THE ARCH. These guys are for real.


Back in the eighties, in a small village called Breendonk, a group of young belgian people tried a new direction with a combination of samples, synths and guitars: The Arch, a four piece, was formed in mid 1986. Their music can be described as a cross between electronic body music and guitar rock with each instrument maintaining its individual sound.


Photos Fred van Hoof

The Arch sent their first demo, “Revenge Revival”, to Dirk Ivens’ Body Records and the track appeared on the compilation “Expo 87”. Ludo Camberlin (Anything But Records) immediately felt the potential of the band too and released a new “Revenge Revival” mix and 3 other tracks on Anything But Records. The first Arch EP, “As Quiet As” was a fact. It was clear The Arch had to focus abroad where their music was called crossover.
It appeared to be the right decision. They had gigs in places other beginning bands could only dream of: Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Zagreb, Belgrade, Budapest etc. The first album, “A Strange Point of You” (1988) was also released on Anything But Records, and then Antler-Subway became their record company. After “The Only Thing” in 1991 The Arch split. Months became years but in 1997 a German label released a new album called “In Sofa” and afterwards a compilation and a double compilation cd was available over there.



The Arch can now look back at a 20 years catalogue of good songs. Some of our favourites are “Revenge Revival”, “Ribdancer”, “No Noise” and of course – probably their most famous song, inspired by the junk book “Christiane F.”- “Babsi Ist Tot”.

2011: This year in september, a new album will be released on the German label Echozone, followed by concerts in Sofia, Vienna, Bucarest, Budapest, Barcelone, Madrid, Cologne, Munich, Seatle, Canada…

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Olaf Breuning

February A beautiful intro for that great photographer’s site.





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If you’re not able of respect, at least be polite. *


Contempt is has-been.

Listening to Jon Steel, respect increases the chance of winning a pitch : « People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care ». A prospect feels if the attention brought to him is sincere, if the agency’s profile fites with his enterprise or if it’s only a facade speech.

Contempt breaks creative energy and motivation at work, getting the least dare or enthousiasm stuck in a negative sticky spiral, letting its prisonners haggard, disillusioned. The longer this treatment lasts, the more difficult the rehab in the fighters world is, even improbable. Contempst is the mortal enemy of creativity, innovative and partnership. Contempt is contemptible.

On the contrary, respect contents an incredible source of good energy, desire, inspiration, and fun which one would be stupid to deprive.

“Why do people want you to shake hands with you when you pass them in your enterprise’s stairs ? asks the french philosopher André Comte-Sponville. Because they’d like you to respect them. The true truth is that they’d want you to love them. (…) nobody can love every people passed by in the stairs but has morally to respect eveybody. As love is missing, we need morality. And as morality is nearly always missing, we need politeness. » (* Extract from his book Petit traité des grandes vertus.)




Finally, new technologies make respect unavoidable. Big ideas  don’t born from mails interactions but from real exchange and convesartion face to face between creatives. Profusion of news media and experts that go with them impose on a closer team work  (and a little bit of humility) to make émerging a unique and relevant concept. rather than an artistique collage of ideas not so impressive at the end. The barnds have already very well understood that it is simply vital for them to speak as an equal to their consumers, who see internet as an ally. Participation is obliged, and brands have to appears more ethic and human.

In 2011, let’s make respect be respected.

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I’ve found our Silver Lion back!


photo cracanut
Silver Lion Duyvis

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The cooperative.


It’s strange that nobody thought about it before, although all these mergers, restruturations, and sacrifices in the name of profitability. Some guys of Louvain create a new ad agency, based on cooperation, which serves the economic interests of all its members.

Décisions are made on this principle : « one person = one voice».



Every participant have equal rights. Become rich isn’t the intention here. The love of the ad profession, the long term relationship with clients, financial transparency, team spirit and seniority set up the bases of the project.
After meeting two of the first members and founders (Geert Keyaerts et Vincent Daenen), enthousiastic utopians, the business model seems viable, and tempting. The changes aren’t only made on the financial model, but also on the way as the people will work and where. Why not an itinérant agency, which would get through Belgium or set in the client’s offices while creating a campaign for him ? Another boss for each new project  ?  A question  remains about the members personality, ego, skills, and artistic and advertising tastes : when everyone is the manager, it’s better to share the same vision.

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“Life is too short to be mediocre”, says John Hunt.




John Hunt, Worldwide Creative Officer de TBWA, gives us ideas about how to find ideas and let them a chance to live. Here are some of his thoughts.

John Hunt: “Most of the world’s greatest ideas were first very fragile thoughts. Very few concepts are born perfectly formed and ready to go. If you allow ideas to germinate a little, ou also stand a good chance of them developing their own kinetic energy. The real value of an idea is to see how far you can push it.”

