Thursday, December 29, 2011


Saying goodbye to Jeffrey, the guy who presents the movie evening at the Nieuwe Anita. Saying goodbye to Marcos, my Brazillian Jiu Jitsu teacher who helped me improve my fighting skills even more. Saying goodbye to my colleagues from Lemz. Saying goodbye to Luiz, the art-director with whom I continuously struggled to make the best work possible. Saying goodbye to my friends. Saying goodbye to my sister and my parents in Alkmaar...

Of course I'm not going to travel to the other side of the planet. But some people I'm not going to see for a long time and that's always hard. But I kind of got used to saying goodbye now. It's getting easier all the time. And tomorrow it's goodbye Amsterdam. I've had a great time in this awesome city. Tomorrow a moving company will bring me to Hamburg, where I'll work for Jung von Matt in the new year.

Saying goodbye is hard, but it's necessary to leave things behind in order to get new experiences. That's why I've decided, after 6 years, to say goodbye to this blog. Instead, I've made an account on Twitter and I'll start with it the 2nd of January, when I start at my new agency Jung von Matt. My Twitter-name is @robinstamcopy. Feel free to subscribe. Or add me on Facebook. I wish everybody a happy new year and lots of positive changes for 2012.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Visiting Hamburg

It's been half a year since I last visited Hamburg. But when you walk there knowing that you're going to live there again, you look at it in a different way. I had this funny feeling that I was walking in a trusted environment. A place that I already know. I was reading a book in the tram, as if I've lived there for years. Cause I know that in less than a month Hamburg will be my hometown again.

I'm in Hamburg since Saturday. I got the keys to my new apartment and I've met my new art-director Eric van den Hoonaard, with whom I'm going to spend lots of hours concepting when I start working at JvM. On top of that, I've met up with all the friends that stayed in Hamburg since they gradutated Miami Ad School. And yesterday I even had a drink with Armando Bertolini, who's now living in Berlin but who's visiting Hamburg for a week.

These last few days were a small snippet of how my daily life in Hamburg is going to be. And it's nothing new to me. Except for one thing...when I walked in Jung von Matt to meet my new creative directors, I could already feel that this is where the adventure will start. Yes, I've had classes at Jung von Matt before, but working there and proving that you're worth the salary that you get, is a whole different ballgame.

My good friend Salvatore told me this week that creatives should always go for the agency, regardless of the city that the agency is in. I think he's right. I'm leaving a beautiful city where I have a lot of friends (Amsterdam) to go to another beautiful city where I have a lot of friends (Hamburg). In my mind, it doesn't feel like a big change. But I'm pretty sure the agency is going to make all the difference.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Goodbye Lemz

Me toasting with creative director Remco

It's kind of a tradition for creatives on their last day to take all sorts of useful stuff from the agency: yearbooks that were lying around anyway, a tape dispenser, pens, USB-sticks, markers, an award that you won but nobody would find out if it were missing, marker. It's the last chance to take stuff in a way that doesn't really look like stealing. But because I have to put all my possesions in moving boxes that will go to Hamburg at the end of December, I didn't really feel the need to have any more stuff.

Wednesday it was my last day and I got the best two goodbye gifts ever. In the afternoon we heard that Lemz won 4 Epica awards and the IKEA 365 campaign was good for silver. This epic amount of Epica's put Lemz on the second place of Holland at that festival (Wieden & Kennedy was first). And in the evening, we heard that IKEA 365 won another silver, this time at the Eurobest festival. Finally recognition for a campaign that cost us blood, sweat and tears (and I mean that literally).

These last days I realized even more than I already did that I'm leaving a great agency with wonderful people. But this can't make me regret my decision. It only confirms me that I got the most out of my time at Lemz. My decision to go to Jung von Matt was not a rational one. I have the feeling that I should be there. I follow my heart, and somehow it leads me back to Hamburg.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The end of charity

You never know what the outcome of a campaign is going to be. Creative work only is not a guarantee for success. It helps, but anything can still happen. The distribution of the products, the prize, the PR around the brand, trends, the salesmen and unforeseen influences can make or break the success of a campaign. For our Samsung/Pink Ribbon campaign, we had the bad luck that the phone wasn't in the store at the beginning of the campaign and thereby it lacked the kickstart that was so thoroughly planned with good PR-moments.

