This week, we go behind the mask with Till Hohmann, CCO at Geometry EMEA and President of the Loeries Film Craft Jury 2020.
Hohmann says he looks forward to discussing all aspects of film craft with an excellent group of judges from the entire region.
"Lately a lot of discussions have been about all things data-driven, for instance, about however better and minute data-based targeting allows for personalisation of media, or how programmatic buying and automated delivery to display makes things more efficient. Yes, all of that is true and critically important, but not for everything. At the same time audiences dwell on more series and films than ever, often via streaming, audiences enjoy high-quality storytelling, and in that world, the world of rich, lovingly created films, videos and documentaries, it is not all about efficiency. It is about mastering writing, directing, framing, capturing, sound design, acting, post-production."
Taking care to make stunning content (I actually am beginning to hate the word) which is so powerful. It need not be cut up into bite-size chunks for minute sub-audiences, delivered and displayed in annoying small banners spaces or 'personal' mails. No, these films and videos are a joy to engage with, to watch, to share. Sometimes even ads are still done at this level of craft believe it or not. You want to see them in full, again and again.
In his talk, he says he's going to try to bring to life why we're not living in an age where data-driven automation rules on its own.
"In parallel we are also in an age that needs amazingly well created film. Understanding when to automate and when to hyper-create is one of the trickier things we need to understand these days."
Till Hohmann, CCO at Geometry EMEA
Where are you currently during locked down?
In Munich, Germany, for about six months now…
How are you finding working from home or physical distancing at the office / how has your way of working changed?
My role would usually entail travel four days per week at least, visiting the regional teams and offices or our key clients. This abruptly stopped in March. Luckily, we at Geometry had spent the last two years building our very own, very cool off-site collaboration suite and cloud-based platform. Ironically it was always intended to launch for all teams in the region in March this year. So, as we all went into remote work we were perfectly geared up.
This platform, we call it Living Commerce, has made the transition seamless and easy, and in an interesting way has achieved exactly what was intended: national borders have disappeared, teams form around topics and it makes little difference where they are, from where they are. I find this quite liberating and also, in an interesting way, inclusive and democratic.
Describe a typical workday, if such a thing exists.
I read global and industry news before breakfast, catch up on international mails from different time zones before 9am and then spend large parts of the day in one of the various video conferencing systems or on our fabulous Miro boards embedded into the Geometry Living Commerce platform – collaborating with teams on projects in a very fluid way.
One of the ‘new normals’ I do appreciate in all this: being able to have the meals with my family in my home.
How do you maintain a good rapport with your teammates/clients?
We have so many different platforms and channels to exchange: it makes it all very easy – a bit confusing at times though…
How do you socialise these days?
That’s the biggest downfall of all. The quick chat at the water cooler and personal meetings with the teams are important and cannot be fully replaced. For instance, with our amazing team in Cape Town, where I spent a few days just before we were all locked down – a trip that sticks to my memory because we have such an amazingly passionate and smart young team there, and this passion you fill best in the same room. So, I miss that exchange. At the same time, I do notice how my life is a bit more 'cocooned' and somehow back to very core family interaction.
What do you do to keep fit/healthy and/or sane (physically/mentally)?
What new apps would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
DJi Fly for a new drone. EyeEm for the world's biggest photo-community. Dometic CFX3 remote control app for my camping cooler…
What is the first thing you plan to do when the lockdown lifts?
I would like to go on an off-road/over landing trip.
Describe your career and if/how the pandemic/lockdown has affected its course.
It has allowed me to focus a bit more on my actual contribution and value add – basically finding time to not just listen, but to also directly contribute easier (the time spent commuting and travelling now is spent in far more productive ways).
Any companies/brands that you feel have responded particularly well to the crisis and/or Covid-19-related campaigns that stand out to you, and why?
I’m usually more impressed by action as opposed ‘o’ words. So, when McDonald’s Germany announced they would support retailers by sending over staff when retail outlets were being stormed during the first wave in Germany, I liked that. It is just one example that stuck to mind of companies helping each other – even across categories. That’s impressive.
What are you working on right now?
Trying to answer your questions before the looming 3pm deadline…
What does the ‘new normal’ look like to you?
Pretty nice. I get to look into my wonderful garden a lot…
What advice would you give to other industry folk during this time?
I do think there is a lot of opportunity for creativity in this situation. So many brands and companies and also organisations need new and different ideas. So many mounting issues need to be addressed. And we have more channels and tools than ever before. So, if you have the ambition and passion to drive change, this is the time. Don’t wait. Organise your day and task in a way to leave you a few hours every week to think bigger and beyond.
Follow Hohmann on LinkedIn and visit Geometry’s website at Geometry.com.
*Interviewed by Jessica Tennant.