Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A familiar face

Monday I came from the ferry (yes I go to work by a boat, how Dutch can it get?). At the platform I was flabbergasted to see a former schoolmate of mine: Dirk Geleijsteen. He's the third dutchman who graduated at the Miami Ad School Europe (I am number 4). It was surprising because I thought he still worked at Jung von Matt in Germany. We couldn't talk for a long time because his boat was leaving, but it was a nice but short meeting and Dirk is apparently working for a coffee store now. He's never ceases to surprise me with his creative career switches.

And yesterday I also met Celeste, another Dutch MASE-graduate (number 6). She visited the school when I was in my last quarter and for the rest I saw her at a few quarter ending parties in Hamburg. All MASE-graduates have a lot in common so one hour was way too short. In between sipping glasses of red wine she told me she's working in a brand new agency called Screw the line. Never heard of it, but what a great name for an agency.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wanted: art-director

After half a year of succesful working with my art-director Luiz Risi, the teamwork has come to an end. This time it has little to do with the quality of the teamwork, but rather with the simple fact that the IKEA account is too Dutch. I love working with foreign talents and especially with a Brazillian art-director with a list of awards that covers at least half of his resume. But a Dutch shooting is just too difficult for somebody who doesn't speak Dutch. And considering we're shooting commercials with the speed of a machine gun, there was no other option then to split up.

Luckily, Luiz will stay at Lemz. So he'll keep on surprising us with awesome artwork. He's just not working for IKEA anymore. But this means I'm going to look for a new art-director. And this time he or she needs to be Dutch (or Flemish of course). Preferably with a lot of experience with television and with award winning work. In the meantime I have dozens of new scripts to write. This time without an art-director who can warn me for the most awful ideas that spawn from my mind. But I have a special technique to cover up for that. It's called: write so many scripts that it's statistically impossible to make something bad. Always works.

Friday, September 17, 2010

IKEA, now with subtitles!

TV commercial Handcrafted

Because I've finally managed to put subtitles under commercials, it's going to be easier for me to share my new commercials immediately. Above you can see the result. It's one of the commercials as part of a campaign where we broadcast a new commercial every day. Every week I want to publish a different commercial on this blog. Sunday I'm going to have a shooting for another 15 commercials so there'll be more than enough to choose from.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Robin in IKEA land

Even the streetnames are branded here

It's a bit late to write about the subject, but last week I've been to Älmhult, Sweden. Together with the clients of IKEA we went to the village where the first IKEA store started. And we stayed in the IKEA hotel. Now guess what kind of furniture they have in there...

Remarkable about Älmhult is that everything is IKEA there. Not only the store, but also the IKEA museum, the Concept Shop, the prototype factory, the studio and the main office is there (just to mention a few things). Not less than 80% of the inhabitants of this little town is working for IKEA. I felt like I was in IKEA-Disneyland.

You learn so much about the furniture brand, that it's almost brainwashing. After the trip, I realized that this is the first time in my career that I get to know a client so well. In most agencies the deadlines are so strict that there's simply no time to go to the factory or to do an elaborate study. After all, with all the internet-access you have all the information you need for an assignment at your fingertips. But this doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing. You lose touch with the core of a brand when you only see it in browserpages.

If every client would give creatives a chance to get to know them in the way that IKEA does, there would be a lot less misunderstanding. And better work will come of it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Slime your class

The TV commercial for Nickelodeon

It looks like the campaigns are rolling off a conveyor belt now, but my latest campaign was actually my first assigment at Lemz. Which means that this competition for Nickelodeon took me almost half a year to make. In the Slime Your Class-campaign you can win getting slimed with your entire class on TV. Besides a TV-commercial, there's a print ad, an ambient campaign and a special promotional website.

This Slime-thing has a history with Nickelodeon. In the U.S. celebrities already get 'slimed' during the Kid's choice award. The winner gets slimed, so (believe it or not) it's actually an honour to be covered with the icky green substance.

In Holland the sliming is not very known yet. But that will change very soon. Until now, almost 2500 classes and more than 20.000 students have uploaded their class on the special page on Hyves (which is the Dutch version of Facebook). Here you can place your profile picture in a class picture. Afterwards you can see a moving version of that class in the gallery. If you have a Hyves account, you can see the site here.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Raving and shooting

Big costume party at Valtifest

"I wonder when I'm adult enough to stop enjoying this music", I was thinking while I was looking at Aux Raus, a 170 BPM hardcore electro-punk band where you're very likely to get beer or crowdsurfing people on your head. I guess I was born to love chaos and noise. This Saturday I went to Valtifest, a festival where they celebrate the end of the festival season with a big blast.

The fun part about Valtifest is that there is a dresscode. This year the dresscode was: religion. I've never seen so many priests, nuns, jewish, muslims, greek gods, roman gods, angels, devils and jesusses dancing and partying together. Dressing up for parties seems to be back. Even the gothic parties, where the dresscode is quite eccentric and dark, seems to gain popularity.

Trend or no trend, I just had a great day with nothing but good craziness. And I was back in time to get some necessary sleep. Because today I got up at 5 o'clock to go to a shooting for IKEA. I'm usually home around that time on Sunday morning but this morning I was in a taxi on my way to my colleagues. And after a long day, the second half of the commercials for the month September is finished. What a beautiful mix of partying and working this weekend was. Need sleep.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Launch of the IKEA campaign

The very first IKEA commercial (in Dutch)

Today is the start of my new IKEA campaign. The first commercial is broadcasted and many more will follow. Every day there's going to be a new commercial. For the English speakers: in the commercial above the girl says she wants something new. On which the employee replies: "Oh you're lucky, because this here is new, this is new and me, I am new as well". This is to promote the 1000 new products of IKEA.

If you have comments on this commercial, let me know. I'm continuously working on new scripts. In fact, I'm writing new scripts for October already. And, just like IKEA, I'm constantly trying to improve the quality of my work. Every day different, every day better.