Thursday, March 30, 2006

Missing links 2

Last month I discovered that I forgot to include a couple of links om my weblog. In the meantime, I could think of a lot more websites that deserve to get some attention. By the way, right after the first post of missing links, Hallelujah, the agency of former collegue Peter van der Helm has become the Dutch branch of Law & Kenneth. Which is the international agency of St. Lukes founder Andy Law. Since then, you can see even more work on their new website:

Last time I told you I used to work with Peter at McCann-Erickson in the Netherlands. The creative director that hired us was Kees Rijken. We started with a three month contract for minimum wage and we ended two years later with a lawsuit. In the time I worked with Kees, he has always been a big help to us. He is one of the most charismatic directors I've ever known and he managed to stay calm in even the most stressful situations. Unfortunately, after one year, Kees left McCann-Erickson and became a partner in the agency Locomotive. The work on the site is all in Dutch. Check out

Another man who has been a great help to me at McCann was Gé Key. He's the type of account director you actually want to work with. He now works at Cygnus X-3, an very creative agency that already won various national and international awards. They're probably so busy that they forgot to put something on their site, but feel free to enjoy the nice picture on their first and only page. If you send an e-mail to the adress on the right, Gé would probably be proud to send you some work.
UPDATE: one of my best friends and copywriter Maarten Kleverlaan informed me that Gé Key went back to McCann Netherlands again. It looks like McCann finally made a decision that benefits them in the LONG RUN.

Wouter Haasnoot is a completely different story. Two weeks after I applied for the Miami Ad School Wouter called me because he wanted to work with me. He could get a job at the then starting agency The Buccaneers, which was founded by a well known Dutch creative called Herbert van Hoogdalem. I actually postponed my trip to Hamburg for three months to work with Wouter at The Buccaneers. The adventure at the Buccaneers came to an end after three months, which made my choice to go to the Miami Ad School a lot easier. Wouter has made some brilliant work at an agency in Mexico. He's now freelancing in Holland, but he's always interested in working abroad. So check out for his work. And if you're a creative director, no matter where in the world you are, make him an offer he can't refuse.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pudel Club

My new room Posted by Picasa

Everything is arranged. The contract has been signed and until October I´ve got a new appartment. It's in St. Pauli, right between the two coolest shopping and clubbing neigborhoods of Hamburg. I'm going to live there with my former Young Dogs-collegue and new schoolmate Emilia.

Last night I celebrated this cheerful event at the Golden Pudel Club. Now this place is a must-see for party animals who come to Hamburg. I place it on the same level with the recently demolished club Tresor in Berlin. Pudel is one of the most famous clubs here, but it's also one of the smallest. When I first entered the place a few months ago, I walked through the corridor of the club to get to the main hall. When I looked around the corner I found out that the corridor ís actually the main hall. There's poor lighting, a crappy old couch and the thrashy walls are covered with paint, posters and candlewax. A club that looks like this múst have good music.

And it does... There's always good music in Pudel. Yesterday, there were DJ's playing hardcore house, breakcore and electronica. If you're not used to the agressive, squeaking and trashy sound you'd probably describe it as noise. I was on the dancefloor (in the corridor) with a beer in my hand, enjoying the pounding beats coming from the speakers. Suddenly, a guy of about fourty years was so stoned and drunken that, in an rush of pure insanity, he fell against the DJ booth while reaching his arm to the DJ. As a result of this sudden crash, the record skipped. The DJ's immediately requested him to leave the club. Apparently confused, the man made his way to the exit. Now I realize this wasn't much fun for the DJ's. But if things like these happen, at least you know 100% sure you're not in a boring place.

Talking about boring: there's a famous bar in Hamburg where the Beatles used to play. There's a big stone there with all the other big names that once played there. To me it's just a sign that this bar was once actually a cool place to hang out. I forgot the name of the bar, which says enough about the impression it made on me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Campaign New Yorker

Txt: The parachute didn't match my shoes. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Txt: "Ropes suck! They wrinkle my pants and stuff". Posted by Picasa

Txt: "A helmet? Then nobody can see my new hat, can they". Posted by Picasa

Let's go back in time. To the face-to-face week. It's 17.00. You still have about 24 hours to go for the next face-to-face meeting. You still have to make a campaign. For clothing brand New Yorker. The pay-off is 'dressed for the moment'. Which, according to the teacher, you can interpret as

1) You pose only once.
2) You'll feel comfortable in THAT moment.

During class the teacher showed us a TV-commercial for New Yorker. In this commercial a group of trendy dressed youngsters sit on a bench in the desert to watch an atom bomb explode. Because of the blast, all of the youngsters die. New Yorker. Dressed for the moment.

Everybody had to make a campaign on his own. No teamwork. Just think of your own ideas and execute them on your own. A couple of classmates freaked out because they didn't have an idea yet. I had two ideas for a campaign: 1) You see models who -after a shooting for famous clothing brands like Gucci & Prada- dress in New Yorker clothes because they feel comfortable in it. 2) You see youngsters who rather die than make a bad impression by being out of style.

