Victors&Spoils workshop

A rather fun experience in Cannes was the Victors&Spoils workshop with John Winsor. They are a new kind of creative agency based in Boulder Colorado that is based on Crowdsourcing creative talent. They organized their workshop so it would demonstrate their business model and creative process. They've set a creative brief for all participants: Come up with a print campaign that encourages condom use in Cannes during the advertising festival. People could work alone or in teams and submit their ideas to the V&S website while creative direction would be provided remotely from Evan Fry from Boulder.

We had a go at it and submitted three different ideas, and the first one seemed to click instantly with them so we took the first place alongside Moniq Gonzalez from Mexico. The prize – a 1000 euro tab at the Gutter Bar. It was a clever demonstration of what Victors&Spoils are about and we had fun with the workshop and of course afterwards. Below our winning entry.

Lipton competition interview

We (Robbin, Nathan & me) went to Paris last week to present our idea and work in front of the Tribal DDB team and Garth Woolley, the global brand manager of Lipton.

Here's an interview from the Hyper Island blog about it:

How did you end up working together?
We (Robbin & Waldemar) worked together in a previous school project. We enjoyed that, so when we got the brief from Tribal DDB and Lipton it felt natural to continue with our collaboration. Nathan joined in as the missing piece and our group was formed.

How come you submitted to the contest in the first place?
The brief arrived immediately after our second module where our very inspiring project leader Henrik (kudos!) armed us with tools for generating and developing ideas. This challenge looked like a perfect opportunity to practice and use those toy on our own. And obviously we were excited about having the chance for a trip to Paris.

What was the brief about?
It was about finding a solution that would connect Lipton Ice Tea and their message "Drink Positive" with its audience. The criteria was that it would have to be innovative; something that simply could not have been possibly five years ago.

What's your concept about?
We call it the "Smile Experiment", basically it's about bringing the Lipton Ice Tea message to life and connecting it to Lipton's target audience in a really cool way. Think emotional browsing... for the moment though we can't give away too much information because we're Tribal DDB and Lipton are looking for a way to produce our idea.

What if you win?
We did win! We went to Paris thursday morning and presented to the client, Tribal DDB and a bunch of other people visiting the Digital Days. The client loved it and we've received nothing but praise from everyone involved. Bringing our idea to life will initially mean a lot of planning and testing on behalf of Lipton and Tribal DDB. For us, this means that we not only won a competition and a piece for our portfolio – but also a chance to get our idea produced. Maybe even more trips to Paris or London, fingers crossed.

Any new learnings?
Lots! First of all about the work progress and the great value of having tools and structure for generating ideas. Secondly that don't settle for an idea before you get that special butterfly feeling in your stomach. We generated a couple of hundred ideas, lots of bad ones and about three "good enough" and in the end this one that filled our criterias of being both great and innovative. For the presentation we created a case movie. Despite of being a bit persuasive the movie also made us think ahead and plan exactly what we we're gonna say to whom. We ended up rewriting the script a couple of times and each time made the idea and our common understanding of the possibilities even greater.

Feature dreams, where would you like to end up?
Answering this questions while sipping a cappuccino next to the impressive Notre Dame, it's tempting to say Paris. But honestly, time will tell. It's not so much about a certain place in the world as about finding a nice atmosphere with values focused on creating idea driven work. Nathan is excited about Japan as a place to work, we are still spinning the globe.

Congratulations also to the following students whose projects made it to the final stages of the contest: Azin Ashourvan, Gro Larsson, Lasse Korsgaard, Jon Eskilsson, Minna Johans, Magnus Karlsson, Alexander Kristensen

Birthday present - Paris

It was a good day. Today I turned 27 and right in the morning we received an email that our team (Nathan, Robbin & me) won the Creative Contest set by Tribal DDB Paris for the DDB Digital Days. Not only did three other teams from Hyper Island made the shortlist (making HI the most shortlisted school, thus winning an additional school price) but our concept seemed the juries favourite that got us to the next step: client presentation. They've booked us on a plane (leaving in 7 hours) to Paris so we can present our concept in front of the Tribal DDB team and the global brand manager of Lipton Ice Tea. Bags are packed and fingers are crossed.

