Friday, June 29

At the studio (again).

Haven't been at the studio for...days. So it was time to go back and do some work. When my mum is on the telly she sometimes asks: "So what are you doing there all day?" Well mum, I am doing stuff like that: No, honestly we were finishing a commercial with some nice people. Christian (the man on the mic), who is working for Bakery Films as a production assistant and Svenno (the man on the desk) from Tonhaus. Nice people, nice day. Though it was long. Client was there, too.

Tuesday, June 26

The bronze and the sad.

So, some nice things were happening over the past weeks. And one bad. Let's start with the nice ones to celebrate the bad one at the end. Well, for weeks we weren't allowed to talk about it, when we were, we simply forgot. Because something even more exciting happened, something so exciting that we forgot to tell, as well. The forbidden topic was that Nina and me won a so called bronze world medal at the New York Festivals what is really nice. But what's even nicer and slightly outperformed this award formerly known as "the thing I am not allowed to talk about" was a bronze lion we were awarded at the Cannes Advertising Festival. Nice, isn't it? For one night, though we were not able to go to Cannes, we were the happiest people in our office. Until next morning and the fact that clients care about ROI and give a shit about Cannes. Okay, most clients of us. Most clients of us except the brilliant people at Google for who we have done the work that won both bronze thingies. And here is the short documentation of the work.

The words in the Google Video search, just in case you can't read them, are: a crowd of tourists, people waiting, changing traffic lights, busy airfield, people eating fast food, people getting into cabs, people going up and down and people crossing the street. Okay. Happiness. Now the sad part of this post. Last friday was the really, really last day of my little Nina as an employee of our agency. From July she will live in London, looking for whatever full-time or freelance job can pay her rent and food. Erm, I mean, whatever graphic-design-ish, art-direction-ish or idea-have-ish job that can help her pay that stuff. You can get in contact with her and see some stuff she has done by clicking on this picture puzzle:
If you don't like picture puzzles you can click here:
As always, a farewell will mean words of warmness and a lot of people standing together in the hallway, drinking free alcohol before 6 pm, chatting loud over even louder music and pretending they are not near crying like a baby. Well the last one regards mainly me. So from now on I will be sitting in our office starring at the empty place that used to be Nina's desk dreaming of the good ol' times. Times when we were looking stupid on pictures while posing with our NoHoHon or a small furry thing called Filou. Goodbye little Nina. You may be too small to be big, but you're not too small to be great. So if you are working at a design, arty farty or advertising agency, that is nice and like people who are nice, for god's sake get Nina into your rooms and hire her. Or, even better, the both of us. Be kind and drop her an email here:

Friday, June 22

Damocles is a 10k.

I don't know why, but it happened. In a moment of total overestimation of my own capabilities I said "yes" when Elena asked me, if I would join the agency's team for the yearly 10k run around the Alster (a lake right in the middle of Hamburg). Hello brain? Anybody at home up there? Did I forgot that I only have about 2 months training time left and Nike+ friendly reminded me that my current running capability is this? Right now I just can hope that Elena did not lie when she said, she's not a runner as well. And the only thing left as well is run, run and run. In the hope I am not the last bloody fool to arrive at the finish line. Well, cross your fingers that on the 9th of September Mr. "Yeah, I started running two weeks ago but 10k won't be a problem, haha" will be prepared enough to do this. Why I couldn't have kept my mouth close?

Thursday, June 21

Being art.

So what did you do last weekend? Watched football? Went shopping? Re-sorted your record collection by year and in alphabetical order? Hosted a big summer starting barbeque? Worked in the garden? Washed your car? Well, last weekend I was art. Only for one minute, but I was. Because my lovely girlfriend, my old creative whatever-head, his lovely wife and the little output of their love, called Lenny, went to the Erwin Wurm Exhibition at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg. In the middle of the hall Mr. Wurm put some stuff to get involved with while being photographed. It's a thing called "One minute sculptures". Here you can see one of the objects: We joined and had some fun. And furthermore had our three minutes of being art objects: One Minute Sofa. One Minute Sofa Group.
One Minute Conception of the Divine. If you are near or think about going to Hamburg, go and see the exhibition. It's really great. My favourite Erwin Wurm piece of work is this one. I think it's called something like "The man who ate the world and the man who ate the world when it still was a disc". Great. In the background of the picture you can see another instalation, the fat house. Though I think the most widely known piece of work he did is a music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers which basically is a video of the band doing some "One minute scultptures" with really ordinary objects. Again, visit the exhibition. And if you don't have the chance to come to Hamburg at least visit the website of Erwin Wurm where you can see some pieces of his work. Some beautiful pieces like the ones below. Thanks for your interest.
Legal Disclaimer: No, Lenny did not drink from the toilet cleaner bottle.

Thursday, June 14

The appointment and the silence.

In case you were wondering why since weeks nothing has happened on my other blog "This is getting scary" it's because after Neil's post on the blog of Wieden+Kennedy some days passed by and then an appointment at Wieden+Kennedy in London was made. HOORAY! For the end of July. Enough time to polish the portfolio and stuff. Hope they are nice. Anyway here and on the other blog I will keep everyone updated who's interested. And if you would like to meet me in London for a pint, coffee, talk or to show the pictures of your last holiday, just give me a shout. I will be there for some days and would be happy to meet some nice. So Seb will be in London. Hope to see some of you. And sorry for the visual pun.

Wednesday, June 13

APSotW calls for Hummer action.

Unfortunately I did not have the time to do Rob's brilliant task properly. But because I was one of the loudest screaming "YEAH!" or "HOORAY!" or "YOU'RE A FUCKING GENIUS, ROB!" deep inside of me grew the bloody plant of bad conscience. That's why I sat down yesterday night after work for four hours and put together my solution. It could briefly be described with the following picture:
Unfortunately it's done very rough and is more of an advertising solution than a core strategic idea. But I think it's worth a look. Though I've done it only for Rob, because I did not want to let him down with his first APSotW-thing, nonetheless the bloody bastard apparently wants to send it to his judging partners. That's why I changed my mind and wrote this post. To let everybody on the whole world wide web know about it and maybe support me, ha. So if you maybe are interested in the stuff I wrote, you can find it on this blog: The Most Hated In The World


A new year.

Last sunday was my birthday. I turned one year older and though twentysix is the most boring age in the world it was a really nice and laid back come together, sit together on sofas, drink and smoke together on sofas and celebrate this day on sofas. Open air. Outside a cozy bar. Brilliant. Thanks to the lovely people who were there.
While thinking about getting older, an idea came to my mind that I set myself new things I want to try or do during this new year. Three of them I will post today. Before, I want to show you a brilliant new commercial for Nike by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam. For me this is my commercial of the week. A sports company advertising with the fact that running sucks. It's so true. And so brilliant.
It briefly described what I thought about running. It's boring. You run, run and run. And where does it take you? Where you started. How stupid is that? That's the reason I prefered football and basketball. But I really like this whole Nike+ training thing. Apart from that it's brilliant marketing, I think it's great to actually see results from your daily training.
Because I stopped doing sports regularly when I started my job, I am far, far from a body and health condition you could describe as fit. And that's why I want to start running this year. Got a Nike+ set (thanks, love you, darling) and will hopefully from now on do some workouts every week. Besides I hope that it will cure me from smoking, as well. Here you can see my first stats from today. Will maybe post more about my first run with Nike+ later. It's not much, but a start, isn't it? All the money that running and stop smoking can save me, will all be spend for a long holiday. You know, since I started working here four years ago, I haven't been on holidays. Sure, three days here, four days there...but that's not a real holiday. And that's why I promised me to at least visit three countries I have never been to before during year twentysix. The first one will probably be Norway this August with two lovely people and my best little friend Lenny, who is 10 month old now. But the really exciting thing is the plan or idea for next year. Four weeks in Australia with a stop in maybe Singapore or Thailand. Depends on what's possible. Though the lovely girl sharing the bed, kitchen and bathroom with me still is thinking about the Westcoast ot the Americas. But I think I will persuade her. Anyway I am already excited. And I hope we somehow can make this happen. Australia...this would be brilliant.
Okay. The third thing will be a bit strange because of my age. But I definitely want to learn a new trick on the skateboard. Easy. Unfortunately it inevitably implies to learn how to skate. And I have never done this is a lie. I did stand on a skateboard when I was 6 and prompt fell on my butt. But everytime I see those guys skating around in videos, on the street or when I sit in front of my PS2 playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (yeah, I have them all), one thing springs to my mind: I want to try that. I want to skate. And you know what? This year I will buy a board and start. Though I am not exactly sure if I will begin to skate or repeatingly will fall on my butt. Unfortunately my helpful girlfriend already proclaimed that she won't vet any injury being caused by skateboarding. Thanks, lovely.
Grind Bowl So how does all this sound so far? Maybe I will post some other tasks later. But for now: Thanks for your attention.

Tuesday, June 12

Cookie Rope.

Quite busy finishing a TV thingy for our cookie client. But while looking for the perfect song for it I came across one of my most favourite songs when I was 17 or so. It's "Carrot Rope" of the fabulous Pavement. Nice. Reminds me of sitting in the sun with some friends drinking beer and just watching the water floating down our local river. A time when I did not thought about unique selling propositions and target groups most of my day. The whole band in yellow raincoats. How brilliant is that?

Monday, June 11

Advertising the web.

Since I am working at the agency that supports me in paying my bills an ongoing job is the development of the new website. During this 4 years nothing has changed and we still have an boring and grey old one. But while surfing around the "agency web" it seems to be quite obvious that a lot of agencies put all their creativity into the work they do for their clients. Don't get me wrong, that's good. That's how they make the money. But don't you think, as well, it's a bit curious that people who get paid for developing brilliant and efficient communication for other companies often show a lack off brilliance and creativity when it comes to their own website? What's quite interesting is that the most creative agencies in the world sometimes have the most uninspiring and uninteresting websites. Let's take a look at some of them. For example the webiste of Crispin, Porter+Bogusky. Definitely one of the, maybe the most creative agency, producing groundbreaking work in all genres. But the website is held minimalistic in light grey, dark grey and even darker grey. With slices of red and some pictures. Everything is structured clear. Could be the website of a bank as well. Or a insurance company. The same goes out to BBH. With their black sheep in a horde of white sheep, their philosophy is crystal clear. When the world zigs, zag. Brilliant. But the rest of the site is, well, quite minimalistic. Some case studies, facts and stuff. Mostly without picture. Maybe it's understatement of one of the most brilliant agencies of the last decades. But doesn't the internet deserve a bit more? Probably that's what Strawberryfrog thought. Great creative reputation, they are in charge of some of the most exciting brands worldwide, directing all the good stuff that comes out from their Amsterdam headquarter. But except the lovely frog that is walking around, the website is made without great love. The rest is a normal business site in pinstriped corporate identity. Though they have an online shop where you can buy frogism shirts what is quite nice. To make this one short: the website of M&C Saatchi is handcrafted to fit Maurice Saatchi's "everthing has to become more simple"-paradigm. It's very simple and unfortunately very unentertaining. Nothing special. Only facts & figures, approach, work, press section and contact. Just what you expect. Nothing that does touch the heart or stomach. But put together all are wonderful and great compared to what Scholz & Friends is calling their website. It's yellow, it's a mess, it's worse than most insurance company websites. The eye doesn't know where to look first and the menu can't help a little. Is "No. 1 in Poland!", "Copytest", "Lore's Law" and "Strategic Alliances" the kind of information you would put into the main header if you were one of the most creative agencies in Europe? Aren't there some more exciting things to tell? And what's that "Efficiency Booster" supposed to be? Another unnecessary ad tool? Corporate toadiness? I am sorry, but could the "Orchestra of Ideas" please put some more hours into practising? Three better examples are what WCRS, Leagas Delaney and 180 call their home on the web. WCRS and Leagas Delaney are quite similar: big pictures fot the eye and entertaining factor and a well structured menu to guide you through the site. They don't offer more information than the others but these facts are wrapped in a better looking paper, I think. 180 even has a cream topping because they explain the main facts about their agency visually. Unfortunately these facts are more serious now than they were one year ago. Anyway it is a well done website. The next one is really, really cute. And though I don't know much more about the agency than the fact that Paul Colman is a planner there now, I think RKCR/Y&R not only have an incredible hard to remember name - Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalf - but a lovely and sweet website, as well. I don't know much about their work, clients or creative reputation, but I am getting more and mor interested as soon as all those funny little heads start walking around in my browser. I can even chase them around. This one is really done with love. Looks like handcrafted and leaves a nice feeling about the agency with that hard to keep in mind name. Even more lively it the website of former German creative hotshop Aimaq.Rapp.Stolle. It looks cheap. It may look a bit porn. But after clicking around you see there went a lot of work and love into their webhome. Everything is quite flashy and gaudy, there is a hidden Michael-Jackson-fanpage link and they plug their own magazine, music label and interactive agency. Woo. Nothing for people suffering from epilepsy. Another German creative flagship. This time a bigger one. Based on a radar the menu of the site of Jung von Matt is really interesting. But the intro featuring their symbol, the Trojan horse, and some parts of their "brand core" are slightly menacingly and disturbing. It somehow has the touch of a sect, speaking about "our seven guiding principles" or "our great model" and calling the agency an "idea power plant". A bit bigmouthed, isn't it? Anyway the website is done visually nice and according to the fact that they have a lot, lot, lot to say it's well structures. Only there is a questionaire where users can check, if they are the right client for Jung von Matt. I tried to be the most fucking asshole-client in the world and they still want to meet me. Hmm? The new website of Wieden+Kennedy is worth a look as well. Flashy. Colourful. A visually nice way to guide users through their site is the tag cloud combined with the timeline on their landing page. Looks so tomorrow. No more words needed, just see. In the queue of such brilliant agencies like BBH, Wieden+Kennedy and BBH one shouldn't be missed: Abbott Mead Vickers. Though some years old, maybe already having a hunch, it's still a good example for an agency showing the power of a simple idea thought it's website. All examples of work are shown as drawings and you will know every single on of them. What more can an agency say / show? It has all the information, simple structered and a lovely handcrafted visual appearance. A good example to lead over to my favourite agency website right now: Fallon London. From the first second the "we just have done it all by ourselves" look and feel is creating a cozy atmosphere in front of my Mac. After every reload a bunch of nice people will say "We are Fallon". Boom. And there they have you. Instantly you start clicking around, there is a picture of everyone working there. Very personal. And though it may probably not be state of the art or what other fucking rubbish, for me it's a brilliant site. Not too technical, not too much business but therefore personal, a bit messy, very human. Really love it. Give it a go. When talking about agency websites additionally one page must be mentioned because it has a brilliant, simple idea, new menu and is slightly spectacular. Maybe that's why it was awarded with a black pencil at D&AD 2006. I am talking about, you all know it, the website of Leo Burnett. Finally the most unusual agency website ever, or maybe since I am in advertising and paying attention to agency websites, definitely is the one of kesselskramer. Every time you reload the page there will be a different content. From pizza delivery service to girls in uniforms. And the crazy thing is that every of these weird pages contains work of the agency. And their address. No corporate toadiness. Just a friendly "we don't care" attitude. Brilliant. Okay this may have been my longest post. I thought it is quite interesting. Maybe you can find some nice stuff in it as well. Probably I will update new websites every week or so. As some kind of blog regular. If you see an interesting agency site, just put it in the comment section and I will include it in the next post. Thanks for attention.

Friday, June 1

At the studio.

So I have been caged at the studio for two days. Cutting a commercial that is not mine but I somehow was made one of the people in charge of post-producing it. Glory, glory, hallelujah. At the studio. During the day a lot of overpaid people are sitting around in the avid room, surfing eBay and pretending they are quite busy working on other clients. No, honestly, these people are working. Trying to get new 3D-animations from there to here and other quite important stuff, I guess. At the studio. And as always the lovely people at the postproduction company will serve a huge amount of calories pressed into cookie dough and plastic foil. That's really caring and nice but will end up in getting fat. Or staying. Thank god I only ate one muffin and drank a bottle of water. Back at the agency now. Hopefully losing some calories by doing some work. At the studio.