18 August 2010
02 September 2009
I now work at Duval Guillaume, that is as from today. Duval Guillaume is a part of the Publicis Group. I'm leaving behind a great Team at Proximity BBDO. I wrote the house a small tribute as I left the building:
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoope of steel.
Dedicated have I given in, my heart and soul, my everlasting passion to make a profit for the people that have trusted me.
Dedicated have I given in, many moonlighted minutes of my life, to help grow this agency and it's legacy.
Dedicated must you carry on, for, the profit this company makes might keep you and your family alive.
Dedicated must you push harder, and fight to achieve greater things. For, it is the only way you will live forever.
• Who is Maurice Lévy?
• Who is Andrew Robertson?
Publicis news: Microsoft Sells Razorfish for a Whopping $500+ Million & Publicis to buy Razorfish ad agency from Microsoft
I have sold this (firstname.lastname@example.org) address to another user and will no longer use it to respond to your requests, inquiries, or nice words from now on.
Please contact me through social media, you'll easily find me by searching the web for "grapplica". Chances are I'll change my e-mail address again some day that's why I strongly recommend using social media to contact me. It seems most unlikely that I'll change nicknames anywhere soon.
29 August 2009
We have appointed Strategist Nicolas Moerman for the Best Of Class scholarship.
Nicolas will soon be send to The Mothership in London. After 3 weeks of learning, sharing, interacting and creating we had to elect 1 chosen one. Our first edition of The Farm ended yesterday. A series of interviews and observation sessions stacked elaborate files on each participant, which led us to a long and tiring meeting. I guess I mustn't tell you that all participants contributed the strength of the Team. But, as we promised, only one of them could be granted that €1500 lot and seat in the London office. To select the Best Of Class we considered a broad range of criteria.
Nicolas proved his strengths as a Strategist being able to shape Client input to a tight Creative Brief, he proved to be a premium Digital Native because of his thorough knowledge of technological possibilities and Social Media. He knows who to talk to. He was responsible for one third — 4950 people have visited The Farm blog since August 7 — of the platform's traffic and about one fifth of the content. One might argue that he is a noisy bastard — and he is — but luckily he has learned to keep quiet when needed. We don't blame him for his youthful enthusiasm of course. He is able to jump-start the creative process and mostly assesses good ideas correctly. Overall he is fascinated by marketing, technology and advertising which, we believe, is a good mix. Nicolas has a natural appetite for selling products and services the new media way.
He considers himself to have weird sense of humor and is without any doubt a major a geek. A marketing addict, bitten by the interactive advertising bug. No doubt he'll blend into the British Empire squad in no time. We wish him all the luck, and Godspeed.
16 July 2009
The Farm is an exclusive summercamp for graduates.
Talented and ambitious starters will be challenged to start a new agency. Proximity BBDO will train 12 graduates and take them through the world of digital and interactive marketing.
Last Wednesday we screened 56 graduates and selected 12 to form two teams this summer. 1 team contains 6 profiles: an Account Executive, a Strategic Planner, an Art Director Online and one Offline, a Copywriter and a Web/Graphic Designer. This summer our 12 recruits are: Laura Verstraeten, Olivier Berger, Helen Bogaerts, Sofie De Clercq, Tom Vingerhoets, Nicolas Moerman, Kasper Vandenbussche, Sven Augusteynes, Jolijn Gijssels, Sven Thierie, Maarten Lauwaert and Bram Ceuppens.
In 3 weeks, the 'intensive program' will cover interactive workshops about social media, viral marketing en brand building. Amongst the tutors are many celebrated leaders of the Direct & Interactive divisions of Proximity BBDO, one of Belgium's largest full service agencies.
The Farm is a professional intensive training program, offered free of charge. Attendees will be housed in a supplied mansion just outside Brussels - http://www.villakortenberg.be
The 'best of class' will be send out to one of the networks' best agencies abroad.
12 May 2009
Fortifying its reputation as a world-renowned creative agency, BBDO/Proximity Malaysia hauled five "Silver Nominations" and six "In-books" at the D&AD Awards 2009. Accordingly, the agency is now the second most-awarded agency in the world!
