From a first meeting at an Eyes & Ears Academy to a joint agency – Eyes & Ears board members Björn Klimek and Frank Schneider found Klimek Schneider GmbH
by Eyes & Ears of Europe
Björn Klimek, former creative director and head of marketing at RTL, and Frank Schneider, the Frankfurt-based advertising film director, founded the new agency Klimek Schneider GmbH, based in Frankfurt and Cologne, at the beginning of the year.
It's been about ten years since Björn Klimek and Frank Schneider met as participants at an Eyes & Ears Academy. Now they have taken the plunge and founded the new agency Klimek Schneider GmbH. This agency specialises in brand building and brand management for media and entertainment brands and in holistically conceived communication campaigns for advertising clients and institutions. The aim of the new agency is to support companies at an early stage in the production process with regard to later brand building and advertising communication. How it came to the joint foundation after several years of working together in an employer relationship, what is special about the Klimek Schneider GmbH and what is happening with Franks Schneider's agency Filmstyler Pictures, they revealed to us in an interview.
How does the Klimek Schneider GmbH stand out from other agencies?
Björn Klimek: I think the USP of our agency is first and foremost us, of course. In other words, where we come from and what we have done, and that we have both worked in operations as well as in directives. We can offer our clients strategy and creation from a single source if they wish.
Frank Schneider: On top of that, we also combine the broadcaster/station aspect and the advertising aspect very well because of our different backgrounds. I have an advertising background in international agencies, while Björn started his career at the broadcaster.
Is that also mirrored in your logo?
Frank Schneider: The logo should represent us and our company philosophy in a stylised form. The lines – reduced to a graphic level – stand for our names, the dots for our network of people who work with us. Highly specialised and established people whom we have gathered around us. Klimek Schneider, that's not just the two of us, but also our companions, as well as strategic and permanent partners.
Björn Klimek: We think that creation and communication is always something that develops in a team and in the context of different people. In collaboration, in development, in brainstorming.
What is it like for you, Björn, to take the plunge into self-employment once again after 15 years in a management role at RTL? That sounds a bit unusual at first.
Björn Klimek: Indeed, once again fits very well, since I was already self-employed for several years and co-founded Screenworks at that time. I would now like to face this challenge again and be more versatile on the job, work with different clients and on different topics. But yes, you're right, it is an unusual step not to take on another management role after 15 years at the broadcaster, but to become self-employed. But I am very happy about it and look forward to it!
Speaking of the past: How exactly did you first meet?
Frank Schneider: At this point I can say: Appropriately enough, at an Eyes & Ears workshop on the topic of "Sports Campaigns". I think it was at SPORT 1 in Munich. But that was definitely more than 10 years ago.
After Frank's directing workshop at RTL, you worked together for the first time. Did you notice immediately that you harmonised well?
Björn Klimek: Yes, when we were working, we quickly realised that we both tick very similarly when it comes to creative results and visual storytelling with moving images, we have very similar ideas and we simply always inspire each other a lot on a creative level. This was particularly noticeable in the collaboration during the Klitschko campaigns for RTL Sport. Later, this led to the idea that we could perhaps also work together in other ways and realise projects without having a client relationship.
Frank Schneider: I also think that the breakthrough was above all the sports campaigns. From the first concept to the realisation, we were always working very closely together on the design and we realised that it goes far beyond the usual. I have also been able to design many premium sports themes for advertising – for sports brands, but also in connection with car manufacturers or food customers. That's why sport will continue to be one of our thematic focuses.
Finally, a completely different question for you, Frank: You are mainly known as the founder and owner of Filmstyler Pictures. What is going to happen to Filmstyler Pictures now?
Frank Schneider: I actually thought long and hard about how to deal with Filmstyler. The answer is clear – I have decided to phase out Filmstyler this year and then discontinue it altogether at the end of 2021. Of course, it wasn't easy for me emotionally, but objectively speaking, it's the right decision. Together with Björn, I will concentrate completely on the positioning and development of Klimek Schneider. In this regard, it must be said: don't worry, everything that Filmstyler stands for will flow completely into the new company Klimek Schneider and will therefore remain available! Whether creative output, working methods or manpower of Filmstyler, it will all be reflected in the company Klimek Schneider. Beyond that, however, our new agency will make its offer much more comprehensive. As I said, the constellation Klimek and Schneider stands for a more complex and holistic orientation. In this respect, the name Filmstyler Pictures – already as a term – would unfortunately be limiting and no longer quite fit in with what we intend to do in the future. Hence, it’s the logical decision.
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