Wishes do come true – ZWEIFREUNDE agency lands a contract with ZDFneo with promotional pitch

by Alexandra Runden, Eyes & Ears of Europe

Starting out as a pitch for a ZDFinfo non-fiction package, this year the Munich agency ZWEIFREUNDE landed a major fiction contract for ZDFneo.

"Sometimes dreams come true" or alternatively: when you set your mind to something, it's twice as nice when it actually works out! This is what happened this year with the Munich agency ZWEIFREUNDE. When the ZDF began to restructure its entire creative department at the beginning of the year and offered the agency the opportunity to pitch, Sebastian Pforr, managing director, and his co-managing director Katja Weßling quickly agreed. "Funnily enough, earlier this year Katja and I had put on our to-do list that we definitely wanted to knock on ZDF's door this year," Pforr recounts. "They kind of knocked on our door first and we were of course thrilled!"

From non-fiction to fiction commission

By the middle of the year, things were in full swing: A non-fiction package was to be pitched. "So, we got out the silverware right away and started cutting. Shortly after handing it in, we got a call from ZDF that started with 'So Sebastian, we're really sorry...'. My face really fell – fortunately only on the phone and not in the video call – and I thought: 'F#$k – that's it'. Bag it. Ciao.", Pforr paints a picture of the situation. "But luckily the sentence then ended with'...you'd have to cut another trial trailer, please, because we could imagine giving you another fiction-heavy package for neo.'" A nice twist for the agency, that likes to do a lot of non-fiction promos, but as a "team full of film and series junkies" was inspired all over again by this prospect. In the end, everything worked out so that ZWEIFREUNDE has been producing the promos for ZDFneo ever since.

Good mood not required

What makes the cooperation with ZDFneo so special for the agency is that, on the one hand, there is of course great content, but on the other hand, "being cheerful" is not the top priority. "We are used to many broadcasters not wanting too much drama in their trailers. To put it bluntly: If there are tears, we need to resolve that in a positive way afterwards," Pforr explains further. "Of course, that also depends on the brand and is understandable, but it is also nice and different for once not having to do that." Considering the ZDFneo programme in particular, this makes perfect sense, because the "more difficult or socio-critical topics are tackled anyway, and you can also feel in the promos that the topic is complex and that there is not just one facet to discover."

Meanwhile, the agency is also happy about more time for the promos. Because breaking down complex things, such as the content of the series "HIMMEL & ERDE – Небо та Земля" or "SAFE", into just 20 or 30 seconds is sometimes not so easy. ZDFneo has "a long trailer for the media library for almost every major campaign and of course more can be told in these 60 seconds."

TWO FRIENDS become 13

To match the big client, the agency also had to "find more friends". In the process, the shortage of skilled workers briefly gave Managing Director Sebastian Pforr a bit of a stomach-ache. "But with the help of our great freelancer pool and a bit of luck, we found some great people pretty quickly! As a result, our small team has grown even closer together and we are now 13 friends!"

Further information on the agency at https://zweifreunde.tv/