BBDO/Proximity Malaysia's Jeep "Bushman/Eskimo" and "Husky/Camel" received one out of every five D&AD nominations for Asia. Its trailblazing performance at what is considered the world's toughest advertising award show, gave Malaysia its most D&AD nominations thus far. As a result, Malaysia is also the seventh best performing country, overtaking other creative powerhouses such as Africa and China.
"As an agency that benchmarks our work against the highest standards of excellence, we are thrilled about our unexpected success at D&AD," BBDO/Proximity Malaysia's group chief executive Jennifer Chan said.
BBDO/Proximity Malaysia's D&AD success is another demonstration of the agency's conscientious focus on its quality of work and in ensuring that its creative output is both innovative and business-enhancing.
Chan said that BBDO/Proximity differentiates itself from other agencies by obsessively safeguarding the integrity of its creative output. Moreover, the win is a testament to the BBDO/Proximity team's commitment to delivering award-winning campaigns that engage consumers and build brands.
"If it weren’t for the support and contribution of each individual staff who did their bit, either directly or indirectly, this would not be possible. Many, many congratulations to Ronald Ng (chief creative officer) and Mun Tuck Wai (executive creative director) and all at BBDO/Proximity; and as always, the confidence in us and support of us from our clients."
The nomination and in-book results were announced on the web earlier this week. BBDO/Proximity Malaysia's winning entries were among the 717 entries, out for 20,000 pieces of judged work, selected to be published in the D&AD Annual. However, the elusive and highly esteemed Yellow Pencil award will only be revealed on June 11.
04 May 2009
We, at BBDO, believe in Reverse Apprenticeship. We do this by allowing those we lead to lead when they feel the need. To embrace this philosophy we started an initiative we call Student Seats. The initiative gives students a chance to participate in business and professional events, after all youngsters can give good and useful input to the seniors of the industry. From time to time we will release free tickets to events related to marketing, communication, social media, design and advertising. Free seats will be announced at our mini-platform http://studentseats.proximity.bbdo.be or handed out to bloggers and student-organisations for distribution.
Our first free event?
Thursday, May 7th. Relationship Marketing Congress by Stichting Marketing
We, as a sponsor of the event, proposed to fill the free seats with ambitious conversation-savvy youngsters.
FREE TICKETS to an event that costs businesspeople an entrance-fee worth €315! Our definition of "The Right Message At The Right Time". #crisis #opportunity #proximitybbdo #adnerds
The Relationship Marketing Congres is a series of lectures about the newest trends in marketing. We, Proximity BBDO, will talk about how brands can plan and measure an effective social media strategy.
26 April 2009
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- BBDO CEO Andrew Robertson, whose job responsibilities include catapulting 287 business units around the world into the digital age, has become a proponent of reverse apprenticeship. In part one of a two-part series, he briefly discusses the giant agency's efforts to up the digital-savvy quotient of all its far-flung parts.
20 April 2009
04 April 2009
This time of the year everyone at the agency is running wild to prepare and finish all awardboards and casemovies. Freakin' hell. But the good side is, soon we'll be massive chitchatting and having fun at all these parties again, yippy. I've made a selection of the work my team is sending and a small wrap of all the cases we're sending with ProximityBBDO this season so far.
More of this years work is:
03 April 2009
6 real claw machines can be controlled and played on from your browser. Pepsi Max combines bytes and atoms. If you're passionate about something, max it. That is what Pepsi Max is all about. That and gaming of course. And how do you go about maxing a game that everyone is passionate about? You think bytes (as in 'internet'). You think atoms (as in 'real world'). You grab a soldering iron and connect both.
MAX YOUR THOUGHTS
Take 6 real claw machines, hook 'm up to the internet and start playing. Unique codes can be stripped from the Pepsi Max bottles and used to add up for extra gaming credits. The lucky ones can win some cool prizes or grab a ticket for the final during which one plays with an 8 meter tall claw machine containing really huge prizes! Each finalist will be able to grab a huge bear and possibly win sunjets.be trips to Malta or Tenerife, or take home 50" plasma's and other cool Panasonic stuff.
