Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Belgium doesn't need mountains


During my senior year at Plantijn College, I took an elective on sports marketing. A common theme was that, in Belgium, mainly soccer and cycling receive sizable sponsorships and media coverage. The Red Devils, with their tantalizing potential and qualification for the World Cup in Brazil next year, are the nation's darling by a landslide, but, as of late, other sports are getting some marketing love also.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Internship

the internship by shawn levy

This weekend, with my sisters out and about in New York, me and my brother had complete control over the TV, so we had that going for us. Me and Marlon basically spent our entire Saturday afternoon on the couch. We both had not yet watched The Internship by Date Night director Shawn Levy, so we decided to give it a go. Lovable blabbermouth Vince Vaughn is good in everything, him and Owen Wilson worked particularly well together in Wedding Crashers, and I was very curious in what degree search giant Google would be involved.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Queen Bee creates quite a buzz with new album

Beyoncé by Beyoncé Knowles

Apparently, hip hop super couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé is cut from the same cloth. They both don't believe in traditional marketing tactics. Earlier in the year, Jay-Z innovatorily partnered with Samsung for the release of Magna Carta Holy Grail, and Beyoncé appears to be even more fanatic, opting to bypass the promotional aspect altogether for her latest latest album 'Beyoncé', released on December 13. And boy, did she take the world by surprise.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

They are Christmas jammies


Earlier today at work, a lovely family holiday video titled 'Xmas Jammies' appeared on my radar, proving once again that creativity trumps budget every day of the week. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Instagram unveils Instagram Direct messaging feature

instagram unveils instagram direct

In an anticipated move, and coincindentally just in time before the holidays, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom today in New York unveiled Instagram Direct. The new feature allows Instagram users to send private messages to up to 15 people.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"You are lost and gone forever, oh my darling, Valentine"

12 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

It's almost creepy how good the algorithm at Bol.com knows what I like. Based on my previous purchases, it recently recommended Jay Asher's 2007 New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why, which I bought because I found the synopsis very intriguing. I started reading it on Sunday and was unable to put it aside, moving only to change positions on the couch, tearing through the book in one absorbed afternoon. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

Thor 2: the dark world

Yesterday, just to start the weekend with a bang, me and my special lady friend Sarah went to see Thor: The Dark World[She picked the movie, how awesome is that?] We are both dedicated Marvel/Avengers fans, troubled Loki fangirls, and we are currently in the process of hammering out a freebie list agreement mainly because of the stunningly gorgeous Jaimie Alexander and *yawn* Chris Hemsworth. My lawyer will meet with Sarah's lawyer somewhere next week.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

If there's one thing Ron Burgundy knows, it's marketing

anchorman 2 the legend continues marketing

Nine years after Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, curly-haired demigod Will Ferrell and his Anchorman cohorts have teamed up for the long-awaited sequel. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has been in the making since 2008, but apparently Paramount Pictures was really fickle about the budget, and it wasn't until March 2012 that they finally greenlighted the project.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty"

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Last week I read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by British humorist and dramatist Douglas Adams. It had been on my radar since 2005, but thanks to a little peer pressure by my buddy and Breaking Bad partner in crime Tom, I finally decided to check out what all the fuss was about. H2G2 was originally a BBC Radio 4 comedy broadcast, but due to its massive success, it was eventually expanded into a five-book trilogy, a sixth book by Eoin Colfer and Adams' widow Jane Belson, a TV show, a computer game, and three series of DC Comics comic book adaptations.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Catching Fire


Yesterday I finally watched Catching Fire. As a J-Law fanboy - isn't she just perfect? - and huge fan of the books and first movie, I had intended to watch it earlier, but I had won 4 tickets for Thursday via a contest I forgot I had even participated in, so jot that down. Of course I took my beautiful girlfriend Cuteness Everdeen Sarah, my filmmaking sister Margot, and my cartoonist brother Marlon. I was ape-shit excited! The book had blown my mind, the trailer looked awesome, all the abribuses appeared to speak to me personally, Rue's whistle made hourly appearances on the radio at work, and all the crazy positive tweets on my timeline didn't excactly make my life easier.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Every Rose has its torn

Derrick Rose torn meniscus november 2013

Former MVP guard Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls just can't catch a break. The 25-year-old Rose, who had missed nearly 18 months with a torn ACL in his right knee, tore his right meniscus versus the Portland Trailblazers just 10 games into his #return. He could be out anywhere from 8 weeks to 4 months.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Random NBA observations

2013-2014 NBA observations

Batkid saves San Francisco

Cancer patient becomes Batkid via Make-A-Wish

Five-year old Batman fan Miles Scott took over San Francisco, and the the twittersphere also, on Friday by fighting crime as his alter ego BatKid. The young boy, who was diagnosed with leukemia at 18 months old, was cheered on by thousands as the Make-A-Wish Foundation elaborately partnered with the city of San Francisco to make his wish come true.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Bear & The Hare


