Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last day at Duval Guillaume

I gave back my trainticket, my doorpass and my laptop. After that I organized a goodbye drink in the entrance hall of Duval Guillaume Brussels. It's over, finished, I'm out of there. I started there as an intern when I did the Miami Ad School. When I was in my last quarter, Peter and Katrien asked me to work for them and I didn't hestitate for too long. Somehow I had the feeling that this agency would push my portfolio even further.

And my feeling proved to be right. It was a tough job to improve a portfolio that you worked on for two years with total creative freedom. But at Duval I managed to make creative work on real briefings and at least half of my Miami Ad School book is replaced by work from Duval Guillaume. All the new work got me a total of 11 awards (9 of them together with Yigit) and numerous nominations. For the first time in 8 years, I could step on an award stage again. This was the comeback that I always dreamt of.

But the time has come to move on. To learn further. To enter unknown terrain. I can't wait to work for new agencies and new clients. I thought to have some time off and to go back to Holland for a week. But on Monday I'm already booked for a freelance job at LDV United, an agency in Antwerp. Who needs vacation anyway?

Monday, February 22, 2010


The last week at Duval Guillaume... I try to stay motivated to make good work until the last minute. But everybody who has been in a situation like this knows that it's very difficult. Especially because the work I have now is work-work (as opposed to portfolio work). But I do my very best to squeeze out these last concepts and these last bodycopies and still do a good job.

I realize more and more that it's been a good plan to leave Duval Guillaume. This agency is still going strong, but for me it's time to make a new step. Do something different. The last few months I've been talking to such interesting agencies. And by talking to the CD's of these agencies, you get to know the insights of these agencies. Some of them were such eye openers that it will affect the work I'm going to make in the future.

As said in earlier posts, agencies take a lot of time to make a decision. But I have the feeling that this week I will finally get a final 'go' from one of the agencies. And it's very probable that from then on my life is going to be different. A different city? A different country? An agency that works in a different way? It's scary and exciting at the same time, but I'm ready for it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New work: newsreaders

I've got my former teammate Marton Jedlicska to thank for another in-the-nick-of-time-campaign. In his last week at Duval Guillaume we came up with an idea for newssite The objective of the briefing was to make people share the news articles on this website. Because is automatically connected to Facebook, sharing news articles is already easy.

But we decided to give it another boost by adding more fun to the website. With this new online action you can record yourself as a newsreader, while reading the text from a article. After that you can share your film with your friends on Facebook, blogs and e-mails, which increases your chance on winning prices. Besides a netbook, you can win a guest appearance in a real news program in Belgium.

Above you can see my entry. This one is doomed from the start in Belgium because of my heavy Dutch accent ;-).

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

One man team

Working as a one man team isn't so hard in the beginning. But now I'm working alone for more than a month I remember again why I need a teampartner. With the work it's actually getting better than expected. And I even survive the very tough reviews at Duval Guillaume.

But then you have a review where you have to work against the most senior and best team of the agency. They present two super creative and solid campaigns. And almost everything is ready for presentation. This sets me to think again. I can't even come close to their level on my own. I feel that I constantly miss chances to make really outstanding work. It sucks and I'm going to leave as soon as I get a great offer from another agency.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Creative meeting

Art director clubs, creative clubs, union of professional clowns; whatever you call them, there's a club for creatives in every country. They all do good work by pushing the creatives to make even more outstanding work with organizing an award show, exhibitions and publishing a yearbook. Because no matter how you put it, award shows work an motivate a country to be even more creative.

Yesterday I went to the annual meeting of the Creative Club Belgium, the CCB. Not because I really like meetings where almost everybody talks about financial issues in French, but because I was curious to see what's going on in a creative organization abroad. I used to be a member of the Art Directors Club Netherlands and it's always interesting to see because these clubs are like the oil for the creative engine in a country.

Not a lot of people seem to share my opinion about this because almost nobody turned up. That's not very surprising because in Holland nobody turns up at the ADCN either. The only time when there were a lot of people at the annual meeting was when they held it in a club, with free beer. The small room in Brussels was predominantly filled with creative directors. But I think the amount of CCB-members must exceed 20, so where was the rest? And where were the junior creatives? This is their chance to meet the biggest creative directors in person.

I have to admit that going to a financial meeting wasn't exactly a trip to the fun fair, but at least I was there. Oh, and downstairs there was a nice and crowded party with -yes, the cliché is true- fries and Belgian beer. And it was for free. That sure made up for sitting on a chair looking at financial statements for an hour ;-).

Monday, February 01, 2010

2 years

Without realizing it, I've broken my record of the longest time I'm in a fulltime job. At McCann-Erickson I worked 2 years. And in the midst of January I already passed that. I once read that 2 years is actually the average time a creative works at an agency. 

I can imagine why. Agencies are changing so fast that every year is different. It's what makes advertising a very exciting, but also a uncertain place to work. Moreover, it pays off to switch jobs, both financially and status-wise. I started as an intern at Duval Guillaume because I did the Miami Ad School at that time. And no matter how many times you tell that you have 5 years of experience when you worked in Holland, people rarely see you as a full senior. 

Soon I will go to another agency. At the moment things are a bit uncertain (it's not even sure if I'll stay in Belgium) but I'm looking forward to make a fresh start again.