The campaign is kick-starts with traditional online media. Bannering and an enticing e-mail to a database of Pepsi Max aficionados
SOCIAL MEDIA CUM
Today, more than 2.1 million belgian citizens are an active member of Facebook. So we integrated the power of Facebook Connect to make the game easily portable over the users contact network. Everyone registering with Facebook credentials, receives give-away codes for friends. Everytime anyone plays or wins it shows up in their friends newsfeed. How's that for viral?
Frankly, a huge amount of users can freely access the website but only 6 can play simultaneously. Of course these users don't want to be sitting ducks while waiting for a claw machines to become available. Statistics are put up to check when the site is very busy, a concept we introduced with, and was essential to, the Internet Is Mine case. Also, the claw machines Twitter when one of the slots is available.
Phase 1: First wireframes were made in Powerpoint. They served as a basic feature-spec for the full website.
Phase 2: After being loosely briefed on the campaign’s concept and features, several paper sketches were made to serve as a rough guide. The concept at this stage was “a carnival or arcade, but maxed out!”.
Phase 3: Taking the best sketches into Photoshop, we created a digital painting that would serve as a moodboard and colour guide. This piece was also shown to the client in order to get the go-ahead for the look-and-feel for the rest of the website. You’ll also notice the (not-so) subtle use of Pepsi’s 3 main colours, creating a symbolic link between the logo and the site.
Phase 4: Using photos of the real grabber machines as reference, 3d models of the six cabinets, as well as a large “hero”-crane - a reference to the real-life final phase of the competition. The models were created and rendered in 3ds max 2008.
Phase 5: After all 3d models were animated and rendered, all assets were composited in Adobe After Effects and Photoshop. The mist was painted by hand.
Phase 6: After the final compositing of the scene, everything was then taken into Adobe Flash, where it was animated and integrated with the rest of the UI, which was also designed in Photoshop.
SOME HARDCORE GEEKNESS
Basically the client, your pc at home, simply browses to the webpage loading the Flash application. Through the Flash application the Socket Server receives the data of the logged in user and pushes that info to an Application Server on the same layer. The Application Server is there just to check the user data. N00bs would refer to this step as "checking with the database". Furthermore the Socket Server just relays feedback between the claw machine and the UI. To put it straight, the Socket Server is the connection between the client and the claw machines at our offices. If a connection is established then that triggers the Socket Server and extracts one credit. Whenever a client is logged and ready to play, the Socket Server checks whether the user still has available credits to play the game. Credits can be added by entering game-codes found on Pepsi Max bottles and cans.
So, the Application Server feedbacks on the user-request and talks back to the Socket Server. Finishing this simple cycle the Socket Server pings to one of the 6 computers hooked to a claw machine. Each one of these computers is linked to a claw machine through 6, USB interface, micro-controllers talking to one of 6, physical, claw machines.
The micro-controllers allow users to address the physical controls of the claw machines. The connection between the two buttons to navigate and the coin collector are intercepted and thus hijacked by the USB interface of the micro-controllers. The micro-controllers send the claw machines the same electrical signals normally send by the original connections of the physical buttons.
The bears in the claw machines are stuffed with an RFID-tag. If a user manages to catch and lift a bear, the bear is dropped into a slide passing an RFID-chip reader. Once the reader is triggered a signal is passed on back to the Socket Server. The Socket Server then checks that tag with the linked prize in the DB inside the Application Server. When the match is made the UI displays to the user what prize he, or she, has won.
By the way, Proximity BBDO is looking for more ambitious developers willing to enforce our team and start create more of these wicked web-apps and games. Anyone with an interest can apply here.
Check out more of our geekness at Adnerds.be and check the conversation at #pepsimax, #twapero and #proximitybbdo
31 March 2009
ProximityBBDO at the beaches of Cannes, summer of 2008, originally uploaded by Proximity BBDO
A few weeks ago Suprasonic, a colleague of mine, started this little event called Twapero.
A Twapero is similar to a Twunch, Twinner or JongTuig, namely getting together with peeps invited via a Twitter network. Twapero is the combo of Twitter and apero. "Apero" is the French name for: drinks and a cocktail-party. Basically a meet and greet with peers and contacts that follow you on Twitter.
I told Supra that maybe it'd be nice if he tried to find a sponsor for every Twapero, and so we went knocking on our CEO's inbox. He doesn't have a door, let alone office. Anyway, he dug the Twapero - why wouldn't he, after all he owns a bar ;) - fixing the free drinks and location.
