In this newly created role, Hohmann will be based in Singapore and report to Nirvik Singh, chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia-Pacific, and Alina Kessel, EVP and managing director of global client services at Grey Group London.
Hohmann believes Grey’s “famously effective” philosophy is the perfect formula for creating effective work in an increasingly multilateral world. He worked for a number of brands operating in Asia-Pacific when he was working in Dubai and Germany. Speaking of moving to the region, he told Campaign Asia-Pacific that he was looking forward to dispelling some preconceptions about the region.
“One very pleasant challenge will be to go beyond this ‘implanted’ knowledge and create my own experiences,” he said. “This region is big and culturally diverse. Getting to understand the diversity and getting underneath the skin will be key for me, as modern communication solutions are always part of popular culture. So, the challenge will be a rather personal one—being open, learning fast, experiencing a lot and then converting all this into relevant solutions.”
As the creative lead for GSK, Hohmann doesn’t believe over-the-counter healthcare or pharmaceutical brands demand special work. “To me, these brands are really FMCG brands, and they need to behave like these,” he explained. “That means being quite dynamic, quite loud and also quite sophisticated with regards to channel usage. Understanding this may in fact be the biggest challenge.”
Hohmann said GSK is taking steps to boost its presence in Singapore, which is another sign of a slow but constant shift to the East.
“This shift is justified and needs to happen as 88 per cent of the human race is currently already living outside the West,” he said. “But as it happens, this region suddenly finds itself more globally responsible than before. This will demand more and different skills sets than regional work or adapting global campaigns.”
He said the team will look to create "famously effective" work for GSK across the region, even for very local activities, and increasingly worldwide.
Prior to joining Grey, Hohmann was chief creative officer of the JWT Group Germany, leading the creative operations of four national offices across all disciplines. He also worked as regional executive creative director at Memac Ogilvy & Mather in Dubai.
His portfolio included key clients such as Kraft Foods, Shell, Bayer, Wilkinson, EDB Singapore, Nokia, Nike, Coca-Cola, The Economist, Volvo, Motorola, Ikea, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Nakheel.
Hohmann spent the first 10 years of his career with German independent creative agency Jung von Matt, where he quickly ascended from copywriter to executive creative director.