Sometimes the best way to respond to some silly immigration law, is to make an amusing campaign that’s just as silly. This is Desperate Dave’s Love Story - in response to being told that the only possibility for him to legally remain in the Netherlands is if he has a Dutch or European partner. Despite that he has lived here since 2008, paid taxes, purchased a home, started a business and actively contributes to the economic, cultural and creative landscape that makes this country such a great place to live. Dave claims “This is not a protest, but rather a fun last project if I am forced to leave. What I find interesting is that I don’t know how this project will end… as it is being ‘scripted’ as it goes along.” Here’s a short bio about his creative management agency Zulus Can Draw, who genuinely offer a unique creative service. It would be a great shame if he has to shut up shop and head home. ”Talented creatives around the world is in abundance. Getting noticed is not an easy task for many. Zulus Can Draw, an illustration based creative management agency was established with the intention to help promote talented South African based illustrators and graphic designers in the Dutch and European advertising industry. Some notable campaigns Zulus Can Draw has worked on include The Dutch Red Cross, McDonalds and Revive Recycled Paper.” Tips, advice or words of encouragement can be sent to Dave here.
Our new agency, This that & the other, is temporarily based at the new office of Random Studio. Last Friday was the opening party of the place that looks more like a garden than an office. A good moment for the creative wizards of Random to demonstrate their skills. And skills they have. The space was filled with funky, artful (and at times disturbing) interactive installations. Guests were welcomed by an on-screen avatar, its eyes hunting you while entering the building (it even got angry when you came too close). You could play games against each other on big screens using phones as consoles. A photo installation made strangers share a kiss. Even the plants jumped in shaking madly for your smile. Highlight (and a bit confusing) was a 3D rendered monster lying on a sofa with a big, moving phallus. Most installations were created especially for the party. How great is that? Just as an experiment and a way to show the possibilities. Trying stuff without knowing where it will take you is part of the DNA of Random and that’s really cool and pretty rare. Go Random.
Jimmy Nelson has been around the world. He shot some amazing pictures of extraordinary humans. Very fond of his pictures, I could not identify myself with the tone of voice of his first video on the project. It was way too much over the top. It could very well be compared to a trailer of the new Sylvester Stallone blockbuster (which might just be a contradictio in terminis). Yesterday I witnessed his talk at the Concertgebouw during TEDxAMS and it really inspired me. Probably because everything sounds better at the Concertgebouw. It was no rocket science at all but it was honest. Very honest. And I fully agree with him on his vision (‘lessons’ as he calls it). Very curious which one of his ‘lessons’ you like best..
I recently remembered this little guerrilla idea from back in 2005. Local agency ‘bureau pindakaas’ created little yellow stickers that matched the yellow roadworks signs used around Amsterdam to deviate traffic and announce any major disruptions (of which we have had a lot in the past ten years). What I liked about the ‘Sorry!’ stickers is that it made you think about the way we communicate in public. Or at least the way government and the local council addresses us in general. Why not apologise for creating massive traffic jams and unexpected delays everywhere? If my memory serves me correctly it actually resulted in the makers being invited to City Hall to discuss the issue and to see whether they could be of any assistance to the communication department concerned… Question is was that actually true and did anything ever come of it? Does anybody even remember it? Or perhaps know whether it had any effect beyond some free PR?
PS Eight years is a long time on the internet… I faked these images above myself and was unable to find virtually any information at all online, about this story.
This Saturday the yearly creative and surprising anomaly Nuit Blanche will be held in the Red Light District on different locations. It will be a nice unexpected inspirational ride. A night filled with all kinds of arts; performances, installations, exhibitions and much more. I can go on writing how great this Nuit will be. But the night hasn’t happened just yet. Everyone will have a different out take. Some things will probably be down right shit. Others you will remember for the rest of your life. So if you haven’t got any plans this Saturday. Go Blanche!
This was the image that featured on the cover of UK magazine – The Drum, who recently published a 48 page supplement on Amsterdam’s advertising, design and digital industries. They spoke to some of the city’s top agencies (eh hem, including yours truly) to find out why the Dutch capital is such a hotbed for creativity and why brands, agencies and creative talent want to establish themselves here. They also look at some of the international brands founded in the city, and how Amsterdam’s global outlook has played a key role in their development. Officially you need a subscription to access the magazine, but I’ve put a sneaky link online where you can download the Amsterdam feature supplement. There’s a bit of blowing our own trumpet, but it’s still a strong showcase that presents Amsterdam as “a global game-changing hub of creative excellence”. You can also read the online interview with Lode Schaeffer from INDIE, in which he compares the traditional advertising industry to a scene in Disney’s The Jungle Book: “It’s like King Louie’s temple, falling down around him as he tries to hold it up, but it gets smaller and smaller until all he is left with is a little rock.” Luckily for all of us (and our clients), Amsterdam is defining the new future of creative agencies.
It’s one of the big Amsterdam nuisances. No, not dog shit. We’re talking about never-ending construction work. It turns the city into a giant sandpit. And on the barren land all kinds of green stuff pops up. Stonecrop, corn poppy and things we don’t know names of. It doesn’t strike us as a great place to grow – sand, salt, city – but nature couldn’t care less. It grows, against all odds. We love those places. Whenever we need ideas, we walk. Needless to say, we like to walk through those forgotten city gardens. It reminds us that great ideas grow in the least expected places. Truth is, we’ve never come up with a single idea while walking. But these overgrown abandoned sites are to us what a good night sleep or a hot bath and cigar are to others – a great place to unthink. So please Amsterdam, be like a website: always under construction. Ps. Weekly excursions start next Wednesday on Zeeburgereiland.
In the blueprint of my dream castle in the sky you will find Bo Reudler furniture in every room. Bo builds analogue awesome fairytale furniture with a gentle touch and unique spirit. Using materials he borrows from nature that he finds on his ventures out into the wild. L.O.V.E.! Photo courtesy of mr Paul ‘Where They Purr‘ Barbera.
The short film ‘Gracht (Canal) features one day in the life of Harry and his oblivious son who run a moving company together. It was made for the Utrecht School of Arts in Hilversum as a graduation project by four students: Joost de Jong, Nick Groeneveld, Jeroen Hoolmans and Michaël Koning. The process took them six months. But it was worth it. The guys graduated and were honored with a ‘staff pick’ on Vimeo. Sound design by Soundbreeders.
For me Amsterdam is still a place where a lot of mad and weird people join forces and collectively come up with unconventional, surprising and progressive ideas that are (sometimes) way ahead of their time. For example this story from the fabulous ‘oud amsterdam’ facebook page about the ‘witkar’ experiment at the height of the hippie era (1968); which nearly became a reality. Twenty five years later, of course, it has… I recently took a ride in the ‘Car2Go’ bumper cars and was suprised that it was all a reasonably ‘ok’ experience. If I had a choice, however; I would definitely go for the ‘James Bond / Goldfinger / Thunderball’ vibe of the original one anyday.
What is the summit of manliness? I think football players and soldiers are on top of the list. The fact that the Dutch army and Dutch football squad took part in the canal parade during Amsterdam’s Gay Pride was a real boost for everyone who fights for gay tolerance all around the world. In the Netherlands, we’re pretty nonchalant about it and even laugh it off, but yet again the foreign press was very impressed (especially by the football players). And with that, the goal was reached. Tolerance and freedom. Maybe our most important exports.