Thursday we're officially launching the new Max It and so the sponsored Twapero found it's match. Since months we've been working on a wicked and wild new webgame for Pepsi Max. Pepsi Max's campaign which lets you control real world stuff from your browser. I can't talk too much now but we've been pulling strings, throwing bears, connecting fiber wires and testing RFID tags till we drop to make this new project work.
Next to free drinks by ProximityBBDO and goody bags by Pepsi Max. The Adnerds will talk and walk attendees through the creative process and reveal some of the technicals. How did it come about? What does Facebook Connect bring and why the heck are those things Twittering?
Frankly, you're all invited. The Adnerds told me they will be handing out cheatsheets during the Twapero, sounds like geek-excitement to me!
17 February 2009
The extra mile, indicating the formidable length of my post on the e-strategy of Kinepolis, was perhaps a bridge to far what concerns webcopy. "Overnewsed but uninformed" totally fits the Zeitgeist. While nosing around on the internet you've probably noticed that often lots of people are covering one specific subject without passing on founded knowledge on the matter. Let alone giving insides or writing down something nobody else would possibly be able to put down in words. Luckily this wasn't entirely the case on this particular event. We had passed a great deal of 'bashing about', pissing on Kinepolis, repeatedly echoing each other on what was wrong with Kinepolis. Now, thanks to some fantastic bloggers and the therefor crucial event the echo-chamber had morphed and fresh thoughts had been released. "Overnewsed but uninformed" was my motto for digging really deep into the backgrounds that jumped this conversation. All that to share with you a deeper understanding of what is going and how this all came into place.
I know reading on the web isn't quite as inviting as reading a book. In the zone untenable by my own enthusiasm. The post was loaded with several sidestories and inside information leading away from the core idea that particular post was messaging.
Having finished writing it already dawned on me but I was to eager to hit the 'publish' button so I did. During writing I changed my status on LinkedIn into "writing a book on the e-strategy of Kinepolis, the largest host of movietheaters in Belgium", so I was very well aware of the fact that the post was stretching out that extra mile not a soul would reach to read. This morning I received an e-mail of friend and colleague Pietel. He informed me that he was interested in reading the story but pointed out that I should stick to 1 idea per post. He suggested extracting sidestories and indirect information on the topic into different posts, splitting the story, making it easier for readers to gain access to the original post, core of the topic within the vivid conversation roaring about Kinepolis at the moment.
@Pietel: you are right, having to scroll about 3 seconds to meet the bottom of the post, about 7 times an entire screen down the fold of a standard browser-window (1024*768), is a little pushing daisies.
Thus, this has been taken care of. The original post was split up into eatable pieces of blogwriting. Some of you might argue that the core post is still too long but I didn't want to alter the work I submitted on this topic.
I hope it serves your cause and treats your time with pleasing aftermath. Hereby the list of posts embracing my thoughts, observations and insights about a recently started conversation on 'Kinepolis':
» Think of it as Jujitsu. The ins and outs of Kinepolis' latest e-strategy. (original post, insights and background on the conversation)
» How it all started
» Calling in the bloggers
» Martial arts
» Marrying an agency
» Who is Druppels
» To media or not to media
» Join the conversation
Tales of drudgery and boredom, Een scheet in een fles, Dipfico's daily, Blogging the news, An unexpected view to the world, Verwarring troef, Blogging in Balegem or De gustibus est disputandum.
More conversations can be browsed by using the widget displayed next, or you use a watchlist to monitor new entries.
Today, it is often debated whether it is better to use mainstream, or must I use 'traditional', media or the so called social media online for getting your message through. Though the question is not which is better, the question should rather be: what are you trying to achieve, what goals have you set, what targets are you chasing. Social media is all about talking, establishing a relationship with that customer, rather than just saying "here I am, have you seen me?". Social media can have their value, but talking is not always appropriate for a company or a brand. It all depends let's say, the big change here is that now, other than before, companies are choosing. Choosing whether to push, talk, interact, engage, listen or ... shout.