The holiday season is fast approaching, which means we will be bombarded with Christmas adverts over the next few weeks. British department store chain John Lewis, which has a history of crafting memorable holiday ads, has once again set the bar high with their highly-anticipated The Bear & The Hare ad. My copywriting lecturer at Syntra showed the emotional advertisment in class on Tuesday. The classroom became eerily quiet.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I love book

boekenbeurs 2013 in Antwerp Expo

Yesterday me and my girlfriend Sarah took my almost-16-year-old sister Margot to the 77th annual Book Fair for her birthday. Because it was the final day of the 12-day event and people got the day off for Armistice Day, the Antwerp Expo was absolutely swamped. So much so that I had a genuine Dwight Schrute moment at one point. But I endured, because, as you should know by now, I love book.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Hangover 3

The Hangover 3 by Todd Philips

This weekend I watched The Hangover 3. It had been on my radar since I saw the epic trailer in March, but the negative reviews I had read and heard had discouraged me from actually checking it out. The Todd Philips comedy, released in May 2013, for those who may have missed it, is the third and last installment of The Hangover franchise. Unlike The Hangover 2, which was basically a steroid-enhanced remake of the first movie, the Hangover formula underwent some tinkering for the trilogy's crazy finale.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Swat it!

The latest campaign by opposition party Vlaams Belang is cringeworthy

Right wing opposition party Vlaams Belang never shies away from a little  controversy. In the past, they have not hesitated to turn to WordArt and cheap tactics to create hard-hitting campaigns. Remember the We've Been Milked Enough campaign to criticize the money transfers to Wallonia? Or the Freedom Or Islam campaign against islamization which they recently revisisted? Vlaams Belang does it so often that I almost don't notice their billboards anymore, but the party has outdone itself with its latest national autumn campaign.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Celtics grab first victory of the post-Big 3 era

Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass and Phil Pressey shine as Celtics notch first win of the season

The Celtics were 0-4 and the sky was falling: Gerald Wallace accused his team mates of being selfish, Coach Brad Stevens yanked Jeff Green versus the Pistons, and it was just so damn frustrating to watch them fall behind early, collapse in the fourth quarter, or simply be out-classed. Add Avery Bradley's complete and utter inadequacy at point guard, and you quickly understand why the Celtics sorely needed something to feel good about.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Eminem returns to glorious old selves on MMLP2

Marshall Mathers LP 2 by Eminem is perhaps the best hip hop album of 2013

Although I must admit that Jay-Z, Canibus and Papoose gave him a serious run for his money, peroxide blonde maniac Eminem has always been my favorite lyricist. There are no two MCs quite like him: his controversial rise to fame, his complex multi-syllable rhyme schemes, and his nonconformist attitude remain unequalled even after all these years. And though I may be biased -- I played The Eminem Show to pieces during the roughest patches of my parents' divorce -- one can't deny that, with more than 100 million albums sold worlwide, Eminem is a rap icon.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Celebrating the birth of Satan

Every year me and my friends celebrate Halloween in an abandoned cabin in the woods

Every year for the past four years me and my friends totally disregard every cabin movie ever made to celebrate the birth of Satan in a creepy cabin in the backwoods of Halle. In case you were wondering: Yes, of course we appropriately christened the event HalleWeen. Every year I ask myself why it is, exactly, that we wilfully seek out the unholy trinity of complete remoteness, a near 360 degree view of the woods and no indoor plumming, but every year we end up having a spooktacular time. We watch a bunch of scary movies, make Oscar-worthy videos like this one, and basically live like filthy pigs for two days. I ate pumpkin quiche and salt & pepper chips for breakfast, so jot that down.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Unbreakable

Project Unbreakable by Grace Brown

A few months ago I stumbled upon Project Unbreakable, a wonderful online healing project established in 2011 by then photography student Grace Brown. When a friend told Grace her story of sexual assault, she realized how many voiceless abuse victims must be out there, and determinedly she started brooding over an idea to spread sexual assault awareness. Brown sought out sexual assualt survivors and photographed them holding a poster with a quote from their attacker. Survivors could also submit their own photos.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brasserie Romantiek

Brasserie Romantiek by Joël Vanhoebrouck

I recently watched Brasserie Romantiek, a 2012 romantic comedy by Joël Vanhoebrouck, with my film-crazed sister Margot. Brasserie Romantiek is Vanhoebrouck's debut feature film and features a large ensemble cast much like Gary Marshall's Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve. The film takes place in a charming little restaurant on, ahem, Valentine's Eve and centers, as you may have guessed, around the unique relationships of the restaurant-goers.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Baileys Chocolat Luxe meets the press

