Thursday, November 27, 2008


Still at the agency. I don't feel like writing right now but I have to make a couple of radiocommercials and tomorrow I'm in the recording studio already. Recently, some things happened that could turn my career at the agency upside down -either in a good or a bad way. I cannot write about it yet. But the main problem is that I'm distracted.

I really long for the weekend. Not to party, but to have a good rest for a change. But before that I still need to write radiocommercials. And have them approved for tomorrow. I have the strange feeling that it's going to be a long evening...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bad advertising

This weekend, besides partying I also had to do other useful things like getting groceries. I was walking on the Meir, the big shopping street in Antwerp. It's always full of people and it's the place where it's most likely that somebody presses a flyer in your hand for some store. Usually I don't take these flyers, but on Saturday a girl on the street offered me a plastic bag with something in it and I took it!

I don't know exactly why. Was it that I was still a bit dazzled from partying the day before? Or did my interest for marketing make me curious what was in the bag? Cause if you give a whole bag, you kind of raise expectations. What could be in it? Some funny stickers? A scarf? (would've been good because it's getting colder) A T-shirt? I looked and it the bag was...just a job magazine. One that you can get anywhere for free. Nothing else.

Now that's a dissapointment. It's like giving somebody a present with nothing in it. I can imagine how dissapointed people on the street must have been. I could see how dissapointed they had been, because at 10 metre distance from the promotion team, some of the plastic bags were lying on the street. With the logo of the magazine on it so that all the passers-by could see what a polluting brand it is.

What goes on in the minds of the people who initiated such a bad promotion? Do they really think that people will read anything they get in their hands? Or was it just a way to artificially raise the circulation of the magazine to get more advertisers? Whatever it is, it's bad advertising.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vacation? No, but it feels like it

About some weeks there's not a lot to tell, simply because not a lot happened. Having time to have lunch away from the computer, talk with people in the company, leaving 20.00 at the latest, sleeping 8 hours a night feels like a vacation after 2 weeks of working hell. There are some aftershocks of a big campaign that we've been working on. But most of the work has been done. And now it's just a matter of waiting until the final reward: seeing the work published. As soon as I can put it online you'll see the campaign on this blog.

And because I have spare time again, I watch an episode of my favorite show Wonder Showzen every day. This American cult-show makes South Park or Family Guy seem like perfect family entertainment. Just when think you cannot provocate anymore, there are always some producers who lack almost every last bit of decency. This show is pure evil. And that's what's great about it. You can see a compilation here. If you like this bizarre humour you can see full episodes on Just as a warning: the full episodes are even crazier.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Salvatore and Andres at JvM Next.

Last weekend it was time for my quarterly trip to Hamburg again. A weekend is really short, so unfortunately I didn't have time to visit the Miami Ad School. But I did visit the agency where two of my good friends and former co-students Salvatore and Andres are working: Jung von Matt.

For people who don't know Jung von Matt. The agency is one of the biggest in Germany. Every year they win numerous Cannes Lions and other awards. Salvatore and Andres are actually working in JvM Next, which is in a small office next to the huge building of JvM.

When I was getting lunch with them in a small dönner place close to the agency, I saw a lot of other MAS-graduates walking around. I also heard whom they're going to hire in the future and I have to say that the list of the people they've managed to bring in is impressive. Jung von Matt has managed to recruit a whole bunch of the most creative Miami Ad School graduates. You don't know if all of them would be as good as they were in school, but one thing seems to be for sure: with all the talents they managed to bring in you can scare the shit out of competitive agencies.

Anyway, I'm glad to see that my good friends ended up in a good place. I'm really curious how this melting pot of advertising wizkids will develop in the future.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day off

Today is a vacation day in Belgium to remember the victims of the first World War. Yesterday this actually came as a surprise to me. I never know when there is a vacation in this country. It's nice to stop working for a while. Although there was a lot to do today.

First of all, I had to sleep half the day as a consequence of partying the day before. But then I had to do all the things that I've neglected the last few weeks because I was at work all the time: cleaning the house, paying my bills, filling out forms, doing the laundry. On top of that, I promised Yigit to come with five ideas for ads tomorrow and I have to write a column. All in all, the entire day it feels like I'm still at work (except for the sleeping part).

