Friday, December 24, 2010

Back from Tokyo

I'm in Hamburg to spend the holidays together with my family and friends. Our contract at Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo for now is finished, we had a great time and it was an amazing adventure. We might return for a project or two but for now we're taking a break in order to figure out our next challenge. And yes, it's christmas time, so Ho Ho Ho and merry christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


For the reception area of W+K Tokyo everyone took a portrait outside the office with a thing of our choice, above is mine. Photographer: Will Goodan

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fashion Show with Google

Now on vimeo:

Thursday, December 2, 2010


After some extreme busy times at work we managed to take a week off in order to travel around. We spent most of the time exploring Kyoto and the surrounding areas. The season presented the leaves in perfect colors, a great occasion to get familiar with my new camera, a Canon EOS 500D.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My first TV ad

Our first TV advert is on air now and shown across national TV in Japan. It's for Google Image Search.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nike VS. the people

This is awesome. First the back story summarized: Lebron James, currently one of the best basketball players of the NBA has left his team Cleveland for exchange in Miami to get a better opportunity at winning the Playoffs. He was greatly criticized for this move, and it was seen as betrayal, especially from the Cleveland crowd. At the same time Lebron is one of the key athletes of NIKE so they released a great ad about him:

It's quite a statement. Similar to what NIKE did with Tiger Woods. Now it seemed to gain traction in culture as even South Park used this format just a week after the commercial aired. But earlier this month the best response was release – by the people of Cleveland:

It's a direct response to NIKE and turns their message around. Both videos have almost the same view count on Youtube. In my eyes it's a pinnacle of brand interaction in social media. It's not just a funny spoof with subtitles or a different voice over – it's a passionate and well produced answer by the people.

As an advertising creative, imagine having your ad commented on by the target audience and uploaded back to YouTube. But you'd have to say something people would care for in the first place.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That's what cool sounds like

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My first TV shooting

Many months and many concepts has gone by in Tokyo with only little bits of pieces coming through. Finally one of our scripts is approved and we've been shooting a little 30 second television commercial for Google last week. We're now entering editing madness and listening to tons of music. The schedule is very tight and we expect the commercial to air in two weeks already on japanese TV.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Officially Graduated

Did I mentioned that I graduated from Hyper Island? Like 3 months ago. Now I finally received my Diploma by snail mail, all the way from Stockholm to Tokyo. It's been one of the most interesting things I've joined in my life, amazing in many ways. Once it's sunk in I'll write a summary of it. So for now, instead of framing my diploma and hanging it on the wall, the only digitally correct thing would be to hang it here, on my blog, right?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Internship movie

Here's a video about our internship at Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo. We've recorded and edited it back in June, as part of our Hyper Island internship assignment. The purpose was to share our experiences with our classmate and to do some reflections. We weren't able to attend the graduation days back in Stockholm since the journey from Tokyo was a bit too far. One thing that was missing from the movie is the happy end. Our last day as interns was the 1st of July, since then we've been employed as a freelance creative team by Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Creative Modus Operandi

It's 1.00 am at night, we're waiting for a creative check in with our ECD's – is there a better time to write a blog post? I don't think so.

I stumbled upon this interesting post today about what circumstances make someone creative. It's an interesting experiment that asks you to think about your environment and what influences your creativity. Here are the factors that I think make me more creative:

  • Clothes – Very comfy, ideally no shoes
  • Sound – For thinking music that's not too disruptive, for writing as loud and energetic as possible
  • Light - As sunny and light as possible, even at night
  • Time of Day - 9am - 11am and 6pm - 8pm
  • Location - Outside, in a cafe, or an empty meeting room, preferably not at the desk
  • Directionality – Not looking outside a window
  • Routine/spontaneous - Spontaneous
  • Long periods or short bursts - Somewhere in between
  • Carry something to capture ideas on the fly? - Never leave the house without my notebook
  • Squeaky Clean or Squalor (setting) - Clean and organized
  • Clean or dirty - Clean in the morning
  • Solo or surrounded - Surrounded by only a few
  • Digital or analogue - Analogue for concepting, digital for writing
  • What fuels you? - Conversations, lots of water
  • Leaded or unleaded? - Only one cup of coffee per day
  • Breaks – No, but sometimes yes
  • Mindset practices that fuel creation - Concentration, or thinking about something else
  • Movement practices that fuel creation - Walking around a room in circles, going for a walk, after sports