Update from HI

Life's great at Hyper Island. We finished off the second module with a client pitch / presentation which we prepared within 5 days. There was a total of three different clients but we were divided into groups so everyone was focusing on one. Our team was working on ICA Banken, a sub brand of a supermarket, similar to Tesco Finance. The brief was about imagining the future banking experience in 2015 and find ways for ICA Banken to become the most innovative bank on the market. We delivered a pretty cool concept and presented it well, it seems like it got the job done and inspired the client. If there's going to be time we'll put the idea it in a case movie / video format and I'll share it here.

Simultaneously we're working on a competition brief for DDB's Digital Days 2009 in Paris. The brand to work on is Lipton Ice Tea. We've spent all Sunday at school working on ideas for this brief because Hyper Island doesn't schedule any contests in the curriculum. After the concept session decided to finish the day off practising my drawing skills. I've got an idea for my desk here at Hyper, it's all work in progress but here's part one:

Cut & Paste

On Saturday I made my way to Elephant & Castle to attend this years Cut & Paste. It's a digital design tournament with three categories, 2d, 3d and motion design. There are several rounds and the competitors have a slot of 20 minutes to design something that fits the given theme. The briefs they get were quite open like a record sleeve that's 'tongue in cheek', or a billboard about 'tough love'. It's interesting that the design process, which normally is quite intimate and happens behind closed doors, is shown so transparent to everyone.

It's good fun to have some beers and watch the designers on the stage sweating away trying to rock the show in this ridiculously short time frame with a genius idea. The crowd is cheering for their favourite competitor while the DJ plays a matching tune – it's designers performing on stage like rock stars, a great concept.

Wanted Ads retrospective

Friday was the day of the clash of the creative teams. Hosted by the newspaper society in the London Art House the Young team of the Year competition attracted 22 junior teams for a one day brief. It was set by JWT, the client being HSBC and a new product called World Selection. It was all about using local media like newspapers, local websites and events to bring the message across. The day went pretty well, we had a room to ourselves and were way less stressed than last year, which helped a great deal concentrating on the task.
After 5 hours of work we presented our idea to a panel of judges (we had Al Young, Paul Belford and an account manager from JWT on ours), which went pretty alright. Unlike last time we were rather happy with our idea and this competition seemed very close.
Lots of excitement and anticipation before the announcement of the results kept everyone nervous. We knew half of the teams participating and had a great time catching up and chatting during the waiting period and afterwards in the pub.
Joe and Alex spanked it with their winning idea and the runners up were Enrique and Borja, the same guys from last year. A job well done lads. This year the Newspaper Society are doing things a little differently and will be putting up all the work from the day online so the public can have their say. That's going to be really interesting as we didn't get a chance to see the other entries. So lets wait and see what London's junior talent had to offer. Also, there was lots of filming on the day so watch this space and we'll keep you posted about a rumored viral that will be circulating soon. Big thanks to the newspaper society for making all this work, it was a fun and competitive day. Finally a good luck to the boys for the European competition and hopefully on to Cannes from there.

Friday 13th

Who says it's a day of bad luck? Today's good. An hour ago we got the good news that the agency just won the big pitch we've been working on. But it's our last day at the Bank for now, they've asked us to stay on but we de-freelanced our diaries for the next two weeks to get a move on with our book and to see people. We're excited about seeing Mareka & Kim at BBH & Graham Fink (it was canceled yesterday). Also the preordered Resident Evil 5 is waiting at home for a relaxed evening of gaming horror. The first bottle was opened at 3 o'clock to celebrate the new client. We've got tickets for one of Michael Jackson gigs. And the envelope with our entry for the Cannes Young Lions print competition should have arrived at the guardian by now. Here's the poster we've submitted to answer the brief. Knock on wood.

Let the games begin

Time for another public service announcement. Like last year the Newspaper Society is searching for the next top young creative team on the 27th of march in the London Art House. It will be judged by Al Young from St.Luke's and it's free to enter. We're definitely on board as we had a great (but stressful) time there and learned a great deal. Conditions of entry are:
Conditions of entry:

(1) You must be in a team of two

(2) You must have 3 years or less agency experience

(3) You must be free to also compete in the Best Yet competition being held in London 7-8 May (expenses covered)

Get in touch with Angelina McGaw on or 020 7632 7446. Last year they were oversubscribed so get a move on if you'd like to compete. We're very much looking forward to it.

