Yesterday we visited the opening day of the Eurobest festival in Amsterdam. The first seminar we attended was given by Paul Lavoie from Taxi Europe. He talked about ‘trust’ and explained that ideas can only grow big if people give them trust – from the creative director to the client. To illustrate this, he invited a Dakar Rally driver, a female porn producer and a knife thrower. They all had to trust the people around them or the other way around. We very much liked the unconventional character of his presentation – especially the circus-like show with the knife thrower was spectacular! – and the fact that Lavoie put his ego aside to let other people talk about his subject.

After Lavoie, Jeff Kling from Wieden+Kennedy took the stage and started his talk by making sure that everybody understood he was not responsible for the slight change in the title of his talk: ‘Show me the ad, you motherfucker’. It had been changed in (…) Motherf*****. He loved the word ‘fuckin’ and used it several times to make this point.

Kling’s seminar was easily the most entertaining and original. It was concise (only 15 minutes – ‘about the same time Jesus Christ would have needed for a sermon’), well written, very funny and positive with a cynical tone. First he explained why he hated cases studies – the work should speak for itself – and then, very eloquently, Kling talked about the things he thought were awesome; canned ravioli, Mexicans, Heavy Metal, and a lot more. He ended with: “Dear brand, don’t talk about yourself, talk about what you love”.

Brian Elliot from Amsterdam Worldwide, had a different message. The title of his talk was ‘Take this flag and shove it’ – as far as we know this was the original title… He showed a compilation of nationalistic ads – either promoting a country or making fun of another – and came to the conclusion that a brand should be true to itself, but not negative about others.

The last seminar we attended was presented by Mark Cridge and Martin Bailie from Glue London. Their message was; be irresistible, have a point of view and don’t think campaign, think continuous – which of course comes from Glue’s strong digital DNA. Cridge and Bailie showed some great online cases. Though Kling might have hated them for being cases, it offered an interesting glance into the future of advertising.