“If you want something new to emerge, you want people in the room who don’t think like you”.

“A predator politician has no interest in the quality of the idea, other than how it will enhance his personal agenda.” Enter the politician, exit the idea.”

“In the land of ideas, a comfort zone is not an environmental friendly place to be. We don’t know what we don’t know until we do what we don’t usually do”.


John Hunt


“The high mortality rate of ideas often has less to do with their quality and more to do with ther mode of transport. If fresh thinking is to stay fresh, it has to be quickly accepted, rejected, or positively modified. If, however, ownership can be conferred on everyone, the miraculous begins to happen. The idea turns into a movement. Ideas don’t ravel well through a bureaucracy.”

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An avatar for everyone for 2010.




If only I could have my own avatar (do uou say “avatar” in english?), beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and most of all very, very fun, who would enjoy living in a world where people’d take care of the beauty of the things. Where the messages would be relevant, where one ‘d defend his point of you with enthousiasm, where to communicate’d become natural again. However, technologies progress and mentalities follow. For 2010, my wish is that we make the dreamer meet his hardly real double. In order to light up our projects with some idealistic lightness. Wish we’d be inspired ourselves by our avatar for here and now, in real.

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Two crazy photographers in Belgium.


Denia Zerouali for his tremendous humanity and Fred Van Hoof for his impressive graphism of the daily life!






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To follow one’s dreams, it’s fall for sure.


 Coaches explain how to send positive signals to the brain, to relax to switch from the bêta level (panic) to the alpha level (thinking), to aim a precise objective to succeed, but I’d rather be killjoy. I’m talking about it with full knowledge of the facts.

Following one’s dreams cause failure followed by failure. Doors that slam, windows closed, no through road, some poor-dear-it’s-crisis, and some go-back-to-your-country (I swear!). In the fog where I move forward feeling my way, even to define clearly the final objectif becomes an exploit. Difficult to, concurently, not to wait anything from the others and humbly depending of the market, the network, the system.

The only thing is, you have to know that. When 99% of people (and inside of me too) claim that it is not possible, listening the 1% which says why not? allow at least to go further. Kevin Roberts : « You will learn that the reward of living life in a world where everything remains forever possible is a reward far greater than any material prize could ever be ».

Everything remain possible, here is the secret, so.

It also helps to remember who we are, and that we are not just like anybody else. Regardless the obstacles, there is some king of jubilation to refuse mediocrity ans stand-by situations. And we meet lucky stars.

Desapointments are not dehind me yet, but I bring near the final fall. The one from I’ll get up with blood but relieved and ready for the next travel.


Dominique A. Le courage des oiseaux. (Poets ar brave.)

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The question of the day is where is the creative energy gone?


How to recover a passionate enthousiasm whereas advertising création is in crisis ?

Disillusioned, without ideals or visionaries, juniors fight more with policy and seniors with their frustrations rather than everybody fight for ideas.
In the agencies, focus is on awards, in the less worst of the cases. Création, either pork chops, either window shops, becomes formated.

Création is lacking ambition, courage, rockn’roll.

To stay alive and remotive themselves at all costs, AD and copywriters withdraw into the pure conception, towards to rise the space between the reality of the economic market and the ad creation. They risk their credibility, what’s the meaning of doing advertising for advertising people ?
Nevertheless, they have extraordinarely adapted themselves to the new constraints, the emerging medias, the reduction of means, and still own the internal fire that we should immediately stop to put out.

Maybe the time has come to trust them.
Whaterever people say, supported by complex figures, consumer these days is elusive. One daysensitive to the environment, another day to a scandalous luxury; he zaps or glorifies a brand in accordance to his mood without logical explanation but his.

Planners and consumers research companies would have a pretty role to play here. To interpret studies with good sense, as signs rather than certainties as for the anticipation of the people’s behaviours.
Bankers have just reminded us that, they who have built their fortune on a big lie : nobody can see the future  – cf J.K. Galbraith, Les mensonges de l’économie.

Well, those who work with their intuition, who feel rather than analyze, can capture the elusive, what is going to happen before no one has put words on it. Creatives feel how speak to this moving target, they often are part of it.

They have understood before the advertisers that « digitale natives » decode the marketing tricks as well as they do, internet allowing them to have an effect on the world. Ant that imposes more than ever a way of speaking which sounds right, relevant, with a real content.

Mutual confidence can wake up the creative strength. It lends wings and raises debates. Up to the creatives also, like the consumers, to refuse briefs that promise nothing else than consumption empty of sense and destructive. It is time to put back ideas at the place they deserve.

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From copy to strategy

In 19 years of copywriting, I have seen hundreds of briefs and thought about nearly as much creative strategies. From copy to creative strategy, there is only one step.

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