Clients, stories and events

Strictly speaking, the story of the agency begins two years before it was offi­cially founded ...


Strictly speaking, the story of the agency begins two years before it was offi­cially founded. On Cologne’s Ebert­platz, a small team run by jour­nalist Oliver Schrott is working on PR projects for Opel and Mazda. For the vehicle manu­fac­tures, it gener­ates press packs, releases and speeches, and for the Japanese importer, customer magazine “Mazda News”. Even then, the list of jobs includes the first events - vehicle launches, tech­nical work­shops and the annual press confer­ence for Adam Opel AG, which the team will go on to orga­nize in Frank­furt’s Old Opera House for nine years in succes­sion.


Still not offi­cially an agency, but the port­folio already boasts its first full-service customer - ABB Henschel. For the “rail trans­porta­tion systems supplier”, as the railway tech­nology provider’s new posi­tioning put it, the team works together with a design agency from Wies­baden to create a complete corpo­rate iden­tity - from a magazine-style image brochure, through testi­mo­nial adver­tising for trade magazines to PR programs for German low-floor city trains and Swedish tilting trains. The package also includes a TV commer­cial that, in early 1993, runs in the night­time program during the forma­tive days of new private TV station VOX.


The year in which Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion GmbH is offi­cially founded, and entered in the Cologne Compa­nies Register on March 23rd. The team, which has now grown to six perma­nent and five free­lance members, real­izes its first inter­na­tional projects in Italy and France for Opel and Amer­ican GM brands Cadillac and Chevrolet.


A move to new offices on Cologne’s Hohen­staufen­ring creates room for growth. By the time the agency makes its next move in 2005, it has expanded to occupy a total of three build­ings at that loca­tion.


Following a successful pitch against several big-name agen­cies, the start of January sees the agency open a second office in Rüsselsheim. The client is Opel, and the task is compre­hen­sive support for the Manage­ment Board func­tion of Press and Public Rela­tions. Just a stone’s throw away from the automakers head office, the months and years ahead see the creation of press texts, speeches and brochures, PR concepts and presen­ta­tions, the Opel Annual Report and the Envi­ron­ment Report, as well as ideas and concepts for press confer­ences and vehicle launches in Germany and throughout the world. New clients include tire manu­fac­turer Goodyear, home elec­tronics company Galaxis and the Bitburger brewery, for which the edito­rial team develops the new “Bit Magazin”. In an old produc­tion hall, Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion stages the premiere of the “first tractor for the next millen­nium” Agrotron, for tractor manu­fac­turer Deutz-Fahr - with over 2,000 guests from 17 coun­tries, it is the agency’s largest single event to date.


With oeco capital, the agency intro­duces Germany’s first ecolog­ical life insur­ance company; for Goodyear, the team develops an all-new PR format in support of its Formula 1 activ­i­ties. “Rock’n Race”, an open-air festival at the Hock­en­heim­ring featuring a live concert by Marius Müller-West­ern­hagen, brings more than 50,000 (paying) visi­tors. Parallel to this are the agency’s two first PR events in the USA - the presen­ta­tion of the Opel Sintra minivan in New York and the launch of the Galaxis brand.


In autumn, Oliver Schrott estab­lishes the manage­ment team that still runs the agency to this day - Andre Kau-Gravert, with the company from the very start, takes over as Joint Managing Director with respon­si­bility for Edito­rial and Graphics, Michael Kemme takes on Client Consul­tancy and Ulrich Linnen­berg handles Admin­is­tra­tion and Finance, as well as Special Projects. The end of the year sees fee income exceed DM 5 million for the first time.


A call early in the year heralds perhaps the most unusual job the agency has ever had - the orga­ni­za­tion of a visit to the Opel factory in Eise­nach by US Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton. A whole two weeks are avail­able for plan­ning, orga­ni­za­tion, imple­men­ta­tion and approval by the client, the German Chan­cellor’s office, the US Embassy, the White House and the Secret Service.

