How a SIPAward-Winning Video Attracted New Sales People for Behr’s

The scene: Four executives of a company sit at a long table. “Ms. Beisenhirtz, please send in the next candidate.” Enter a young woman, sneakers and a colorful dress, talking into her phone: “You know I got 25k on Insta, right? Do you know who’s following me? Celebrities, baby, celebrities.” She gets off the phone and tells the panel to wait a moment and if they could move in closer for her selfie. They acquiesce.

She tags them on social media and then says, “Sorry I don’t usually tag people under 15k.” She sits down and is now all business. “All cell phones off and everyone look over here. I brought a concept. Hand this out please but don’t look at it yet! First of all, only one thing matters to me: Sell. Sell. Sell. High-quality products for the benefit of the customer.” She tells them how many “A-list” followers she has and says, “Now let’s see what you have to offer.” Side note – “sell” sounds much better in German. Verkaufen. Verkaufen. Verkaufen.

This flashes on the screen: “Behr’s is hiring: Sales Manager for electronic products for B2B clients. Apply now.”
What’s so wonderful about this 2020 SIPAward winner for Best Use of Video in Marketing produced by Behr’s GmbH in Hamburg, Germany—besides the two key account sellers that they found within just a month!—is that the applicant is portrayed with respect. She’s full of life but gets to show her professional side. If anything it’s the “older” panel sitting there a bit stunned that looks out of touch.
“With this video we address self-confident young applicants who do not feel addressed by classical job advertisements,” said Behr’s CEO Arno Langbehn, who plays one of the panel. (You can watch the two-minute video here. Use “CC” for English subtitles.) In previous video ads, we’ve seen Langbehn playing the piano, the accordion—he had never played before and it sounded fine—and skydiving.)
“Every company looks for the best employees,” he explained in his SIPAward application. “In former times companies got many good applications and they chose the best candidate. Nowadays the game has changed. The best applicant can choose the best company him or herself.
“In this video for job applications, we turned around the relationship between the applicant and the company to stand out from other job advertisements in order to get more applications in particular from young professionals.”
It worked. The scope for this job advertisement video on Facebook reached 21 times more than a previous text ad they placed on Facebook. It also drew 40 times more impressions but only at 7% of the cost per result. They also posted it on Xing (the German LinkedIn equivalent) and on their website.
In order to use this video for future job positions, they produced four types that differ only slightly. “The beginning is the same in every video,” Langbehn wrote. “The applicant (colorfully dressed) enters the board room and behaves in an unusually [outgoing] way (continuous calls on a mobile phone). The four employees of the publishing house are irritated.
“Normally the applicant presents herself with her strengths. The market has changed: today the applicant makes the demands. In this video the applicant defines her requirements to the employer. The explanation was adapted to one of the four different videos for job positions. And we integrated an individual slide with a short description of the position.”
The whole series cost just $2,100. Langbehn said that in addition to the many views, about 50% of the interested applicants watched the video up to the end.
“Even better from our point of view is the rate when we [put] this video in front of YouTube clips as paid ads. YouTube users click on a video they want to watch. Instead of that video, our ad video appears first as an advertisement which they can click off after 5 seconds. Nevertheless, 20% of the viewers watched our two-minute-long advertisement video up to the end and did not click off.”
A well-deserving SIPAward winner. Again, you can watch it here.

How Behr’s Used Video to Increase Event Registrations 55%

In his 2019 SIPAward-winning entry for Best Use of Video in Marketing, Behr’s Verlag CEO Arno Langbehn wrote that it was a coincidence that as he played the accordion at the port of Hamburg—yes, really—and then started talking up their Annual Conference QM!, a cargo ship moved across the background named “RELIABLE.”

Knowing how thorough and clever Langbehn is, I wonder that he didn’t set up that ship-shape scenario as well. But I will take him at his words and give him credit for playing off that bit of kismet: “This was a perfect match for the content of our seminar. After all, our customers have to install a reliable quality management system in their company. This coincidence was then integrated into the texts of the social media groups.”


One of the annual pleasures of seeing SIPAwards entries come in is looking out for the creative marketing videos done by Langbehn each year. He wrote in a P.S. for this entry that “the accordion was borrowed from an employee’s mother. I had never played the accordion before. But it is the right instrument for the harbor and for sailors’ songs.” Watch the video here.

Here are some reasons that the Behr’s Verlag annual event drew 55% more registrations with the video marketing:

Take advantage of your location. In 2018 the Annual Conference QM! took place in Hamburg for the first time. “In order to give the participants an extra benefit in addition to the specialist lectures, an external appointment was made at the food import office with customs inspection in the port of Hamburg (Germany’s largest port),” Langbehn wrote. So a marketing video was created at the port of Hamburg to match this topic.

If you have something good, get it out there. In order to increase the attention of potential participants, the marketing video was both added to advertising emails and also posted on their homepage to raise the awareness. In addition it was used in social media groups such as Xing (German LinkedIn equivalent).