What about you?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear Japan

Beautiful everyday Japan, by Matthew Brown.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Busy with Google

There so much to write about, yet so little time to do it. Robbin and I are working on the big G, trying to find it's sweet spot. Doing our best. The whole story very soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Too much summer, too much work, too much fun, too many things at once – all no excuse to stop blogging. So that's me back. Excited! Hell yeah. Let's do this. Let's write this blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breakbot – Baby I'm Yours

A new music video link landed in my inbox today, filled with mellow music and colours. Have a look:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chemical Brothers on the beach

There's not much time left in Tokyo to have fun so on saturday I've set out to the Big Beach Festival 2010 with fellow W+Ker Marek & friends. Headliners were the Chemical Brothers with an out of this world 3h DJ set on the beach, during sunset, with japanese fireworks. Other highlights were Zombie Disco Squad, Sasha and Groove Armada. The sound system was fantastic and the Tokyo crowd seemed to know how to enjoy a music experience on the beach. More please.

W+K Tokyo Lab + Nike 78

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Future Lions nomination

We received great news last week that we've been nominated twice for the AKQA future lion awards. Now we're waiting for the end results, maybe we're lucky enough to be in the final five. No matter what, we're happy to be nominated. The two projects are Burn Intense Energy and Lipton Smile Experiment.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

10 reflection from six weeks of internship at W+K Tokyo

It's internship half time. My Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo internship asked all my time from me for the last six weeks. I really should have blogged a bit more about it. Now I'll have to cramp six weeks of Japanese craziness and work madness into one post. A list of ten reflections is the format. Let's go.
1. Working in a different language and culture. It takes time to get a sense of the culture, it's a never ending task catching up on a whole different world. But it's sometimes good to ignore it, and to look at things from a fresh angle. Also, because of language and copy I think that being an art director is easier abroad. I wrote a decent amount of copy here including headlines, tag lines and manifestos and it's always a bit heartbreaking seeing it being translated without having any influence on it.
2. Work/life balance in one of the most amazing cities in the world. Something that I need to improve on for sure. Currently I spend to much time at work when there's such a great city around me that offers unlimited amounts of inspiration and opportunities. I want to work more outside the office and be more efficient when working at the office so I can enjoy Tokyo more.
3. Asking for too much work. When we arrived at W+K we asked to be challenged. And we got what we asked for. Being on three projects at the same time is mostly fun, I like that a lot. It's nice being able to switch between briefs once stuck. It only gets tricky when presentations are very near to each other and especially when they are on the same day. So I'd like to think more about my resources. It's just way too tempting getting a shot at all the interesting stuff.
4. Being 'only' an intern. There are awesome things and there are things going on that I think could be done better. But how to give that feedback and address it? Is it worth doing at all? As an intern? I need to reflect about this one a bit more and find a way to do this in a smart way.
5. Integrated communication. After going to Hyper Island I was a little bit worried being labeled as a digital creative. I'm very happy it didn't turn out that way. We get to work on different media across the board, from TV to PR to packaging to web. Ace! Just what I wanted. Saying that I need to improve in script writing skills to be better with TV briefs.
6. Creative partnership 24/7. I'm working and sharing an apartment together with my creative partner Robbin. Most of the time it's great fun. But sometimes it's too much. The Hyper methods we picked up, help us quite a bit to resolve problems. We should continue doing that more and keep working on the partnership.
7. Idea development. Hyper Island was all about big teams and processes. Here at W+K it's back to the creative duo. It feels very familiar to the way I worked in London. I need to think about processes, there's always ways to make idea development more efficient and compelling. Looking for new methods and actively trying them out should be a goal for me. As well as collaborating with other people. For a women specific brief we invited two girls from the agency to an idea development session, it turned out to be very helpful.
8. Using agency resources wisely. W+K has a great design studio and fantastic animators. I want to spend more time with these people and learn from them. I would like to get involved in a W+K lab project and work on a music video.
9. Keeping in touch with the other side of the world. Time difference makes it quite tough to Skype with family and friends. It's very important and I need to make more time for it. Included staying in touch with my IAD'10 classmates.
10. Never forget Hyper Island. Every day that passes by I realize more about all the great things I've learned back at Hyper Island and how important they are. The way of working is crucial to success, no matter what I do. I need to come back to these learnings on a daily basis. It's just way to easy too forget about them and drift into a daily routine.

