Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another 50 campaigns

Today we totally stunned our teachers at King by presenting another 50 campaigns. They asked if we were joking. When we showed them the big pile of paper they knew we weren't. Andres and I thought we might as well finish our classes at King with a big bang and the more campaigns we have, the more chance that there might be outstanding work in it. All we did was work the whole weekend and monday. And because we planned it right there was even time to go out.

We do have to execute a lot of work now. We're coming to a point where the work piles up so much that we both think we can't finish everything. Such a point comes every quarter and every time it's going to be allright. We just need to keep on working day and night for these last weeks.

Today I heard officially that I'm going to Saatchi New York. I kind of expected that I would go there, but you never know. Already some students were dissapointed because they couldn't go to the location of their choice next quarter, so it's a big relief for me. This Friday Menno Kluin is coming to Stockholm. He's a former Miami Ad School student from Holland and he works at Saatchi New York. I'm looking forward to ask him everything about my future internship.

Friday, May 25, 2007

New work: TV-commercial Chameleon

Normally I always post new work after the quarter, but this week some work for Duval Guillaume came in. It's a commercial for Vertigo, a lollypop that's half candy and half chocolate. Duval Guillaume New York already made commercials for this product, but they couldn't use them for Europe because of copyright issues.

So when Daniel Serrano and I interned at Duval Guillaume Brussels, it was our task to make totally crazy commercials for this half-crazy product. To make commercials that are 100% weird is probably the hardest thing to do. You actually have to block all thinking and let go of all common knowledge about advertising while you're brainstorming. Which is difficult when you're used to juggle with brand-related and strategy-driven creativity all the time. But it was also a big challenge and we totally LOVED the product.

Daniel and I wrote down about a hundred ideas for a commercial for this lollypop. For some ideas we actually used our common sense, but others were completely ridiculous. The four that went to the client were a perfect mix. The chameleon is the only one that's executed so far. It's approved by the client and will be broadcasted in different parts of Europe.

When we left, our creative directors Peter and Katrien took over our job to produce the commercial together with animation wizard Cyriak (to see his work, click here for 5 minutes of outstanding madness). I think they did a more than brilliant job. Above you can see the result. This is by far the craziest commercial I've ever made. And it's the only TV-commercial I consider putting in my final portfolio. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think of it. And don't hold back if you think it sucks ;-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It is now slightly after midnight, which means I'm working for about 14 hours. Me and Andres have been at Frankenstein and King to present work and the only break we had was while we travelled in the subway train and while eating a pizza.

It's our own fault that the work has piled up so much. Every minute you spend on concepting is a chance. It's another chance of making something for your portfolio or something that can win awards. So we spend all our time on squeezing ideas out of our heads this week.

But next to the concept classes we also have design classes. They don't need a lot of concepting, but they cost a lot of time to execute properly. Tomorrow we have to present work at Mama Design and we didn't make anything yet. So to prevent making complete fools of ourselves in front of the whole class, we had to make the work tonight. On top of that, Andres feels a little bit sick. I've just written 5 TV-commercials, which will probably be enough. I'm going to sleep soon. In a few minutes I'm going to tell Andres that he shouldn't kill himself and get some rest as well. Part of being a die-hard in working is knowing when to take a rest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Clio Awards

The winners of the Clio awards are officially known and Miami Ad School Hamburg totally ruled the student competition. Congratulations to Patrick and Jan who won bronze with their campaign for aspirin. Also to Croix Gagnon, who took two silver Clio's. And of course congratulations to my former teampartner Daniel, who won a well deserved bronze Clio for a campaign he made together with Yigit for the Skansen zoo in Stockholm.

There were two golds for MAS Hamburg. One for a campaign for Staedler whiteboard marker made by Julia and Michael. And last but not least: one gold for Emilia! My good friend from Holland won with ad for Jeep.

And the list of happy MAS-students is even longer. See the winners and the work for yourself at In case you're wondering where my awards are: my best works have actually been sold to clients and produced (after the Clio deadline). So it goes for the normal awards in the future. Good things come to those who wait.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Clubs and blogs

In earlier posts I told about how expensive Stockholm can be if you like clubbing. It's especially expensive when you go with classmates who do have a lot of money and don't care about entrance as long as they're in a club. On Saturday I went to some classmates to drink a beer, but later that evening I found myself standing in a club where I had to pay about 22 euro entrance (!). Was Dave Clarke playing there? No, the DJ was okay and the club was really nice. But it has to be fucking brilliant to make me think an entrance fee like that is actually worth it.

It seems that to make money with a club here you have to ask high entrance fees and let people wait in front of the club for half an hour, even if there's nobody inside. At about 2.00 there were so many people dying to get in that they were almost falling over the ribbon that was used to keep the crowd from rushing towards the door. It was a big riot of screaming and pushing people and I was standing outside watching it from a distance of one metre while I was smoking a cigarette.

