imm cologne recently announced that a photo from their "Furnishing Cologne" communications campaign has been selected as the winner of the PR Picture Award 2016 in the "Trade Fairs and Events" category. Five years ago, the international interiors show sent furniture for the coming season onto the streets of Cologne for the first time as part of their communications campaign.
Explaining the importance of the PR campaign, Markus Majerus, Communications Manager for imm cologne says: "In the run-up to a fair, there is a vacuum in terms of content supplied by the exhibitors. 'Furnishing Cologne' is an effective means of communicating, which closes this gap and helps us enormously in our visitor marketing." The campaign has already produced as many as 100 photos at extraordinary locations across the whole city, which have been included by numerous media outlets worldwide. And the images have already made it onto the covers of design and trend magazines – recently the PR Photo of the Year 2016 was featured on the cover of Frankfurter Allgemeine magazine (FAZ).
"The recognition made me particularly happy because it shows acceptance not only of a well-composed photo, but also that an unconventional, creative way of producing photos can be appreciated by both an expert jury and the trade audience alike", rejoices Frank A. Reinhardt, who as the managing director of the content agency responsible, far.consulting, accepted the prize on 3 November in Hamburg. "Particularly the photo shoots that are taken in public are planned in such a way that there is only a very short amount of time available for the set-up and actual shoot. So sometimes maybe three photos are produced in one day – and improvisation becomes a necessity. "Without a team who work well together and a photographer like Karsten Jipp, it wouldn't be possible to complete a project like this", says Reinhardt.
For the "Furnishing Cologne" photo series, new products from exhibitors at imm cologne – sofas, chairs, carpeting, fridges, dining tables, luminaires, beds and shelving – are set up in unusual locations in Cologne and photographed. With the resulting pictures, editorial offices are supplied with inventively staged stories for their reports about the upcoming imm cologne in which the focus is not on individual manufacturers, but rather on the trade fair event as a whole and Cologne as its location. The aim of this approach is to closely link product, trade fair and Cologne.
Responsible for this innovative PR concept were the Cologne-based agency leading the project, far.consulting, and the Berlin-based photographer, Karsten Jipp, who submitted an especially spectacular scene for the PR Picture of the Year Award 2016. The photo shows the S1 sauna from manufacturer KLAFS in the underground car park at the Design Post. The contrast between the warmth provided by the sauna and the cold environment - emphasised by the icy, reflective watery surface and two models, one dressed as an ice princess and the other an ice hockey player (in Cologne Sharks jersey) – was developed into the narrative element of the picture in the process.
The PR Picture Award is conferred annually by the dpa subsidiary news aktuell for outstanding photography from companies and PR agencies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A jury of experts from the fields of journalism and public relations chooses a short list for each of the eight categories, each list containing ten scenes per category. In 2016, around 1,500 submissions were considered when drawing up the short list. Once the list has been drawn up, news aktuell invites PR specialists, press officers and journalists to place their votes for the best photos.
On 3 November, the results were announced at the award ceremony in the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. During the event, Frank A. Reinhardt thanked the participating companies for trusting in the campaign. This year the team have already been out and about in Cologne and have produced six images, which showcase the latest products and ideas in furniture and furnishings. In the coming weeks, the photos will be sent out worldwide to approximately 5,000 journalists.
For 2017, the producers of "Furnishing Cologne" are preparing a book as an anthology of all of the photos from the campaign, with accompanying texts about the locations.
More about Koelnmesse:
Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the China International Kitchen and Bathroom Expo (CIKB) in Shanghai, furniPRO Asia in Singapore and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. For more information, visit www.imm-cologne.com
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