That should do for now. I appreciate any comments.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fresh short film

Have a coffee and lean back for ten minutes to enjoy this great short film. I haven't seen a fresher style for a while.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Robbin Waldemar + Sake!

The people from W+K's studio introduced us to japanese sake. Kampai.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Long but great

Some of the latest web content out there. All three videos are a bit long (3-5 minutes) but of all of them are worth watching. One is smart, one is funny and the third one is beautiful.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rockabilly awesomeness

On today's late sunday afternoon just outside Yoyogi park near Harajuku Station some Tokyo Rockabillies are having some fun. My favourite dancing part starts 2 minutes and 5 seconds in. I should learn some of those dancemoves.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tokyo blog

So far Tokyo has been overwhelming, in both cultural impressions and the amount of work that we have on out desks. Yet Robbin and I found some time to record some of it and we've collected the journey so far on our Robbin Waldemar blog.

It will be more of a quick photo blog and I will keep posting my thoughts here. We finished two major projects today, and I hope to reserve some time on the weekend to reflect on new learnings and to share them on here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Best casemovie this year

Kudos to Daniel Åhlman & Oskar Skott, Storåkers McCann.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Interactive Art Directors on internships

Everyone from my class at Hyper Island IAD'10 is now on internship. As a very international class with high ambitions to rule the creative world we set out in different directions across the globe. Here's an overview where everyone is for their internships.

ACNE Advertising, Stockholm
ACNE Production, Stockholm
Åkestam Holst, Stockholm
Britny, Stockholm
Brooklyn Brothers, London
Champagne Valentine, Amsterdam
DDB, Stockholm
Deasign, Stockholm
Doberman, Stockholm
Droga 5, Sydney
Fantasy Interactive, Stockholm
Gray, Gothenburg
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Great Works, Barcelona
Great Works, Stockholm
Honesty, Stockholm
Mother, Buenos Aires
Naked, Stockholm
North Kingdom, Stockholm
Perfect Fools, Amsterdam
Recommended, Denmark
SID LEE, Montreal
South, Malmö
STOPP, Stockholm
Strawberry Frog, Amsterdam
Strip Digital, Stockholm
Superheroes, Amsterdam
Syrup, Stockholm
Syrup, New York
Today, Belgium
Tribal DDB, London
VCCP, London
Wieden + Kennedy, Tokyo
Your Majesty, New York

The map above might not be completely correct though, as it's based on Foursquare check-ins.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nike music shoe

Fresh video straight out of W+K Tokyo. Nike free run music shoes. I tried the in-store version of it in the Harajuku store, it's fun.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arriving at W+K Tokyo

W+K Tokyo gave us a great welcome when we arrived last week. Due to a chaotic first day in Tokyo that was all about finding a place to live we could only show up in the evening on tuesday, just in time (or a bit late) for a get together to celebrate one of our newly fellow creatives (Rock) going to Cannes as one of the young lions competing for Japan – represent!

After settling in we're already on three projects and we're having a great time, it's both challenging and a lot of fun. Trish, the managing director already found time to announce our arrivel on the W+K Tokyo blog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Japan – a strange country

An info-graphic motion peace I stumbled upon. I have yet to see how much of it applies.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First saturday in Tokyo

I am now in Tokyo. The first week was full of things to take care of, practical stuff mainly and the first few days at the agency were all about getting settled. The first saturday Robbin and I spend walking around Shibuya, Harajuku and Yoyogi park. Here are some great shots that Robbin took.

Of course we visited a typical arcade and I tried my luck getting a sexy manga figurine. Better luck next time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pixels by Patrick Jean

Fantastic music video, one of the best I've seen lately.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Portfolio night 8

It's time again for the world's biggest portfolio review event – Portfolio Night round 8. A global event in 37 cities around the world where young creatives get the chance to get feedback on their work from heavyweight creative directors from the advertising industry.

But hey, you probably knew already and bought tickets for it, right? If not, hurry over to and get some for the London event or whatever participating city is nearest to you. It's a great opportunity to show your work!

