Meet the Heart of advertising in Dusseldorf
The Germany Hearts & Science office is located in the heart of Dusseldorf, an advertising hub for the region. With prime lunch-break locations within easy walking distance, Hearts can enjoy a stroll to the Rhine embankment promenade or stop along the Königsallee, a boulevard known for the country’s busiest upscale fashion shopping.
Their tightly knit team of 15–20 employees is led by André Rahn. Since the Germany office opened back in 2017, they’ve worked hard to manage their first big client and the ones that followed.
New business takes flight under André
André Rahn began his career in the airline industry, developing one of the first e-commerce systems to purchase flight tickets at Air Berlin. In the years to follow, he moved from e-commerce to marketing to mastering CRM and eventually into media solutions.
However, in media, he was frustrated with the lack of synchronization between CRM and digital or TV campaigns. When venting this roadblock to another media agency, they cheekily suggested he join Omnicom Group if he didn’t have the infrastructure to let him do what he wanted.
Nine months later, André opened up the Germany office for Hearts & Science.
He shares, “As soon as I read the Hearts tenets I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Today, the German office continues to grow, with clients across the board in technology, insurance and real estate. He’s even come full circle, currently pitching two new airlines
Nurturing the parts of the whole
As a busy CEO, André makes time for employees across every level of the organization.
Amidst the birthday parties, active WhatsApp groups and teamwork-building events, he understands that career development comes from carefully tailored opportunities, too.
One junior employee named Leo actually won Omnicom Group’s coveted, “Media Youngsters Award” in his first year under the leadership of André. Leo had his choice of agencies after graduating but was drawn to Hearts & Science because it had the same engaging work but in a more agile, loud and data-driven way.
André noticed Leo’s potential right away and gave him the chance to handle some business on his own. Thriving under the added responsibility, Leo pitched, won and supported a contract in the UK. He recently accepted an opportunity to work with Omnicom Group in China for the next six months, so André is looking to recruit more “Leos” to fill the gap!
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Germany through the eyes of what we hold dear
The objects in our lives hold meaning. There are stories behind them that bring back powerful memories, and the things in our offices are no different.
In this regional spotlight series, we wanted to create a visual narrative of every office, so we asked each team to select five objects that have personal meaning in their space. Each of these objects tells a bigger story about the leadership style of the regional CEO, what they value, the culture of their office and of the global brand, too.
A big move for the future
When André first told his wife about this new Hearts & Science job opportunity in Dusseldorf, she was supportive of the promotion but not overly excited about the move.
Flight tickets were easy to come by when Andre worked at Air Berlin, so when they moved to Dusseldorf, they agreed they’d continue to see the world in a new way.
After settling in, they had a photo taken lying on the ground holding hands and looking up at the sky with their son. This photo reminds André that a shared commitment to the future is important at home and at work.
A rallying cry for success
Life in the Germany office revolves around the famed Kanban board. To the team, it’s more than a way of organizing things, though. André says, “It represents our work philosophy. It’s a new way of doing things.”
Every Monday, the team gathers around the board and designs a sprint for that week with specific deliverables. With buy-in from each team member, the board becomes a rallying cry. Each morning, they reference it during standup to determine what they should be working on that day.
“People will notice if things are stuck and they’ll ask how they can help. It’s a happy moment for the team when we move things into ‘done’ together.”
A welcome addition
When Leo went on vacation last year, he brought back a meaningful memento from an antique market for the team. A battery-powered ampersand sign. (An unusual find!)
It has since become the unofficial office mascot in the Germany office, constantly appearing in team photos and hanging on a wall next to the Kanban board.
It reminds everyone that each team member has something to contribute to the global Hearts & Science brand from their office in Germany—even in unexpected ways!
Loud and proud to be Hearts
Apparently noise complaints aren’t limited to your late-night neighbors.
The Germany office may have a slight reputation for being a little louder than its neighbors in the Omnicom Group building. And so what if that’s because they play soccer during morning standup sometimes? Yes. Soccer.
In fact, André keeps two soccer balls next to the Kanban board for this very purpose. Often, they stand around the board in the morning and try to keep the ball up in the air between as many people as possible without letting it hit the ground.
Inevitably, a ball gets hit a little too enthusiastically into a neighboring wall and makes a deep thump on the other side. (Whoops!)
This practice serves as a reminder to André and the team that they work differently than the other agencies—with an extra dash of volume, agility and a splash of crazy!
Picking up the torch
When André pitched his first big client for Hearts & Science, it was for a company highly interested in a quality process.
To create a visual connection to his proposed strategy, he commissioned a branded baton to weave into a relay racing analogy, “You can run as fast as you can, but if you can’t hand over the baton to the next runner then it doesn’t work.”
“This baton showed how seamlessly we work. Strategy people were matched with activation, then optimization and reporting. It was a complex process that warranted waterfall.”
André keeps the baton as a reminder of how far their team has come since their first pitch.
A welcome change
André has always felt like “the coolest kids on the block” with his Hearts & Science team, doing things a little differently.
Even when he first received his new business card, it was the envy of all the other agencies in his building. They wanted a similar design with embossing. Eventually they did get them—a year and a half later.
“We are building an agency for the future. Whether that’s in programmatic or sophisticated business cards, we make an effort to make change first.”
Want to make a change with Hearts & Science? Check out our job postings and reimagine the future of media with us.