Cottbus gets unique advertising film

Virtual city exploration the city of Cottbus wants to promote itself with a new digital showcase. Will the project „Virtual Cottbus“ succeed in improving the image of the city during the structural change and in becoming a job magnet?

Will Cottbus soon have one more prominent unemployed person? After all, a digital tour of the city could make the famous Cottbus stagecoach driver, who has traditionally guided new visitors through the city center, almost superfluous.

No, no, don’t worry, says Daniela Paulig and laughs. „The stagecoach will always be there,“ says the woman who looks after city marketing in the city administration. „In principle, the film is supposed to be an appetizer and provide an incentive to get people here,“ adds Walter Schönenbröcher, the producer responsible. „And then the stagecoach driver is supposed to take over.“ The popular tourist guide does not have to fear for his job because of the – new advertising animation „Virtual Cottbus“ therefore – quite the opposite. The latest image campaign of the city does not want to destroy jobs, but to secure jobs and in the best case create more.

You can only really convince people when they really experience it – and they can do that with this film.
Walter Schönenbröcher (Producer)

Many new jobs

The project ties in with the Boomtown campaign, which was also recently presented and with which Cottbus wants to make itself known in the world and interesting for skilled workers. In the coming years, Cottbus wants to, and perhaps even has to, become the center of successful structural change in Lusatia. Several billion euros are to be invested, and more than 7,000 new jobs are to be created. Daniela Paulig is certain: „We can’t avoid beating the drum properly now.“

Film shows Cottbus potential

The „Virtual Cottbus,“ a virtual reality film that can be consumed with VR glasses, but also the laptop, PC or smartphone, is intended to support precisely this project. „We have great potential here; we need to bring that to the area,“ explains marketing professional Daniela Paulig. „With this tool, we want to address people on the outside and say: come to Cottbus! It’s worth it.“ For example, she says, it can be used to provide targeted information to potential investors and show them what they want to see. The economic development, Cottbus (EGC), which is responsible for the city’s economic development and presents plots of land or office space to interested companies, was also involved in the creation of the film, which cost about 100,000 euros to produce. „Of course, we prefer to drive through Cottbus personally with the entrepreneurs,“ says EGC project developer Annett Gernhardt. „But if that’s not possible, for example, because of the pandemic, then the virtual presentation is very helpful.“

City tour from the sofa

Depicting a city virtually is an unprecedented undertaking, emphasizes film producer Walter Schönenbröcher. Never before has such a film made a city in Germany virtually walkable. „The film is a journey through Cottbus without having to get in a car,“ Schönenbröcher explains. You can now show your buddy or girlfriend your hometown and you don’t even have to be in that very city at the same time to do it. Thanks to the 360-degree advertising film, two people can also be in Berlin or Timbuktu and still walk through Cottbus together. „You can always tell people whatever you want. You can only really convince people when they really experience it – and they can with this film.“ And according to Walter Schönenbröcher, it could also offer added value for locals. „How many Cottbus residents actually know what awesome projects are going on here?“

An hour and a half running time

The website is not quite finished yet, but can already be accessed online. The new showcase currently displays the most important location factors. From the main train station and the future rail plant to the CMT trade fairgrounds and the medical campus of the Carl Thiem Clinic to the Brandenburg Technical University (BTU) Cottbus-Senftenberg and FC Energie Cottbus, the most important beacons can be found. The current version of „Virtual Cottbus“ has more than 100 clips and a total running time of one and a half hours. „It’s not a linear film, however, but an interactive one,“ emphasizes producer Schönenbröcher. „The viewer decides what he wants to see.“ Further updates are planned, which should make the project sustainable. „In principle, this film can’t get old.“ So maybe the Cottbus stagecoach driver will even get his own clip in „Virtual Cottbus.“

From Steven Wiesner

Continental Film Festival Award