Cannes Lions 2011 Recap

The Cannes Lions Festival, a legendary week for advertising creatives and alike. This summer we were lucky enough to experience it for ourselves and to see what the fuzz is all about.

First of all we had to plan ahead and put on the back-burner on some freelance projects in order to get a Young Lions pass to the event – and it was very much worth it.

The festival of creativity as it's now called was an overdose of inspiration. Of course it was accompanied by more parties than we could handle and a lot of meeting people but our main focus were the seminars and workshops. And they did not disappoint. Sure, some of the lectures were not as interesting as we hoped but the majority was well interesting. The highlights included Coca&Cola on liquid mystery, John Hegarty on being different, Sir Ken Robinson on Inspiration, Google on our future, Malcolm Gladwell on the importance of being third, John Boiler on agency culture, Rob Reilly on great pitching, Danny Choo on Anime, Johan Lehrer on the science of creativity, Mark Holden on future technology and many many more. Luckily all of these talks are now available online to watch the ones we missed and take in the very good ones once again. We had a great time, it was inspiring, enlightening and very motivating. Next year we'd like to be on stage to pick up a Lion ourselves.

Berlin Fashion Week

My sister Anna finished her studies as a fashion designer a few months back. As her final project she created the collection 'Lapka' which she presented at the Berlin Fashion Week. She was part of the Design Scouts Showcase which features young up and coming designers in an exhibition. I ventured out to Berlin in order to see her show and took a few snaps. It was an awesome night with a few after parties – I managed to capture the first one which happened right in the store 'Achteinhalb' where the Showcase took place. There's also a 'proper' video about the event by Malte Goy which you can see here. More photos to be found on Anna's blog. I'm one proud brother.

ZEF! *live

On my vacation from all things related to brands I was lucky enough to see Die Antwoord in Hamburg, Germany. One of the best life gigs ever, these guys don't joke, they rock hard, fast and precise. They had the whole tiny room bumping and sweating within five minutes after being late, almost for two hours. They played they're intense set, and left. No one understood what fokkin' hit them.

B/W photos by Schwesterherz who got me the tickets in the first place

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.

The great masters of advertising

Last thursday we went to the NABS talk at the London College of Fashion. It was all about TV advertising. The talk was moderated by Sir Hegarty and the panel consisted of Tony Davidson of W+K, Ben Priest of Adam&Eve, Nick Gill of BBH and film director Danniel Kleinman. What a great lineup! They've all chosen three ads each and I enjoyed watching all of those oldies and gems on the big screen.

Some of the things they've said stuck with me, one of them was that television is a shared media, people watch it together and talk about what they've seen. They also shared insights about the craft, like the importance of characters in a piece of film, sometimes over the plot. The right choice of music being crucial and of course they discussed the current question of 'Is Tv dead?'.

The answer in my opinion is simple, it's film what's important and impactful, no matter on what screen it appears on. And clearly, no matter the media, it's all about the story being told, right?

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.

Le Publivores

Last week we went to The Night of the Ad Eaters. 6 hours of ads in a cinema with entertainment in between. We didn't stand the whole night, we might have, but at times the ad selection was way to random.

We reckon the IPA just used the french real, as for 20 minutes they had ads running with Paris as a location – zero idea and zero fun, mostly. Now if that would have been London it might have been more appealing right? Overall it was a good night, there were some pretty wicked ads that were fun to watch on the big screen with a non forgiving crowd that applauded the good stuff. Have a look at some of the spots that stood out, they are nicely assembled by Seventy Seven. Thanks for saying hi, Luke & Co. I think I also spotted Mike&Phil in the crowds?

The Bill, and The Chris.

Jai Wal

Delicious ads for dinner

Watching ads all night sounds fun right? RIGHT? Right.

That's why on the 16th of October we're heading to the Bloomsbury Theatre to the Night of the AdEaters. It features more than 350 films of the best Russian, Asian, African, South American and UK advertising spots. They like to call it 'advertainment' and source the spots from the worlds only library dedicated to TV and cinema commercials – the 'Jean Marie Boursicot Cinématheque'. Check out for all details and come along if you like. Bon Appetit!

Brief 2008

At the last AHA! we've met Ash, and together with our friend Ant they are starting something rather interesting: Brief 2008. Have a look at the specs.

What is it?

