Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Title: guard dog Posted by Picasa

I wanted to show some work before, but I thought Peter and Menno deserved to be in the spotlights sooner. After all, winning a Lion in Cannes is a bigger achievement than earning a golden star at the Miami Ad School. On the other hand, it's the highest recognition you can get here, so I'm very happy.

The golden star is for the Bild campaign above. It needs some explanation for foreign readers. Bild is a German newspaper that is famous for its loud headings and controversial content. Their problem is that because of this aggresive attitude, some Germans don't take Bild very seriously. In this campaign we show that a newspaper needs to be aggresive in order to make impact.

To prove this we showed situations in which being soft just doesn't work. In the first ad a robber tries to threathen a shop owner with a waterpistol and in the second ad we see a little doggy as a guard dog. Text: 'Being soft never made any impact'. There's a thruth in this campaign that even the most critical Bild-hater can't deny.

Unfortunately, there's one ad missing. Because I haven't been home since Croatia (see earlier posts), I haven't got all my work with me. So it might take a while before the other campaigns appear on this site. In the meanwhile, I think I'll just bore everybody with stories from Holland ;-)

Golden star campaign

Title: robbery Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

In the meanwhile in Cannes...

The first two days in Holland were kind of bizarre. As soon as I entered the country by train, it was strange -but refreshing- to see the country where I was born through the eyes of a tourist. For the first time in my life I got a rush of enthousiasm when I saw a windmill.

Holland is also colorful compared to our neighbours. It looks like the houses and trains are made by a toy manufacturer who decided to make his products on large scale. Police officers never looked so innocent with their light blue shirts. And I couldn't help laughing when I saw some of the cops here ride on too small scooters that have red and white blocks on them. So even the police is colorful. Even the grass looks greener here (Holland was always known for its quality grass ;-)

And then there were bicycles...Millions of bicycles everywhere. On the central station, in front of the club, next to a canal, even ín the canal.

It was also good to see my friends again. The day I arrived, on Saturday, I went to my favorite bar and it seems as if nothing has changed. I was even involved in a fight (that is, I saw a bad guy beating up a good guy and I helped getting the bad guy out). The next day there were more bizarre scenes when a couple of - let's say lower class citizens- got into an argument about their children's custody in front of a full bar. In the end, the big, drunk man poured his beer over the small, drunk woman. Hamburg can be crazy sometimes, but I kind of missed this kind of craziness.

Talking about crazy... Yesterday I heard that my former teammate Peter van der Helm, won a Bronze Lion in Cannes. The lion is the most prestigious award for advertising in the world. Peter made a brilliant ambient ad for an organisation called Friends of the Earth. Look at http://www.canneslions.com/winners_site/outdoor/win_4_7_02812.htm to see the work. I've worked with Peter for about four years and I can tell anybody: there's nobody in the world who deserves this Lion more than Peter. For years he has been an outcast in advertising because a lot of creative directors thought he was arrogant. He is a streetwise art director who is willing to fight for his ideas. And sometimes he almost did. With the things I experienced with this guy, I can probably fill a whole book; from trashing a hotel lobby during a concept course in Bergen to a taxi ride from hell in London. Some people couldn't understand that I was working with him. But besides our differences we always had one thing in common: an uncompromising passion for making good, creative work.

He wanted to start his own agency and I wanted to learn further. That was the end of our partnership. I think we both made a good decision to go our own way. Peter started a hotshop called Hallelujah. Recently he proved that he wasn't just big talk when top creative Andy Law took over his company. By winning a Lion he finally proves what I already knew: that he's a fucking genius (that also accounts for his new copywriter Matthieu Elvers). The creative directors that didn't hire us because of him must feel really stupid now. Peter, you finally showed the world what you're worth! To use a quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "Some may never live, but the crazy never die".

P.S. Also congratulations to Menno Kluin for winning his third Bronze Lion for this ad: http://www.canneslions.com/winners_site/outdoor/win_4_1_02668.htm

Monday, June 19, 2006

Back in Holland

I told in the last post I'd probably have a big story. So here it is. And there's a lot of news in it because last week has been insane. After recording a radiocommercial on the last day of my face to face week I had little time to rest. The reason is that instead of Saturday, I had to leave on Friday evening to Croatia. It was also the first day of the world cup. So on my way to the trainstation, I passed a lot of screaming, singing and flag waving soccer fans.