But now another unforeseen event threatens the course of the campaign. Recently, there's a lot of bad publicity around the anti-cancer organisation Pink Ribbon. The organisation mainly gets their money from sponsored initiatives by consumers and companies. All sorts of Pink Ribbon products are on the market. And only a small percentage of these revenues actually ends up at the charity organisation. Action groups are against this form of selling, saying that companies make use of the good name of Pink Ribbon and only sponsor it to make more money.

I think that you cannot blame an organisation like Pink Ribbon for this. They could have controlled the tidal wave of pink products a bit more, but they just see it as a smart way to get the hardly needed money for cancer research. Because how else are you going to get money? Nowadays, asking people nicely to donate isn't working anymore. Charities need to do something extra. That's why these annoying students walk around with a ringbinder at the stations to talk people into giving their bank account number. That's pure hard selling. Another way is to give something extra to people in return. A nice gift in trade for your donation; a magazine in trade for your membership.

But the most money is in the hands of the big corporations right now. If part of their revenue goes to charity and everybody is getting better from it, why not? In the case of the Pink Ribbon campaign: the counter is now on €100.000,- for the Pink Ribbon foundation, there's a lot of extra publicity to bring breast cancer under the attention of a broad audience, Samsung sells more phones and women are happy to have a nicely designed pink smartphone. I can't think of anything wrong with that. I think some people just can't accept that giving to charity is not an unconditional thing anymore.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last days

Last days are always strange. My last days at McCann-Erickson were incredibly boring because they refused to give us any work for about half a year. My last days at Duval Guillaume was killing because they put my to work until the last minute.

My last days at Lemz are a bit in between. I actually enjoy every minute of it now that I'm still here. Yesterday the magnificent view over the river was blurred by a thick fog, which made all the passing ships look like huge moving shadows. Today it was sunny again. The windows at Lemz are like a TV screen with a different program every day.

Less exciting is the work I have to do lately. It's not very busy and I'm just finishing the execution of a small campaign. And sometimes I get a small copy assigment. So I usually stop working before 6 o'clock, so I can go to Jiu Jitsu or watch a movie. The clock is ticking. Just 5 working days to go...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tomorrow Awards

Do we really need another award show? In a time when the amount of Cannes Lion categories grow every year, when some agencies win 30 Clio's a year, when you even win awards you never heard of, it seems that the last thing the business needs is another award show.

So when my creative director Peter wanted to send in for the Tomorrow Awards, I was a bit sceptic. Until I looked at their website. The winners are among the most innovative campaigns that already won a lot of Cannes Lions. The most prominent agencies in the world send in for it. And if you look further you see that this award is actually something new. There are no categories. And the shortlist is decided by public judges first (everybody with an interest for advertising can subscribe) and after that by the experts (so called monster judges). Even the award itself is interesting: it's made with a 3D printer. And there are only five winners every half a year. This is an award you really want to win.

That's why I was really happy to hear that the IKEA 365 campaign was on the shortlist. And another campaign of Lemz, the KLM Live Twitter, was nominated as well. This small Amsterdam agency was there with two entries among agencies like CP&B, BBH and AKQA. Yesterday I went to the award show. And for the first time I didn't have the feeling that I was watching a marathon of people running to the stage. It was presented in an entertaining and engaging way, there were interesting speakers and the level of the winners was so high, that I wasn't even disappointed that I wasn't one of the lucky ones that could go on stage.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NUON Bad service

I'm typing this blog at home with cold fingers. For already two weeks my heater is broken and I'm waiting for the repairman to fix this problem. It was already a hell to get this appointment. My landlord is insured at energy company NUON for failure of the heater and the repair company (Veenstra Warmte Totaal) tried every trick in the book to make sure that they don't have to visit my house. Yesterday I exaggerated by saying I'm in the house with my coat, that the boiler is giving all sorts of numbers and that something needs to happen before it gets colder.