They've missed out on London last year but this year's line-up of creative directors that you can see with your portfolio looks sweet as honey. Tokyo is not a participating city so I won't have a go at it myself. I'm looking forward to hear about experiences from this upcoming event in may.

Friday, April 2, 2010

W+K Tokyo Lab

One of the many things W+K Tokyo does to keep fresh is W+K Tokyo Lab – a hybrid music label concept. They collaborate with all kinds of Tokyo artists to create music, visuals and other creative expressions to create new experience. Here's a new music video that they've created for Chinza Dopeness. Maybe we'll get a chance to get involved in some kind of way.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo!

After more than 15 offers from all around the world we finally decided on our internship destination:

The contracts are signed and our tickets are booked – Robbin and I are going to Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo. We had a fantastic Skype interview with their new ECD's Naoki Ito and Frank Hahn and they decided to take us in for three months to work on Playstation, Nike and Google over in their Japan. So I guess this blog takes another turn from Creative in London, to Stockholm over to Creative in Tokyo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bye bye Sweden

After leaving Stockholm today at 08.00 in the morning, I just arrived in Hamburg, Germany and it's almost midnight. It was a long but brilliant road trip with more sun and less snow as I drove further south. The adventure part was taken care of by my bank who blocked my debit card half way to 'prevent fraud' – which resulted in me being a stowaway on the second ferry without a ticket. Above is the last glance of Sweden as seen from the first ferry from Helsingborg – Hej då.

Now, there's only one more week left to take care of thousands of things before leaving for my internship.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Last days of Hyper Island – for now

Friday was the very last scheduled day of Interactive Art Direction 2010 at Hyper Island. After the agency module was completed the class came together once again to reflect on our last months at Hyper Island and to evaluate them. After that we were to share four things in the class:

1. The greatest challenge so far during my time at Hyper Island
2. My greatest insight from my time at Hyper Island
3. One sentence to sum up my feelings about the internship
4. Two feelings right now and here

Many great insights were shared and it turned out quite sentimental as we all realized that the time in our little bubble has come to an end. Now, all of us 54 are about to leaving the school for our internships in different corners around the world. Next up: a list of where everyone's going to.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Tradition has it that every class graduating from Hyper Island creates a promotion site for the class and the students in it. After 3 months of work, that's what we've done last week. We decided we needed a place to be united after running if in different directions of the glove, and the only place would be the cloud. So we've created Cloudania, our very own digital nation. Please visit our nation and tell me what you think:

There was a whole bunch of people involved in this big project, kudos to all of my class mates. My role in this project: I was part of the core team steering the project as well as being part of the concept group. On top Robbin and I were responsible for the intro movie on the landing page.

There are also three great videos created by Kenneth Larsson showing our Cloudanian way:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Interview with David Droga

Right in the second module of Hyper Island back in September we were investigating the Future of the media industry. For this my group and I were lucky enough to get David Droga, founder of Droga5, on the phone for 20 minutes to ask him a few questions and get his opinions on where our industry is heading. I've been meaning to share the interview some time ago so here's the full transcript. There's also a audio recording of it, but the quality is rather suboptimal. I need more practise in interviewing people I guess :)

Wal: Hello David, it’s nice to speak to you, I’m really excited. I’m calling together with some people, we’re all sitting here in Stockholm at Hyper Island and we’re curious if we could ask you a couple of questions?

Dave: Sure, we have so many Swedes in our office now, I’m feeling like I'm talking to Swedes all day.

Wal: Ha, nice one. Basically, the first module we’re doing right now in our Interactive Art Director course is about finding out about the future of the media industry. So we’d like to ask you as one of the leaders of this industry and as a person who people look up to, what gets you excited at the moment in the industry?

Dave: It's a very broad question, and if I knew all the answers, I would print them and sell them off. I would be a Billionaire right now. I think there's no question that the industry is probably at its most fragile and exciting points. There's fragmentation and there's opportunity about. But by the way, is that question specific to just digital or?

Wal: Well, digital and advertising obviously, because you guys are able to combine those two seamlessly it seems.

