"The advertising is about a great deal that is fashionable today - a drawing on a skateboard, a new hashtag or a new social platform that always brings along the illusion that we will resolve all of the world's problems in this way."
Interview with Eriks Stendzenieks. https://vimeo.com/137581779
Of course we have Summer Sports Games. Like every decent company we feel necessity to celebrate our short and rainy Latvian summer with social gathering where everybody can show off their all year well trained (or whatever you have) bodies and ruin everything by getting totally drunk in the evening. We play Croquet and like our drinks to be numbered.
3rd gathering of LADC Advertising Street School tutors and lecturers. Proud to be part of it.
Marketing schools are good. But best advertising creatives come from somewhere else. Like from theatre wardrobes, nightshifts, pizzerias, gas-stations, bars, bouncers, rock-bands, plumbers, modern art. They work as stewardesses, bankers, metal band members, skateboarders, social service workers, unemployed or be in a state of mess about what they would do with their lives. But they have this genuine born ability to understand people and to talk to them. Alert minds, healthy cynics, quiet rebels, jealous introverts, brilliant misfits. They may secretly run a diary, or write blog, or draw, or observe, or watch, or listen and in general, are guided by overwhelming wish to communicate. Here’s the school for you. Run by some of best advertising pros in Latvia and Nordic region. Books are good source of knowledge. Scars of life are better.
Faculty: Zigurds Zakis, Eriks Stendzenieks (!MOOZ), Armands Leitis (Guilty), Didzis Paeglis (DDB), Raimonds Platacis (Abnormal), Valdis Ošiņš (DigitalGuru), Pēteris Līdaka, Aleksandrs Bētiņš (YR/Not Perfect), , Vairis Strazds (DDB), Mārcis Mikelsons (CUBE). And many others. Architects, musicians, scenographers, writers, painters, philosophers. Standing the human nature will do. Some of previous LADC schools are best in the market – Una Rozenbauma,Reinis Piziks, Renārs Liepiņš. Door is open. Advertising needs new genes of talent. For more check: http://ladc.lv/jaunumi/atlikusas-vien-2-nedelas-lidz-ladcskola-pieteiksanas-beigam-pasteidzies/
Managers come from school.
Strategic planners come from life.
Ingmar Janson, founder and ex partner of Scholz & Friends Berlin and Stockholm, and Naked Germany. Boxer, wrestler, biker, rocker, teacher, owner of a dog. 10 lions, 10 countries, 100 tattoos, 1000 scars.
When advertising ends we’ll start a church. Eriks Stendzenieks on Underdogs vs. Overdogs.
Sorainen Vision 2020 conference, IMAX theatre, Tallinn, Estonia.
Kids are best therapists. They actually don't care if my dad is paralyzed. They race around the hospital in his wheelchair screaming and fighting. They race around the hospital WITH HIM sitting in his wheelchair. By fighting they also mean kicking him out of his bed and jumping over his barely-breathing chest weaving light-sabres. "I never felt so happy" my 87-old pa said. You see. It's not about compassion. It's very much about being equal. Respect is overrated. Involving is underrated.
Very much like shit, “break” happens.
"Break" can mean “vacation”. It can also mean “the destruction of something”, “breaking through something”, “opening something”, “getting into a conflict with something”, or just "weird dance moves I'll refrain from even describing".
“Break” happened to one very particular wall in Berlin. “Break” happened to my friend @runcis' backbone, and since then he is tied to his automatic bed. Also, since then he has written some of the best poetry I know and has served as an opinion leader for some very leading opinion leaders in my country. Good or not, "break" has occurred to Da Vinci, Gandhi, Hitler, Mother Theresa, Caligula, Lennon, Kandinsky, Stalin, Picasso, Jobs, Mozart, Eames, Buffett, Hendrix, Gaudi, Lao Tzu, Breivik, and even that guy who designed plastic CD covers.
It happened to me last Thursday. Long story short, I told (not in a most polite manner, if honest) someone very significant to !MOOZ – along with whom we have won a bunch of clients, and money, and awards – about what, how, and why I feel. It was rough, it was straightforward, and it was offensive, which was not right. But – emotions filtered out – “I approve this message”, as Obama would say.
It was a "break" in terms of a relationship, and a "shake" in terms of the atmosphere in the agency. It was also a "break" in terms of shaking up a routine model, which I might be the first to blame for.
Thou shalt work. Thou shalt deliver. Thou shalt respect the team.
In return, you will be recognised, you will be promoted, you will be rewarded, you will be pampered and, most of all, you will be loved. Not exactly in that order.
You know those news stories of seemingly lovely pandas tearing open a poor tourist's intestines once in 5 years or so? That's the case. Arrogance, laziness, ignorance, putting side-work above the daily one, and bigotry can be accepted for a long time, but then comes the "break". That's what eventually comes.
It’s not that I feel good. But I feel right. Or maybe just breaking through something.
It is a great honour to speak in Cannes on the subject of “Underdog”. More precisely: “How is it to be an underdog yet still survive”.
The topic rises certain questions. If “Underdog” is (accordingly to Google Online dictionary) “A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest”, what is an “Overdog”, then? And does “Underdogs” have something “Overdogs” can learn from?
