was able to give such a dramatic boost to its image as a German Football Association sponsor. Positive reports rose by 120%, trustworthiness by 50%, willingness to recommend by 75% and 350,000 new accounts were opened. This made it the most successful advertising and media year in the bank’s history – as well as a milestone in German football history.

The Brief

The goal was to further improve Commerzbank’s image, reputation, perception, awareness and brand differentiation, as well as to increase in consultations and new customers. For this reason, the existing campaign was to be consistently and harmoniously continued, newly built trust strengthened and assertions made to date taken on and underpinned. On top of that, the bank’s new conduct needed not only to be communicated, but also firmly anchored in the minds of the German people.


After the campaign was launched, positive reports immediately rose by 120%. Commerzbank was able to boost its image as a German Football Association sponsor by 216%. Even international brands like Mercedes-Benz or adidas couldn’t outmatch that number. Consideration rose by 40%. The campaign was able to raise the bank’s perceived trustworthiness by 50%. The number of Germans who are willing to recommend Commerzbank rose by 75% during the campaign. 350,000 new accounts were opened in the first and second quarter of 2014. This made 2014 the most successful advertising and media year in the history of Commerzbank.


Based on the existing campaign, all of Commerzbank’s new communication had to feel as fair and honest as the message that needed to be conveyed and at the same time highlight the bank’s expertise and sincerity. Staged happy protagonists and artificial and unrealistic narratives had no place in this approach. Instead, the Bank decided to opt for authentic protagonists, like Lena Kuske, who are ordinary employees of Commerzbank and represent a new generation of bankers. For the ‘new German honesty’ approach, Commerzbank decided to collaborate with the German national football team under Joachim Löw. They became an ally that gave the message even more impact and, particularly in the year of the World Cup, got the whole country listening. Director Phil Brown produced five commercials which were shown on German prime-time TV and complemented by print ads and billboards. The success of the campaign prompted additional TV adaptations and advertisements.

The Situation

In 2011, in the midst of the global financial crisis, Commerzbank decided to go on the offensive. Back then the bank decided to openly admit its own mistakes. In a campaign that not only dominated the media but helped to rebuild trust. Commerzbank continued to follow up its words with actions into 2013 – but still couldn’t convince all of its critics. In order to change that, the successful campaign needed to be developed consistently.

The Strategy

With its image campaign in 2011, Commerzbank made clear that banking with Commerzbank works differently and that a new era has begun. But honest communication is always met with scepticism. To show how serious the bank was, Commerzbank decided that in 2013 the campaign had to become more radical and self-questioning – and therefore gave precisely these critical voices a public platform. Because it already had the answers ready: clear products and offers that had been developed directly with costumers. Moreover, Commerzbank had a virtue that it wanted to convey to the whole country: ‘new German honesty’. A promise and an attitude that – invigorated by the German national football team – should spread far and wide to bring the whole country together.