Skittles “The Witch”

Björn Rühmann

The German-born Björn Rühmann is the rare bird of advertising. His work is uncategorizable but distinctly recognizable. He’s known for his beguiling and tweaked, Germanic sense of humor, unforgettable characters and wholly unique story-worlds. He started his career as a creative at TBWA Paris, and after a few shorts years, embarked upon his career as a filmmaker. He launched his directing career as the co-founder of the lauded collective The Vikings and found immediate success with his short film “Power of Wind” for Epuron promoting wind energy. The short offers smart storytelling following our black-clad gentle giant whose actions mimic those of actual wind. The spot has achieved cult-like status among industry insiders and is as admired today as it was upon its initial release where it won a Cannes Gold Lion, among others.

It wasn’t long until Björn ventured out on his own as a director, helming commercials for clients including Cadbury’s for Fallon, Puma for Droga5 and Mercedes-Benz for Jung von Matt. His work for Cravendale, “Milk Me Brian” for Wieden + Kennedy London is a comedic reimagining of the first time a man decided to milk a cow while his sweeping 80-second ad “Assassin’s Creed Rise” showed a different side of his visual sensibility. He continued to amuse audiences with the three-minute zombie film “The Rundead” for Brooks and Leo Burnett Chicago and also directed an empowering spot for Under Armour “Yusra Mardini”, which was shortlisted at the Cannes Lions, the Clio Awards and the Ciclope Festival.

More recently, Björn has tapped into character driven work mining story details and nuances for Allbirds, in their first ever commercial, proving “you can meet your shoes” and in his Halloween spot for Skittles, a brilliant retelling of Hansel and Gretel.

To know Björn is to love him. Words can’t convey his charm, wild imagination and sense of wonder he brings to every project.  He is known for striking a dry, absurdist tone while expressing his creative voice with a certain “German Präzision”. His work is sensitive and playfully unexpected and his film aesthetic shines through in his elegantly crafted imagery. He is equally at ease moving through realms of comedy and drama, always the ever-present observer of the minutiae and oddities of everyday life. True artists are ahead of the curve and it feels like the world is catching up to his off-kilter sensibility and style. It’s Björn’s world and we’re all living in it.