I don’t even know why I prepared so many slides. This one pretty much sums it all up.
In my world, being an Underdog is very close to what being a child means. Your potential is not yet released. Your competition sleeps. Your enemies are not aware of your talents yet and you don’t have an obligation to meet anyones’ expectations. Do you know how this state is called? It’s called “Freedom”.
Athletes and musicians know better. It is comparingly easy to win one gold. Or to release one great album. Or to write one brilliant book. Then expectations kick in and from this point on things get complicated.
Before first success you could screw things up, and no one blames you. And, what is more important – the way you screw things up sometimes appears to be a new and better way of doing those very things.
Underdogs can also can ask stupid questions.
As underest of dogs, I do ask the question to Cannes Lions and the industry: how come, this thing has turned from competition of ads into competition of films about ads? What Olympic Games would look like if it would be the case?
Case study film about Ussein Bolt?
Problem: we sucked at 100 meters distance
Solution: we decided to find Ussein Bolt
Results: we won Olympics, zero media budget spent, 2 billions in media coverage.
I am not saying its’a a worst thing that can happen, but I really miss times, when Wieden+Kennedy won Agency of year with 15 different ads, not with one film about one ad submitted in 25 categories.
As I said – underdogs ask stupid questions.
What you will see next is a weird project only a underdog agency in an underdog market of an underdog country would do. If you have watched Mulholland Drive, there are several parallel stories which end up in a common final. I tried to do a case study on this, but it was so complicated, no one was able to understand it.
Long story short:
Latvian state had a traffic speed-cameras installing project. In total, 160 of speed traps had to be installed to make Latvia a safest driving country, or most photographed, whatever. For some unknown (but guessed) reason project was given to a private company. So the business model behind it became quite the opposite – the faster you go the richer the company gets, so more speeding is better. Project failed and only 17 cameras were installed.
Cut, fade to black.
Meanwhile, at the same time Latvian Green Dot was about to run a campaign for asking people to utilise their old house appliances in an environmentally responsible way. In other words “not dumping your old fridge in forest”.
So, as an agency, we asked people to bring old fridges, grills, TV-sets and dishwashers to roadsides in school areas, and to spray-mark them to look like speed-traps. Because fridges look like fixed speed-traps and grills and TVs look like portable ones. Like this:
Latvian Green Dot would pick items up to utilise in 4 months period (from 1st of September till 20th of December)
Suddenly drivers started to slow down, because they didn’t know whether it is your old fridge or a speed trap. Families got rid of their garbage in a civilised way, forests got cleaner and every one who was involved had a certain amount of fun, although not in a 100% legal way. Well, not in a 10% legal way either. That’s what underdogs can do.
I cannot submit this project to Cannes. There is no client, it didn’t sell a thing and most likely it would be called a scam ad in any festival. However, it saved some lives, around 25 million Euros to Latvians state and served as a good practice to utilise electronic equipment instead of dumping it somewhere in the forest. Besides, it got rid Latvians from old grills and fridges, and made them buy new ones, which is always good for the economy.
Another short video. It’s not new, but it bears a certain amount of underdogness. We had to do a campaign for people to use more cards and less cash. So, Monday morning we came up with idea of filming real pickpockets who are currently in jail. They’re not dumb drug addicts. They are highly trained professionals, and if they chose me to be robbed, I shall be robbed. It took us like 48 hours to get approval from ministry of Internal Affairs and we were in jail, filming. I must say, female pickpockets were far more charming than men. I slightly fell in love with this gipsy lady.
But, to move towards the end.
Dear colleagues. Time of being an underdog is short. Enjoy it while you can. It is like being a talented junior creative in the agency. It is like spending time in a playground.
Good news – advertising is an underdog profession itself. You cannot kill anyone by it. It’s not a heart-surgery, man.
I’ve got a friend.
His name is Neil French.
Before he landed in advertising, he was a bouncer, a debt collector, death-metal band manager, bullfighter and producer (and even actor) of pornographic films. And every time I cuss about how difficult my life in advertising is, he says something like “you know, Eriks, I’ve got like thousand scars on my body. And not a single one of them is from advertising”.
I am not here to evangelize, and I know how sceptical and harsh advertising guys are towards any pathetic advice given from a stage. And still… If you could keep this underdog feeling alive no matter what scale your agency is… That will help a lot.
Thank you very much.
Ltd. “MOOZ!" has signed the 27.11.2013 contract No. L-ATA-13-1827 with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency for the realisation of the project “The participation of “MOOZ!” creative director E.Stendzenieks in the international advertising festival "Cannes Lions", which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
21. sep. 2015
Possum sharing experience of working in Latinworks, Austin and with Sergio Alcocer in particular. Sushi included.
28. aug. 2015
28. jul. 2015
Annual USMA fest. Thank you, Sabine, for letting destroy your wonderful coutry place. Lake is fine though. http://www.mooz.lv
19. jun. 2015
Biš kaltē, toties dzīvs. Līgo. Part II. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kjHx7X17KE&feature=youtu.be
19. jun. 2015
"Eu, vecās desas..." Līgo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaxKMRYC_g