Press release
Corporate Press
March 14, 2016

Evonik challenges students to "Battle of Brains"

  • Knowledge contest uses converted vending machines 
  • New employer branding approaches for the Group
  • Successful roadshow at ten German universities

Which field of chemistry explores the chronological sequence of chemical reactions? What is marine coal? What is the degree of curvature at the top of a rainbow? Those were some of the questions from the areas of chemistry, technology and business that students had to answer at ten different German universities for Evonik’s "Battle of Brains." 

The unique aspect about the digital quiz was that students did not use their own laptops to play, but instead played on a converted vending machine, which Evonik had sent to ten German universities for a roadshow. Evonik’s campaign helped create a personal, interactive brand experience that was both fun and memorable.

"The ‘Battle of Brains’ is like Evonik: creative and innovative. We deliberately did not use conventional communication channels," says Anne McCarthy, head of Employer Branding in the Germany and Europe regions. The campaign concept, guided by the trends of gamification and edutainment, had been designed specifically for Evonik’s Employer Branding. 

As a highlight of the campaign, participants were not just testing their knowledge, but also competing against fellow students. The top scores at each university were listed and continuously updated on the official website The campaign was also accompanied by coverage on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The highest-scoring three participants at each university had a chance to win attractive prizes and the top ten students overall received an invitation to attend the Evonik Student Network Day at Signal Iduna Park.

Overall, well over a thousand students participated in the "Battle of Brains."   

"The campaign is embedded in our employer branding strategy. As an innovative specialty chemicals company, we rely on creative measures to set ourselves apart from the competition and to promote Evonik," explained Christine Bömken, responsible for the strategic management of Evonik’s global employer brand. Designed to draw attention to the Evonik Group among Germany’s top junior talent and to increase enthusiasm for the company as a potential employer, the campaign aimed to establish Evonik as an innovative employer in the minds of students.

March 17/18, 2016, visitors of the international World Business Dialogue, annually organized by students in Cologne, have the opportunity to play the Battle of Brains.

Battle of Brains on Youtube:  

The main task of Employer Branding is to highlight Evonik’s profile as an attractive employer. Graduates from the fields of natural sciences, engineering and economics are an important target group. Close collaboration with universities and student networks is part of the employer claim, "Exploring opportunities. Growing together."

Company information

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders
in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2015 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around €13.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.47 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.