As years ago 2015 was a great one for Ink. We were awarded more top industry accolades than ever before and we won and delivered on prestigious new business accounts . But the story of how the company came to be where it is today started 21 years ago, via a ping-pong table, a Big Mac-scented office and a bar in Beirut. In late 1993, a 23-year-old Michael Keating was working as a TV researcher for the London Tonight news programme. Simultaneously, his friend’s father – Nadim Lababidi – was working in tourism in Beirut, and was launching holiday packages to attract visitors back to the city following the recent end of the civil war. He suggested that Michael pitch this as a feel-good “And finally…” story to his producer, assuring him that he already had a number of bookings lined up. “At that time, Beirut was really on its knees,” says Michael. “All you would associate with it were bombs and bullets. It was almost unthinkable that you’d consider going to Beirut on holiday, so when I pitched it to my news editor I was virtually laughed out of his office – but he did say that if I could find a real London couple who had booked a trip to Beirut, the story could run.”
– New Annual Report now available
– The year’s motto: “What drives us – creativity and entrepreneurship”
– 3D sound technology for a special audio experience
The new Annual Report of the international media, services and education company Bertelsmann is now available online and in printed form. The publication focuses on creativity and entrepreneurship. Bertelsmann possesses great creative diversity and spends around six billion euros a year on creative content.
“Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. These two values are what drive our company, and therefore form the focus of our new Annual Report,” said Karin Schlautmann, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications at Bertelsmann. “With this publication, we are once again communicating the advances made in our growth strategy, as well as the diversity of our creative offerings, which reach more than a billion people worldwide every day. As always, we have enriched the online version of the report with numerous extras such as videos and audio samples. A special highlight this year: the use of 3D sound technology.”
One of Bertelsmann’s creative successes was the publication of Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” last year. On the entrepreneurial side, Bertelsmann acquired the US online education provider OnCourse Learning in 2018 – one of the largest takeovers in the company’s history in the US.
The report consists of separate “image” and “financial” sections. The financial section provides transparent, clearly detailed information on last year’s business figures. In the image section, this year’s motto is illustrated by colorful collages made up of creative and entrepreneurial highlights from the 2018 financial year.
The interactive online version of the Annual Report contains a variety of extra content, including a video with 3D sound technology. The viewers are guided through the Bertelsmann Highlights 2018 with corresponding 3D sound elements. Unlike stereo or Dolby, this innovation enables an extraordinary 360-degree listening experience – the charismatic voices of Michelle Obama and Guido Maria Kretschmer, among others, literally surround the listener. The unusual thing: any headset can play the 3D sound.
To visualize the motto: “What drives us: Creativity and Entrepreneurship,” three glass steles were also developed for the company’s Annual Press Conference, which effectively stage the colorful collages using special lighting.