Now I'm waiting for already five hours and nobody came. Twice, I had to call a number that costs 1 euro 50 a minute and all they say is that the repairman is on his way. How can a responsible energy company like NUON and Veenstra do this to its clients? Bad service is the surest way to kill all brand sympathy.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Half a year ago, I was talking about the indifference of people concerning societal and political issues. And that people don't have a lot to complain nowadays. A eurocrisis later, things have already changed. The occupy movement is now demonstrating in New York, London and Amsterdam. That's how fast things can change.

This movement actually comes from a group called Adbusters, a movement that started off with practical jokes in which they mess up billboards. But this movement is now operating on a more profound level, thinking of creative ways to spread their message worldwide. The goal of the occupy movement is to demonstrate against the greed of banks and other financial institutes.

Now I happen to be in favour of corporate greed, because this is exactly what keeps our society and economy sharp. We cannot expect that everybody gets the same because people in general are just not willing to go the extra mile if they don't get anything extra. Nevertheless, I think it's good that these demonstrations are there. It's important to raise discussion. In order to develop, a society, economy and politics must constantly question their beliefs. And steer in a new direction if necessary.

This weekend I was in my city of birth Alkmaar. There's also an Occupy Alkmaar movement with three tents standing on a square in front of the church. I don't know if that's going to help a lot, but I like the devotion of these pioneers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creative clients

Nowadays there's a trend for clients to (partly) make their own advertising. Some clients hire creatives to directly work for them. And some clients save costs by doing certain things in-house. Advertisers nowadays even talk about that this might be the 'future of advertising'.

One client at our agency executes their radiocommercials itself. We just need to write them and they do the rest. Yesterday I worked for a client who made a photograph itself. The photograph was horrible, even though it was made by a professional photographer. It was totally worthless to an extend that even the best Photoshop couldn't save it anymore.

One of my teachers from a concept course used to say "imagination is a muscle". Just like muscles, you need to keep on training your imagination. This means that a client, who makes creative work on the side can never be as good as an agency that is constantly busy making creative stuff. A creative cell that works directly within a company, that could work. But only if you hire top creatives who get the chance to work without interruption on creative assignments and get total freedom to make quality work. Google is a good example of a company understands what creativity is about. Almost all of the others will be better off to leave the creativity to the experts.

Well, history is repeating itself. About 10 years ago advertisers also thought they could do their own advertising. Most of these 'pioneers' of in-house advertising now hired an agency again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jung von Matt

It's been a while since my last post. That's because lately, I've had a lot of things on my mind. I'm busy working on my own website, which will be produced soon. And what's more: there's going to be a big change in my career.

It started a few months ago, when I got an e-mail from Romy, one of the recruiters. She asked me whether I'd be interested to work at Jung von Matt Hamburg. I told her that I was satisfied at my current agency, but that she can send through my work. And that if the creative directors are interested, I'm always willing to talk.

In the meantime I've been thinking a lot about working at my current agency Lemz. The first year it was great when I worked on the IKEA 365 campaign. It was a lot of work, but at least I had a consistent working flow and I learned a lot from all the shootings. But now that I'm working for different clients, I've noticed that the agency has a way of working that restrict me from making the work I really want and how I really want it. But if you look at the agency as a whole, they're still making very creative work here and client-wise they're doing very good. The thing is, that they will continue to do so and if I'm honest they don't need me for that.

And when I got an offer from one of the best agencies in the world, it set me to think. I would feel better in an environment where there are a lot of international creatives. With creative directors who are just as award hungry as I am. And what's important as well: my best friends from the Miami Ad School, Salvatore and Andres, are going to be my colleagues.