An informal industry showdown where teams from different sectors of the industry (that's you guys) go head-to-head to see who can best answer a digital brief, probably under the influence of alcohol. You'll be judged by top industry people not just on caliber of creative ideas but also their feasibility and potential longevity.

How does it work?
The basic format of the night will be an evening where planners, creatives, thinkers, designers PR people, and anyone else from any of agency will come together in teams and tackle a brief that will be given to you on the night. You'll spend 2 hours putting presentations together with advice from our after which the work will be presented and a decision will be made.

Who's judging?
So far we have confirmed the following judges:

Amelia Torode - Managing Partner of VCCP and head of Digital Strategy
Ben Milligan - Head of Planning at Holler
Iain Tait - Founder of Poke

Who should take part?
You! Creativity doesn't just lie with the creatives, especially when digital briefs are being discussed. We're looking for anybody within the industry with enthusiasm for generating good ideas. We're looking for six or more teams consisting of 3-6 people.

What's in it for me?
As well as free booze on the night you have the chance to show yourself off in front of senior people from some of the best agencies in town, and big bragging rights.

Where and when?
The Design Council, 34 Bow Street, WC2E 7DL.
Thursday 17th July - 6.30 pm prompt start - 10:30pm approx home time.

How do I register?
email with Team Name (and motto), members, where you're coming from. In order to avoid flakiness (as we know everyone is very busy) there will be a £10 per head charge which will be given entirely to charity. Once we have confirmed your attendance we will send over the 'just giving' account details.

UPDATE: The event is free now, no 10£ charge.

Looking for a team? Want to know more?
Start the discussion on the Brief 2008 Blog or the Facebook group.

Ad created by Ike

AHA! June 2008

AHA! It took us some time but finally we found a quiet rainy Sunday to sort out the photos of the creative gathering we organized (big thanks to Ray) back in June. Thanks everyone for joining it, we had a great time and were really happy to meet so many new creative people. Hope to see you and others next time (probably beginning of August). All the photos can be found on our flickr.

Short & Sweet birthday

Short & Sweet, Londons only weekly short film showing celebrated its second birthday last night. Yesterday they showed a crop of the good stuff. Two hilarious films from Lev Yilmaz stood out, see them below and visit his website to discover more.

Also on screen was a short we blogged about last year, Rabbit, make sure to have a look, if you don't mind weird. We want to thank everyone at Short & Sweet for all the fun we had since we went there for the first time, we discovered lots of great shorts and always left inspired.

Jai & Wal at Portfolio Night London

Free drinks, lots to chat about, old friends and some new ones, a sprinkle of creative directors and six book crits. Blimey, that was a lot to fit into one evening but the guys from pulled it off beautifully. And not just in London, but in 21 other cities around the world on the same night. A global creative orgy. A big hats off to them.

At the beginning we were told to follow a fine tuned system for speed dating with CDs, and were asked to move to the table on your right after every crit. Sorry guys, we weren’t about to follow that – in fact we don’t think anyone did. We went in with a plan of who our book was going to be seen by and nothing was going to get in our way.

Luckily for us the friendly, smiley undertones of 'look at our work' paid off and our night went really well, seeing six creative directors. Quite fantastic. Lots of advice, lots of opinions, lots to take in, lots of contacts and all was lots of fun. We had 15 minutes with each CD to show our stuff, make an impression and try to seal the deal.

The registration was handled by a bunch of first years from St. Martins, good work

The event was hosted by JWT in Knightsbridge

Reunion time in the garden, Rob, Jai, Chris, Wal, Ray and Bernd

The high temperature allured everyone into the garden to drink the nerves away

Don't know 'em, but they're cool

Rob, that's no way to impress Renee

Lusea Arabella Karenza Warner and Tom

Ready for creative torture

Say hello to our new friends Dave, Andy and Jose

Ade and Mike, good luck to them at Lowe

Drop your drinks and gather

While last year was small and cozy, this year was epic

Brian trying to be funny, excuse him he's Canadian

The creative directors waiting for the first wave of fresh blood

The most organized part of the evening

Who do you want to see? You better be quick.

Maybe if we didn't take so many damn pictures we could have got more crits?

The Creative Directors we were lucky enough to see

Laurence Quinn from JWT

Brian Campbell Creative Director at AMV/BBDO

Paul Silburn, Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi

Will Awdry, Creative Partner Ogilvy London

Chris Clarke, Creative Director Digitas

Iain Tait, Founder of Poke, brain behind

Last minute crits in the lounge

After too many critiques Jai's having problems controlling his facial expressions

Now don’t ask how, but we somehow managed to score three placement offers, result! So not only was it a jolly but in the end it turned out to be quite productive and not just for us but a load of our mates too. Well done to everyone.