I decided to go for the second concept because it was the most simple one. And moreover, it fitted the original campaign the best. Although I knew the execution would probably take the most time.

First I looked for some royalty free stock pictures for the background. Then I needed some photographs. Caroline was willing to squirm on the ground of the photostudio for the parachute ad. Salvatore almost broke his arms after falling when I shot the bungee jump ad. An American guy, Jon, volunteered to be on a picture putting a hat on while having the expression of panic on his face. That night I managed to photoshop two advertisements. The next day I made the one with the hat, which took me about two hours longer than I planned at first.

At 20:00 in the evening, I showed the campaign during my face-to-face for concept class. The teacher giggled. Which was good, because I knew this teacher wasn't the type that rolls from his chair laughing about an ad. He even had trouble choosing the one that ended up at the exposition. Which was good, because he liked them all. Eventually, the bungee jump ad ended up in the exposition room downstairs. And I got an A- for concept class. Which is good.

Monday, March 20, 2006

From face-to-face to house-to-house

Having a quiet week doesn´t neccesarily mean I have rest. Last week there was no pressure from the face-to-face week. Instead, I had to look for a new appartment. For reasons I will not mention yet because I'm a tactful person, I have to get out of my room. The sooner the better.

So this week was the house-to-house week. I dragged myself in the online world of house seekers. I can tell you it's a very time consuming hobby. If you react to a house yesterday, it's already gone. But new houses flash by once in a while and you have to react to them as fast as a candidate at a quiz-show.

Last weekend I went to Edwin, a dutch friend of mine who lives in Berlin. I just got back, exhausted from a delayed bus trip back to Hamburg. When I opened my Hotmail I saw that I can rent an appartment I've been looking at a few weeks ago. I was very happy. I'm going to move right in the middle of one of the best neighborhoods of Hamburg (Schanze). Emilia, the new MAS-student from Amsterdam, is going to live there as well. Just to be sure I'm going to look for some other appartments this week. But the online housing hunt has stopped. Finally, I can sit back and relax. Well... at least for a while.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


On of the ads that won a silver star Posted by Picasa

As you might have already red in my post about the first soccer poster, the best work on the exhibition at the end of the quarter will be granted a silver or a gold star. This Tuesday, creatives from Leo Burnett and Jung von Matt looked at all the work to judge it.

I´m glad to say that I got a silver star for a Nike print campaign. Above you can see one of the ads. It´s kind of funny that an ad about winning actually wins something. I'm very glad I won something in the first quarter already. Next quarter I'm going to work harder for even more succes. Silver is a good first step. But -to quote a famous Nike headline- you don't win silver, you lose gold.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rejected campaign: NOAH.

Title: trashcan. Posted by Picasa

Title: monkey rock. Posted by Picasa

Title: gutter. Posted by Picasa

The face to face week is over and as you might already have red, the evaluations went quite good. Today I have a day off, which gives me the opportunity to finally clean up my room (it looks like a tornado has blown through it) and to look for a new room/appartment (I have to get out of my room pretty soon).

And now it's time to show some work. As you might have red before, I'm quite careful with showing ideas in a too early stage. Now the evaluation week has ended, I might as well show some ideas that were rejected for the exposition. They're probably not going to end up in my portfolio anyway.

So here's the first rejected campaign. The client is NOAH, a non-profit organisation in Germany that fights against all sorts of maltreatment of animals. One of their subjects is zoos. Now zoos can be good for preserving endangered species and for educational purposes, but some zoos doesn't have the funds for good maintenance. As a result, many animals are the victims of neglect and live in dirty cages. This campaign makes a strong statement against neglected zoos and communicates that NOAH helps the animals of detoriated zoos. In every ad, a symbol of dirt is combined with the homes of the animals to show how bad the condition of some of the animals' homes are. The headline is: 'help the animals of detoriated zoos'. For our non-native speakers: the word 'detoriated' means something like rotten as a result of neglecting something.

It was actually a surprise to me that this campaign wasn't picked out for the exposition. My teacher liked it, but he also liked all of my other campaigns. He also liked all of the designs. So he had to choose which ones to leave out. I think this one didn't make it, simply because it was work for a non-profit organisation. There was other work for commercial companies, made on a stricter briefing. And that is considered better in this school. I'm glad I made the campaign though. It's an interesting client and I had a lot of fun perfectionizing the designs.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The curse of the Japanese binding

I just had a moment of stress. During my face-to-face presentation for Typography on Thursday I found out that my book with posters was binded the wrong way, so you'd had to read it backwards. The teacher, Sergei, called it a 'Japanese binding'. There were also posters upside down. He told me the jury on the exposition is probably not going to like it when a book is like this, so I decided to print out all the 36 posters again and make another book.