It's official now. Yesterday I sent the contract: from the 2nd of January I will work at Jung von Matt Hamburg.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pink Ribbon

Actor Barry Atsma covered with packages

Finally, a new campaign is out. This time it's for Samsung/KPN/Pink Ribbon. Yes, three clients at the same time. Needless to say, that's asking for trouble. And it wasn't an easy project at all. But Luiz and I did all we could to make this project a success.

Pink Ribbon is an organisation that fights against breast cancer. Every year, they work together with Samsung and mobile phone provider KNP to release a Pink Ribbon-phone. This is a special edition smartphone with a pink cover. And of each phone sold, 10 euro will go to Pink Ribbon.

We let a famous actor be the face of the campaign. Barry Atsma is a Dutch actor who played in many films that are popular by women, one of them was a movie about cancer. In press releases and on television, we announced that Barry Atsma is going to get naked for Pink Ribbon. On the website, the actor is covered by packages and if you buy a phone, you can take away a package. If all goes well, the nude picture will be visible for everybody to see. And a lot of money will go to a good cause. You can see the campaign here.

Unfortunately, due to a logistic problem, the phones are not in the store yet. It will be released this week, but it's a week after the campaign started. It's unbelievable that we put all this effort in a campaign and somebody else fucks it up, which cost them a lot of potential clients. But the effect will probably be good anyway. The campaign almost got 3000 likes (which stands for an amount of wall posts that approximately half a million people will see) and the amount of PR around the nude picture is enormous. Let's wait and see.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Great video by Remi Gaillard

It seems that very popular destinations nowadays are Indonesia, Thailand or Ibiza. Now I've never been to any of these destinations, but I don't think those would be vacations for me. I'd rather scatter my vacation days and go for long weekends to interesting cities and enjoy the nightlife. I like to mee the people like they are for real. Not the people who are polite because you're a tourist with money.

And because I know a lot of people from the Miami Ad School, I have quite a good network with people from abroad where I can stay. This weekend I went to Warschau, Poland to meet my former teampartner Yigit. The last time I've seeen Yigit was three years ago when I said goodbye to him in Cinema Nova Brussels.

This weekend it was as if nothing had changed (except for the location of course, which was Warschau instead of Brussels so it's a big improvement). We went partying like we always did and came home at 7.30 in the morning on both Friday and Saturday. Being in a city where you don't understand one single word of what people are saying, was kind of strange to me. But it was also very interesting.

And the drinking culture that everybody thinks that Polish people have,'s completely true. On Friday, before we went to all sorts of clubs, we passed a bar that I could only describe as the 'MacDonalds of alcohol'. It was a round bar at a corner, full of people. And it was totally stuffed with people who ordered drinks. There was nothing else to do there. No dancing, no talking, just ordering your wodka or beer and drink it.

As if Warschau wasn't interesting enough already, Yigit told me about an incredible amount of movies, bands and DJ's that I certainly need to check. One of the things he told me about was a French guy called Remi Gaillard, who does all sorts of Jackass stuff and puts it on the internet (see the funny video above). It was a rich, inspiring, but exhausting weekend. Relaxing vacations on the beach are not for me I guess.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Visiting old colleagues

Yes, the writing for this blog is scarce nowadays. The reason is that I'm working on a different personal project that involves a lot of writing. I'm going to make my own website and yesterday I spoke to former Young Dogs-colleague Edward Tetteroo about the execution of the project. I can't tell anything about it yet, but it's going to be something exciting.

Talking about former colleagues: tomorrow I'm going to visit my former art-director Yigit Unan. After he left Duval Guillaume, he went to Warshaw, Poland to work for an agency called Brain. Here he won a Young Gun Award together with his art-director Ania. Now he works at Leo Burnett. I'll be in Poland around lunchtime and I will visit Yigit's new agency in the afternoon.

I guess I've never been a type to go to a sunny island for three weeks. A long weekend in a strange place is more interesting and usually gives me all the divertissement that I need in a vacation.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Vacation in Amsterdam

Not only I was on vacation, but my blog was on vacation as well. It's good not to think about work anymore during two and a half weeks. After a great, but exhausting Lowlands festival, my good friend Hermanno came from Italy together with his girlfriend Stefania. I tried to show them all the interesting places where tourists usually don't come. I took them everything that can be defined as alternative, cult or underground.