Coming from this chaos and having worked without taking a break for two weeks in a row, I had to get a little used to the quiet environment of Croatia. When I finally arrived at a small Croatian village, standing at the calm water in a beautiful sunshine, I still had the feeling that I had to turn on my computer and grab my mouse to make a print ad.

But the next day I was already more at rest. There I was, on a big sailing boat with eight people I never met before and most of them only talking German. I have to say that the whole trip teached me a lot about myself. I mean, between all the crazy people in school I think most of the people consider me slightly eccentric. But on this trip I found out that outside school I'm a total nutball.

I think it had something to do with the fact that on the boat all the people were of my own age. 29 is an age where you're supposed to be at least a little mature and responsible. I showed nothing of that. When it comes down to working I'm disciplined and mature, but outside I'm losing every bit of control. It started at the airport in Croatia when I found out a bottle of whiskey cream wasn't packed in sufficiently and broke in my bag. So I had to wash half of my clothes when I was on the boat.

Later that week there was another stupid action. At one harbour, the boat was too low in comparison to the docks so we had to get on and off our boat by walking on the boat of our neighbours first. I thought: why bother? I could just jump on the boat (about 3 metres high and 2 metres distance). This jumping worked good when I was sober, but didn't work so well one night when I was drunk. Which resulted in me slipping as soon as I hit the boat and crashing on the iron platform with my right leg. It felt like somebody hit me on the leg with a baseball bat. Luckily I recovered in just two days. It was pretty stupid, but later in the week one guy in the boat surpassed this stupidness. He went 'car walking' after a night of drinking (walking over the hoods of a line of parked cars) when suddenly there was a car without a hood and he fell on his back. But even this guy thinks I am from another planet. Well, at least everybody on the boat thought I was 'special', but I'm not sure which kind*.

And about the girls: they were all good looking and very sweet, but somehow they just weren't my types. So -and this will probably surprise a lot of people- I tried with none of them. The good thing is, when there's no pressure of needing to impress somebody you feel more relaxed. And I did relax. We went by boat from one coast in Croatia to the other. We ate at restaurants, went to clubs, swam in the beautiful bright sea and ended in a gorgeous city called Dubrovnic.

By the way, during this week I heard I won a lot of prizes at school. First I heard about a golden and silver star. Both for Bild (this means our concept class teacher wasn't so crazy after all ;-). We celebrated it by drinking beer on the boat. I thought it couldn't get any better. It could. Thursday I heard I won a Top Dog for a Weetabix campaign. The Top Dog is an actual award in the shape of a dog and it is given to the best work of the whole school! All these prizes mean that me and my teampartner Dominik did pretty good this quarter (I like understatements).

My philosophy in life is that a lot of good luck goes together with a lot of bad luck, and vice versa. If you know that, you accept bad luck as inevitable and you can deal with it better. I end my story with bad luck that I actually turned into something good. In the taxi on my way to the airport I found out I lost the keys to my house. Because Emilia is now in Cannes, I couldn't get into my house in Hamburg. So when we came to the main station of Köln, I decided simply not to go to Hamburg but instead go straight to Holland. I had to make the decision within five minutes, but the decision felt good so I did it. I said goodbye to my travelling friends, bought a ticket to Amsterdam (only 48 euro) and waited on the station of Köln (which was also invaded by screaming, singing and flag waving soccer fans). I immediately sms'ed my parents and sister that I was coming two days earlier than planned. For the first time in half a year I am finally back in Holland again.

* The word 'special' has two different meanings: 1) Unique, one of a kind 2) Retarded.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I'm flying to Croatia this Saturday!

You´re not going to believe this. Yesterday I got an e-mail from the Niklas that they want to write an article about singles for Maxi magazine, a magazine for women in Germany. For that article they were looking for boys who are willing to spend a week on a boat in the mediterranean sea with some single girls. Well, I didn't mind doing that ;-) So I sent an e-mail that I'm interested.