Young Lions 2009

Like in the last couple of years Cannes is having an international competition to determine the best young creative teams (under 28 years old) in the world. Last year didn't go too well for the UK teams. In all three creative categories Film, Print and Cyber no pivotal achievements were made. How did they choose the teams to go to France and compete under the UK flag you might ask? In 2008 young teams submitted three pieces of work according to the category. This time the UK Young Lions competition is held by the guardian. Rather than submitting work they've set briefs that resemble the real competition in Cannes. Meaning the clients are charity and you just produce one answer to it and craft it. I like that, it's way more transparent and might make for a more equitable choice of competitors.

Check out the website for this competition. The brief for Cyber and Print is on Christian Aid and the issue of HIV in third world countries. The deadline is pretty close, it's the 6th of March, this Friday. We're working on a print entry ourselves. Check the guidelines if you're eligible to enter. It'll be great if the UK could make an impact this year. Get started.

So what's the brief for the film category, being the most prestigious of them? There's none. The guardian decided to ditch the participation in film for this year instead opting for the media category which isn't for creatives really. Rather disappointing, right?

Mirror Mirror on the wall…

…who's the most creative of them all?

On Friday, Leo Burnett was great and gave us the day off so we could attend the wanted ads awards here in London, held by the Newspaper Society. The purpose; to gather talented young creatives from all over Britain, put them in a sexy building and let them compete against each other for one day. Delightfully this day started off great and was pleasantly sunny as we arrived at the London Art House in Islington, a great location we must say.

We were virgins to this event but some teams had been coming for the past couple of years. A few minutes after 9:30 the arena was filled with 24 creative teams, the highest number of participants ever in it's six year life. The conditions to participate were, you need to be a creative team and work in the advertising industry for no more than three years. Most of the teams were in their first jobs, with only a handful still on placement, like us.

We bumped into lots of familiar faces and even more new ones. We were quite glad to see so many people from our course, the new bucks university.

Tanked on Coffee we gathered in the main room to get briefed.

Al Young, the Creative Director of St.Luke's took the creative lead and introduced us to the tricky part of the brief: local media. The brief was set by Vodafone, we had to come up with an idea translating their existing strategy 'Make the most of now' into local media to communicate closer to the target audience. We were the keenest kids in town, right on the front row. During Al's brief speech he told us that we were here to win, like gladiators, to defeat and to kill (well not quite), but you get it. The eager competitiveness of this event was the best thing about it.

Armed with pens, pads and the brief under one arm the creative teams then spread through the building, every team was assigned a place.

Our spot was 'the Art Studio', we were sharing it with Imogen & Lianne from McCann-Erickson, Manchester.

It was a race against time, with ideas and moments flying by, we jotted down our initial thoughts and then worked on further. Although the seating was comfy, Wal strangely dropped on the floor to search for inspiration on the ceiling. The minutes pretty much ticked on in the same fashion. We had five hours to come up with a campaign idea to fit the local challenge and like most teams we used and needed every last second.

At 4pm the work was stopped and the teams rushed down for their well earned break before presenting their ideas to the groups of judges. Everyone was stressed out as the pressure was high – everyone wanted to succeed.

After presenting we spent the time waiting for the results with calming beer and nervous chatter.

The break gave us a second to catch up with a few mates and take some snaps. Here's James & James & Jai & Wal. They're great guys and are currently on placement at Lowe, they work in our former cheese factory office.

Next the announcement of the winners. Short, sharp and straight to the point. Naturally it left most disappointed but the two winning ideas totally deserved it, they were quite brilliant. Sadly none of them was us but hey there's always next year, a great day like this deserves a second try.

To drown the sorrow and celebrate the lesson the whole bunch went on to the pub.

Where people discussed the work, made new friends and enjoyed the Friday evening after this day of brain acrobatics.

Congratulations to the winners, Miranda and Zoe from LeanMeanFightingMachine and Enrique and Borja from Mother. Even crestfallen about not having won we agreed that their work was great and earned them the prize: They will attend the European wide competition, which will be held for two days in Stockholm in a months time. So fingers crossed for our UK teams! Go on guys make us proud.

After a couple of hours things became hazy and the photos blurry, good times. It was a great learning curve for us and can't wait for next year.