New clients such as Elec­trolux, Siemens VDO and Aventis subsidiary HiServ, see the team grow to 30 employees. The City of Cologne seeks our advice for the orga­ni­za­tion of the G8 Summit; for Chevrolet, an extraor­di­nary journey of discovery through North America is created for jour­nal­ists - from Detroit, via Dresden, London, New Hamburg, Baden and Bamberg to Toronto. Along the way - the first North Amer­ican oil field, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the site of the world’s second largest Okto­ber­fest.


To cele­brate the 100th anniver­sary of Opel vehicle produc­tion, the agency develops a truly pioneering PR tool - a train. The “Opel Millen­nium Express”, an inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ence based around the auto­mo­bile and mobility, is not only the longest exhi­bi­tion train of all time, but also the first ever pan-Euro­pean rail­show. By the end of the year, the 280 meter long rail track extrav­a­ganza has attracted over 360,000 visi­tors across six coun­tries. This complex project also marks a signif­i­cant step forward for Oliver Schrott as a company - the agency creates an in-house team for corpo­rate archi­tec­ture, which has since grown to be seven strong.


The first year of the new millen­nium puts agency fee income over DM 10 million for the first time, following growth of almost 30 percent. And with projects and events in 14 coun­tries, the company is now defi­nitely inter­na­tional. The agency launches Opel’s smallest car, the Agila, in Denmark’s Legoland, and the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV in the deep snow of Norwe­gian Tromsö. As a unique PR format for Euro­pean auto shows, the “GM Art Night” is estab­lished in Geneva and Paris, while the Detroit Auto Show is accom­pa­nied by a media seminar in Florida. And the “Opel Millen­nium Express” ends its Euro­pean tour with a new visitor record for exhi­bi­tion trains - almost 700,000 visi­tors in twelve coun­tries have seen the view into the future since it began mid-1999.


On April 1, Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion is appointed by Daim­ler­Chrysler as new lead agency for Mercedes-Benz global commu­ni­ca­tions. This major account means goodbye to Opel and GM after more than 10 years. The facility in Rüsselsheim is replaced by a new office in Stuttgart. The first project for the world’s oldest auto­mo­tive brand is centered on an auto­mo­tive icon - the world premiere of the new SL, star­ring Lionel Richie. In June, German PR-Magazin’s “Qual­itäts-Check” certi­fies Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion with the highest quality level of all German PR agen­cies, based on research carried out by Professor Klaus Merten from Münster. The agency is the only one to receive the top grade 1 in all four disci­plines under consid­er­a­tion. In order to main­tain this stan­dard, the company launches a new training product in Cologne for its now 50 employees - the “OSK Campus” with three corner­stones of Basics, Know-How and Brain­food, comple­mented by a team of well-known external instruc­tors.


2002 is the year of Maybach. Over nine months, the agency cele­brates the renais­sance of the almost forgotten luxury brand of the 1920s and 30s with a series of sensa­tional PR events. The core of the campaign, the world premiere in New York City, is consid­ered by media researchers to be the most successful vehicle launch of all time, based on global media coverage. New clients include ThyssenKrupp with deci­sion-maker magazine “evo­lu­tion” and internal media; while, for Siemens’ Automa­tion Tech­nology Unit, the agency puts a second exhi­bi­tion train on the tracks, in the shape of the “Siemens exider”.


After luxury limousines, it’s the turn of luxury yachts to take their place in the agency port­folio. On behalf of Sunseeker, the team develops an inte­grated campaign for first-class pre-owned yachts with adver­tise­ments in all the major Sunday news­pa­pers. In autumn, the mobile exhi­bi­tion “Siemens exider” reaches China via the Trans-Siberian Railway. The timetable for the first inter­na­tional exhi­bi­tion train to appear there includes stops at a total of 16 cities with over one million inhab­i­tants each.


With fee income of EUR 8.6 million in 2003, Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion enters the top ten German PR agen­cies, and becomes the first agency ever to receive a “Top Job” Award as one of the best 100 medium-sized employers in Germany. On behalf of Mercedes-Benz, the team real­izes its first vehicle launch on the high seas — for the new A-Class - on board club ship AIDAaura, the “German 2004 Olympic Games Ship”. Plus, the agency is appointed as Michelin’s new lead PR agency for Germany, Austria and Switzer­land.