Dave: We try not to separate them. It's all what's relevant and what's effective. There's no question that more often than not, digital plays a heavy part in that. But there still has to be as much thought into how and why we do it, as oppose to just doing it. I think there is still a lot of wasted money in digital media. People see that it's a segment that's growing and booming so they put a lot of money into it, but there are not putting as much thought into it. It's kind of crazy because I find bad digital advertising actually more intrusive and more offensive than bad traditional advertising. Because you know, traditional advertising, all be it TV or print, you almost condition to accept advertising as part of that. But online, just by the nature of why it booms so much and how it operates, it's much more under your own control. Advertising sort of interrupts and bombards you, it's much more offensive unless it's actually seamless.

Wal: If you don't separate it that way how does your creative department work, do you have traditional creatives and digital creatives?

Dave: We have one big creative department that has people from different backgrounds. There are people that have digital backgrounds. But at the end of the day it all comes down to the strategy or coming up with the idea or the implementation. When we concept it's not necessary a traditional team, it's sort of a hybrid of creatives. It might be some traditional creatives but in this hybrid model there's also some creatives that come from a digital background. Those digital creatives may be cracking the TV, just as the traditional creative team could be cracking a digital brief. Clearly when it comes down to actually execution, that's where you sort of tap into peoples backgrounds and specialities. It's not as linear as it was in the past, where traditional teams cracks it and then it's passed down to be executed by a digital team. That seems like an old fashioned model. Our model is almost flipped. If you compare it to a train, in the old model it used to be that the train would pick up passengers when it went along, it would pick up a traditional team, then it would pick up a digital team, then it would pick up producers, you know what I mean? Now in the opposite model, it's a train shedding passengers, so we start with everybody at the table. And we loose people as we go along.

Wal: In our course we are actually trying to become one of those hybrid creatives and combine design, strategy and technology into one thing. What do you expect of those hybrid creatives? Maybe a direction what way we could shape our course in order to succeed in that?

Dave: You have to be quite neutral in the beginning, you can't be seduced by a specific medium. If you sit down at the table with a medium in mind then you immediately limit yourself. What we're trying to do is to liberate our creatives by saying – ok let's start at the beginning and see whatever idea seems the right idea – and then we look at the medium to exploit it in, as opposed to starting with a TV commercial or a viral or a website. It never starts that way, it always starts with the idea before we get into any execution. We never start with an execution.
We don't expect our creatives to be planners, I do like when they have a strategic point of view, but we have a very strong strategic department that's independent. But I do like the creatives to be more than just whacky creatives, I like them to understand the insights into why they come up with ideas. The best ideas are not just creative for the sake of being creative. They are grounded in something. They definitely come from an insight.

Wal: We are a quite a digital focused school, but you're coming from a rather tradition background. Could you give us any tips what skills we should not neglect to take over from the traditional guys.

Dave: I forged my career by doing traditional stuff in the beginning, because that's what was asked of me. I'm your classic creative. I dont' care what the canvas is, I just wanna be creative. In the beginning it was very much TV and print. But the reason I got excited by digital, and do still get excited by the potential of it, is that it's a three dimensional canvas. As an industry we pride ourselves being storytellers. And we used to be just storytellers that told a complete story. A 30 second commercial had a start, a middle and a finish. A print ad was all there on the page. But what's best about digital is that the story doesn't necessary ever finish. We instigate a story and it can evolve, so we are as much creatives as we are curators. Still we have the essence of being storytellers but we don't have to finish the story as such. Digital allows you to create something that can evolve. This can be through the contribution of the people you're aiming at or we can add other elements and you can bury things in it. That's why it's so fascinating when it's done well. It's less control but more exciting.

Wal: That's a great way to see it.

Dave: I always try to look at it, not how ideas are gonna be received by the client or by our peers, but in the real world. You want to be able to work with it, interact with it. What is it gonna make people feel as opposed to make them think?

Wal: If you've seen it all, what do you still get impressed by? We're obviously competing for the desks next to people like you to tap your minds. How can we impress you or other people that are that cutting edge?

Dave: To me, genuinely, the ideas that I like the most are the right ideas. Simply because they are not just creative for the sake of it, they are ideas that tap into real human truths and they're evoke some kind of emotion out of me. Obviously for it to be appropriate it has to be the right type of emotion for the right type of client. It's not just, oh that's weird or that's funny, or that's whacky. It provokes some sort of reaction which almost has a knock on effect. And that's what I think creative solutions should show, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. That's what I find really fascinating. Just being different for the sake of it – anyone can be different for the sake of it. I think that's easy. But doing something with the ordinary, that's where the most interesting things happen, it's such a lateral way of looking at the everyday.

