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Berlin to go, english edition, 02/2019

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COFFEEBREAK COFFEE BREAK Lukas Breitenbach talks to Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller MR. MAYOR, A NUMBER OF NEWSPAPERS HAVE REPORTED THAT THE BE BERLIN MAR­ KETING CAMPAIGN IS GOING TO BE REPLA­ CED BY SOMETHING ELSE. WHY THE CHANGE? be Berlin has been the city’s official national and international campaign for over a decade now. It achieved a great deal and represents the outstanding work of many contributors who care a lot about our city. The call to “be Berlin – sei Berlin!” was an outspoken invitation to anyone interested in enjoying Berlin’s creativity, individuality and development opportunities. And many people accepted that invitation. When be Berlin first launched, nobody was talking about things like housing shortages, energy transitions, new mobility and security the way we do today. Indeed, the city has changed over the past ten years. Berlin has become more densely populated as more people make it their home. The economic framework has changed, too. We’re now a European metropolis, an internationally prominent location for science and research. And we’re eager to take on this responsibility, which means that our city marketing also needs to react to these changes. We’re far from being some sort of superficial party metropolis. We’re now THE European capital, the city of freedom. WHAT KIND OF DIRECTION WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE BERLIN BRAND TAKE UP? If we take a look back, it’s not hard to see that what made Berlin what it is today is a sense of unlimited freedom, with no rules and lots of individuality in the sense of a “I can do anything I want here, or not.” Today, our city marketing studies show that Berliners have a tremendous desire for solidarity, for community. They love freedom, of course, and will never give that up, but they also want to prevent the reign of reckless egoism. Berliners want to live together, side-by-side with their neighbors, taking care of each other, handling each other with respect and agreeing to follow mutually beneficial rules. This includes everything from keeping the sidewalks clean and noise levels down to occasionally gruff encounters at the nearest Currywurst station. It also encompasses the outstanding commitment of our many volunteer workers and the work done by Berlin-based companies under the banner of sustainability. While never losing sight of our commitment to individual freedoms, openness and tolerance, Berliners should also contain a dedication to improving the quality of our community and fostering collective freedom. 26

Foto: © Wolf Lux “BERLIN IS A COMPLETE CATASTROPHE THAT I LOVE WITH ALL OF MY HEART.” THIS WAS THE RESPONSE OF ONE PARTICIPANT IN THE RECENT CITY MARKETING SURVEY. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT? This statement shows how Berlin has a unique impact on everyone who lives here. Sometimes it drives us crazy, but it inevitably fascinates us even more. Berlin demands certain things from its inhabitants. And we have an obligation to take care of it. WHAT’S NEXT IN TERMS OF THE MARKETING CAMPAIGN RELAUNCH? We’ve taken the first step, and now I’m hoping that as many people as possible will see our survey findings so that the discussion continues. There are a number of important questions that must be asked. For example: How many Berliners share our description of the city. Do our findings accurately reflect their opinions of the city? Do Berliners have a sense of pride in their often “acerbic” city? Do they share a “defiant love” for it? Do we all mean the same thing when we say “Berlin is gutsy.” And is everybody on board when we confidently say “Berlin still has to prove itself?” The team at the Senate Chancellery is now ready to continue the process. We are going to call on the expertise of an external advisor to steer us in the right direction and make sure that as many partners and stakeholders as possible are involved. We want the residents of this city to see the new marketing campaign as being “fitting.” And, of course, we want to involve the input of each unique district and their administrative bodies. I would like it to conducting a large orchestra; ultimately, we want all players to produce a beautiful melody in harmony with one another. The current process is a very important part of that harmony. Of course, it also involves initiating a contract award procedure that will find us the best agency to foster our city’s future visibility and answer the question: What will follow ‘be Berlin’? DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A FAVORITE NEW SLOGAN FOR BERLIN? No, I don’t have any favorites. I’m not even completely convinced that the Berlin brand needs a new slogan. It’s possible one slogan might narrow things down too much. For example, we don’t need to say that Berlin is “the land of early risers,” as they do in Saxony-Anhalt, or that Berlin can do anything “except speak High German” (Baden-Würtemberg) or claim “It can be so easy,” like they do in Brandenburg. I’m looking forward to the discussions, but I don’t want to predict what the results are going to be. We might even come to the bold conclusion that we don’t even need a slogan. Berlin is Berlin. 27

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