The Storytelling Renaissance

Not long ago while talking about storytelling to a group of ‘creative types’ in Amsterdam—you know what I’m talking about: expensive shirt, curated beard, awesome sneakers—one man said: “Everything is storytelling. I’m so sick of storytelling. It’s so…over.” Not exactly the words you want to hear when you’ve just penned a book called Storytelling on Steroids: 10 stories that hijacked the pop culture conversation. But the thing is, the guy was wrong. Yes, storytelling is everywhere as a social phenomenon, but it is still very much in its infancy in the advertising or communication agencies. It’s easy to think it is when operating within our silo of creativity, but the fact is most companies I know—many of them household name multinationals, like Canon—are only now adopting storytelling as a corporate strategy.

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Hi fun-loving 100% slave-free Dutch chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely, happy to be working with you.  

Hi fun-loving 100% slave-free Dutch chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely, happy to be working with you.  

The World has become pop art

Strolling through the impressive Richard Hamilton exhibition at the Tate Modern and I suddenly remember why I like Richard Hamilton so much: he’s a relentless, meticulous adman trapped inside the wacky world of art. (Usually it’s the other way around). It’s easy to get carried away by the tin-foiled toasters and humorous collages, but to appreciate Richard Hamilton most you’ve got to read the small print. 

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Humanists-4-Ever

Fresh back from a speaking gig at London’s The School of Life, a very interesting — and rapidly expanding — ‘club’ that inspires you to think intelligently and helps you casually tackle all those existential issues you never really give proper attention to. Their tagline says it all: ‘Good ideas for everyday life.’ You could even say that The School of Life is the latest and perhaps most promising attempt to prompt us to rediscover the humanist hidden inside of all of us. Huh, humanism? Stop using those big words! 

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100% Nuclear Coffee for the chaos that awaits

Next week Monday and Tuesday (March 24-25) Holland will transform itself into Fort Holland with its military on high alert. This all for the annual Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, featuring Obama & Co (aka other world leaders). To make sure all the trouble is not for naught, provocative Dutch coffee brand Moyee Coffee created 100% Nuclear, a limited release Radical Roast. It’s coffee with an extra kick, designed to keep Obama and his friends up all night, every night, to get the job done. And if that fails, it’ll give the Dutch something else to talk about than the 58 world leaders, 3,000 journalists, 5,000 delegates, 13,000 security agents and 66 nuclear sniffing dogs. 

Order the coffee here.

In Search of ‘Normcore’

I am researching a book on the idea behind authenticity, quite possibly the holy grail of storytelling. Most of which I come across can be easily categorized into authentic or not. (There are only two sides of the fence here). Then I come across ‘normcore’, the supposedly new trend fresh out of Brooklyn. Will keep my thoughts to myself on this—you never know what will make it into the book and what won’t—but if you want to read the trend that has New Yorkers all hissy-fit right now, then read this in New York magazine. 

Monumental Review for Storytelling on Steroids in Marketing Facts

Few things are more satisfying than an open and honest review. No social connections, no strings attached – just a god-honest review. Dutch journalist Suzanne de Bakker gave Storytelling on Steroids a good going over on Marketing Facts. She gives the book a big thumbs up, and even offers me some interesting advice for future print runs. The advice is noted.

For the non-Dutchies, Google Translate does wonders.

Here’s the review. Enjoy. 

Super-Short Interview @ Bright New World Interview Series

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The more interviews you gives, the more you actually learn about yourself. Thanks to Amsterdam agency VandeJong for including me in their Bright New World interview series. See you all soon again. You can read the interview here.

Some reviews make you blush. This one for the Dutchies, courtesy of Communicatie Magazine. 

Some reviews make you blush. This one for the Dutchies, courtesy of Communicatie Magazine

"Cats are not about cats, they’re about telling human stories."
- Uh-oh, Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti is taking all those  Youtube’s cats a tad bit too seriously. 
Great thing about designers organizing a talk show is you’re guaranteed a great publicity poster. #shoparound

Great thing about designers organizing a talk show is you’re guaranteed a great publicity poster. #shoparound

300,000 FairChain Cups of Moyee & Counting…

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Monumental Propaganda has a do-goodnik strategy: assist the brands we use ourself. And just like that we found ourselves in bed with Moyee Coffee, a #FairChain coffee brand that aims to radically turn the coffee world on its head by roasting in the countries that grown the beans—and keep the added value local. Good idea, no? 

The kit out the roasting facility in Ethiopia with the latest technology, Moyee unveiled a ‘sipfunding’ campaign called the 1 Million Cup Revolution. Every cup of Moyee you drink, the money goes directly to the Ethiopian roasting plant. 

So here’s Monumental Propaganda speaking from the heart: join the revolution by ordering some Moyee and help with the crowdspeak by contributing a Moyee Facebook ‘Like’. No marketing budgets, just fanatic creative coffee geeks looking to drink strong and do good. The more people who ‘Like’, the better. The more people who drink it, the better for Ethiopia.. 

As for that 1 Million Cup Revolution—300,000 cups down, 700,000 cups to go. Like it, drink it, join it. 

Off to Shop Around #6: Advertising… it’s a blight on the planet!

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On Thursday February 6th will once again climb the stage at Pakhuis de Zwijger to participate in ‘creative supermarket’ Shop Around #6. This time the provocative theme is: “Advertising…it’s a blight on the planet.” The words are those of illustrator Robert Crumb, who, upon being asked by Shop Around for an ad job, responded with a handwritten note saying just that: “Advertising…it’s a blight on the planet.” 

Not sure which direction the conversation will take—pro advertising or anti—but I promise to defence the honor of authenticity above all else. The event is open to creative hipsters & tricksters alike.  

Check it out. 

'Storytelling On Steroids' Dives Into The Internet's Infatuation With Narrative - PSFK
"The American Economy wasn’t built just on good ideas and hard work. It was also built on hope and hype."
- James Surowiecki, The New Yorker
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