Thursday, April 28, 2011

More than a bus

The preparations for Queensday have started. This means that from tomorrow on, the streets of Amsterdam will be stuffed with partying, drunk people dressed in orange and there will be market stands and music everywhere.

Outside of my office they are building a small stage. Next to the stage there are two buses. The pay-off on the bus is: 'more than a bus'. So why is it more than a bus? Maybe it can fly, maybe the bus serves as a huge windshield, maybe you can transform it into a big house.

If only copywriting were always that easy. IKEA. More than a furniture store. Lemz. More than an agency.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Refreshed portfolio

Killing darlings. That's what refreshing your portfolio means. I've made a new portfolio hundreds of times. In the beginning of my career I always needed to shift papers from the plastic sleeves. Nowdays I have to make a new Powerpoint and upload it in Slideshare.

Another difference with now is that I'm more conscious about which work to leave in and which work to leave out. And which following order I have to use. Years of showing books at agencies and the portfolio quarter in Miami Ad School taught me that. But it's not easy. Your book is your creative identity. It should reflect who you are as a creative and what kind of work you stand for.

First of all, I hacked and slashed away all the one-offs that were less than excellent. A very sympathetic print ad for De Lijn and a funny TV-commercial for lollipop brand Vertigo were out. Then I looked at all the campaigns. As there are still non executed ideas in there, one of them had to go, because I've got more actual published work now. As a rule of thumb it's good to reconsider the non-profit clients, so I took out Greenpeace. The work was kind of outdated anyway. Then I put in an award winning online campaign and the IKEA case study. I changed the following order a bit and uploaded it.

Later on, I was still doubting about Shelter, a poster campaign that got a in-book nomination for the student D&AD. It's a good, simple idea, but it's non-profit and compared to the other ideas I felt that it didn't really stood out anymore. So I decided to take it out. And I swapped the order of the obituary print ad with Patrick the Extra, so the presentation starts and end with work for television.

Because I've had trouble embedding the new presentation, you can see the result here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Useless ads

If there's anything I can't stand, it's people not minding their own business. Last week I was in the tram and on the phone with my colleague Luiz. I didn't mean any harm with it. Nevertheless, a woman behind me found it necessary to say something about calling in the tram. Well, it's her good right that she gives her opinion but it's also my good right to think she's a stuck-up bitch.

Even worse than people not minding their own business, is the goverment not minding its own business. When I came from Antwerp on Sunday I saw a poster that was telling people that it's more polite to call back later if you get a phonecall in the train. Who pays for this advertising? It can't be the railway station cause there's nothing to gain from that. So my guess that it's the government wasting money on trying to impose some kind of moral standard. It's pedantic and superfluous.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


It's interesting to see how a video you posted can lead its own life on the internet. The animation Go South Africa! which I've made with director Robbert-Jan Vos became a mild viral success. And the IKEA casefilm I've uploaded a few weeks ago now got around 12.000 hits on YouTube. Which is quite exceptional for a film with commercial intention.

Of course I took the necessary steps to promote this film at all sorts of websites. But from there it started to spread in all sorts of ways. Out of control. People put it on their blogs, write comments, tweet and retweet it and subscribe on your YouTube channel (on which I rarely upload new things). I even got e-mails about the film.

It's also funny how people shamelessly copy the text of an article from a famous blog. One blogger even misinterpreted the casefilm, thinking that the campaign was only online. As if such a big and costly project would actually pay off if you only put it on the internet. That doesn't make a lot of sense! Nevertheless, a lot of bloggers mindlessly copy-pasted his incorrect article. It seems that a lot of bloggers lack imagination and can't find two minutes to write their own text.

Anyway, every publicity is good publicity. So I'm happy that it's posted through so much. So keep on going, copycats. Push that YouTube-meter to 20.000!

UPDATE: the film already has over 25.000 hits.

Friday, April 01, 2011

One year

More than a year ago I had a job interview at Lemz. I told that if I could only make two big cross media campaigns in a year, I'd already be happy. Today, I'm exactly working one year at Lemz.

Starting at a new advertising agency is always like taking a big dive into the deep. You never know if it works out with the creative directors and your new colleagues, if your style fits with the rest of the agency (or with the clients), if you manage to get your next contract, if you're happy with the briefings you get. I know a lot of people who started full of enthusiasm at a new agency and ran away screaming after only a few months. It's hard to find an agency that really fits you. Especially if you're a creative who doesn't want to do concessions.

I followed my gut feeling when choosing an agency. And I only tried at agencies which I felt were right for me at that moment. After one year I can already say that I've made the right decision to go to Lemz. I did make the two cross media campaigns that I wanted. And I still have fun going to my work every day. And the greatest thing this year was winning the IKEA pitch, which is one of my biggest acthievements ever. It wasn't always easy, but it's never always easy. And if you do something you believe in and truly give 100%, you can never go wrong.