Alongside existing client contracts, new growth comes from pack­aging equip­ment group Tetra Pak, produc­tion equip­ment manu­fac­turer GEA and medical tech­nology special­ists Wave­light. As a follow-up project to the “exider” exhi­bi­tion train, the agency’s archi­tects develop the “exider­dome” for Siemens - a mobile, modular exhi­bi­tion pavilion covering around 2,000 sq. meters. By the end of the year, the team is 72 strong and fee income reaches the EUR 10 million mark - a 100% increase in just five years. The move to an historic bank building directly next to Cologne’s Cathe­dral and Central Railway Station doesn’t only bring more room, but also a state-of-the-art working envi­ron­ment, thanks to a new spatial concept.


With the Mercedes-Benz “E-Class Expe­ri­ence Paris — Beijing”, the agency conceives and imple­ments a spec­tac­ular long-distance drive across two conti­nents, nine coun­tries and six time zones, in order to demon­strate the features of the new-gener­a­tion E-Class and the bene­fits of modern diesel tech­nology. 406 partic­i­pants from 36 coun­tries contributed in deliv­ering global media coverage.


The “E-Class Expe­ri­ence Paris - Beijing” is honored with a number of awards, including the pan-Euro­pean “SABRE” PR award and the “Logis­tics Service Award” from the German Logis­tics Asso­ci­a­tion, marking the first time ever that this honor is awarded to a commu­ni­ca­tions agency. The team creates a press presen­ta­tion for Pana­sonic at the IFA Consumer Elec­tronics Trade Fair, a tire marathon for Michelin and the US press launch of the smart brand. A further notable media success within a chal­lenging polit­ical envi­ron­ment is the Mercedes-Benz press confer­ence at the IAA Auto Show in Frank­furt, where the agency creates an atten­tion-grab­bing presen­ta­tion with strong imagery for the world’s oldest vehicle brand’s “Road to the Future”.


With an office in New York Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion expands to America. During the start-up phase, five employees take care of the US projects of existing clients as well as assign­ments from the New World. The total number of employees at the three OSK loca­tions rises to 85. After stays in Asia and Europe, the Siemens exider­dome continues its global B2B-tour in Middle and North America. Set up on a barge fit for the open sea the Siemens exiderome sparks furore as a swim­ming exhi­bi­tion on the big lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The agency gains addi­tional momentum by new clients such as Harman Inter­na­tional and Vail­lant.


The inter­na­tion­ally-renowned industry magazine “Holmes Report” selects Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion as “German Consul­tancy of the Year”. OSK receives the pres­ti­gious award in Stock­holm. The agency obtains this desired distinc­tion in the midst of the finan­cial and economic crisis, which has also impacted the PR and commu­ni­ca­tion industry. The fact that OSK manages to achieve satis­fac­tory busi­ness results, in spite of the diffi­cult circum­stances, is not least due to rein­forced activ­i­ties of the agency in China, the next step of the inter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion strategy. With Frese­nius Univer­sity Cologne OSK starts a univer­sity coop­er­a­tion. The premium part­ner­ship is rati­fied in summer, and first joint projects are kicked off.
With a newly created team of motion designers at Cologne, OSK extends its port­folio of services by adding the instru­ment of motion graphics.


In the spring, OSK open their office in Beijing, after New York, the second office abroad. Through this, Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion is the first network-inde­pen­dent German PR agency with offices in Asia and America.
For its inter­na­tional commu­ni­ca­tion, Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle starts putting its trust in the exper­tise of OSK. As a first measure, the agency inten­si­fies contacts between the brand and the world­wide blogger scene, also imme­di­ately offering tailor-made event concep­tions specif­i­cally for this target group. As a new client, the New York Team wins over LAPP, the world­wide supplier of cables, wires and wiring acces­sories. For the first time agency staff tops the 100 mark: on 31 December 2010, Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion has 102 fully-employed staff members, male and female.


