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Humor Equals Success




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Meet the 2015 Mobius Awards judges

An Interview with Folker Wrage, Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide AG, Zurich

An Interview with Folker Wrage, Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide AG, Zurich
1. What is the most exciting creative work you’ve seen in the past couple of years? And, why?

I love what the ice bucket challenge did for ALS research, since my brother has ALS - but somehow I can only see this case as a great example for how the viral effect works. If you're lucky. Plus, we have seen too many awards go to causes rather than brands. So... hmm... Okay, my choice (today) is the "Interception" campaign for Volvo at the Super Bowl. Simply because it is combines brains, creativity, and technology to get more attention, more PR, more sales - without spending a ton of money like their competitors.


2. When you are working on a project, what is the most difficult phase?

Can't say, really. Honestly. Every phase can be great, and every phase can be pure horror. What most people fight with is the long-nights-no-sleep-phase before presentation. But that's mostly because they had the caffe latte phase after having been briefed. The one where everyone is happily sipping their latte macchiatos when they should be busy creating ideas on their brief. The pain and cost of ditching an idea one week after briefing is small. The pain and cost of realizing that you don't have anything three days before presentation is massive. So the most difficult phase is the one where we messed up the process.


3. You have a really varied background, psych major, flight attendant, journalist, how did you veer into advertising? What have you learned of that world?

In a way, the patchwork CV was unavoidable in the days when I started as a copywriter. There weren't any schools that would have taught anyone how to write for advertising. At some point, I was just not satisfied with what I was doing. Coffee or tea, chicken or beef - you know. And all I knew was that I was fairly good at writing. So I tried my luck and ended up at at Ogilvy. But I learned a lot doing all those other things. In advertising, good knowledge of psychology is always a great advantage. Writing as a journalist got me to a point where I could present a portfolio when I met my first boss at Ogilvy. And having worked as a flight attendant is a huge advantage. I can deal with all kinds of people and remain polite. And wherever my international colleagues may come from - in most cases, I can relate to them because have been to where they live. Always something to talk about, even with folks from Karachi or Lagos.


4. Peek into the next couple of years: What do you see going on in agencies?

This may sound a little sarcastic, but it isn't meant that way: Much of the same thing. We will still struggle with the perceived need to change the business model of advertising agencies. And about changing the revenue model. And about how to deal with the digital challenge. And about Generation Y. And we will still be using Apple case studies as an example for everything and bore the crap out of people. But on a more positive and constructive note: We will see that creativity will be more and more important, not just for us, but also for our clients. Simply because they can't cut cost forever, can't push efficiency infinitely. Everyone will have to be more creative about everything. And that's when all the folks that keep other folks from being creative will slowly start disappearing. Okay, might take more than a couple of years. But it will happen.