You can take our word for it being the most useful event in our calendar so far this year. Hopefully we’ll never have to go to another one ever ever again.

Street Pop

I had a lovely day on Saturday, I was on the gad around town and decided to visit The Cans Festival, a street art exhibition. A couple of minutes later, on the bus, three lovely British grandmothers entered the bus. One of them asked the others what to do next. The woman with the thick glasses and white hair, answered: 'Why don't we go to Waterloo, and see what this Banksy guy's up to?'

Was that the moment Banksy and alike turned pop? Who cares, their work is fantastic. See pictures on Romanyg's Flickr stream.

In the end, I didn't go, the cue was way too long.

Portfolio Night 2008 is doing it again. Portfolio Night 6 is coming up in a couple of months. On the 8th of may young creatives will have the chance to put their books in front of local & international creative directors in at least 17 cities around the world (face-to-face as well as online response after uploading your book). It’s the second time in London and Wal participated last year with Kristin, it was awesome and we can recommend it to everyone looking for adivice, jobs or placements. A review about the last one is to be found here. The tickets will be around 20 quid and will be available from the 21st of march.

Now why should you pay for a bookcrit you ask? It will save you the (sometimes impossible) trouble of getting in touch with great creative directors and putting your book in front of them.

Last year we’ve waited to see the list of CD’s ( here is last year's list) before getting the tickets, this time we won’t as we’re pretty sure about a great turn up. The London night is hosted by JWT and will take place at their Knightsbridge office. And there's free beer...

Secret Cinema

Shhhhh...we're not really supposed to talk about this but we thought we'd risk sharing it with you guys. Wednesday night we discovered Secret Cinema for us for the first time. It was awesome. We had to sign up online and pay for tickets on Tuesday, and believe us it’s quite odd handing over hard earned cash for something that is a mystery. However we gave it a punt and it was no disappointment.

So yesterday morrow an email pinged up with a reference number and time, telling us to meet at the Royal Academy of Arts; quite plush, not what we were expecting. Anyhow we turned up and witnessed the most disorganized and perhaps most immoral queuing system known to man. We thought we’d be a bit clever and ‘bad’ and jumped the swarm bringing us closer to the entrance; however to our dismay there were people rather more cunning than us. As a result we quickly found ourselves nearing the last people that entered. Note to self - never underestimate a Londoners creative queuing resolve.

Still, the atmosphere was beaming with excitement, with performers in pink outfits running around and mumbling nonsense to one another, a mini orchestra blaring and a Dick Tracy type photographer with an old fifties camera taking pictures during the queuing chaos. Clearly a clue to the movie but we weren’t cultured enough to guess which one. Eventually we got in to see even more performers, even stranger now.
Secret Cinema were also kind enough to provide lots of freebies and after a great short the film - The Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn. Certainly not something we would have watched if we had not gone, but it was a pleasure indeed. A motion picture full of wonderful acting and marvelous dancing. The movie choice seemed to accompany the London Fashion Week very well and everything around it fitted the plot. We found out about this through le cool magazine, give it a go.


Graham Fink, M&C Saatchi's creative director is organizing is the brain behind theartschool– a creative gathering for idea minded people. It has been a long time since the last session and this time the guest speaker is Alan Yentob, (he must be a cool guy since he has his own wikipedia page – is that the standart to judge?) creative director of the BBC. It will take place next week on the 5th of December (same day as Publicis' Christmas party, woohoo), starting at 2pm sharp. Come along, but drop them an email first to

It's free and it sounds like good fun, there is also a placement at M&C's at the end of it for 'the most promising people'.

Agency Night Out

Right, I still haven't figured out the details, like most other creatives here, but the production brand of the agency is joining the integrated which is joining halfway with the interactive. The only thing I know is that it's an occasion for am agency party for people getting to know each other. Part one was yesterday, a night club in Mayfair and it's looking like they are planning a trilogy – fun times ahead.

Get naked – Get creative

The Young Creative Council is a facebook group for all kinds of creatives, just like the Creative in London group, which hosts more than 400 members nowadays. The evening was filled with life drawing and a big amount of young creative minds. I enjoyed meeting new people and making friends.

