Language is about people and advertising is about language

It helps my job to see advertising as a language. Even if it’s not literally a dialogue, you are communicating to someone’s mind, tapping into what they already know, feel or do. If any message wants to stand a chance to be understood or felt, it must relate to someone. And the process to get […]

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The bowl with the cat printed on it

We closed our suitcases and did one final check in the house in which we had lived for a long year, to switch off the lights, lock the door and take the plane to Shanghai. And then we found one bowl with a cat printed on it, left in the sink. “Just throw it away”, […]

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Walking around Albert Park

In less than a month it’s ten years ago that I visited Melbourne for 2009 Australian Grand Prix. Meeting Lewis Hamilton and a Parisian fan was one story from that weekend, but another took place a week ahead of the race. The race always takes place in the middle of the city in Albert Park — […]

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Ayrton and Massimo

Sunday morning, March 4th, 1990. A violent accident takes place on the streets of Imola, right in front of the hospital. An 18 year old man is thrown off the back of his friend’s moped. His name is Massimo and he makes an awful fall. Massimo is brought to the hospital, his spine injured, his […]

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An Excess Male review

A dish spinner keeps spinning disks on top of sticks afloat and needs to alternate spinning each dish before one of them slows down and falls, making the performance fail. An author’s role is similar in that he or she must keep characters alive before they fall from memory, so that the reader is not […]

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Our struggle against pleasure

Today’s wellbeing increasingly comes from abstinence rather than indulgence. Smartphones halt day dreaming. Social media causes depressions. Commitments and emotional baggage stop us from developing deeper understandings. More people die from eating too much than starve. Yuval Noah Harari writes: “Sugar is now a greater danger than gunpowder. You are more likely to die from […]

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Strategy lessons from racing

Racing is life under high pressure, and I think advertising (or any industry) can learn a lot from how racing cars are designed. The car In the book ‘How to build a car‘, famed Formula One engineer Adrian Newey talks about cars he designed and the philosophy behind them. I think it’s interesting, because cars, […]

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4&5 mei vrijheids-pin

In a multi-year campaign approach for the National Committee 4 and 5 May (Memorial and Liberation Day in the Netherlands), the theme of freedom was put central; on how valuable it is that we live in freedom in the Netherlands since the end of the Second World War. But also how we must together support […]

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‘How to build a car’ review

‘How to build a car’ is a fascinating read that starts with a hard-to-educate boy hobbying in the shed with his dad, who picks up a study in aerodynamics. Much of Newey’s approach lays in these formative years, en route to becoming one of the most dominant car designers of Formula One. It’s interesting to […]

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century review

Despite 300-something pages, the book feels compact and leaves me wanting for more. Any of these chapters could be a fantastic standalone book, and any of them raises a lot of important questions — although not necessarily ‘Lessons’ as the title suggests. Nobody has these lessons, and while Harari sometimes over-simplifies or dramatises, he acts as […]

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