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Gustav von Sydow and Burt's Accidental World Domination

I met up with Gustav von Sydow founder of Burt, which creates products and tools for advertising agencies like Rich Metrics (we've talked about those here before).

The firm which is Swedish by origin, is making progessive strides into the US market, and Gustav is racking up the miles on his frequent flyer cards bouncing around the world.

- You have a lot of clients already, and I know that you have a quite a few US clients. Are they more open to Burt than fellow Swedes?


Anders Dalenius from Draftfcb Stockholm on breaking the rules to create something new.

Draftfcb are all over the Cannes Lions like gum. Tina Manikas, the Global Retail and Promotions Officer, is the president of the Promo & Activations jury, while Dagan Cohen, CD of Draftfcb Amsterdam, is on the Cyber jury. Direct jurors include Augé Reichenberg (EVP and Group Creative Director, Draftfcb New York) and Kobi Barki (Creative Director at Draftfcb Shimoni Finkelstein in Tel Aviv); and, Chris Schofield, Creative Director at Draftfcb New Zealand, will be a Radio juror. The network also sponsored the Roger Hatchuel Academy, and they hosted the seminar "6.5 Seconds That Matter" at the Debussy theatre this morning which had people raving.


RICH metrics help you fail forward - Gustav von Sydow from Burt

Gustav von Sydow founded Burt which has already produced Copybox, a tool that can be described as photoshop for copywriters and now they've launched RICH, or "metrics that matter". Rich can run on any ad network or ad server, it's a third party tool that produces faster and better metrics, allowing you to watch in realtime how your online campaign is coming along.

DB:If Rich was an appendix - what body part is it?

von Sydow: If you by this mean an organ, I would say the brain. Not so much that Rich is clever on it's own (although it's not entirely stupid), but since it provides a memory of what has happened and let future actions be.

How does Rich work, technically?

Agencies add a piece tracking code to the ads or widgets they want to track. It takes a couple of seconds - in Flash it's a simple drag and drop. When the campaign goes live the ads report information to our servers, which we analyze and present to user in an easy-to-understand web application.

"Fail forward" - a clever way of condensing learn from your mistakes, is this what Rich helps you do? Move on from mistakes faster?

It's really not about the failures, you can learn a lot from success too. The key concept is *learning*. Rich enables a quicker feedback loop, where all people involved in a campaign - from planners to designers - to better understand how online media works and consumers respond to their work.

You were a planner, and Rich is tailored to be used by planners and creatives rather than suits who are quite adapt at dealing with digits and graphs already. Now that it exists, it's such an obvious hole in the market you've filled here - why didn't people think of this before? What
made you do it?

Most companies in our space probably don't share our motivation. For instance, we've experienced the challenges of integrating metrics and continuous learning into the creative process. We had the itch, and scratched it. If you look at it from a purely technological perspective, a lot of what we are doing have been done before, both in and out of advertising. It has also to be proven to be very successful in driving effect.

However, what we bring to the table is making advertising technology more accessible to a broader set of audience. I think the key insight driving us is that creatives are super interested in both advertising technology and metrics, but in order for them to use it on a daily basis we need to make it easier to use and understand.


Abandoned Advertising versus New Advertising

abandoned advertising

new advertising


Mark Bernath talks about the “Write the Future” ad from Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam

When I first laid eyes on that epic "Write the future" Nike ad, my brain bubbled up with questions before the ad finished playing, The usual How'dtheydothat!?, to did I just spot a "Finnegans wake" reference in that the first shot and last shot could follow each other, starting the ad over again?. And of course how on earth did they get The Simpsons in there!?, as, hello, that was rather unexpected and really hilarious.

Luckily, Mark Bernath, the co-creative director for “Write the Future” from Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam decided to humor me and answer some of them. There are a millions details in the ad that entertain me, from Focus 70s hit "Hocus Pocus" playing during the Rooney bit, to the sudden selling of "Ron's Samba Robics" on infomercial TV, to Homers timely "Do'h!". This ad isn't just one idea, it's one hundred little ideas, in one single ad.

Hazelle Klønhammer Managing Director Grey Amsterdam

Grey Amsterdam - fresh water to the small pond: an interview with Hazelle Klønhammer

Grey Amsterdam sounds pretty dull and.. yes, grey - but the local Dutch arm of the network located in an old Waterworks building creates work that is anything but watered down. With a swift injection of international talent and leadership, this hybrid international/Dutch agency may be the one that will finally bridge the gap between the internationals and the locals in the Amsterdam advertising scene.

