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Archive for October, 2010

Eelco de Winter

eelco

Eelco de Winter worked at Result DDB, FHV/BBDO and &KoenseSeverein with clients like KPN, Sony, Fujitsu Siemens and Rabobank. He now works at Kaaps, a video production company in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as a strategist and production manager. At Kaaps, he tries to convey marketing strategics into emotions. Kaaps works for both charities and commercial companies.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Eelco de Winter. Schooled in advertising (marketing, communication and design). I have worked for many years in the advertising industry now.

What do you enjoy most about the advertising world?
The creativity. There was, is and will always be a drive for creating new things. Consumers are changing, but the advertisers themselves are even changing more, by new ways of targeting the target group. It’s a business which is ever changing and drives you to think further, or think the opposite way.

Why is Kaap specialised on video production?
We first worked in a more general area. But we think that a focus on video is better for us and better for the clients. Video is getting more and more integrated with other communications channels, especially online video is growing fast! In this way we get the whole process. From concepting, thinking of media where to show the video, interaction possibilities, and off course the videoproduction itself.

What makes a good video commercial?
One that reaches the target group. Where they can identify themselves with, one that sticks. We always define a good commercial by a feeling.
Technical features and marketing terms are nice but it has to create tears, a laugh, goose bumps, etcetera… Only then are we satisfied.

What’s the most common misconception about being an advertiser?
Advertisers like to act like if they are artists. But an artist is an artist. We make art by thinking what the target group would like. It’s more than just creating something. You always have to do many concessions either by the theory of what is working or either the wishes and demands of the client.

What are the best clients to work with?
Clients who trust you. Clients who let you do your thing and judge it by the briefing. And not by the feeling and judgements of their personal feeling and that of all their colleagues. It doesn’t matter what kind of business they do or what kind of product they sell. Every product can be sexy, even boring stuff.

What skills are most important for an advertiser?
The ability to empathize with others, sensibility and thinking out of the box, but always work according to a concept or pre-defined strategy.

A brief copywriting lesson

writing

Putting these ad-legend quotes together made a sort of quick guide to the act of stringing words together.

The headline

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”
David Ogilvy

“It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money…”
David Ogilvy

“He hasn’t a chance. Because if the headline is poor, the copy will not be read. And copy that is not read does not sell goods.”
John Caples

“On the other hand, if the headline is a good one, it is a relatively simple matter to write the copy.”
John Caples

“For, obviously, it is the headline that gets people into the copy; the copy doesn’t get them into the headline. In other words, the copywriter’s aim in life should be to try to make it harder for people to pass up his advertisement than to read it. And right in his headline he takes the first, and truly giant, step on the road to that goal.”
Vic Schwab

Being clear about you’re on about

“Advertising says to people, ‘Here’s what we’ve got. Here’s what it will do for you. Here’s how to get it.”
Leo Burnett

Content

“Forget words like ‘hard sell’ and ‘soft sell.’ That will only confuse you. Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you’re saying it like it’s never been said before.”
William Bernbach

Focusing on audience, understanding them and using their language

“A copywriter should have ‘an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them.”
George Gribbin

“I don’t know the rules of grammar. . . . If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”
David Ogilvy

Words and pictures relationships

“The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.”
Leo Burnett

Write in an interesting and lively style

“Shakespeare wrote his sonnets within a strict discipline, fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, rhyming in three quatrains and a couplet. Were his sonnets dull? Mozart wrote his sonatas within an equally rigid discipline – exposition, development, and recapitulation. Were they dull?”
David Ogilvy

Enjoy what you do

“A writer should be joyous, an optimist… Anything that implies rejection of life is wrong for a writer.”
George Gribbin

Experience

“No, I don’t think a 68-year-old copywriter… can write with the kids.. But he may be a better surgeon.”
Rosser Reeves

Peter Kowalski

peter

After studying at the Krakowska Akademia in Poland, Peter Kowalski started Wordboner.com. He uses it as platform to sell his fantastic typographical wordplays, as tshirts and a few other things, such as stickers and iPhone cases. Tees aside, his promotion of the website is pretty clever as well, using various social media sites. Time to ask him a few questions.

Wordboner consists of some very smart text. Are you going to be smart here as well?
Like most people, I’m only smart when I’m drunk.

Why do you make these shirts? Is this your form of critique on the world?
It’s a form of an outlet, a form of psychotherapy even. I do believe that most people -myself included- need a some kind of reminder every now and then. We’re stuck with our busy lives, going everywhere but nowhere in particular, we’re glued to our mobile phones and computer screens and sometimes it’s good when a poster saying “WAKE UP” pops out.
Often, the quotes are very personal, and are a reflection of what’s going on in my life. But it’s in no way a critique of the world. The world is not to be critiqued – it is what it is. If we wanted it to change, to be different, wouldn’t it have changed by now?

What’s your favourite word?
That changes. I don’t have a favorite movie, a band or a song, either. You can’t stick to one thing, name it your favorite and call it a day. I have a lot of words I like: persuasive, ambiguous, fuck, starved, alienated, ambivalence…but I wouldn’t know where to begin to pick one as a definite favorite! I believe that the moment you choose a favorite something, you don’t grow anymore, at least in that particular direction.

Can you encapsulate the art of writing?
Writing is great – it lets you visualize the feelings and opinions, which may sound different once they’re out and in the open and on writing then they were inside of your head. I’m pretty dyslexic when it comes to that, it’s hard for me to remember a piece of information unless it’s written down and I can see it. That form of disability, I suppose, started Wordboner.

How do you find the right font and design for your statement?
It’s a feeling. I play around and when I get the feeling it’s right, it’s right. It’s right for that moment, a lot of times I look at past designs and I would change a lot, but it’s in that moment in time, it was created under some kind of feeling, so it must have been right.
There are no rules! There are time frames I like to stick to – I publish a new project every 2-3 days at midnight CEST. I’m very pedantic when it comes to that. Even though I’m sure nobody notices exactly when new wordbonerisms are being posted. Plus, I try not to repeat myself too much with subjects, colors or techniques… OK, I guess there are some rules.

Is being creative reserved for everyone?
Absolutely. I always encourage people to create. Even if it’s nothing major, even if they’re sure it’s worth nothing. Each creation is a form of outlet, which is good for the soul and at the same time it’s a form of expression of that soul. A lot of people write me about getting creative, and I have to tell you, it’s the best feeling. If you don’t create, you don’t exist.

What’s the future of Wordboner?
The concept of future is scary, really. Wordboner is growing, slowly but surely. Which is fine for me – it’s not supposed to be a major company or a huge project that will gather a lot of attention for 5 minutes. But if it grows further, I’ll be happy, too.