Dark Grey Europe

Simplifying Complexity in Media Planning & Buying

Making ads is one thing, building a campaign and launching it across EMEA is another. How about placing those ads in the right place at the right time for the right price, in the right language to the right audience? Welcome to Dark Grey Europe , and a look behind the scenes at our ongoing partnership with Axalta Refinish Europe, a client who came to us with a list of media requirements that we are happy to meet and exceed for the third year.


Media planning is a communications specialism that requires insightful understanding of your target audiences. It means knowing who they are, where to find them, how and when to reach out to them in the most cost-effective manner. Accurate and effective media planning also requires a detailed and up-to-date oversight of all media channels available. This includes traditional print as well as online and social media spheres. For Axalta Refinish Europe, we produce and place advertising materials that reach audiences across 98 separate channels, including print publications, websites and online magazines.

Each of these 98 channels has its own publication schedules, deadlines and cost structures. Added to this: 23 countries in EMEA are involved, with numerous languages, currencies and different payment terms to navigate. This is where Media Planning meets Media Buying: after identifying the optimal time and channel to reach the Axalta customer audience, Dark Grey Europe then negotiates the best tariffs for lowest cost-per-contact on behalf of Axalta. It is a complex system of parallel and interdependent processes, developed through time and experience into a proven method for any large company with international media needs.

From creation and production to targeted placement and detailed analytics

“Dark Grey Europe has a refined process that combines Media Planning & Buying into a truly streamlined marcoms offering,” says Leen Schodts, Client Service Director. “For Axalta Refinish Europe we also create all the campaign and advertising content that is funneled into the Media Planning and Buying system. Handling more than 50 separate campaign themes, for 9 different brands. At year end, we will have more than 1,100 individual elements–adverts, banners, campaign materials—all created, placed and tracked by Dark Grey Europe for Axalta.

The scale and scope of production, media planning and buying is backed up by detailed feedback on the results of their media spend gives Axalta true transparency of effectiveness across all channels. Including Search Engine Advertising and Social Advertising to the mix enables countries to run and monitor campaigns across Google and social networks without requiring intensive local involvement. And Dark Grey Europe also assists, Axalta’s regional teams in building experience they need with these emerging tools.

From a management perspective for Ann Francen, Axalta Marketing Communications Specialist EMEA, the Dark Grey Europe solution is a perfect match for complex needs. “Centralizing resources makes sense, and having a single point of contact with Dark Grey Europe for all our advertising assets, that adds ease. Being able to rely on not only creation and production but also media planning and buying, backed by analytics—it is an offer that cuts through a great deal of complexity for us.

The Dark Grey Europe team liaises with our country contacts, offering the required levels of support per country.

Dark Grey Europe - Axalta Media Buying and Planning
Dark Grey Europe - Axalta Media Buying and Planning
Dark Grey Europe - Axalta Media Buying and Planning

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