Wal: So it's about taking insights and connecting them with emotions.

Dave: Yeah, that's what's so fascinating with advertising, if it's done well. You probably heard it before but but it's that balance between art and commerce. That's what excites me the most. We have boundaries, an artist who is painting on a wall or a canvas doesn't have boundaries, they can do anything they want. Which is exciting and intimidating and takes a special kind of person. But we have the perimeters and mandatories, which is kind of restricting. And that's what I love - how do we solve that puzzle with all the restrictions we have? Sometime the most creative thing is the person who has the most restraints. Restraint is a really hard thing in our industry, people usually go too far, too over the top. That's why I go back to simplicity and it's also grounded in something that is based on a human truth. And you can actually be more creative with it because you've got an incentive to go back to. Does that make sense?

Wal: It sounds very passionate if you talk about it. I very much believe that it's a lot of fun coming up with those things.

Dave: It's an amazing amazing tough but amazing industry. We basically get to be creative with other people's money and other people's businesses. With that comes great responsibility. The conversations I'm having these days are so much more interesting than the conversations I was having five years ago. I could almost predict the types of conversations I would go in and have with the client five years ago. Now what's so exciting about it, is that you can't predict. That makes it that much more exciting and intimidating. We really get to stretch our imagination more. I'm sure all you lecturers will tell you the same thing but, I really believe that it's probably the best time one can be in our industry. There used to be quite a traditional way to get into the industry. You go into the industry and you work your way up the ladder, you start with print ads or radio or brochures and earn the right to go up to something that would sort of become more mad. Where it is now you can strike a chord right from the get go with something that's really small and digital. And there's also opportunity for clients now, it used to be the battle of budgets. The number one and number two made the most most noise. Now number three, four, five and six have as much right to create something that has impact. It's not necessary the money that gives you the impact but the thinking. And who doesn't want to be in an industry, where all this craziness makes us think harder and better. Assumption does no longer exist in our industry, which is the best thing for a creative industry.

Wal: We try to focus a lot on group dynamics and processes, how to come up with those great ideas and how to push them further. We'd like to know how you keep the culture of Droga5 focused in that sense. And how do you get those kind of results? How do you work with your agency culture?

Dave: You know, I keep it really simple, I'm pretty direct about what I like and what I don't like. But at the same time I don't have people fleshing out a million things really deep and wasting their time. I'd rather look at twenty ideas that are top line in the beginning, so it's more of a conversation. And I always challenge people. What is the ramification of what we're doing? What is the ripple effect? My objective is to build the most influential agency in the world, not necessarily the biggest or not necessarily the most creative, you know I mean? To be the most influential you have to do things that matter, you have to do things that actually have an effect. By default you have to be creative, by default you have to work with interesting people, by default you have to have certain size. The influence of the work is what gets me excited. We talk a lot about what are we doing, what's the purpose of it, what's the real effect of it? It's such a competitive landscape out there.

Wal: Wow, influence is a great goal, definitely.

Dave: You can never get to the finish line but it's a lense to judge yourself. It stops us from working with, you know, let's say crappy clients. It stops us from hiring crappy people. We all have the same mindset. What are we doing today that's helping us getting closer to being more influential? Influential for our clients and influential for our industry.

Wal: You guys obviously have influence, everyone speaks of your work. Maybe you can tell us what the industry's future will look like with your influence? A cliche question but we're quite curious.

Dave: I always say – why did I start the agency? I started the agency to reinvent my advertising industry not anybody else's. The amount of different categories and I don't mean clients, I mean the other industries we can collaborate with and influence – is extraordinary. We don't have to try and pretend to be the movie industry now, we don't have to try and pretend to be the record industry now. But our thinking can influence those industries, and we can collaborate with them. There isn't a business in the world that can't benefit now from collaborating with smart marketing and creative people. And that shines a light on the good agencies out there. I don't know what the future is, but all I know it's fucking exciting.

Wal: Yes and we are excited now.

Dave: It's a great time. Look, it doesn't make it any easier. We work our asses off here, and we don't get it right all the time but more often than not we do. Because we're obsessed about getting it right, not about making it the most creative. You know by default as I said, I think it is usually very creative, if your objective is to get it right. Then you find that you suddenly open up new ways that you never thought you can possibly do. We try not to be intimidated by the attitude of 'that's too hard to pull off'. If it's the right idea, more often than not things start aligning and you can pull things off.

