Mike John Otto, Digital Creative Director at PUK, introduces to us the Sennheiser project.
Please, introduce yourself.
My Name is Mike John Otto and I am a digital creative director working as a Head of Digital and ECD at PUK / Philipp und Keuntje, a 200 people strong Hamburg based Agency, working for clients such as Sennheiser, Audi and Rimowa.
How did you come to the digital area?
After my graphic design studies, I moved to London to freelance under my label stereoplastic. After a couple of months with daily fish-and-chips I moved to Hamburg to start working as a Senior Designer at Razorfish, then as an Art Director at Elephant Seven, followed by the position as Creative Director at BBDO Interone. After that time I felt like I need to experience new environments and started freelancing for mother, north kingdom, neue digitale and farfar. Then I moved on to become a founding partner and Head of Creation of BlackBeltMonkey in 2008. In 2011, I started running the first Hi-ReS! studio in Germany as Managing & Creative Director. Since February 2014 I joined PUK / Philipp und Keuntje.
We had a very creative decade. It seems that digital creativity is more and more focused on efficiency. Do you think a brighter future is coming out?
I believe that, once something becomes too dominant, a counterpart comes round the corner. The more efficient the jobs are, the more it demands for something emotional. So, yes. I believe we will be able to choose from a wider range of creative results nearby and already do. Nevertheless I don’t believe in a shift. We will have more options to choose. Both, efficiency and emotion play an important role in our daily business. "I hope that more and more agencies manage to create great brand experiences with that tool to do more WebGL work with a purpose."
What do you think of WebGL? What does it bring to the end-user?
It is a very powerful and strong technique that allows the user to play and immerse in a 3D Web World. Somehow it still feels a bit like a nerd playground and I hope that more and more agencies
manage to create great brand experiences with that tool to do more webgl work with a purpose. "It needs countless hands to bring it to life. That basically and literally is the idea and the website mechanism."
How came the idea of Reshaping Excellence?
Reshaping Excellence comes 100% out of the product. This campaign is for the upcoming most expensive and best headphone system on this planet. Too good as being made by one but by many.
It needs countless hands to bring it to life. That basically and literally is the idea and the website mechanism.
How did you proceed ? What were the different stages of creation and development?
We had a clear workflow and lots of weekly status meetings to keep this running. From the first idea to the basic concept to the so called "fine concept", first prototypes, production and launch to post launch optimization.
With Artificial rome as our production house and Sehsucht as the motion design partner we established to parallel workflows to create both (the film and web prototype) and merged the results together in clear defined steps of the project.
What are the different skills who worked on it?
We worked as three agencies together on Reshaping Excellence. Philipp und Keuntje / PUK as the Lead agency that developed the idea, user journey and basic look & feel, Artificial rome as the production house and responsible for the Webgl website plus look in Webgl and Sehsucht for the motion design part and asset provider for Artificial rome. "This kind of projects are so new and untypical for a brand that it really challenged the whole team."
Did you run into any obstacles while working on the project ?
Oh yes, we did. The site Performance and the expectation on the clients side were quite a challenge. This kind of projects are so new and untypical for a brand that it really challenged the whole team and still does for upcoming phase 2 of the campaign.
Those projects don’t end while launching. You need to plan a clear after launch phase to track and improve based on the traffic insights.
What are the feedbacks on this projet? From a client and from users?
This is one of the kind of work that polarizes. This is not just another chrome experiment but a client work on a brief with real budget. Some love it and some are asking if this is the right way
of "advertising". I say it’s not. Because it is more defined as a brad lift tool rather than being advertising.
I think it does great with the target group we defined > creatives. And it does great from a brand lift point of view. We are site of the day in all major platform such as awwwards, csswinner or FWA. "You need to make sure who you want to address with those kind of projects."
Do you think people want to see more 3D content on the web?
I guess as it is a desktop experience it doesn’t make a point to mobile users. You need to spend time with this. I guess 3D content attracts people that are affine to those playful like content. As long as WebGl needs quite a strong graphics card those kind of projects such as Reshaping Excellence are nothing to consume mobile. While all content becomes more mobile this is a conceptual clash. You need to make sure who you want to address with those kind of projects.
Is there a new technology that is particularly exciting for you?
I feel like interactive storytelling and even useful things such as configurators are and will be highly influenced by VR technique. I want to work more with that technology nearby.
What are you working on these days?
Oh, a wide range of things. From a new App-service for a new digital influenced suitcase to some film productions we are currently working on.