Today I got the message that they chose me to be on the boat! Which means I'm flying to Croatia this Saturday, and from there I'm going on a boat trip on the mediterranean sea. The vacation lasts one week, so I'm exactly on time in Hamburg to catch my plane to Holland. There are three single boys and three single girls on the boat. There's also a journalist and a photographer there who report about the boat trip.

I'm glad I was already on schedule with the work for the face-to-face week, because this coming adventure means that I'm not exactly on schedule anymore. I'll be very busy this coming days to get all of my work finished before friday but it will probably all be worth it. So there won't be any news for one week on this weblog. But I think there's a big story coming up afterwards ;-)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

No stress

Pre-face to face work for Photography Class Posted by Picasa

I just had my first face to face meeting. It was for Outdoor Advertising and according to the teacher me and my teammate Dominik have done very well. Compared to last face to face week, this one is quite relaxed. I still have been working the whole weekend from early in the morning till late in the night, but I was on schedule with my work all the time and there wasn't a lot of stress. Yesterday I even saw half of a soccer match together with Edwin, a Dutch friend of mine who lives in Berlin. Yeah, in the break I really had to go, but that´s because I had to draw a line somewhere.

Yesterday evening I did have a small moment of stress. I was brainstorming with Dominik until four o´clock in the evening and we still didn´t have an good concept. But after a good sleep at school, it took us only five minutes to get the good idea. Sometimes you just need a good rest to get things straight.

The U.F.O. picture above is for Photography Class. It looks like the photo is manipulated but it's not. I simply stole a saucer from the kitchen at school, packed it in with silver foil, went to the grass field outside the building, and made pictures when Dominik threw the saucer in the air. Of the 40 pictures I've made, this was the most realistic looking. I only changed the grain and the colors in the photo to give it the 'old look'. It´s actually pre-face to face work because my teacher hasn't even seen it yet. The evaluation for this photo and some other series of photographs is at two o'clock. Until then I only have to execute one ad and print everything out for another face to face meeting tonight. After that one this week is going to be peanuts. I think I'll make some extra work for Computer Class so I won't get bored ;-)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Lots of news

Text: all media information combined.Focus Digital Media Library. Posted by Picasa

Face to face week has started. I had quite some work to do with my teammate Dominik, but we´re on schedule with everything now. Because we planned everything well, we don´t have to hurry a lot and we can take our time to perfectionize our executions. The school is getting fuller and fuller right now. There´s a vacation day at monday, but I´m sure everybody here is going to work.

I´ve got a lot of news this week. The first news is that I´ve finally bought a ticket to Holland. At the 19th of June I´m going to fly to Holland. Last quarter I couldn´t go to Holland because I had to look for a new appartment, so this is the first time in half a year that I´m in Holland. I´ve never been away that long.

But that was something I had already planned. The second news is quite unexpected. I got an e-mail from somebody that I haven't had contact with for about five years: my ex-girlfriend Daphne. She wondered what the hell has happened to me in these five years so she Googled my name and found this weblog. It must have been strange to find out that I don't even live in Holland anymore. Anyway, it's really cool to be in contact with her again.

And at last but not least: I heard this week that some work of me is going to be published in the Cannes edition of Horizont, a well known newspaper in Germany. There was a competition where we had to design a cover for this special edition. Me and my Dutch school- and flatmate Emilia joined forces on this project. Unfortunately, we didn't win. But this week we heard that our cover ánd a cover of one other student are going to be published in the Cannes edition itself.

Now the news about the poster above is not so interesting anymore. This thursday I had a workshop typography at a convention centre here in Hamburg. At that moment there was a special media convention going and had to design a poster for a special media library of Focus magazine. We worked in the restaurant, so we had to tear out newspapers, paint, glue and print while marketing managers were looking over our shoulders. But in the end I managed to make a poster where I'm very happy with.

Tonight I'm still at school. Although we're not really stressing, we still have to do a lot of work. For example, we have to make photographs for campaigns that we are going to make. Later on, we have to look for an expensive hotel to ask them if we can make a photograph inside the bathroom. And after that I'm going out. I've been working all week and because I need a rest I'm going to party.