Wal: Have you ever been to Stockholm David?

Dave: I've been once actually, I went last year. I wasn't there long enough but it was such a beautiful time. My mother went to school in Stockholm.

Wal: If you ever want to come back to Stockholm, we'd love to have you as a lecturer to share all your thoughts with 100 other Hyper Island people who would really be interested in what you have to say.

Dave: I certainly will. I have a lot of time for Hyper Island, as I say we have a couple of people from Hyper Island here.

Wal: What's your idea of Hyper Island? What do you think we can bring to the table? What should we continue doing?

Dave: From what I know, i just think that you guys are a little braver than most advertising schools out there. You're sort of, more forward facing than a lot of other schools. Who knows why? Is it something in the water? Who knows what it is? What you get is a momentum going, and everyone feeds on that, which is how agencies grow. You know, how does a good agency grow? Because it sort of gets it own confidence going and a standard. And that standard builds everyone around it. That's what's obviously going on at Hyper Island. And that's what we're trying to do here. You know, no one has all the answer and I always say, sometimes we're sprinting forward other times we're falling forward - but at least we're moving forward. And that's my goal.

Wal: They keep telling us here to leave our comfort zone and to do things we don't normally do, and that's kind of like what I'm doing right now, it's completely mind blowing for me to talk to you and get all your thoughts, so I'm really happy.

Dave: But that's what I say, it's what you believe in. That's my only thing for every creative I say, try and do work that appeals to you, that you believe in. Don't try and do work that's weird for the sake of it, because you'll end up just with weird work, that's not grounded in anything. It's easy to do stuff that's bizarre, and different. But to do work that's fucking great and right is harder. Sometimes you have to leave things on the table that, you know, makes you laugh, but aren't necessarily right. You have to try always to... I don't know. Who knows? You'll find your groove and everyone does.

Wal: Nice, pretty cool. Any last words for Hyper Island?

Dave: Keep doing what you're doing and I'm looking forward to have more Hyper Island people in our office. There are five Swedes in our office already. A little mini Sweden.

Wal: We say Tack for thank you here in Sweden. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.

Dave: Good luck with it all.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forever & Young wins

A swift update from the current module: we got news today that our Hyper Island agency won 2 out of 3 pitches. As this module is a lot about the economics of a agency, these wins make Forever & Young the top earning Hyper Island agency. A good reason for a glass of apple juice, cheers.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Battle of the Blogs

Well, I'm up for the battle of the blogs with this Creative in London. Against an architecture blog. It looks like a David/Goliath scenario, and I'm the little one. But hey, why not vote for me so I can put that in my resume? Seriously, why not? Go and vote now:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pfadfinderei at Hyper Island

Today we got served some fresh & inspiring 1st class design shit straight from Berlin based creative collective Pfadfinderei. They have been working with design, motion and music visualization since 1999. They were represented here by one of the seven members, Codec. He revealed to us a look behind their curtains and their creative process including research, references and tests before arriving at the stunning finished work. It was surprising to see how much conceptual thoughts they had behind their creations. Other insights from this lecture included:
  • Establish a collective with like minded people to keep pushing yourself, sharing rocks
  • Get your administration stuff straight so you can focus on being creative
  • Start a playground where you can work on your own projects to balance commercial work
  • Keep reinventing yourself and keep doing things differently
Check out the videos below and make sure not to miss out on more of their work on their website.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Robbin Waldemar Portfolio

Together with my creative partner Robbin we've released our new portfolio this weekend:

There are still a few things that need to grow past the beta phase but the essential stuff is up. Please tell us what you think about the portfolio itself and the work featured on it. And if you're happen to look for a creative team for your agency to do an internship this spring, please get in touch at or

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Before you die

From the makers of the other exquisite music video 'Baby Baby Baby'.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Module 7 - The Agency

My Hyper Island time is soon running out, after this one there is only the internship module left. But before that, one of the toughest and most interesting modules: The Agency.