Unique drawing styles everywhere. The art teacher gave everyone advice which helped a lot. Graham (red shirt) very much enjoyed the evening, and kept drawing only hair. Interesting.

I haven't been doing life drawing for quite a while now and it was refreshingly great – I can only recommend this to all art directors.

The outcome was astonishing.

Of course we went to the pub afterwards, free drinks inclusive! Thanks to Three Blind Mice who sponsored this event.

Graham (right) was picked as the art teachers favorite and went home with a bottle of exquisite champagne. Earned I say. I liked the drawing on the left as well.

Craig was the one started it all, thanks to him for this brilliant evening.

Festival of Lights

Today is Diwali, a Hindu festive holiday. I know very little of this culture and noticed posters on the tube talking about Diwali. So this morning I received a message from a friend, congratulating me with the new year. I asked him to shed light over this occasion. his email

«Time for a brief Religious Studies lesson:

One of our gods was exiled from his kingdom for 14 years. Nearing the end of his exile he defeated a bad guy, freed a nation, which is now Sri Lanka and rescused his wife. On his return home to show him the way, people from his kingdom lined the path with 'Divas' indian candles. This was to light his path home. And his return was today, so we call it Divali. Its the most religious day of the year for us. So on these days Hindus all over the world light divas in their homes, give gifts, charity, visit loved ones, light fireworks and pretty much party hard in celebration of good over evil, light over dark. It's very special.

Tomorrow is new year for us. So we visit the mandir (temple) and all our elders and ask for their blessings for the coming year.

I want to go to India one day to experience this. I bet its amazing. There's more but that's for a proper conversation.»

They are celebrating Light and good over evil, a wonderful and spiritual thought missing in the western culture. Thanks Jai, I'm looking forward to this conversation.


Sorry for reporting back on this so late but the weather has been to good to be inside – right.

This AHA! was great, lots of people, different people, more people than last time, thanks everyone for coming around! Thanks to my dear friends from creativistan namely Reinhard, Christos, Sara and Oksana for organizing this together with me!

Besides mingling, chatting and drinking we tried this time to find the ultimate answer on how make life more meaningful. We asked everyone to tell us their secret wisdom of life on an AHA! fortune cookie paper. They did. While people were reflecting heavily about their contributions to what is now know as the 'AHA! way of life', sadly, someone nicked Charles' bag and Lauren's iPod. Have a look at the pieces of wisdom they sacrificed to write:
  • 'It's all about the people' Renee
  • 'Don't scream at a deaf person' Camilla
  • 'The path is hard, but the butterflies are flying' Julien
  • 'Star today what you've planned for tomorrow' Christos
  • 'Stand on the steeple and piss on the people' A.J.
  • 'Always try to remember peoples names, it's just polite, sadly I remember no ones!' Damien Knowles The Kiwi
  • 'Going down every little helps' Juliana
  • 'Don't get caught in the shower when a fire alarm goes off...' Ann
  • 'You are going to have lot of sex, but no tonight!' Anonymous
  • 'Don't shit where you sleep!' Agatha
  • 'Your shoes will watch your shadow so polish them,
    otherwise you will lose your shadow.'
  • 'Arts Lunga – Vita Brevis. If you can't do the best why even bother with the rest?' Oksana
  • 'A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.' Ray
  • 'Peace still works.' Nina
  • 'The yellow snow is the tastiest. Don't listen to the rest.' Peter Brown
  • ' A Jelly Baby walks into a bar – bar keeper says what's that smell?
    Jelly Baby says 'Oh Fucking all sorts!'
  • 'To thine own self be true.' Lauren
  • 'An idea is like a leaf that needs rescue from the wind' T.C. Jeeves Basu
  • 'You can't always get what you want.' Charles
  • 'Don't take yourself to serious! Seriously.' Marco Warstat
  • 'Pigeon, oiseau à la grise robe, Dans l'enfer des villes, à ma vue tu te dérobes.
    Tu es vraiment le plus agile'
  • 'What if OK isn't OK? If this was true, no-one would ever be happy.
    Strive for everything, but there is value in being content'
  • 'The Picture has a moustache. It's how you perceive it.' Matt
  • 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' Tam
  • 'A book tightly shut is nothing but a block of paper' Ray
  • 'The path is long indeed, but the door at the end is not Blue.' Wal
Enlightened? We hope so. We can't wait for the next one! See flickr (or facebook) for more pictures. And come along to the one in august. AHA!