When the British ECDs - Colin Lamberton and Seyoan Vela - went to Grey Amsterdam they needed an MD who was sharp as a tack like themselves, and with MD Hazelle Klønhammer from Australia they got it. As bonus she brings an even larger international perspective. Hazelle Klønhammer has not only worked at international agencies such as 180, Wieden+Kennedy and Modernista! in Amsterdam since the nineties, she has also wisely taken breaks from the grind to immerse herself in other cultures on travels to exotic destinations, from Vietnam to India. Her outlook is one of permanent curiosity and genuine interest in people, fresh and eager to learn more, and she is totally unfazed by cynical ad manners that so often dog those at the top. She still falls in lust with every product or service she is working on, learning everything she can about the history of a company and loving every minute of it like a kid just out of ad-school. Make no mistake though, she is a people-person, not a product-pusher who fails to see where the brand lives: which is in peoples minds.

DB:- "We were talking about travel, it made me wonder if to be a successful MD, is there an advantage to get a fresh outlook by experiencing different cultures?"

Hazelle Klønhammer: "Absolutely, I just think people are fascinating you know, to see how some people process different information, and their reactions to things."

"When I moved from Australia to Holland, when I worked at Weiden with all these different nationalities - French, Italian, Spanish - you'd get so many perspectives on a brief. Working on a beer brief, say - beer culture is different in Italian, Australian and Swedish. The more you travel, the more people you meet, you just learn about how people operate. I think that's very helpful in business, because everybody comes with own their set of expectations, their way of doing things. And if you can take a step back from that, try and understand how they are perceiving things from their perspective it really helps so much. Not just in any new business, but also in dealing with staff.

Because what is an agency? It's a bunch of people. What are clients? A bunch of people. How can you make connections with them, how can you understand them? Just by paying more attention to how they work culturally..where they are coming from.

Cindy Gallop: Make love not porn = make magic, not ads.

At Boards Summit this morning, Cindy Gallop ( @cindygallop1 ) spoke about her subjective ideas on the future of advertising, adding "Anyone who disagrees with me, we can take it outside later". With real time reactions to a clients work, transparency isn't just a catch-phrase, it changes the way the industry operates. You can no longer be inconsistent, everything your brand does you're accountable for.


Ed Ulbrich, Digital Domain: "Tron is not a movie" the case study of how a prototype launched a multi-faceted world

Ed Ulbrich, the EVP/President Commercial Division, Digital Domain, held a seminar this morning at the Boards Summit Europe. With the case study of Tron he showed us that one can make lemonade out of writers strikes (as they dug through the dusty movie-script vaults to find the Tron gem), and that the way forward is creating a multi-faceted world, which in turn creates new opportunities for marketers. All these ideas they learned from Tron prompted the company to launch a sister entity, Mothership, focused on the transmedia opportunity.

Ed: "This was birthed from the commercial division of Digital Domain. "

"How many of you have seen that? Do you know what that is? A lot of people believe it's a trailer for a movie. But it's not. There's a lot of work that's been done about two and a half years ago. This was done before there was a movie, before the game - what you just looked at was a protype of an entertainment property."

The way movies usually are created is by a script traversing the ladder of approval, but with this visual feast Digital Domain had something to show the game creators, the movie creators, the amusement park designers and each audience in turn could take from it a film, a game, a ride.

"That's why I'm saying Tron is not a movie, because that's not a movie. It's the starting point of everything."


Tomorrow: Boards Summit Amsterdam 2010

The Boards Summit Europe takes place in Amsterdam tomorrow. Cindy Gallop, @cindygallop1, will speak on "The future of advertising .. and porn". Gustav Martner, Karen Corrigan, Andy Fackrell, Mark Chalmers, Jeff Kling, John Weich, and Nick Bailey will present in pecha kucha format "7 ideas to improve the world". Gustav von Sydow will talk about media, creative and the missing link - plus much more. I'm quite exited to be there, even if the Boards Press pass says * PANTS REQUIRED dangit, and I'll be bambusing some chats live for y'all so that you can have a peek too. See you in Amsterdam!

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