Unfortunately, some days I have the tendency to be a total idiot. Today, I went to the copyshop to put the binder in and I DID IT WRONG AGAIN! There weren't any posters upside down, but ís a Japanese binding. Now this may sound funny, but Sergei wasn't amused. So in only 20 minutes time I printed all the posters again. Which takes some time because the printer here only prints when he likes to. I've got a face-to-face again in about 10 minutes so I gave the posters to some other students who went to the copyshop. Now they have to give the instructions for the binding. Let's hope they have more sense than I do...

Any moment somebody can come in to say I have to do my presentation for copywriting. We already had our work finished and there's no doubt in my mind that this last face-to-face is going to be a good one. I made some good work with my fellow students and everything is perfectly executed. If only my posterbook is prepared perfect -like I tried for the last few days- then my first face-to-face week had been totally flawless.

I go to the presentation now, because my teammates are waiting at the classdoor already.

UPDATE: The poster book is fine and 'un-Japanesed', many thanks to my fellow classmate Lea.
UPDATE 2: My copywriting face to face went more than excellent! I'm ready to party now ;-)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Feeling comfortable

Photo by: Armando Bertolini Posted by Picasa

The night after I made my last post I a lot of work to do and I slept at school. What I didn't realized is that sleeping at school is rare. It's hard to sleep when every corner of the school is filled with hard working students. I did find a more quiet place to put my matress and sleeping back to finally get my well deserved sleep.

When I almost slept, however, I was woken up by very loud music from upstairs. People were even running and screaming in the school. After the music one after the other student came in to go to the bathroom. One of the American students started snoring at a table next to me -without a blanket (!). Well, I could have known it. After all, when I'm going to sleep it doesn't necessarily mean the whole school is going to sleep.

But things are more at ease now. Yesterday we heard that one face-to-face presentation is shifted to friday, so I actually got a day extra. I used the extra day to sleep a little more than the night before and I'm okay now. I only have to execute two print ads and one TV spot. The concept is already there. In between I did some work for Energize, the online company in Holland I'm working for. Even the work for my face-to-face on Friday is almost finished. I'm going back to work and at about 3.00 I'm planning to go to sleep. Let's hope it will be a better sleep than before. Maybe I'm going up to party with the rest of the students as soon as the loud music starts ;-)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Face 2 face

Face to face week started. That means getting all the work done for evaluation, presenting the work I´ve made the last two months and getting the work ready for the exposition. It also means less sleep. It´s 1:35 now and I already brought my matress to school. At about three I'm going to sleep for an hour or five and when I get up I start working again.

After my last post, my friends and family started to get a little worried about me. I'm fine. I'll just have to eat well, sleep on a regular basis (even though it's short) and not freak out. That last thing is kind of hard when for example the printer doesn't work with me, but I'll manage. Only three more days and face to face week is over.

Yeah it's hard work, but it has it's good sides. Everybody here is working as hard as their bodies can handle and lots of people are sleeping over (some even stay awake all night, something which I'm not able to). There's an atmosphere of total dedication for making good work and that really inspires me. Today, I had my face to face for Art Direction/layout. The teacher, Goetz Ullmer from Jung von Matt, was astonished by the fact that I was a copywriter because he liked my layouts very much. And on top of that, he liked all of my ideas. It's a more than perfect start. Tomorrow I have evaluation of photography and of computer class. Only three days left...

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Soccer posters, the school is full of it! Posted by Picasa

I´m proud of being in this class. Every week we have to make a soccer poster and it really takes a lot of work. Every week we have to think of a new idea how to attract people to the soccer match at Sunday. Every week we have to photograph, illustrate and write copy for the idea. Every week we have to glue twelve A3´s together and hang up the poster. Today our director Niklas said that this class had such good ideas, that we don´t have to do any soccer posters anymore. He said with emphasis that this never happened before at the Miami Ad School Hamburg.

And the ideas are good. If there´s a bad soccer poster, you have to rip them off the wall immediately. Most of the posters of my classmates are still hanging. Which is why there isn´t a dark corner to be found where there aren´t any soccer posters. Some of the posters are even placed above another. Or under the stairway.

I´m also proud of my class because I can see how much effort they put into their work. We´re right before our evaluation week and it´s busy as hell. This week, a lot of classmates slept at school again. Some students even stayed awake all night. I've seen some later quarter students sitting behind their laptop looking like zombies and mechanically moving their mouse because they have to get their work done. The next day everybody looks like shit, but the work looks good. And that´s the most important.

I´ve seen a lot of classmates in only two months change from rookies to a full engined concept-machines. Which is incredible. Can you imagine what they will make after a year? I started off with more experience and I've made my best work so far here (I'll show some of it after my evaluation). In the beginning I had an advantage, but my fellow students are not far behind. Which is good. The attitude of my classmates, and of the whole Miami Ad School, is pushing me even further than I ever imagined.

This week has been very hard for me. I slept an average of five hours per night and I start noticing that my body doesn't react to my mind as fast as usual. Luckily, today I can go home earlier and tomorrow and in the weekend I have lots of time to perfectionize my work. Well, sleep is a privilige at the end of the last quarter. I'll just have to get used to it.