But when I did that, I noticed how saturated Amsterdam is with tourists. Even in Maloe Meloe, an obscure blues-bar where there's live music every night, we saw a poster that said 'tonight Italian bands.' And the place was full of Italians. What are the odds? Wherever you go, you hear other languages than Dutch. And that is actually interesting about Amsterdam.

While keeping my Italian friends company, I also saw the city from a more touristic side. I went to the Van Gogh museum and took a trip on the Canal boats. This also gives you a new perspective on the city that you usually don't get. You discover that there's a brewery in a windmill, you discover new facts about the houseboats in the city and you hear about a beer bar where they serve 20 Dutch beers on draft.

It was an interesting and relaxing vacation. This doesn't mean that I'll never go abroad anymore, because next week I planned a weekend to Warshaw to see my former teammate Yigit Unan.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


In every profession you have to make choices. Are you going to make more money, but make less good work or would you rather invest in an agency where you can be totally creative? How much of your spare time are you going to sacrifice for your career? What if your ambition affects your health?

The best is to find a satisfying balance. Since I've been working at Lemz, almost 1,5 years ago, things have been quite easy going compared to Duval Guillaume. I can go home quite early, I don't have to work over a lot and there's not a lot of pressure. And I have nothing to complain with regards to the work I'm making. Lately, things aren't going like I want to (difficult briefs, clients who are fucking things up. Well, all creatives have to plough through the bad times). But overall, things are going in the right direction. And I can even have a private life. Every Monday I'm going to the Nieuwe Anita to watch a cult movie. If a friend calls me to have a drink, most of the time it's possible. And because I don't have to commute, I have more time to sleep in the morning. I didn't really have a lot of vacation since I work at Lemz, because a normal working week feels like vacation to me.

Still, I was a bit exhausted the last few weeks. It's been exactly more than 2 years ago since I took more than one week off. And very slowly I start to notice that. Today, my 2,5 weeks of vacation officially started. And I'm going to start my vacation at the Lowlands festival, where one of the artists is the electronica emperor Aphex Twin. After this blasting start, I will just spend two weeks in Amsterdam. I love my work, but it can't hurt to forget about work for a few weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Singing in the Rain

No, I'm not like most Dutch people who complain about the weather all the time. I knew, that as soon as I cross the border I'd have to deal with a lot of rain. So I knew what I was getting into when I moved back from Belgium to Holland. Who cares if summer has been exchanged for autumn. More time to spend partying in clubs.

But what I do mind is that these dark clouds have been terrorizing Pluk de Nacht, the coolest filmfestival of Amsterdam. This festival is organised by movie enthusiasts, and they ask no entrance. They depend on donations of the audience and sales of drinks. And they play independent movies that didn't get the attention they deserved in Holland. The problem is: it's in the open air. And it has been non-stop raining since the opening night on Thursday.

On the opening night last Thursday I was watching a German movie (Ueber Uns Das All) in a beach chair and every once in a while I had to open my umbrella because of the rain. It didn't matter to me because the movie was very good.

In trade for a donation, one can reserve a beach chair. So I gambled a bit and reserved chairs on Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday the weather was impossible. Let's hope it's going to be better tomorrow. And otherwise I'll stay in a warm pub with a cold beer, watching the rain outside, knowing that my ten euro goes straight to a good cause.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Yes, today is my birthday. And this reminds me that I'm already writing a considerable time for this blog, because I remember the day when I became 30, another milestone, as if it was yesterday. I was in the Miami Ad School typing on my old laptop at that time. And when I look back at that post, I haven't really changed a lot.

Of course, a lot has happened since that time. I was an ambitious student, who went back to school to make his comeback in advertising. I can truly say that all my expectations came out. I've worked at two great agencies since then, made the work that I wanted to and I won the awards that I wanted to. I haven't been sitting still in that time. And that's a good feeling.

