Rüdiger Maeßen is taking over from Christian Zimmerman as Managing Director of the Uniplan Group’s German operations. With this appointment, the Cologne-based brand experience agency has secured a proven PR and strategy expert with a background in digital to head its German operations and expand the service portfolio.
Rüdiger Maeßen comes to Uniplan from international public relations consulting company Hill+Knowlton Strategies, where he was CEO Germany und member of the Global Leadership Council. Prior to that, he worked at Ketchum Pleon in various functions for more than 16 years – ultimately in the role of Managing and Global Partner. As Head of Digital & Social Media he was also responsible for digital business at Ketchum Pleon for more than ten years and played an instrumental role in Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ digital transformation.
In the future, the agency will be expanding its service portfolio to include strategic communications, campaigning, technology and innovation. When this comprehensive portfolio is rolled out, Uniplan will unite creation, implementation and all the other areas of expertise for holistic brand communication and brand experience under one roof.
“We believe there will be a paradigm shift in the brand experience sector – away from stand-alone projects to where brand experience is the core element of marketing and communication
campaigns,” commented Christian Zimmermann. This development has already been evident for a while in the Asian market, where brand experience is a central element of direct communication with the target audience and accorded high priority as a value driver. At the same time, Uniplan is remaining true to its heritage. It is not just a full-service communication agency specialising in brand experience, but a production and engineering innovations expert with highly-specialised teams in Frankfurt and Kerpen implementing large-scale projects, such as the Global Polestar Tour stressed, “Our main aim is to establish Uniplan as the first contact for end-to-end brand experience and brand positioning projects – not just for ideas and implementations, but also for marketing, digital and content strategies.” Maeßen will lead around 200 people at four locations in Germany (Cologne, Kerpen, Frankfurt and Hamburg). He will report to Chairman and CEO Christian Zimmermann.
A new Executive Creative Director has also been appointed in conjunction with the agency transformation. Andrew Berglund is a proven digital innovation expert. Originally from New Zealand, Andrew has more than 20 years of executive experience at leading international digital and creative agencies, including Cheil Worldwide in Seoul, where he was Global Executive Creative Director, and 16 years in various executive creative roles within the WPP Group. From there he moved to Belgian agency Emakina, also in the role of Global Executive Creative Director. Andrew Berglund’s own agency, Human., advised international companies and agencies on artificial intelligence and incorporating digital technologies into the brand experience. Berglund’s client base included Samsung, Google, BMW, Facebook and Huawei, and his campaigns received diverse awards, such as Cannes Lions, D&AD, iF and Red Dot. Berglund is taking over from Daniel Naegele who left the agency at the end of 2019.
Christian Zimmermann is transferring to the new Uniplan Board as CEO and Chairman of the Board alongside Amanda Chen (Chief Financial Officer), Geraldine Chew (Managing Director Greater Bay Area), Sally Lu (Managing Director Mainland China), Melanie Mucha (Chief Human Resources Officer) and Todd Nash (Chief Information Officer). The Board will be responsible for the Uniplan Group’s overall strategy.
Christian Zimmermann, Rüdiger Maeßen and Andrew Berglund (l-r, Photo: Uniplan)