Druppels, Frédéric De Vries, started working at ProximityBBDO October 2007. First as a Strategist completing a special unit called 'Innovation'. A unit created to guard and amplify the level of creative output of the freshly started merger called ProximityBBDO. It existed of 4 specialists. This unit worked as a satellite orbiting the giant hairball, functioning a plug-and-play unit engaging with the different departments inside the organization. This unit could be referred to as 'a wild-card team'. Druppels creative companions were Adriaan van Looy and Wim Provoost. Frédéric De Vries, former These Days and DigiPoint, is now a Creative Director at ProximityBBDO. Which explains the lack of time for writing decent studied blog-posts like this one. I have to add that killer Aikido training, a fast car, barking dog and biting new girlfriend also add up on his personal time-sheet. I report to "Fré" directly, as he is responsible guarding the Online Art Directors at our company.
Not too long ago, Kinepolis chose ProximityBBDO as their sparring partner for talking to their customers. Talking yes. By now most companies have understood that pushing the message through mainstream media doesn't always bring value for money. Kinepolis currently owns and hosts 23 cinema complexes in Belgium, France, Spain, Poland and Switzerland, and employs about 1600 people.
Jujitsu is mostly known for it's key attribute: turning the attacker's force against him. Some amongst the martial arts experts would argue that the martial art of Aikido is better known for this attribute but that's not quite the point of this article. Of course there's no need to tell you that the force of this new era is that of the consumer. Consumers have the power, consumers are in charge now, no need to keep repeating that. Important is this: consumers can raid on companies whenever they have the feeling they have been done harm, just like that, as long as they get support from others, as long as there is an audience they'll be listened to. So let me stop boring you and move on to the story here.
"Druppels welcomed the bloggers, together with the Adhese team, as they arrived at the scenery.
Tapping the Groundswell
Robin showed up first. Shortly after the majority of the invited influentials had walked through the door and the drinks were ready to be served the cosy chatter amongst the bloggers started. The crowd knows each other. It's been years since I've had this awkward feeling of being a newbie. I comfort myself with some statistics, namely, that I knew 5 out of 40 attendees. Recognized more than 50% by recalling their faces from flashing avatars. And had found least one somebody with which talking was as if I'd knew him for years, knowing how to handle a
Westside accent has some advantages after all. Bob's nerves were almost untenable. I think be that time he could have given that presentation upside down, he was totally in on it. Bob, Bob Claeys, heir to the Kinepolis heritage. Bob, Kinepolis board-member and by far it's most enthusiastic evangelist. This guy breaths Kinepolis, lives Kinepolis, is (partly) Kinepolis. He would tell the invited crowd about how this company had grown, about their strengths and recent investments in innovative technologies. He was sweating. Although Bob did a great job on bringing an story with flair and lots of juice, still the bloggers were left clueless about their reason being there. Clueless about why their precious time was being occupied. Clueless about why they had been served free drinks, a grim impatience started to arise in the tone of voice of the comment spread through the Twitter services. Bob was talking too long and too loud... A small break came about right on time and the audience moved to a less 'listen to me' kind of space. Food was served, well food. Some bloggers obviously expected more than finger-food and popcorn. The story continued and a new face stood before the gang of online frontiers. The one and only CEO of Kinepolis was ready to take on the beating if necessary, Eddy Duquenne, a brave man. It was time to tune out from the fairy tale of history and wake up. Eddy had a calm, charismatic and unnatural appearance of authority. It was as if he owned the placed. This wasn't a man under siege, he must have been hypnotized. No. He was there, feet to the ground, listening. He explained briefly why he had invited everybody present. He explained their new strategy of listening and talking and shortly after moved to the Q&A. Most Belgian readers amongst you undoubtedly can recall the painful moments plenty of speakers confront when speaking before a Belgian audience, silence. No questions. But this wasn't the case at all. The audience didn't jump him like an outrage mob, the questions were neatly lined up. Time was exploited to raise hands, ask questions and change thoughts. Eddy wasn't being to defensive at all. He left a divine impression.
Then someone popped that one question: "why is the founder of that Facebook group called Kinepolis gaat erover not invited to this talk? He is the reason why we are here, right?".