If my past is representative for my future, I'm looking forward to another five years that will be extremely exciting.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Urgent Genius

If you're working in a cross media agency like Lemz, concepting goes a bit faster. You don't have the entire week to come up with a print campaign. If you're working with big campaigns like the ones they make here, you have to think fast and to act fast. You cannot give all the seperate elements in a campaign the attention it needs, but it does force you to think fast and to put all the media in service of one central idea.

It's a more modern approach to making advertising. Somebody who truly understands the value of this principle is Grant Hunter, creative director from Iris Worldwide. He is busy making a book about 'Urgent Genius', which is a theory about a new way of making advertising. It's about real time creativity. Not only reacting fast to topical events, but also about being instantly creative at the right moment. And there's a place reserved for the IKEA 365 campaign in the book as well. You can see many examples of the theory here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


A quite unusual commercial made for Ford

I'm getting quite sick of clients trying to rationalize advertising. With the precision of a mathematician they're trying to figure out what is the best way to communicate their brand. In the end there's no room for experimenting anymore. And the communication totally lacks passion.

Luckily, there are still a lot of agencies who understand what how to make advertising entertaining. Ogilvy Paris made a commercial for Ford and the more I think about it, the better I think it is. If you rationalize it, this car has absolutely nothing to do with dogs. Still, the dogs are in there, just because it's fun.

Furthermore, this commercial takes two minutes, but to explain the idea (the dog parking the car) you can also do it in 15 seconds. Instead, the creatives have broken the common rules of advertising and made an entire dogshow of the commercial. The reason why? There is no reason why. It's just fun! And the amount of hits prove that the commercial works: 1.686.670. Breaking the rules pays off.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Yes, my blog is still alive. I've been doing it for more than 5 years now and the trick is to post something on it on a regular basis. And posting something -anything- is not that difficult. It just takes 15 minutes of concentration to translate your thoughts and experiences into an entertaining set of words.

But sometimes you just don't think of writing something. Or you just don't feel like it. And when it takes longer, you've experienced so many things and you've been inspired so much, that you don't know where to start. It's impossible to fill the gap in the blog of these last few weeks. I've just had too much inspiration. Too much to talk about. Exhibitions at the Rietveld art academy, unique cinema shows, spontaneously meeting my cousin after more than 10 years, going to good parties, doing a French course, planning a new short film with director Robbert-Jan Vos, working at Lemz and a crazy weekend where I ended up walking alone at a beachparty in Belgium without knowing anyone.

These were interesting weeks but impossible to tell in one blog post. And because you feel obliged to write about about everything, you get the feeling that the longer you wait, the more difficult it gets to make a post again. So I just start with this very general article. To reanimate my blog again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bad week - good week

Every creative has its ups and downs at an agency. If you're truly devoted to the work you're making, some weeks could be a disaster. There's a spelling mistake in a published ad, you're having a big argument with the account people, a campaign is totally smashed on Ads of the World, the client kills a great idea; those things can all contribute to a bad mood. At some moments you even feel like quitting advertising as a whole and become a bus driver or something.

This week started off bad, when I've heard that the IKEA campaign - a campaign that took me the entire year to make - didn't even get shortlisted in Cannes. Although this campaign doesn't need recognition to impress people, it's still a bad way to start the week. But today, I had a presentation for a cheese brand for an awesome cross media campaign and the client agreed on making it. Finally, all of the work is worth it again, all your colleagues you used to argue with are great again and you feel like you've chosen the right profession again. Ah, least it's never boring.

Congratulations to former Miami Ad School students Siavosh Zabeti, Alexander Kalchev, Rodrigo Linhares and Till Diestel for totally rocking at Cannes. For some reason this year I got a lot of deja vu's when I saw the list of winners (the Rolling Stone copy ad seem to have copied itself). But at least my former schoolmates kept the honour of Miami Ad School high by winning with very innovative stuff.