Thursday, April 26, 2007

CiL hits Facebook

If you are on Facebook – and there aren't many rational reasons to be there – join the Creative in London group. It could be a good way to discuss things.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Portfolio Night in London *lineup*

The creative line–up for London's Portfolio night next week is revealed. We'll be there and it should be a fun night! It's gonna be in Covent Garden. Anyone else coming?


We are confused!
This morning we read here that Nike moves creative accounts to Crispin Porter. Our hearts were cramping and for a moment we felt knocked out unconscious. Nike belongs to Wieden like crisps to a pint. How can they change that? But change means challenge and all we can do is to see if it proofs good.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Advertising & Art

I discussed this connection last week with my flatmate Julien. After reading this post from Christos I wanted to share my thoughts about it here. It feels like I have to go back to the beginnings of my advertising perception for this:

Since I can remember I loved to draw. When I grew up I wanted to be an artist, but after a rather early encounter with Adobe Photoshop I fell in love with digital art, and I studied to become a Graphic Designer. I very much enjoyed illustration, packaging, web design and branding. After some freelance jobs it became somewhat boring, and I recognized that I had the wrong approach – my aim was to make things beautiful, nothing further. While doing this I didn't think about the ideas behind the design, the core inside.

To explore this side of things I took ad concept courses at my college. I adored them. It was purely all about thinking and hunting for these really good ideas. I fell in love with advertising (as I knew it at that time), still my ideas were focused on simple, mostly visual executions. Making things look good – the process I still long for today – weren't compromised. After deciding on an idea I could still do the art direction and design of an ad. I just felt very right. When the possibility came up I came to the UK to study advertising further at Bucks University. There I realized that ad ideas need to be based on consumer insights, and product truths – there has to be a deeper core than a visual joke.

On this way I lost the feeling of doing art. Christos says that advertising for him is art. I have to disagree. Advertising is not art.

Why does advertising exist?
It has a clear purpose, to sell, to change behavior, to make people aware of a brand.

Why does art exist?
In my opinion the reason for art to be there – it is only the existence of it. Real art doesn't have a purpose. Some artist try to communicate a message with their work, at this point, I think, it looses the whole point of art. The art in this kind of work becomes a medium to transport the message. Art is there, to be looked at, not necessarily to be understood. Art doesn't ask anything of you, you don't need to buy anything after looking at it. Art isn't demanding, it is giving and wants only your interest in it.

Advertising cannot be art, it needs to compromise, it has to carry a message, it has to push the brand. In order to appeal to people it has to be new or/and entertaining. This is when art comes into play. Advertisers copy it, oh wait no, they get 'inspired' by it. Some examples:

Flat Eric by Levis = French puppet from Mr. Oizo music video
Honda's cog = Der Lauf der Dinge by Fischli and Weiss from 1987
Guardian Campaign Art Direction = Design exhibition poster by Olivetti

Advertising gives art a reason, it commercializes it. It fits the current trend in the industry to take a very simple proposition & strategy and execute it as creative and different as possible, like the new Cravendale adverts. The message (milk matters) is so generic and simple, it advertises the whole milk category, only the very left-field execution (the style is done by an artist again) makes it belong to the brand. That's why advertising sometimes relies on art.

The closest advertising comes to be art is when brands let artists create it. The Smirnoff ad from Michel Gondry is a good example for it. Also the adicolor videos white, pink, red, green, yellow, black.

If you want to be a good creative in advertising, confront yourself with as much art as possible. Today it's: whoever finds it first and can stick a brand at the end of it, wins.
If you want to be a brilliant creative in advertising, don't be in advertising, be an artist, they are the true creators of great work, all the directors, script writers, painters, designers,musicians and urban artists. Kudos to you.

Can anyone please change my opinion and tell me that I'm wrong? I'd love to be a creative and artist at the same time and make advertising that is art. Maybe I'd have to separate these two things?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Trip to Japan

It has been already a while since I have been traveling to Japan but I still wanna show you some pictures of my journey. In march, my boyfriend Rick and me flew to Tokyo. We traveled 9536 miles from London Heathrow to Narita Airport and flew for 12 hours. For those who haven't been to Japan yet there is just a little thing you need to know: Everything is different.

