The takeaways from Emerce DARE 2019

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Digital Creatives Michel and Marissa attended Emerce DARE 2019 on Tuesday 15 October. An event where creatives shared a look at inspiring projects, methods and insights. The common thread of the day was that change is very good and you need the right mentality for it (change = scary stuff). Change is not longwinded optimisation or disruption, but breaking down the old and innovating. Another important insight is to be head and shoulders above the rest by making something work really well. “Don’t make it nice, make it work”, because everything is already nice nowadays. We learned this and plenty of other things at Emerce DARE 2019. We share the main takeaways in this blog!

The right people and the right processes

Surrounding yourself with the right people is important. A team can make things happen that you could never achieve on your own. You can learn from each other, challenge and inspire each other. You also need the right business processes and review these where necessary. A business should consist of individuals striving for a common goal, following the same narrative. Your story should be clear and convincing: no power without clarity, no authority without legitimacy.

Experiment with impossible things

Good ideas are limitless, think of impossible things and try to work on them. Definitely do not play it safe, dare to experiment and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Collaboration is crucial here, and at its best when every team member is invested from the start. This ensures, among other things, that there is space and respect for everyone to share their ideas and insights, and for everyone to discover each other’s skillset. A great quote from the RONIN Amsterdam presentation: “It’s a collective journey of discovery from which everyone will grow as a creative”.

Motion is the answer

The Studio Dumbar presentation focused on “Motion is the answer”. The presentation showed that their animation project for Sinfonietta started relatively small but grew into an entire concept where stills from the animation where used in the poster designs. Studio Dumbar also took the initiative to organise an extraordinary, international design festival at Amsterdam Central Station, called DEMO. For 24 hours, on 7 November, every shelter at the station will show the best motion designs by studios, designers, talents and art academies from all over the world. The aim? Not advertising, but offering a platform for motion design by transforming a central location into a gallery and making travellers smile.

“If no one hates it, no one loves it”

Some great examples of daring were given by Erik Kessels from KesselsKramer, who bluntly said: “If no one hates it, no one loves it”.

One example is the concept the company worked on for a hotel in Amsterdam. The hotel had received many complaints about the rooms, so it was decided to use this fact in the concept “The worst hotel in the world”. They created a video that specifically showed what you would not be getting, and posters were made that showed broken forks, and three-legged chairs that were presented as a totally new and unique design.

Slogans like ‘New: beds in every room’, ‘Every room now fitted with a door’, ‘Even more rooms without windows’, ‘Enjoy: even less service’ etc. The rooms featured an A4 printout with images of the things not included, such as a telephone, shampoo, wine, a hairdryer, a comb and a calculator. You could cut these items out and spread them around to add more luxury to the hotel room. The campaign eventually resulted in more bookings and more complaints too. However, the complaints now stated that the hotel was not bad enough!

Also, the hotel had a ‘Hotel’ sign outside with only the letter ‘L’ visible at night because the other bulbs were broken. This was twisted into a statement about how incredibly eco-friendly the hotel is.

Another great example was the campaign ‘Throw your rubbish in the bin, how difficult can it be’. This was accompanied by bins that were placed in extremely awkward places, making it very difficult to throw your rubbish in the bin. There was also a campaign for Greenpeace that offered ‘Nothing’ as gifts for the person who has everything. Boxes of Nothing were made, different versions with ‘nothing’ puns. A campaign that took a stand against consumerism. Or a big campaign for citizinM that ridiculed every hotel cliché, like a video featuring towels folded into swans that are eaten by a shark.

KesselsKramer was also involved in the I Amsterdam campaign for the municipality of Amsterdam. They came up with the slogan, and it turned out that other agencies had thought of the same thing. The difference? KesselsKramer were clever enough to register the brand immediately and as a result, got the assignment. Something the council was not entirely happy with ;-).

Music related design

The event was concluded with a presentation by Michelle van Mil, who offered an interesting look at the world of VJs. She first encountered music-related design during her studies. She was not impressed with the visuals she saw and decided to start experimenting. As you said yourself: you shouldn’t complain about something you couldn’t do better or are trying to do better. She now travels the world to create visuals for all manner of concerts and festivals. She is convinced she has the best job in the world, but she also gave us an understanding of the challenges she has had to face. For example, she doesn’t always get given the required technical information about the stage screens. It means she often has to improvise and tackle problems there and then.

We left full of inspiration. Wold you like to start working on creative ideas that are off the beaten track? We are here to help.

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