How to be a copywriter

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Looking Through Freelance Eyes - by Martin Mol

Ever wondered how agency life in The Netherlands compares to that in Slovenia? Conceptual Copywriter Martin Mol has a foot in both worlds and shares his thoughts.

This article by Martin Mol was published on in June 2008

"In Slovenia I see Onno walking every day"

I work and live in Slovenia and in Holland. It depends on which agency is asking at that moment. It also depends on the weather forecast. That's true… that's my freelance privilege.
The downside for me is that it is sometimes a little bit hard, changing every time country and culture. The differences between East and West are huge. The wall is already down a long time ago and yes… we are one Europe. Here are some anti-magnetic Ad differences between Holland (NL) and Slovenia (SI)

• In NL most of the agencies thank you for doing a freelance job and in SI they say:" Hey man, be glad to have a job".
• In NL TBWA is a top creative agency and in SI TBWA is below average.
• In NL the age of a Creative Director is above 30 years and in SI the CD's are from 21 years on.
• In SI every freelance job is a pitch and in NL an agency does not give a pitch too fast to a freelancer.
• In SI traffic does not exist and in NL it is one of the most important departments in the agency.
• In SI we have a lack of marketing knowledge and in NL marketing rules.
• In NL we have a typical Dutch advertising humor and in SI they are still searching for their own Ad identity.
• In NL Onno (Dutch Rock & Roll Ad legend) is dead but in SI I see Onno walking daily.
• In NL you open a beer at five o’clock and in SI you drink a bottle of Refosk with lunch.
• In SI the national creative festival (SOF) is owned by a guy in the tie and in NL it is in the hands of the creatives themselves (ADCN).
• The score in nominations in Cannes last week: NL mentioned more than one time and SI only once. NL jury members: 5, SI: Guess how many?
• In NL the creative teams have one table with two chairs and in SI copy and art are working separately.
• In NL there is an advertising football tournament, an advertising beach volleyball event and an advertising long distance run and in SI Ad people do not meet in their free time.
• In NL some German agencies opened their stores last years and in SI the Germans have not arrived… yet.
• In NL the Ad magazine is published every week (Adformatie) and in SI it is out once a month with half of the amount of pages (Marketing Magazine).
Will East and West ever meet? In one same Europe? My little boy has a NL and a SI nationality. Here is my tip of the day: let’s make love without borders. Kinky!

Proost & Nazdravje!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July update

In this edition

Want to spend a month in the spotlight?
Help improve The Collective's search ranking
Sky Radio Run, 5th September
Join us at The Paradiso, 25th July


Want to spend month in the spotlight?
Last month we launched our new website feature where one of our freelancers writes a short article about their views on the advertising world. Martin Mol got the ball rolling with his comparisons between a creative's working experiences in The Netherlands and in Slovenia. This month Arkadi Mazin looks at the evolution of attitudes in Russia compared to her neighbouring former Soviet states. Check it out on the home page

This feature is a great way to get your name in the spotlight in front of The Collective's clients as the column is also featured in the monthly newsletter we send to them. So if you would like to grab your moment of glory please contact Wilma to book your slot.


Help improve The Collective's search ranking
With our new website up and running, we're doing all we can to make sure as many clients as possible get to see it. If you're familiar with the way internet search engines work (and most of you probably are!) you'll know that the more inbound links a site has the higher it ranks. We're therefore asking you to help us build up our link count, by adding a link from your own website to

Having a link from your site to ours will help improve your credibility by showing you are represented by an agent with such a high-calibre portfolio. You can link directly to your own profile, which will also get your name more visible on the web.

The more visible The Collective's site becomes the more likely we are to pull in new clients from around the world. You can work out for yourself why that's a good thing as far as you're concerned! So let's get a true Collective effort going to bring in work for one and all.

Here's what to do:
Contact Wilma to ask her for some text and a logo to use for the link.
To find your profile's URL you should use the search facility to find the page and then click your name as it is listed under the search results. You need to click on your name in the results list even if it is the only one and the page is already showing, because the page that is displayed when you first get the search results is shown on a generic URL and is not your profile's own URL. A correct profile URL will have a long number at the end of it and will look similar to this one


Sky Radio Run, 5th September
The Collective will be entering a team in this year's Sky Radio Run in Amsterdamse Bos on 5th September. This event sees 1500 people from the advertising world participate in either a 5km or 10km race followed by dinner and a party. A great networking opportunity, and as showers are provided you and your new contacts won't have to sweat all over each other the whole evening!

Start time 14.00 pm. See for more details. Would you like to join our team? Contact Wilma.


Join us at The Paradiso, 25th July
For our July social gathering we'd like to invite everybody to come and join us at The Paradiso (Weteringschans 6-8, Amsterdam - just off Leidseplein) for a live concert by The Collective's own Jasmine & The Jack Stafford Foundation.

They'll be performing songs from their new biographical album: TALL FOLKS FROM LITTLE BIG TOWN which is a collection of songs about characters they’ve encountered in Amsterdam. There’s the desperate housewife, the lonely stoner, the pimp, the protestor…even a few passing celebrities. Acerbic songwriting in the Ray Davies style, you might say.

The album is available for free download from

Place: The Paradiso (kleine zaal - the smaller hall upstairs)
Date: Friday 25th of July
Time: From 21.00
Entrance: 7 Euros plus membership (3 Euros)

Meet us: In the bar on the 1st floor. Your first drink is on us!
See for more details.


Contact details
You can email Wilma at: wilma [at] thecollective [dot] net or call on (+31)(0)20-3205319

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Collective Team at "Reclame on the Beach"

(Left/Right) Jack Stafford, Casper van den Broek, Sandra van Gemert, Wilma Gijzen, Robert van de Ley, Erik Rolf