We fell in love immediately with Tokyo and have been really impressed how clean an under control everything there seems to be. The food was amazing even though I had a hard time in the beginning as a vegetarian. The people are so nice and friendly and they where giggling all the time when they saw us. Even if it sounds strange but in Japan are only Japanese looking people living. In two weeks we saw probably around ten "western European" looking people. So you can imagine that a blond girl with blue eyes and a Yorkshire ginger bread man did stand out quiet a bit.

After spending a few days in Tokyo we traveled to Kyoto, than to Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Oji, Nara and back to Tokyo. We checked in and out in hotels for six times, traveled 894,2km with the Shinkansen train of Japan Railways and walked probably the same amount of kilometers around the country. And now i gonna take you on our journey...

This is the Metro in Tokyo. The seats are heated and they are playing weired music to calm you down.

Japanese people are allowed to smoke everywhere. So that's what they do.

Reading the Metro map was a problem we had to deal with everyday. Sometimes it got really frustrating. This is the map of Osaka.

In 2005 Osaka was the second most expensive city in the world, Tokyo is in first place.

This is MushiMushi. Rick did win him for me in one of these crazy game halls.

Vending machines in Japan are holy and you can find them at each corner. You gonna be surprised because they are always working and they are clean. Unfortunately we couldn't find one with used knickers.

To see the world from Japans view is something I found very interesting.

A graveyard in the mountains of Kyoto.

This is part of the Fushimi Shrine. It's the largest and most impressive shrine in Japan. It's 4km long and you walk through red gates. The little shrines are there to pray.

Kyoto is surrounded by bamboo woods and hidden shrines everywhere.

This is a sculpture of a couple I guess. I found it in the mountains of Kyoto in front of a house. I was so fascinated by the sight that I sneaked in the garden to take the picture.

We even met Geisha in Kyoto. I saw them on pictures before many times but seeing them real was overwhelming.

The highlight was sleeping in a Japanese house with paper walls and grass mats on the floor. We found this little place in Oji and it is owned by a guy from Leeds who settled over nine years ago together with his Japanese girl. It was fucking great, an unbelievable inspiring place. We're gonna go back there once.

Guys, I could load up pictures endless because there are so many beautiful things I would like to show you. All in all I only can say that Japan is an extraordinary, bizarre place worth going any time. Kyoto with all it's shrines was something which really touched me and I found a quote which is spot on saying "Who doesn't love Kyoto doesn't love life". Sayonara

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My special place

Just before our current placement I spend a week with my girlfriend in this very very calm place. We went to Sylt, an island in northern Germany. It used to be part of the main land but is shrinking due to erosion by the Northern Sea.

It was such a refreshing time without the hectic stress and all the people. Only this very small island – surrounded by the northern sea. Ah, that truly was a good place to get ideas, I close my eyes and try to go back there now as the briefs keep coming in and ask us for creative solutions... it's a retreat in my mind, to go back to, and be inspired, by the emptiness and calmness.

Crossing over with our car on a train towards the sun

The nature there is quite unique, very much untouched

Most of the houses on Sylt have 'Friesen' style roofs, they look lovely. © Túrelio (via Wikimedia-Commons CC-BY-SA
The whole east coast of the island consist of wadden sea, as the tide goes back you can walk it

We were lucky to catch some sunny days – kisses to you Zhanna!
Sand impressions
The west coast is covered with one of the most beautiful beaches in Germanywe shall go back during summer
We surely couldn't miss out on preparing some delicious 'Spinte mit Kräuterbutter'

Friday, April 13, 2007

Colossus of Athens

On Wednesday we've met Christos. He's a great guy with good sense for advertising and he's the type of person who likes to do things, organize things and make something new happened – we like this. Together with him we're thinking about an exciting project for young creatives in London. It will be fun, and it will be good. More on this on another day when things have a shape.

