Wednesday, July 25

A lovely website worth a look. Or more.

While spending most of my time working and looking for a room in London, it's great to just take a short break and discover something new and interesting. I love days when you find a lovely, interesting and brightly shining thing on the web. It doesn't happen every day, but today I found it on the blog of Kristofer Ström. Kristofer does cute and lovely executed short illustrated films. Every image and character is morphing into a new one and it's just great to watch. Here are two of his films, more can be seen on his blog.

Kristofer also has a website where you can see his latest artworks, download wallpapers like the one below and watch this beautiful movie.

By the way, if anyone knows someone with a free, clean, preferably furnished and wifi-connected room in or around Shoreditch, or basically close enough to Hanbury Street to not spend a living for underground tickets...then please let me know. Lovely, thanks for your attention.

Tuesday, July 24

Temporarily out of service.

Since July, 10th, or so nothing has happend on this blog. What is a shame. Unfortunately in the near future nothing will change. I am getting smashed by a pile of work because of three presentations in the near future and additionally have to struggle with getting a room in London and, what is more exhausting, I am desperately trying to fight my way through British bureaucracy in order to get a National Insurance Number.
To make a long and tragic story short: Until the mid or end of next week nothing spectacular, mind changing or brilliant will happen on this blog. But I hope to have some time to do one or two proper posts then and hopefully won't have lost my four or five readers.

Until then why not make your own Simpsons Avatar? Just like Nina and beeker already did?

Tuesday, July 10


Today was a busy day. That's why I got the best news so late. But from the 3rd of September I will take part in WKside 3. That's so great and I am very happy and looking forward to work with great people in a great agency. It will be a huge change for me. A new country, new people, new streets, new everythings. An exciting time to come. Thanks to everyone who supported me in this thing. My lovely girlfriend, Marcus, Rob, Will, Lauren, Rob, Andy, Dan, Paul and all those who always had nice words of warmness and support for me. You are great and I hope to meet you in September for a beer or two. And I am really excited to get to know the other three WKsiders. So say hello. I am excited and happy. Cheers.

Friday, July 6

A terribleterrific day.

So I went to London last Wednesday. So I had the perfect schedule. Get the plane at 5:45, arrive in London at 7:10, take Gatwick Express at 7:45, arrive at Victoria Station at 8:15, take the tube to Liverpool Street, at least arrive there at 8:45, have some time to drink a coffee and then step through Wieden+Kennedy entrance at 9:20 for the start of the interview is at 9:30. This was a great plan, with an included buffer, easily I could have dropped that "time for coffee"-thing. Unfortunately germanwings and Gatwick Express were against me and turned the first part of the day into a disaster.
At 5 a.m. I found myseld at the germanwings desk at Hamburg Airport. The unfriendly woman got me my ticket and, as it would be some kind of sidedish, told me:

"Your flight is delayed."
"What do you mean with delayed?"
"Your flight is delayed."
"Oh, really? You meant "delayed" as in the meaning of "delayed"? Should have thought of that. But what I wanted to know is what "delayed" does mean in terms of minutes."
"45, have a pleasant flight. Next customer."
"Oh, thanks very much, too friendly."

Okay. 45 minutes. That's okay. Then I will arrive at 8:00, take the Gatwick Express at 8:30 and will rush from Victoria via Livverpool Street to Hanbury Street in 30 minutes. But I hadn't thought of that this maybe wouldn't be it. So at 8:29 an announcement banged down Gatwick train station platform 1.

"The Gatwick Express to Victoria Station at 8:30 has been cancelled."


"The Gatwick Express to Victoria Station at 8:30 has been cancelled."

What? WHAT?


Damn you. Now I will be too late for the interview. Goddamn germanwings, goddamn Gatwick Express. So I made my sheepish call to Wieden+Kennedy reception.

"Wieden+Kennedy, hello?"
"Hello here is Sebastian, I have an WKside interview today. But unfortunately my plane got delayed and my train got cancelled so I will be a bit late."
"Again please."
"Hello here is Sebastian, I have an WKside interview today. But unfortunately my plane got delayed and my train got cancelled so I will be a bit late."
"So you won't come?"
"No, I mean NO! No, YES! I will come, only a bit late!"
"Okay, I will tell them, say your name again, please."
"Let me spell...S...E...B...A...S...T..A...I...N. No, wait. I...A...N. Sebastian."
"Okay, and your last name?"
"Oehme...but...I think they don't even know my last name."
"K, give me a second."

Seconds pass by, I can hear she's talking to someone.

"Hello Sebastian?"
"No, problem. They know you will be late."
"Oh, I am so sorry. Thanks a lot."
"No problem. Good bye."

