Ingmar and Eriks
02. jul. 2015 Posted by Eriks

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.
Something’s brewing.

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04. jun. 2015 Posted by Eriks

When advertising ends we’ll start a church. Eriks Stendzenieks on Underdogs vs. Overdogs.
Sorainen Vision 2020 conference, IMAX theatre, Tallinn, Estonia.

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Kids are best therapysts
04. sep. 2013 Posted by Eriks

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.

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07. aug. 2013 Posted by Eriks

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.

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03. jul. 2013 Posted by Eriks



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.


For instance. 


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.


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Designtaxi Says
20. may. 2013 Posted by Eriks

In Advert Posters, Clients Reimagined As Scary Monsters

By John Yong, 16 Apr 2013


It is a known fact that creatives ‘fear’ their clients—therefore, it comes with no surprise that ad agency !MOOZ would reimagine them as scary monsters in its latest advertising posters. 


Designed for the Latvian Art Directors Club Adwards 2013, the agency turned the typical clients into blood-dripping, scary monsters such as ‘Mr. Make Logo Bigger’, ‘Dr. Deadline’, ‘Sir No Budget’ and ‘Master ASAP’.

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05. mar. 2013 Posted by Eriks

For past 46 years (yes, I'm 46), I have been hearing like 3 billion of "Change or die" manifestations.  From junior intern to a sadly late Steve Jobs.  I don't think that's true. Maybe I'm dead, I don't know. 

Yes, there are things that change by nature. Like clouds, or running water. Or rainbow. Nothing much else. Take a human DNA. It hasn't changed during past 100 000 years or so. Thank God it hasn't. Want changes? Nature did it for you. It's called Down syndrome. And here the list goes: mother's instinct, self-realization, wish to love and to be loved, instinct of self-protection, complex of inferiority, megalomania... What this all has to do with change? Nill. 

Or take a good old French cheese. Or good old French wine. Non-changeability is the only value behind their business model. Well, I do change my socks on daily basis. I change my wardrobe once in 3 years or so. Occasionally I change my hair-dresser and/or dentist (how badly a dentist must screw you up to make you change him?).  Well, if not Change what then? The word is "Persistency". With capital "P".  Memorize this word. So, when media says "Change Or Die" it really says like "Change your iPhone or die". Nope. Not going to. Yes, I do change my socks. I change tools, IT skills and abilities to navigate in latest "social platform". It's like changing dress. But nothing more. I don't change of what I am.. I still have my body, reputation and occupation. Can I replace the word "change" with "Growth"? Or maybe "Maturing"? When I speak to my father (86, paralyzed from neck down), I always think of change, and what it is, and is it essential to what you do? And he says "You've got a lot. Appreciate, son!".

Do I believe in change? No.

Do I believe in growth? Yes.

Big salute.


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Off Strategy
08. feb. 2013 Posted by Eriks

I do challenge the "strategy" approach to advertising. I think strategy has become a false idol which was at very heart of every bad advertising since 1990. Strategy was a great thing when it was a lighthouse.  It isn't anymore when it became a God to woship. As of nowdays "strategy" mostly means predictable > same > boring > invisible. Isn't advertising ment to surprise? Isn't it ment to cause this WOW I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN factor? If everything is on strategy, nothing is on strategy. Where's the miracle, dude? Nature doesn't have a strategy. Love doesn't. I'd wish to see 100 bright off-strategy ideas rather than 100 on-strategy mediocricities. Can "Surprise me!" become a strategy once again? Thank you very much, strategist haters welcome.

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  • 22. mar. 2017 by: !Mooz

    Vienmēr dzīvojam nākotnē. Vienmēr domājam par to, kā būs. Šodien nolēmām ieskatīties pagātnē. Acu skatienu piesaistīja viens no mīļajiem projektiem - "Runājošie akmeņi", kuri tālajā 2005. gadā atradās Parīzē, tieši Luvras priekšā, un francūžiem stāstīja, dziedāja un ik pa brīdim arī gulēja par Latviju. Vācu / franču kanāls ARTE pagodināja "akmeņus" ar 20 minūšu īsfilmu/sižetu. Iespējams - augstākais novērtējums, kāds !MOOZ līdz šim, 21 gada laikā, bijis.

  • 13. mar. 2017 by: !Mooz

    !Mooz's cover photo

  • 10. mar. 2017 by: !Mooz

    Proud to launch RIMI Pilns veikals series. Here's a small making-of! Great thanks to the team, supporters, wives and teachers.

  • 23. feb. 2017 by: !Mooz

    Meklējam jaunu kolēģi, ar ko kopā radīt interesantākos projektus Latvijā.

  • 24. jan. 2017 by: !Mooz

    !Mooz's cover photo