And yes, he is quite a big person, and he's from greece. Our fingers are crossed for his WK side application.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A new chapter

Just got myself a new notebook. Ahh, the smell of new paper – wonderful. Now it's time again for the challenge: how to start the first page? Once this is done, it's a blast of fun! How do you usually fill the first page of a new notebook?

My old one lasted quite a while, 11 months to be exact. I'm hoping to fill this one quicker. I love this little thing, it bears most of my thoughts, shopping lists, ideas, design sketches and diary entries.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Milk all day long

Yesterday Wieden + Kennedy London released their new Cravendale adverts. You can watch them on their blog. At our last book-crit they were editing this thing and they told us the story, it's nothing we could have imagined! Since yesterday we looked through these videos more than a dozen times and it doesn't get boring – we love it. Well done Wieden + Kennedy, especially Sam + Frank!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Portfolio Night in London

Brett from ihaveanidea sent us an email yesterday about a very interesting happening in the beginning of may – the Portfolio Night 5 World Tour. Their poster design rather suggests an occult ritual but there's more to it. It sounds to be the biggest book-crit ever.

On the 3rd of May young creatives will have the chance to put their books in front of local & international creative directors in 23 cities around the world (face-to-face as well as online response after uploading your book). This event happens now for the fifth time – the gallery shows it to be an american thing which swaps over to us and London will participate as well. Tickets will be around 25 € for an individual, but we'll wait until there is a list with names of CD's from London before we sign up but we're very much up for it – it sounds like a lot of fun!

'Portfolio Night is not about reviewing junior portfolios, it is about uniting our industry at all levels for one day and helping make the next generation the best generation. On May 3, careers will be made, giants will be born, beers will be drank and friendships will be made. For those that have never attended Portfolio Night in the past, all we can tell you is that it is a magical night.'

Any thoughts on this? Could also be a wonderful opportunity to meet up for London's young creatives.

What is he drinking?

Good morning London. After this long weekend I just stumbled across this video about product placement. I'm always quite aware of brands in movies but this one points it out very well. My favorite 'branded' movie has to be Zoolander, it really made me drink evian, weird! For more information about movies and the brands in them check out brandchannel's cameo section.

Can anyone spot any product placements on our blog?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Drink, listen & learn

I was just checking on iris's website, the agency we had our first placement at and discovered they have this most wonderful thing going on next week.

'Dry and drafty lectures have given way to inspirational talks and, er, draft beer. Monotonous tutors have been swapped for splendifferous speakers.'

They call it Under the Influence and it's a day – Thursday the 12th of April – where they gather a huge bunch of speakers from all the sweet disciplines such as creative, planning, digital advertising, graphic design, trend watching and more. All these people will speak about their stuff in four pubs around Borough Market, London Bridge. Check it out on their website and make sure you register yourself for coming along if you fancy – it's absolutely free, even some beers are. We'll be there.

ps. we're off for easter & we hope everyone will enjoy this long weekend!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A month in covent garden

No tea break for us – we just started a new placement at Beattie McGuinness Bungay on monday and will stay here through april. We've met Dominic, a senior creative here at BMB, at a producer company party where our friend Max invited us to. After a bookcrit in Feb they offered us a four weeks placement, yay! The usual desk impression this time in black and white, almost.

Auf wiedersehen Grand Union!

Friday was our last day at the Grand Union, we enjoyed it a lot although we felt two weeks were too short. We couldn't stay on since we agreed to another placement a while ago. We would like to thank James & Stu for getting us in and taking care of us, we had a great time there and learned a lot (but not enough!) about good digital advertising.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Young creatives doing it all *Part2*

We've reported on the YouTube video contest for Buck's 3rd year students. Now I've heard back from their (and my former) tutor Julie Wright that Mother looked through all the movies and decided, almost. Unlike we thought that the winners will be determined by the most views – Mother's creatives rather rated them creatively. The outcome: a tie between these three:
So these three creative teams now have to impress Mother in order to determine the placement winner, how? We're left in the dark but we wish them good luck! I'm happy that they didn't go by most views since this can be manipulated easily, as discussed here.