Huuu. Okay, everything seemed to be okay (though it got me -10 points). The next 60 minutes just rushed by. Riding the Gatwick Express. I sat on the train next to a business man who had a really bad breath, I got onto the District Line to Aldgate East and then walked, walked, walked, started to sweat, walked, passed the Wieden+Kennedy house without noticing, walked, came to the end of Hanbury Street, turned around, walked, walked into the door and said hello. A friendly girl at the reception asked me to fill in my name into a form and then took a picture.

"Nice. You are the first one who did smile. All others were frowning."

Really. What a stupid answer is that? But I like the girl. She is very friendly. While following her I have a look around. Everything is very colourful with a lot of stuff standing around everywhere. Compared to this all agencies I know look like the government's department of finance. Boring. This looks like a crazy, colourful leisure park. She opens a door. WKside interview. I can see a lot of people. Immediately everybody is starring at me. I try to smile, but I guess I looked a bit tantalised. Quickly I sit down. The friendly girl gave a form to fill out. While trying to follow the conversation going on I try to fill it out.
Then time passed on very quickly. Everybody said some stuff about who they are and what they have done until know. I am not the only one not from the island. There is a guy from Stockholm, one from Zurich, one from Barcelona and Zac, a director from LA who now works and lives in Shanghai. Isn't that a crazy guy? He flew down all the way from China to take part in that interview. Then the nice people from Wieden+Kennedy did a presentation about the agency. They showed us some of the books they did for Honda and other clients. Really impressive. That's a brilliant thing, to capture the character and voice of a brand in one book and try to express through all of those pages. Really cool. Any questions? Someone asks to go to toilet. Great idea, I follow him. On the toilet I can't find the light. Someone kindly pulls a string next to the door. Funny, in Germany you would have pulled that string in order to use the flush. After the loo the second WKsiders join in to talk about what they did. They look nice. One girl (I guess her name was Sophie) and two guys (I think both were called Ben). One of the Bens has weird curls, the other Ben talks weird. It must be an accent from Scotland or Wales. It sounds funny but he talks so fast that I understand nothing. Everybody is nodding about the stuff he says. To me it sounds like someone gurgling words. I am lost. But one of their first projects was to do a concept for a hotel. Together with Philippe Starck. Wow, Philippe Starck. That's amazing. They seemed to had a great time. A lot of work and a lot of fun. I wish I could do that as well. Then Simon is entering the room. He is called the fat planner. Because he is WKfat. Funnily he is a very thin man. He is here to give us a brief. In groups of five people we are supposed to collect ideas on how to embrace Wieden+Kennedy's connection to music. Quickly we start to work. We have one hour and the 15 minutes to present our ideas. The first 45 minutes we spend talking about music in general. Then the last 15 minutes we quickly draw a scribble and get together our idea. Then presentation time has come. The first group present their idea of "Welcome to (P)Optimism". One of the guys is Christos. A friend of Waldemar who was a professional basketball player in Greece. He's really tall and has a deep voice. Their idea is really nice. And pretty close to the stuff we came up with. Then it's our turn. We decided to let a nice guy called Elliot do the main talking, because he is pretty good at it. We others jump in to explain stuff or talk about some of the ideas. The last group was, I think, the best. They had a pretty cool idea. It was the group of Zac, the 15hours-flight-man, and a skinny guy from Zurich, who gestured a lot what looked quite funny. Then it was time for the last part of the day. Speed dating. Five people of Wieden+Kennedy. Three minutes each. They ask for volunteers. Nobody raises his or her hand. So I step up and walk out. WKside interview.WKside interview. The first was a friendly guy. I talked a lot about blogging with him. Then came Sam. She was very friendly as well. Then Nat who is the woman in charge of human resources. Then Lucy. She was really nice. She's the one I have my appointment with on July, 31. She says she liked the stuff I did to answer the "Can anything be beautiful"-question. I cheer up a bit. Nervousness is gone. The last in the row is Darren. He's very friendly as well and tells me about a skateboard and sneaker exhibition of Nike I should visit. One of his questions made me think a lot and stumble. Then we wait a lot for everybody to finish. During that I call Will and my girlfriend who told me about a very lovely thingthat Rob posted. Thanks to everyone who had his or her fingers crossed. I think I need it. Because everyone here at the interview is brilliant and nice. The people of Wieden+Kennedy say some nice words to all of us at the end. WKside interview. Unfortunately Tony and Kim, the creative chiefs, have a Honda meeting and can't join for some last words. Then we all leave. It were 6 exciting and interesting hours. I feel a bit exhausted. Now all we can do is wait and be optimistic.
Last but not least the most lovely hour of the day was to come. I met Lauren...Lauren. ...and the 1001 for a beer. They are excited about the thing I came here for and I am excited and happy to meet them for the first time. It was lovely. We talked, drank our drank tea actually...talked and talked. Unfortunately after one hour I had to leave to get my plane. Next time we hopefully have more time. Because it was brilliant and toptastic (sorry to steal your word, Rob) to meet. But, just like it started, the day had a new problem for me. The Circle Line was closed. But Lauren, thank you so much, found me a way that got me the last Gatwick Express I could have taken. You are great, thanks a lot. So after another flight and a taxi ride I arrived home. Exhausted. Excited. And happy to have my girlfriend in my arms.

Thursday, July 5

What does inspire you?

Yesterday at the WKside interview Darren, a copywriter from Wieden+Kennedy, asked me this question. I answered it. Because that's what, I guess, you mostly do with questions. While on Gatwick Express I still was thinking about it. Probably because I thought: Gosh darn it, Seb. You're answer was fucking rubbish. And you forgot about one thing that always has inspired you. Maybe because it's so ordinary that you just did not think of it. So, here is the part I forgot:

What really inspires me is as simple as walking through a door. Because it's actually that. I just go outside and walk around. Because what inspires me most are the streets. The people that pass by, the sign standing or hanging around, things thrown away, damaged things standing in the way, old shabby houses, grafitti, trash cans...
Steinstraße Where do you want to go today? Grafitti at Diebsteich. The don't have cigarettes in hell.
Because everything out there can be an inspiration. Sometimes I just sit in the train and listen to what the people around me are talking about. Or I secretly take pictures of all those people stuffed into one train. Because the ordinary things sometimes can be the most inspiring. Things that you maybe pass every day without really noticing them. If you look at them open they can be truely inspiring. Like that wall of yellow tiles. It's just a wall and then sometimes, it's an inspiration. Beautify: Analog Pixel Walls.Beautify: Analog Pixel Walls.
My question to you all: So what does inspire you?

Monday, July 2

Advertising is dead! Long live advertising!

From time to time things slightly change. What is great. Because change is great. Years ago the internet started to change certain things in advertising that happily can now be harvested by us. Because the internet fastforwarded a process of growing media coverage. Wherever you go there is advertising. Everywhere. In the papers, the TV, the internet, the outdoor, on your mobile and in your videogame. People became more and more used to it. And more and more bored by it. Not because advertising became bad. There were more great ads in 2007 than there were in 1980. But there even where more bad ads in 2007 than 1980. And that's the problem. Bad advertising compared to good grew excessively. So people became bored and slightly immune against advertising even faster. It's sad. It's a disaster. But as every disaster there is a chance in it. A BIG one. Maybe the most exciting and biggest chance in advertising ever. And as always the guys and dolls at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky are ahead of all the others. Not because they reinvented the wheel. They are just doing something that most agencies don't. Because advertising agencies tend to answer clients briefs with advertising. What is great, because that's what their name says, right? No. It's the point that make us weak and replaceable for clients. But CP+B do it different. They answer the clients brief with a SOLUTION. And this solution may be a commercial or an outdoor campaign or a website or a print ad or a new product or a TV show or a video game. And that is what is exciting about the future. Because advertising is no more only about "telling an interesting story about a brand in an interesting way" as Bill Bernbach said. It has become more multi-faceted. It has to be entertaining, interesting and probably not only the product it advertises but the advertising itself should have a benefit for the customer. Whatever this is. There are exciting times to come, and we can be very proud to have the possibility to add our value to that evolution. Today advertising can be anything. And for example CP+B step ahead by just doing things right. And exciting. To be honest I thought that Nike was nuts handling their most future-facing account from Wieden+Kennedy to Crispin, Porter+Bogusky. Because Dan Wieden made them do it. But looking at it objectively it is the right move. Long time ago DDB changed advertising. CP+B is doing it now. With work like the Subservient Chicken, Mini, VW, Burger King and definitely maybe Nike. And hopefully they have and still are encouraging agencies worldwide to present solutions and not only advertising at tomorrow's client meeting. Does all this make sense or am I just writing behind time?

Can anything be beautiful?

For their third WKside intermezzo Wieden+Kennedy asked to give a digital answer to the question "Can anything be beautiful?" while submissions somehow had to be interactive. Anyway I couldn't resist and did an asnwer on a blog that you can find here: The basic ideas was that everything can be bautiful if you try to make it beautiful. The blog gave examples on how to make ordinary things in your daily life more beautiful starting with the simplest of the simplest. Some of those things were "Parkbench Makeover", "Garbage Can Thingies" and "Analog Pixel Walls" that were documented on videos as the one you can see below (thanks to Marcus for musical geniusness). The nice people at Wieden+Kennedy somehow must slightly have liked that stuff and sent me an invitation to an interview for WKside this Wednesday. So, if anyone fancies a coffee in the afternoon, I will be in London for one day.