In the newly-created Auto­mo­tive Brand Contest, three projects from Oliver Schrott Kommu­nika­tion imme­di­ately receive the desig­na­tion “Winner”. In May the agency controls the entire press and PR work for the Michelin Chal­lenge Bibendum. At the large-scale event held in Berlin, over 5,000 inter­na­tional compa­nies and research insti­tu­tions present their tech­nical solu­tions for the sustain­able mobility of the future to some 500 jour­nal­ists and media repre­sen­ta­tives.
For Bosch the agency plans, controls and co-ordi­nates the year-long press and PR work to cele­brate “125 Years of Bosch”. Following a pitch of several stages, OSK is also chosen to arrange the Tetra Pak pres­ence at the Anuga FoodTech 2012 fair. In addi­tion to the archi­tec­ture and plan­ning of the booth space of several thou­sand square metres, OSK was also commis­sioned with the concep­tual contents of the exhi­bi­tion pres­ence, its overall devel­op­ment and the entire real­iza­tion of the project. With fees totalling 16.56 million euro, the year ends on a new record high turnover.


For Tetra Pak, OSK designs and imple­ments a trade show fair booth measuring 5,000 square meters for the company’s appear­ance at the anuga FoodTech in Cologne - the largest booth in the history of the pack­aging specialist as well as the history of the agency. For several months, 20 employees develop topics, content, graphics, booth design and the construc­tion for the complex major project.

In New York, OSK takes over commu­ni­ca­tion for the motor­sports involve­ment of, the biggest Amer­ican online service for consulting on every­thing surrounding a car purchase. In Beijing, the auto­mo­tive joint-venture Fujian Benz is new on the list of customers.


With the BlogScorer, the OSK social media team develops a tool which allows objec­tive state­ments on the quality of blogs for the first time. Its foun­da­tion is a database with several hundred blogs. These blogs are recorded and analyzed with the help of a compre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion and weighting system using over 100 indi­vidual criteria.

For LG Elec­tronics, OSK takes respon­si­bility for the commu­ni­ca­tion surrounding its summer fair appear­ance at gamescom, the biggest public fair world­wide for computer and video games. In addi­tion, OSK becomes the lead agency for Freuden­berg Sealing Tech­nolo­gies, the world­wide leading tech­nology specialist for sealing solu­tions, for whom the agency develops a completely new brand model. Other new entries on the customer list are ThyssenKrupp and the soft­ware provider ETAS belonging to Bosch.


OSK becomes involved with the Berlin-based digital agency compuc­cino, a specialist for digital commu­ni­ca­tions and content logis­tics. The acqui­si­tion of the majority interest creates one of the biggest German providers for multi­media story­telling on all chan­nels - both on- and offline.

A new entry on the customer list is digi­tal­STROM, a provider of smart home solu­tions. For the airline airberlin, the OSK social media team develops and orga­nizes customized offers for blog­gers and influ­encers as well as by writing news and stories about the traffic in the sky  — which also creates quite a bit of traffic on the internet.

With its own commu­ni­ca­tion, OSK empha­sizes its digital capa­bil­i­ties and begins its own blog. Here the team of authors high­lights current devel­op­ments from the fields of PR, marketing commu­ni­ca­tions and media as well as trends in tech­nology, economy and industry. Another novelty is the weekly newsletter “OSK Weekly” with current infor­ma­tion and back­grounds on the commu­ni­ca­tions and digital sector.


In January, a short animated film by the OSK motion design team inspires the visi­tors of the Inter­na­tional Consumer Elec­tronics Show in Las Vegas. The video featuring two robots discussing the strengths and weak­nesses of human beings serves as an enter­taining intro­duc­tion to the keynote by Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche and delights first his guests and later the jury members of several industry awards. Among other prizes, this video is awarded with the pres­ti­gious Golden Award of Montreux, another CES film to win the Deutscher PR-Preis (German PR Award).

However, the OSK project of the year becomes the world premiere of the Freight­liner Inspi­ra­tion Truck on the legendary Hoover Dam in the desert of Nevada. For the spec­tac­ular maiden-voyage produc­tion of the first autonomously-driving truck with road approval, the agency wins eight inter­na­tional commu­ni­ca­tion prizes in total, among them a Golden Apple of the FAMAB Award, the Euro­pean Excel­lence Award as well as the Gold SABRE Award. The gigantic projec­tion on the dam wall measuring 39,000 square meters was awarded a “Guin­ness World Record” while still on site.

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