Eddy smiled and sat his ass down. "Well, as a matter of fact, no, that is not why you are here. At least not entirely. Yes, he is the reason why we have shifted gear in what were working on. But it is not 'because' of him you are here. You are here mainly because we want to start talking with our customers. And we have not invited him because we wanted to emphasize the fact that he is merely the reason for us to shift gears. Also, he has blanked us out, swamping us with negativity and we want to push ourself in the right direction without being defensive, without counterattacking. We want to focus on these new pathways we have chalked down and start off with a clean street. We want to let our audience, our customers, know that we are here from now on. We want to get the message out that we are listening. We took note of every post, every line, written on
the the wall of that Facebook-group and we are working on some of those demands as we speak. I know we haven't been there in the past. And I know we aren't there at the present. But I know we are going to be there in the future. Yes, we are going to remodel our website. Yes, we are going to grease our online ticketing. Of course we want them to be cheaper (instead of the way around few months ago) than the tickets you buy 'offline'. No, we don't want to push the price of our tickets to an outrages amount. It keeps some people from coming to our venues as well remember. But hey, Rome wasn't build in one day. We are an organization tackling a broad range of issues and these things need time. We have to take it slow, one step at a time, think things over sometime, but rest assured we will go on." — wooaw, I mean I was blown away. I myself'd never expect him to be this blunt, honest, with the crowd. Chapeau! And sure, the price of Coke and popcorn bought from the shops inside the venues is out of line but hey what's new. If the Coke is to expensive don't drink it. If your children are nagging for popcorn till your skull starts to open up, give them an asswhoopin' or get a nanny and tell her "no popcorn". Get them a better education or tell them popcorn kills. If the tickets are too expensive, don't go there (sorry that's a joke, go there just skip one meal ;)) But of course, Kinepolis has quite a monopoly on housing movie-theaters in our country, I agree. On the other hand, they do have the best seatings and offer. If you want to seduce a new lover and it works, it is worth the money, right? And if it's not you can always try and hook on some colleagues.
With Eddy answering a dozen questions flawlessly something dawned to me. I was thinking this guy should start writing a blog on his own. No doubt his analytics would skyrock shortly after the release. After all who wouldn't want to hear news from the captain himself. He has something to say, he has the authority and he has an audience that is eager to talk. But. I wasn't actually there on invitation. I was on his side. And I wasn't fully on top of things concerning the development of the relationship between the agency I work for and his company, Kinepolis, our client. Would I be out of line? I was already out of line for tweeting that the speaker was to loud. Would I be out of line asking about his thought on this, let alone proposing him to do so. I must have bitten my tongue somewhere between 20 and 30 times, my lips were burning. I admit to not be being in control of my enthusiasm in participating and raised my hand. Eddy looked at me, clueless of the fact that I was actually a ProximityBBDO employee. I blended in naturally. Flanked by Dominiek and Goedles on my left and Houbi on my right. I started activating the small zone in my brain that is used for talking: "You answer flawless to each one of these questions. Why don't you take on write a blog of your own? I can imagine a blog written by somebody of your authority would undoubtedly be warmly welcomed by your customers." He answered with confidence, calm and self-assured: "Oh I will. Soon my friend, soon. We're working on it." He meant, I, in the near future. Funny. I was satisfied. A client that leveled. Wonderful.
Druppels vividly recalls that moment: "It was misty winter morning. We were staring at each other from the far end of the table. We all gathered in the Moutstraat, Ghent. It wasn't quite a celebration. The room was filled with a cold but damp air. We were at war, or rather, we were under siege, big time. It wasn't the economic crisis we were tortured by, no, it was the masses. Present were all Kinepolis board-members and 3 envoys of the agency. To Kinepolis it was Pearl Harbor, not single soul was spared." — @mvuijst: Druppels has frozen his writing activities due to a lack of time.
» Who is Druppels
Back to that chilly winter morning in Ghent. "A sigh, a thousand blinks and 4 gallons of coffee later action was undertaken. Yet, it took some more gatherings to get straight on the final plans but a brand new e-strategy was written. It was an ambitious one. A grand revival. Yes, the wisdom of the poker-gods is to be learned by heart; comebacks exist! We were scrambling all the possible guts a board could possibly think of and stood up facing 45000 joiners of a group that was based upon nothing but to destroy us."