Serviceplan launches cultural marketing agency

v.l.n.r.: Sven Labenz, Niko Backspin, Franziska Gregor

13.12.2023

Decoding Culture: Serviceplan launches cultural marketing agency ‘Serviceplan Culture’

The global demand for consulting and expertise in the area of cultural marketing is growing rapidly. Serviceplan is strengthening its offering in this area from 1st January 2024 with a separate unit and newly developed data-based brand analysis tool.  Serviceplan Culture will be headed by hip-hop content creator and music journalist Niko Backspin as Chief Cultural Officer, former TikTok manager Franziska Gregor as Managing Director, and communications expert Sven Labenz will also take on the role of Managing Director. A high-calibre, diverse Culture Council will offer direct access to the cultural zeitgeist, across a variety of subcultures and communities. The service will be launched on the German market before being rolled out internationally.

Hamburg, 13th December 2023 – In a rapidly changing world full of subcultures, multiple communication channels and a wide variety of cultural drivers, authentic, respectful and relevant brand messages in the individual language of the target group are essential. This is the only way for brands to gain the attention of consumers and differentiate themselves globally. Cultural marketing is one of the keys to long-term success.

Till Diestel, CCO Serviceplan Germany explains: "Modern brands aspire not only to be close to the much-cited pop culture, but to become a part of it and shape it themselves. With Serviceplan Culture, we will offer our customers exactly that - with a great team, strong networks, fantastic products and an innovative brand analysis tool."

Management trio with expertise, network and diverse backgrounds

The Serviceplan Culture management trio bring together many years of experience on the agency and corporate side, with content and channel expertise and extensive networks in hip-hop, sport, gaming, LGBTQI+, metal music and nerd culture.

Hamburg-based media maker and hip-hop expert Niko Backspin takes on the position of Chief Cultural Officer and acts as the direct link between culture, content, creators and brands. Niko Backspin has been a well-known and respected figure in the international hip-hop scene, as well as in sports and gaming, for more than 20 years. With his platform Backspin, he is at home on a variety of channels - podcasts, YouTube, TV reports, documentaries and radio. The media maker is the face of the international award-winning hip-hop documentary "Back to Tape" by Porsche, a member of the advisory board of the NGO Viva con Agua, and has an extensive network of connections with artists all over the world.

Franziska Gregor, Managing Director at Serviceplan Culture and responsible for acquisitions and finance, has a long-standing focus on brand entertainment in a wide variety of subcultures. With around 13 years of agency experience (including at Heimat, GREY, DDB, Publicis, Jung von Matt) and an impressive international network in Berlin, New York and Seoul, the Berlin native is one of the leading movers and shakers in the German creative industry. In her previous role as Creative Partnerships Lead DACH/NL at TikTok Germany, she was responsible for consulting and networking the social media platform with creative agencies, content/sound productions, creators and brand collaborations. With her foundation SARAM, Franziska Gregor is committed to improving the human rights situation in North Korea, both at a political level and in the context of civic responsibility.

Managing Director Sven Labenz completes the management trio. He is responsible for operations and strategy and drives the agency's product development and corporate development within the Serviceplan Group. Labenz will join Serviceplan in 2024 from the communications agency Faktor 3. As Chief Operating Officer and Senior Communications Consultant for many years, the Hamburg native looked after leading international brands from the technology, consumer electronics and automotive sectors. Labenz is an avid fan of basketball, and published the first German print magazine for wheelchair sports in 2013. He previously worked on the corporate side in online communications at Schufa Holding AG and completed vocational training in the emergency services.

Managing Director Franziska Gregor: "With Serviceplan Culture, we bring together the best of many worlds. As a management trio, we are authentically at home in very different cultures, but we also know and understand the brand perspective from many years of experience. We know what agencies need to offer today in order to be successful in the long term. I'm really looking forward to finally getting started together!"

Decoding Culture: Strong triad of strategy, analysis and product portfolio

With "Decoding Culture", Serviceplan Culture is backed by a strong strategic concept.  The chosen guiding principle is also a communicative approach.

Chief Cultural Officer Niko Backspin: "Brands can learn an enormous amount from culture - and subcultures in particular. Only through exchange of ideas can customised offers and communicative measures be created around products. At the same time, artists need to understand brands and their goals and engage in genuine collaboration. Bringing both worlds together is what we call 'decoding culture'. I'm looking forward to that."

At the core of Serviceplan Culture’s function is not only the comprehensive network, but also a data-based approach: a newly developed market analysis tool makes cultural measures measurable and target groups and trends tangible in data. The agency's product portfolio is not only constantly evolving, but also helps brands to develop a holistic view of cultural marketing and storytelling in the digital space. 

Serviceplan Culture will act as an agile consulting unit. Its services can be scaled nationally and internationally hand-in-hand with the Serviceplan Group and will also be used for the agency group's existing clients.

Diverse Culture Council for a cross-check at eye level

The central component of "Decoding Culture by Serviceplan" is a diverse team of consultants, effectively a ‘Cultural Council’ – flexibly adaptable to the needs and questions of clients. Serviceplan and the management trio have already been able to recruit prominent names for the Cultural Council, such as Spiegel bestselling author Tara-Louise Wittwer, mental health and lifestyle creator Minh Tang (blondminh), top athlete Kristina Vogel, Rocket Beans founder Nils Bomhoff, model and creator Lucy Hellenbrecht, photographer Pascal Kerouche and Shawn Williams, co-founder of The Impact Company.

"Decoding culture also means that we give brands access to subcultures and communities at eye level. Specifically, with our Culture Council, we provide fast, but above all uncomplicated, honest and genuine advice and thus create long-term relationships - and respectful cooperation," says Franziska Gregor, Managing Director of Serviceplan Culture.

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Birgit Koch
Birgit Koch
Serviceplan Group
Corporate Communications
Let's get in touch!

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