People: Dirk Eschenbacher, Ogilvy One

Dirk Eschenbacher (31) is Ogilvy One's Regional Creative Director for Asia Pacific, in charge of all interactive creative in the world's fastest-growing online marketing environment. Originally from Munich, he has been in Asia for six years. After living in Thailand for three years running his own web design studio, he moved to Beijing to join Ogilvy One.

Ogilvy One is run independently from Ogilvy & Mather; it is the company that handles interactive or response-driven marketing communication, including direct mailing, interactive and online campaigns, mobile phone SMS marketing and response advertisements.

As Regional Creative Director, Eschenbacher has to coordinate between the creative directors of the agency's different offices around China, help with each office's local campaigns and manage regional campaigns. An enviable part of his job includes judging award shows, and organizing conferences: he is off to Europe next week for a conference at David Ogilvy's castle in France and to attend the Cannes advertising festival.

Eschenbacher is also the creative director of Ogilvy One's Beijing office, in charge of the creative team that does campaigns for Beijing-based clients, which include Audi, IBM, and Great Wall wine.

How is the advertising industry in China different from other places? According to Eschenbacher, speed is a big difference. Online campaigns often take three weeks from brief to implementation here, whereas agencies in the Europe and the US usually plan on six to eight weeks. Problems in the industry include a lack of sophistication in the market about response-driven marketing and the related field of customer relations management. It's also difficult for agencies to find good creative talent: people who have unique perspectives as well as experience.

Copywriting is one of the most interesting aspects of Chinese advertising, says Eschenbacher: "Copy can draw on so much cultural and linguistic richness here, but unfortunately it is usually almost impossible to translate, so Chinese ads don't win many international awards for it."

Eschenbacher also highlights another area of Chinese advertising worth attention: "Youth marketing, marketing to the new generation of Chinese is going to be big." Ogilvy One have completed a campaign for China Mobile's youth-oriented M-Zone service.

Here are links to some of Ogilvy One's recent award-winning work:

China Mobile M-Zone Be yourself campaign

New York Festival Finalist
Oneshow Interactive Merit
Clio Awards Finalist
Best of Show DM Asia
Silver HK4A
Gold Times Asia Pacific Advertising Festival
Gold Clickawards

IBM Thinkpad Wireless freedom

Finalist Clio Awards
Best of Show Clickaward
Silver Times Asia Pacific Advertising Festival
HK4A Silver

Think UK

Hong Kong 4A - Gold for "Best Integrated Campaign"
Hong Kong 4A - Silver for "Best Use Of Interactive Campaign"
Times Asia Pacific Ad Award - Bronze in "Wireless" Category
Times Asia Pacific Ad Award - Bronze in "Others" Category

Interview and story by Jeremy Goldkorn.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives