Marco Harfmann, Director Marketing Communication at A1 Austria, has always been driven by enthusiasm for the future and how he can change it for the better. Professionally, too, it is a matter close to his heart. The more energy went into the development of the current A1 image spot, which aims to convey the positive mood and the courage to make changes for a better future. And anyway, how is an emotional spot being created in times when we must keep distance from each other? What does a spot need to be remembered? And, what does music mean to Marco? We will find out this and a little bit more – from Marco – and his team – in this interview.
Marco discovered his passion for marketing – without even knowing that it was so called at that time – shortly before graduating from high school by designing and ultimately selling the »Graduation Newspaper«. Even then, he understood what it meant to create desire when he launched a »scandalous« teaser campaign for the magazine. How about the success? The paper sold like hot cakes and financed a nice graduation trip for everybody. Several professional stops in the marketing and sales environment later, he is now responsible for Advertising, e-Sports and Sponsoring at A1 Austria.
What was the special thing regarding the development of this spot?
On the one hand, there is the time issue. We produce around five spots a year. Of course, a lot of our product spots are routine, but for this image spot we deliberately wanted to take time for research and planned an extra month to put all our team power to work. And secondly, it’s all about the content, the credibility we want to clearly express with this spot: every action counts, every single step – for us as a company, but also for each of us. To this end, we involved many internal stakeholders very early in the process to ensure that we communicate authentically to the outside world.
Let me just make a brief question to the core team: How would you describe »Teamwork«?
Wolfgang Sturm: Complex, challenging, overlapping. With a new TV spot, I personally always try to take a look at it from the outside and also consider the various playout channels – especially online – and the special formats and peculiarities.
Claudia Sporer-Goshtai: The intensive exchange within the team helps illuminate the topics from all perspectives and develop new ideas together. Only when different approaches are intertwined, something new might emerge. Now we together ;-)
Matthias Simperl: It is always difficult to find the balance between »Everyone can have a say« and »Too many cooks spoil the broth«. The collaboration was intense, full of discussions, uncompromising (in a positive sense ;-) )
What’s a spot production like with observing all Corona measurements?
We’ve become complete pros at holding online meetings and, together with our advertising agency, we’ve also found ways to work creatively on a digital level. Even the pre-production meeting, a classic face-to-face meeting with the entire team sitting around a table and discussing the spot before it is shot, took place virtually this time. During the shooting and making of the spot, everyone on the set got tested and we all complied with the strictest hygiene measures everywhere.
What does this spot mean to you personally?
I am pretty convinced that today, a company must stand for more than just its products. That’s why the spot should make you feel emotionally what we stand for as a brand and how much our company does for everyone and society. It’s not so much about the technology behind it, but what you make out of it. Because we live in a time where everyone can do a little change for the better, for him or herself, but also for the next generation.
»I see it as a luxury and privilege to be able to make advertisement independently for one of Austria’s strongest brands.«
Matthias: For me, it was particularly important to show that we as a brand and company are part of the solution and create a positive mood regarding the three global crises (health crisis, economic crisis, climate crisis) that affect and occupy everyone.
Claudia: To show the dimension and importance of our company for every Austrian by pictures that (hopefully) give you goose bumps.
Wolfgang: The positive interaction of images and music.
BTW music: Which song of the TV spots is your personal favorite?
Marco: No music, no emotions. Beautiful pictures are good and necessary, but only the music creates the right atmosphere and is therefore essential for the success of any spot. Privately I love listening to a lot of music – and professionally I am happy when we stay in touch with our music creations. My favorite from 2020 was »The Best« by Awolnation at the launch of A1 Xplore TV, and definitely Harry Styles with »Sign of the Times« at the 5G launch. Michael Kadelbach’s »Now it’s you«, specially composed for this campaign, is kind of a catchy tune, too :-)
What´s your wish for this spot?
When we look at our customers, we realize that price is no longer everything when it comes to comparable products. It’s about building an emotional connection and showing attitude. That’s why my personal goal is to have created an unforgettable, emotional spot that will be remembered for many years to come.
»An image spot is successful when it touches the viewers and communicates our messages unmistakably.«