The class is split into 5 agencies with 10-11 people in each. Those agencies have CEOs, project managers, designers and creatives. All agencies have three clients each and the possibility to pitch for more clients as well. All assignments are real and paid for by the clients with actual budgets, a pleasant pressure on delivering great work. My agency goes by the name of Forever & Young, we're 11 people. Right now I'm in charge of the current pitch for a real estate company here in Sweden – as a process leader, facilitating a group of four creatives and helping them work towards the winning idea. It's a nice change for a couple of days stepping back from creating ideas. It's more about structuring the idea development process and trying to create a creative atmosphere in a group in order to help them be more effective – a great learning experience. Next week I'll continue the work on one of our clients as an art director.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Tomorrow Awards

The guys behind and Portfolio night released their new project yesterday: The Tomorrow Awards. It's the first award show of its kind that has no categories – it will be all about the best ideas independent from their media platform. The other twist is that the shortlist will be crowd-sourced by the industry, everyone can register as a judge and help choosing work which will the be presented to the 'Monster Judges'. This team consists of jury chief Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer, AKQA, Mark Chalmers, partner and creative director of Perfect Fools, Colleen DeCourcy, chief digital officer, TBWA Worldwide, New York, Naoki Ito, executive creative director, Wieden+Kennedy, Tokyo, Sergio Mugnaini, interactive creative director at ALMAP BBDO Brazil and Robert Wong, executive creative director at Google Creative Labs.

For me, this sounds very exciting. I worked as a graphic designer in Germany, I learned about traditional advertising on internships and freelance gigs in creative agencies in London and now I'm almost finished with my postgraduate course in Interactive Art Direction at Hyper Island in Sweden – and I don't want to be in any of these boxes. I see myself as a creative working with strategic concepts, choosing the media depending on relevance and with the purpose of telling a story in the best way possible.

The Tomorrow Awards are doing a great step of defying unnecessary boundaries and categories. Let's help them celebrating the future of advertising and stop putting ideas into boxes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where the creative things are

Last week we discovered a new way of researching (stalking) ad agencies that we like – by checking up on their office via Google street view. It's a bit of fun and gives you a glimpse into the area they are located in and how different their buildings are. Below are some of the offices we found:

Droga5 in New York

Wieden+Kennedy in Portland

Anomaly in New York

If you should find any other creative offices around the world with Streetview, please share with us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rebranding the Swedish Armed Forces

Below are the results from our last module Client, Design, Strategy & Branding.
Sweden has not been in war since 1813. The focus for the army is now peacekeeping abroad. Starting 2010 the Swedish military service is no longer mandatory. So the Swedish Armed Forces want to attract talent – brain rather than muscles – to fullfill their missions abroad. Our challenge was to rebrand the Swedish Armed Forces from a traditional defensive collective into a modern employeer.

We got rid of the sword that symbolizes attack. We kept the shape of the shield, it’s made by two hands that clasp together, a metaphor for conflict resolution. The shield could also be seen as the ladder for personal development. On top we have the three crowns combined into one.

Camouflage is used for disguising yourself in the nature. We turned this around and created a new camouflage that is all about showing yourself. It reflects the diversity within the organization.

Strategy, Idea & Design by:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

World of an Intern?

Next friday we'll have CB+P Boulder here at Hyper Island Stockholm to give us a presentation and recruit talent for their internship program.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Client, design, strategy & branding

Module number 6 has been running for three weeks now and it's called 'Client, design, strategy & branding' – big words in one sentence, but it fits. We're a new team of six people working on one big client together with DDB Stockholm – The Swedish Armed Forces. The challenge is to reposition them as a forward thinking brand that is a viable employer beyond duty the on ones country. Due to the limited amount of time we compressed the research stage into a week and developed a strategy that points our way. We assembled various visual identity directions and had a first presentation to the client with this selection of routes. Now we've settled on one of them and we're creating an identity across different medias that reflects our chosen strategy. The final presentation is this thursday – I am looking forward to share the results.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recruiting talent from London

I'm back in Stockholm after a great weekend with Hyper Island in London. After the island2island exhibition on friday being a great success with over 200 visitors the saturday was filled with meeting applicants for next years course. I can't tell much about the process itself as it's best left to surprise when people apply – Hyper Island wants applicants to be rather unprepared. Thanks for W+K for hosting this event and thanks to Hyper Island for letting me be a part of it. Going through the application process from the other side was quite an insightful experience.