If you don't want to waste your money and time in Stockholm it's better to avoid the supposed-to-be-posh clubs. At some clubs, like Grodan Cocktail Club and Teatron they know what good music is, they have a normal door policy and a reasonable entry fee.

Something else: the blogging-virus has infected two other students from the Miami Ad School. My good Italian friend and former flatmate Armando Bertolini has published a blog: (on request of Armando this link has been removed). He might be a crazy guy, but his weblog and his work is almost poetic. It proves that even chaotic guys like Armando can express themselves in a very serene way. And last but not least there's a blog about a small girl in the big apple. Nadine, one of our Swedish students, tells about her experiences in New York: Very cute style of writing and full of good advises. You go girl!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's oh so quiet...

As I said before, Sweden is quiet. But I managed to end up in a place that make the peaceful centre of Stockholm sound like a battlefield: Saatchi & Saatchi Stockholm. We're working in a room full of creatives, but it's so quiet that you can hear the sound of a marker scratching on a piece of paper from 15 metres away.

If you want to brainstorm, you have to go into a special soundproof room and close the door. Well, it's not a written rule to do that, but Andres and I almost feel embarrased to talk when we are behind our computers. So when we have a lot of brainstorming to do, we tiptoe to this special room.

The advantage of this is that there's absolutely nothing that can disturb us. It also seems to work for the people in the agency. They work from 9 till 5 and after 6 we're almost the only ones in the agency. Still they manage to make smashing work in the small amount of time that they have. Now that's what I call good time management.

The disadvantage is that it drives me totally crazy. True, I complained about the noise in Brussels last quarter, but the lack of sound makes me even more nervous. I realized that I feel comfortable with noise around me. It's still a pleasure to experience an agency like this and the people are really sweet. But after this week I can really need some good partying to get some chaos back into my system. And soon again...starts another big riot.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Carlson Gracie at the fight club

I'm not a born teamplayer. When making advertising I learned that being part of a team is the only way to make truly excellent work. When sporting I've always been an egoïst. I never liked teamsports such as soccer or basketball. If I win in sports I want me myself and I to get all the credit for it and if I'm defeated I want to blame it on me only.

Therefore, whenever I did a sport it was either fitness (the number 1 ego sport) or some kind of martial arts (number 2 in the list of sports you only do for yourself). Fighting, preferably with as less rules possible, is in my opinion one of the most accurate ways to test a person's physical and mental capabilities.

When I went to the Miami Ad School I picked up fighting again. At least once a week I went to the 'fight club' as I always called it. In Hamburg I kicked my hangover away in kickboxing class, in Brussels the Mixed Martial Arts classes were a welcome break on Tuesday evening and here in Stockholm I'm doing a highly effective ground grappling sport called Brazillian Jiu Jitsu (see

Today I went to a seminar with Jiu Jitsu-legend Carlson Gracie jr. Insiders in martial arts probably all have a notion of who he is. The Brazillian Gracie family is famous all over the world for their effective and technical fighting style. Whatever match they're doing, whether it's jiu-jutsu or ultimate fight, a member of the Gracie family rarely loses. Here's a link to a video about Carlson Gracie sr, the father of the teacher from today:

So getting a seminar from an actual Gracie is a big honour. So even though I still had some beer in my body from the night before, I got up early and moved my ass to the fight club. At the seminar, Carlson Gracie showed us in a three hour seminar a lot of new strangling techniques and armlocks. By the painful look on my usual teacher's face in the demonstrations, I could see he did the techniques flawless. I'm glad I decided to get out of bed early this morning because training with such a legend is a one time opportunity that I couldn't miss.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

"Hey ho, let's go!"

The guy with his head behind the lamp is Hermanno

In the beginning you have to get used to the new situation: new classes, new assignments, new teachers. And before you know it: BANG! Suddenly you get so much work that it looks like you can't handle it.

I've reached that point now. I've fallen in a whirlpool of work. The only way to get out of it is not to resist. Simply go with the workflow. It always turns out well. In a strange way, I even draw energy from having so much to do and having a lot of responsibility. All problems and insecurity seem to fade away and it transforms me into a maniac.

On top of having so much to do, my good Italian friend and flatmate Hermanno went back to Italy. I had a lot of fun with this guy. In the weekend he always brought a big group of Italians together and a big party with pasta and wine started. Whatever you're working on at that moment, you're not going to finish it. My art-director Andres and I found ourselves regularily switching to party-mode. I'm glad he was here the first month to bring craziness in the quietness of Sweden.

I wanted to say goodbye in Robin-style: with a big party. Unfortunately that wasn't possible because there's just too much to do and tomorrow my internship at Saatchi starts. So when Hermanno and his friends asked if I go to a party at the university I had to say no. It's too bad, but I have to draw a line somewhere. Party is for the weekend. Spare time? That's when you sleep.