Of course there's always time for a little useful entertainment. So in between work I watched some really inspiring speeches by creative thinkers on Wanna be amazed? Then watch the Photosynth presentation by Blaise Aguera y Arcas.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hell week

At a photoshoot for the billboards

In just 1,5 week we made 4 TV-commercials, 4 billboards, 5 radiocommercials and 1 print ad for just one client. Of course the concept-phase was already over so we just had to execute everything, but that was enough work to keep me .

To still have some spare time to sleep, we had to be very creative with planning our work. So when we went to the photoshooting, I brought my laptop to write radiocommercials. And I went to the post production company to do some colour corrections on TV commercials because Yigit was still working on the billboards. And during these colour corrections I was brainstorming with Miami Ad School intern Mircea. I watched the first part of the president elections at midnight. Not because I stayed up for that, but because I just got home around that time.

Today it's finally weekend. And for me a week of working like hell means a weekend of dancing like the devil. So what a great timing that electro-legend T.Raumschmiere and Drum 'n Bass-legend Dillinja are playing in the same club in Antwerp tonight.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Write now

Every copywriter knows the feeling of looking at a blank screen (or a blank piece of paper) and it's impossible to write even one letter. I just had that moment. Today I was for 20 minutes in the agency and after that I went to a photoshooting. In the meantime I have to write radiocommercials because the recording is already on Friday. My eyes are tired, I'm staring at the screen but I have no inspiration at the moment. So why is it possible that I can easily write a blogpost in the tiny bit of time that I have to waste? The answer is: because I don't have to write for my blog. The radiocommercials are an assignment, are important and therefore it feels like a heavy heavy weight. Isn't that ironic? As soon as you get paid for something the difficulty level seems to go up.

One of my favorite writers, Hunter S. Thompson, once wrote that he didn't even like writing. It's because the pressure that you must write takes the fun out of it. And when he just writes something for the heck of it, without being serious, one great sentence after the other pops out. That's how he wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And it became a bestseller.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Filmshooting on Thursday

Me standing on the set. In the back there's the director (film-Kurt).

Looking at one of the more interesting scenes on the monitor

Some weeks you just think that there's no way you can finish all the work. And then at the end of the week everything somehow turned out to go in the right direction. It's almost as if concepting gets better if you're under a lot of pressure. It's something I hear from a lot of creatives.

On Thursday we had a shooting. To get there in time I had to wake up at 6 o'clock, which I think is not a good time for creatives. When I was onhalf asleep at the set I realized that this was the first (professional) filmshoot since I made the Fanta commercials at McCann-Ericksson Holland. Okay, in Germany an idea of mine was filmed for the Alzheimer foundation, but that was made especially for a class of the Miami Ad School.

This shooting day was an exceptional one. Because there wasn't a lot of budget we had to shoot four commercials in one day (!). Luckily they were small commercials and the shots weren't very complicated. But we had to give all our attention because before you realized it one shoot was finished and we had to go to another location.

I cannot remember one shooting in which everything was without problems. Neither was this one.What really made me nervous was a shooting on the golf track. It was supposed to look sunny, but what happened when we arrived? There was a layer of icy snow on the entire gofl field. Not even the best post production could have changed anything that snowy look so we were in big trouble. The crew solved it by looking for a location that looked less snowy and luckily they found a good view. Some employees of the golf field blew away the snow in the foreground and voila... it looked like just another bright day on the golftrack. But behind the scenes peoples toes were frozen and noses were dripping.

At the end of the day, we filmed the packshots. After an entire day of shooting different commercials with different actors it seems difficult to stay focused on a hand taking the lid off a small box. But these shots are just as important, so we continued until the last seemingly meaningless shot was filmed. At 21:30 the work was done.

Friday started with reviews, ended with reviews and at the end of the day I hurried to the station to catch the train to Amsterdam. Monday I have a photoshooting but until then I'm going to relax in Holland. It's raining here, but at least there's no snow.