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.

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