January 31, 2005

Styrofoam your pitch

In the world of advertising a new pitch is always on its way. The perfect pitch is a breathtaking tour de force in fast obtained knowledge, strategy and planning extravaganza, fresh insights, groundbreaking creative, lots of ideas from all sides and finally a solid way to present it all.

There are probably as many ways to present the breakthrough ideas as there are agencies and individuals. But nevertheless I was asked the other day to sum up a few simple rules of thumb. I told all the usual suspects.

Be authentic - present in the language of your agency and yourself. Sense your audience -if the potential clients have seen four other presentations the same day you’ll have to cut to chase (in Hollywood they call it the elevator pitch). The actual presentation should be an imaginative exercise. Not a dull “empty phrase” PowerPoint. Therefore you should integrate lots of film, photos and even physical objects in the room. If it’s relevant you could even add a thought provoking stunts (like showing up 20 minutes late for a presentation to The British Rail in order to demonstrate how it feels to be their customer).

Then I stumbled over the last and probably most important rule of thumb about “separating idea and execution”. It comes from Strategy & Planning Director Jeffre Jackson from Wieden + Kennedy’s Amsterdam office who has a great cross-category analogy from the architectural world that shows how the great idea speaks louder than the execution.

What struck me was how much of the space was taken up by Styrofoam models at various levels of detail. One of the architects there explained that this is the only way to make sure that the client understands the overall idea of the building without getting bogged down in details prematurely. It’s a good rule of thumb I try to remember: sell the idea first, then worry about the execution (from a speech Mr. Jackson held to the Danish Advertising Association- DRRB - January 22, 2004).

January 27, 2005

A Sunday morning at the opera

We Copenhageners recently had the grand opening of our new Opera House. It’s not a truly significant building like The Opera House in Sydney or The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, but nevertheless it’s quite spectacular and not least it contains a restaurant with one of the best views for a Sunday brunch.

So in good Scandinavian democratic tradition there is even something for us who don’t enjoy the likes of Bach, Brahms and Beethoven.

January 25, 2005

New colour of money

Two Danes are trying establishing an alternative to the conventional monetary world order. The solution is not gold, oil nor gas but simply self composed art.

Art Money has so far bought one of the entrepreneurs 10% of his house. The concept is quite simple – you create little pieces of art at the size of a 100 dollar bill. The concept has been funded by the South Korean company E K Productions with 2 million dollar. The funding will result in a conference in South Korea later this year and is scheduled to be a yearly event in a new city every year.

Art Money is now floating in the UK, US, Canada, Korea and Denmark and 1.500 artists have produced their own Art Money.

January 14, 2005

Nobody owns the waiting time

Standing in line, waiting for the train, sitting in the bus, waiting for an appointment at a cafe – all aspects of that weird definable public sphere where nobody’s talking and nobody’s knows what to do with there hands and body. It is surely one of the most fascination studies in everyday life anthropology. Most people are probably thinking what story lies behind the person next to them while thinking what to do with the hands and bodies again.
So I thought what a great thing if a product could utilize the potential of owning this waiting time. I see a potential for claiming the waiting time for a variety of goods

- The free newspapers, books, magazines
- Little stories on the take-away coffee cups
- The 3G phones

- iPod's
- The Rubrick Cube (waiting for a comeback – buy the way the code is here)
- Outdoor media (what if there where more interesting commercial messages then the usual outdoor posters and flatscreens.

The filmmaker Kassandra Wellendorf has made a whole documentary called Invisible about the choreography of waiting in the public waiting sphere.

January 13, 2005

Pass it on

This is old school viral flyer communication – nothing special about that. But a staggering message with a small kind request. Talk to the stranger next to you and enhance the interconnectivity between disparate people and thoughts to create a more open world. High-flown maybe but nevertheless thought provoking in a world filled with stubbornness, ignorance, egoisms... Anyway I’m going to pass it on.

January 12, 2005


The juxtaposition of IKEA in the US is going from a SAAB to a Ford according to Dick Sittig of IKEA’s newly appointed US agency Secret Weapon Marketing.

In what way did you shift Ikea's target demo in your first work for the retailer?

From everyone who drives a Saab to everyone who drives a Ford. The [Crispin Porter + Bogusky] commercials were entertaining to the advertising community and to the Saab-driving, indie-film-watching, soy-eating crowd. But that award-winning TV work was not getting the results that Ikea wanted.(taken from Adweek’s Randi Schmelzer interview with Dick Sittig January 10, 2005)

I personally really liked CP+B. work and thought it could have evolved into a truly universally speaking campaign to both a Saab and Ford loving audience. But what am I to say being in the advertising business.

January 04, 2005

Suddenly there is something

David Shrigley is a Glasgow based artist which work I got a hold off recently. He has this outstanding original thinking on life’s many small details and absurdities. His work doesn’t concern topics like marketing, advertising, creativity or strategy. But I wouldn’t hesitate one minute using his thinking as an analogy for things like “that one good commercial in that immensely long line of crap”.

See more of his work here:
There was also a post about on the APG website: