Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why it can take a week to write one post

The wonder of Photoshop: Marton, me and the film Lion

So, I got this really cool picture from my former teampartner Marton Jedlicska. Where he photoshopped the bronze film lion in between our pictures. Because he's in San Fransisco and I am in Amsterdam, the chance that we'll ever hold this particular lion (which is still in Cannes) together is close to zero. So this is a nice substitute to celebrate our successful teamwork.

I like the picture, so I wanted to show it at the top of my post. But then I had to write something about it. At first I thought about writing about the making of the winning commercial. But during the writing I thought: I'm repeating myself, I've written this before. Besides, this blog is to describe what's happening now. What happened before is old news. Right now I'm very busy working on TV scripts for this great client IKEA. And my girlfriend came over from Antwerp to stay in Amsterdam for a few weeks. And there's a very experienced freelance copywriter whom I'm working with and from whom I learn a lot. Enough to write about.

And because all these subjects have no relevance with Marton's Photoshop collage, I left it out. But then nobody would know how it took me more than a week to make a new post. So I explain it. And because readers have no clue what the picture looks like, I put it back again. And yes, this whole process took me an entire week. Conclusion: a vacation would be nice.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


You can't hide where you're coming from my man,
so kick your ol' shit back in Amsterdam

This quote from Osdorp Posse suddenly feels very relevant to me. I'm only back in Amsterdam since April, but I'm already seriously kicking ass here. Probably everybody in Dutch advertising heard about it, but Lemz just won a big pitch. I was strongly adviced not to publish anything about it, but the news is already here and here on the internet, so it would be a bit silly not to share it with the rest of the world.

And yes, I was in the team that was responsible for this tremendous success. Because it was a team. I had to leave Duval Guillaume because I missed a permanent art-director. At Lemz, I have the impression, I didn't only get a teampartner, I got an entire team. And the team I worked with these last few weeks proved to be as strong as the Dutch soccer team. The only difference is that we did win the final.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


When I was a junior copywriter, working at McCann in Amstelveen, one of the creatives already told me that about 50% of the work that goes to a presentation ends up in the trashbin. I think that was even quite optimistic. In advertising you do a lot of work for nothing.

Or so it seems. Cause if you think about that in advance, it's not very motivating. And the thought of not producing the ideas you make might end up in a self fulfilling prophecy. The only way to motivate yourself to keep on producing new ideas, to keep on making mistakes, to keep on passionately making presentations, is the fact that at least afterwards you can say: no matter what happens, I gave it all.

We've had another one of those weeks with an endless workload. Now it's finally over and the concept is presented. Was it worth all the effort, endless discussions and sleepless nights? Definitely. Because regardless of whether the client takes the idea or not, we learned one thing: that by working together you can push yourself to such limits that the outcome is nothing less than brilliant. No matter what happens, we gave it all.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Paul the PR octopus

Paul the octopus doing his predicting

One of the best publicity stunts of this world championship soccer is not even made by an agency: Paul the predicting octopus. This phenomenon will certainly draw more people to Sea Life in Oberhausen than any ad campaign can ever do. This oracle octopus predicted all the matches that Germany played right, even their loss in the half final.

Today he predicted that Spain will win against Holland in the finals. Nonsense of course. But even if he's going to be wrong, the publicity stunt is already spot on.

UPDATE: Damn, the little bugger was right.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Finally busy

Last week was the busiest week I've had in years. Because we've been put on a special project, the general manager of Lemz thought it was a good idea to show up at work at 8 o'clock in the morning instead of nine. And Monday I worked until 1.00 in the night. I took the last ferry boat, which was loaded with drunk girls from a nearby theatre festival.

The quiet times are over and I like it. I like the tension that comes with the responsibility you get. I like working together with a team of professionals who all have their own specialisation. Together we managed to create a campaign that is solid as a rock. Yesterday, after the presentation I still couldn't get a normal sleep because the Dutch team won from Uruguay and there was a big party in Amsterdam. And I'm not exactly the one who's sensible enough to skip the party and crawl in my bed early.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A different lion

My happy (and drunk) colleagues after the victory of Holland

I've never been a big fan of soccer. Any sport where people start rolling on the ground in agony after a lowkick seems kind of lame to me. But I do like a good party. And the good thing about the world championship soccer is that people watch it in the pub. And the excitement there, contaminates even a soccer hater like me.

Yesterday Lemz closed earlier so that everybody could see the match of Holland-Brazil in the pub. It's a pity for my Brazillian teammate Luiz, but Holland was victorious. The lion seems stronger than ever.

Talking about competitions: because Holland is about as small as Belgium, it's only natural that the Dutch advertising industry compares their amount of Cannes Lions with that of our neighbour country. And Belgium has won again. Holland has won 16 lions and Belgium has won 17 lions. So the irony is, that in a way I am responsible for the one lion that gave Belgium the advantage ;-).