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Prof. Jochen Pläcking

Founder, Advisory Board

Where do I come from?

I am a dyed in the wool German advertiser.
Father architect, Rhinelander.
Mother chemist, Saxon.
Conceived in Danzig.
Born in 1945 in Schwelm/Westphalia.
Grew up in Stuttgart.
Educated middle-class family. Before my father only teachers and civil servants.
Bad at school. I wasn't interested in what they wanted to teach me.
I wanted to be a journalist. But they demanded an Abi.
Internship in Germany's best print shop: Dr. Cantz'sche Buchduckerei in Bad Cannstatt.
Apprenticeship as an advertising merchant in the full-service agency Constantin Witzgall in Dätzingen.
Webefachschule Hamburg (WAH).
Copywriter at "Häppy" Feil (Heinz Feil KG) Stuttgart. First car account: NSU - introduction of NSU RO 80. After three months the fulfillment of a dream: my first ad in Stern: "There are not freeways everywhere".
After that, 20 years as a contact copywriter in various agencies in Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Golden Lion in Venice several ADC medals etc.
My client Fiat/Lancia asked if I wanted to be head of marketing communications in Germany. I wanted to. So I moved to the other side of the desk as the first creative director in Germany. Was responsible for sensational campaigns like Fiat Panda and Lancia, etc. For the first time "Client of the Year" at the ADC (Art Directors Club Germany).
After three years "shunted away" to Mercedes Benz AG. 10 years Vice President Marketing-Communications Mercedes Benz Pkw worldwide. For the second time "Client of the Year" at ADC.
Then CEO and Chairman of DDB (Doyle Dane Bernbach DACH-Germany, Austria, Switzerland) in Düsseldorf. Senior Vice President Europe (600 people, 20 companies). Not a good job for me, no more content work. I only had to deal with controllers, lawyers, notaries and auditors. Not my world. After 5 years voluntary exit.
Management of a house agency (Sparkassen Verband) in Berlin. Everything got worse. House collective agreement: servers were switched off at 18.00h. On weekends not switched on at all. Registering overtime a week in advance.... A dream for a young ambitious agency... The good thing was, I met Arne Klein. He was my "Head of Planning." Together we decided: Let's get out of there.
Luck came from Stuttgart. Dr. Wehrle from Motor-Presse-Verlag opened a new door for Arne Klein and me: "I don't want advertising, I first have to know what to advertise for. He wanted a portfolio strategy for his car magazines. That was the first step into brand consulting. We liked that. Concentrated strategic work without the "belly-launch" of an advertising agency. With good profit.
We aqvirated with this approach. The next client was "smart". We started our own business in the Berlin room of my Schöneberg apartment.
That was the breakthrough.
Our positioning: No operational work, pure cold strategy. Because those who earn their money operationally never advise against themselves. Advertising agencies, for example.
The rest is the story of kleinundpläcking:
Strategies for almost the entire German automotive industry. Especially Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG.
The federal state of Berlin.
Div. state banks.
You name it.
I won out at "kleinundpläcking" at the age of 67 and moved with my beloved wife to our house in Italy. Here we live now soon 10 years with olive trees, wine and our old Landrover .

And from time to time "K'UP" still calls...

What drives me?

In the deepest soul of my heart I am a creative. The problem with being a creative is that you need a good brief to deliver good work. Very few clients could write briefings. So we had to do it ourselves and ideally coordinate with the client beforehand. So I was forced to work strategically and consultatively, because I wanted to make, or be responsible for, the best advertising (marketing communications) in the world (at Mercedes I succeeded). So I became a strategist.

What is my strategy?

"Do everything as well as you can. Everything else happens by itself." I don't believe in career strategies at all. They only provoke failure. Follow your heart. Take risks. Do not be afraid. Accept setbacks. Be honest with yourself. Be a "why-notter" and not a "yes-butter". It worked for me.


  • Founding Partner Kleinundpläcking
  • Managing Partner, AM Creative
  • Senior Vice President DDB Europe
  • Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz
  • Advertising Manager and Authorized Representative FIAT
  • Copywriter Leonhardt & Kern
  • Advertising Manager

When are you coming over?

Strategy Studios in Berlin and Stuttgart.

Arrive, exchange, have fun.
It’s on us!

Arrange an appointment

DANKE für Dein Interesse!

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