Create a winning culture. Langbehn was quick to give credit to his team. “This success is due to all employees involved in conception, production and marketing of the videos and marketing. Here in particular to Deniz Dag from Behr’s Akademie for his ideas and his commitment to this project. We would not have achieved this extraordinary success without him.”

Have a good idea? Go all in! The marketing video starts with music and not just any music but “La Paloma,” a sailor’s song known from the film Große Freiheit Nr. 7 produced in Hamburg. It has been covered several times, among others, by Elvis Presley as “No More” in Blue Hawaii. At the end another well-known sailor song from the film plays: “Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins.” Covered among others, by Marlene Dietrich as “I May Never Go Home Any More” in Witness for the Prosecution.

Now that I have your attention… The music is followed by the benefits for which reasons the customers should attend this conference. At the end there is background music with the main contents faded in.

Videos work. The click rate of the video in the email was 68% above the click rate with text only. In the social media group this marketing video had twice as many views as the group has members. A personalized video was also sent to former participants at the end of the ad campaign.

Content remains king. Langbehn’s accoutrements never overwhelm the message. He’s a fairly serious guy and despite holding the accordion, his marketing message for the importance of this event comes through. “The quality manager is responsible for the safety of products produced in the company,” he wrote. Mistakes in quality management can lead to “considerable damage of the company and the personal liability of the quality manager. In order to protect the quality manager against these dangers he always receives the necessary information and methods at the Annual Conference QM!”


Audio Articles Could Be the Next Big Thing for Publishers in 2020

Part of the success of podcasts—over half of publisher respondents in a new Reuters Institute study said they would be pushing various types of podcast initiatives this year—comes from the new demands on our time. We can listen to podcasts while doing something else, be it driving, commuting, working out, cooking, etc.

Now that same logic is propelling another trend: audio articles. In that same Reuters study, titled Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2020, they write this in a section called What to Expect in 2020:

“Improved technology is enabling new opportunities for publishers in quickly re-versioning text output into audio. In Canada, the Globe and Mail is one of the first publishers to use Amazon Polly, a text-to-speech service that sounds far more natural to the human ear than previous versions. Subscribers can listen to selected articles in English, French and Mandarin and choose their favorite voice.”

Okay, so being able to listen to one of your articles in say, Mandarin, would increase your possible audience only by a mere billion or so. That’s pretty substantial.


In Denmark, “slow-news” operation Zetland—which I’ve written about before for their trendiness—provides all of its stories with a (human-read) audio option. Around 75% of all stories are now listened to rather than consumed via text. 75%! That’s amazing. (This graphic is from that Reuters report.)

Zetland was one of the first publishers to put on live events, called Zetland Live, featuring their staff. In one video, their editor begins as the emcee with some type of fowl mascot behind her. Then we see a woman on a trapeze, a mini-symphony, a reporter talking about his coverage of Afghanistan perhaps, another reporter with footage of himself in Africa perhaps, audience involvement, a sports segment, storytelling, more music and an after-party (where the fowl returns).

Back to audio articles. “In Brazil the newspaper Estadão has teamed up with Ford to create a human-read daily audio service for Spotify. Each part of the newspaper has its own album, each news story has its own track. Many publishers see connected cars as a new opportunity to reach audiences and audio as a key way to deliver journalism in the future.”

Taking a quick look around the web, it seems that there are many affordable vendors now. Natural ReadersTTSReader and Text2Speech came up for me.

In an article in June, Molly Raycraft on the site B2B Marketing wrote about B2B brands incorporating voice technology in their marketing. She insists that your products should be voice tech accessible.

“Unquestionably the standard should be that you have either vocalized your product, or at least designed your website content to work with text-to-speech systems. So while you may have aspirations of doing something futuristic and ground-breaking with voice tech, make sure you’ve got the basics covered. This could even be as simple as filling in a proper description in the ‘alt text’ box on website images.”

Then she writes: “B2B tech copywriting agency Radix Communications gives a great example of how effective it can be to simply repurpose what you have into audio in order to increase its accessibility. As part of its podcast Good Copy, Bad Copy, the agency has been experimenting with reading its blogs aloud. This makes the content more accessible to those who potentially have a visual impairment, as well as those who are on the go and can’t sit down to read.”

Then there are flash briefings, where your company’s news can now be part of Alexa’s early-morning summaries. Besides being news-oriented, flash briefings can broadcast inspirational quotes, event listings, finance tips, random facts, etc.

From “Via an undeniably cumbersome interface, users choose which flash briefings they’d like to hear and the order in which they appear. Then, whenever the user says, ‘Alexa, tell me the news’—or the much clunkier, ‘Alexa, play my flash briefing’—the device will get the latest news from those sources, in that predetermined order.”

What a great way for a specialized publisher subscriber to get her morning update.