Anthony Wilson introduces Baileys Chocolat Luxe to the press

This past Thursday I was given a day off at Queromedia to attend Bar Chocolat -- an event I helped set up during my recent internship at Global Image. The event took place in chateau La Hulpe in Bruxelles and supported the launch of new Diageo innovation Baileys Chocolat Luxe. BCL is the perfect marriage between the rich taste of Baileys and real Belgian chocolate, and the event was designed to perfectly convey its unique message to the Belgian press.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

9 Things the Boston Celtics showed us in the preseason

Preseason observations Boston Celtics 2013-2014 NBA season

Okay, I hear you. The NBA preseason is basically just glorified scrimmaging: coaches experiment with rotations, role players get extended minutes to showcase their skills, and nobody really cares about wins and losses. Still, we were nearly four months removed from the last meaningful NBA game, so of course we eat it all up. This year, I paid a little more attention to how the Boston Celtics performed. The much-analyzed trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets marked the end of an era of contention, and the start of an interesting rebuild. The preseason showed me nine things:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Global Image, you were awesome!

PR firm Global Image

Today is the last day of my internship at PR firm Global Image. I originally signed an internship work contract through December 20, but I was allowed to leave the contract to pursue my copywriting career at digital marketing firm Queromedia. I had applied there in the summer for after my internship was over, but everything happened quicker than expected.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Eminem teams up with Waze

Eminem and Waze team up to promote The Marshall Mathers LP 2

In a previous post I mentioned Eminem's partnership with GPS navigation app Waze for the release of his latest studio effort Marshall Mathers LP 2. At the time, there weren't any specifics about how exactly the plan would unfold, but yesterday some details were announced.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NBA 2K14 is out now

2K Sports releases NBA 2K14 featuring LeBron James

One of the perks of interning at PR firm Global Image is that client Take-Two Interactive at regular intervals sends samples of new games. As an avid NBA and NBA 2K fan, I was excited when the NBA 2K14 press samples arrived -- even more so because there was a spare copy that I was allowed to test. Of course I reluctantly accepted the opportunity. Sacrifices need to be made.

Carrie unleashed


On October 18, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Screen Gems will release supernatural horror film Carrie. The film is an adaptation of the sametitled 1974 Stephen King novel and features Kick-Ass star Chloë Grace Moretz, Golden Globe winner Julianne Moore, and Judy Greer, among others.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The magic of reading

Steimatzky and ACW Grey team up to promote books

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one." - writer George R.R. Martin

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A true fan is worth 10,000 times as much as a stranger


Professional sports is synonymous with spirited chants and songs. Over the past few years, for example, I have enjoyed quite some fan-made Boston Celtics anthems like Natural Born Spitters' Who Are We (2010), Jay OK's Green & White (2011) and Oliveira Productions' Get Ready For War (2011). Sports fans are not consumers or passive shareholders. They are a vital part of the teams they root for - social capital, as you will - and this core fan base should be embraced to spread the word.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Het Vonnis

Het Vonnis by Jan Verheyen

Last night I accompanied my Jan Verheyen-crazed sister Margot to the premiere of her idol's latest prize-winning film, Het Vonnis/The Verdict. It was really cool to attend a red carpet event, and I was also very excited to see the film -- I had deliberately not sought out any reviews or trailers, so I did not really know what I was getting into.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"I never found the companion that was so companiable as solitude"

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

During my Summer holiday in Turkey, I caught up on some reading (check here and here). A third book I read was Walden; or, Life in the Woods, an autobiography by abolitionist Henry David Thoreau. Walden, which was published in 1854, is a manifesto for simple living and an argument for civil disobedience.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Nothing Was The Same

Nothing Was The Same by Drake

Forget about maple syrup and hockey. Ever since Drake's juggernaut single Best I Ever Had, from his mixtape-turned-EP So Far Gone (2009), the former Degrassi child star has become Canada's top export. Whether you think he looks like a lesbian thumb or hate his spit-singy style, you have to agree that the man has carved out a quite niche for himself.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Lone Ranger

The Longe Ranger with Johnny Depp

Last night I saw The Lone Ranger with my girlfriend Sarah. We had both had eventful weeks, and so we wanted to start the weekend with a relaxing cinema date. We also wanted to see We're The Millers, Runner Runner, and The Heat, but ultimately we picked the anemically-marketed Walt Disney Pictures vehicle, mostly because it starred the always-entertaining Johnny Depp.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers add No. 1 Draft pick Anthony Bennett to their young core

2012-2013 record: 24-58

The youth movement continues in Cleveland. The team added another No. 1 pick in surprise selection in forward Anthony Bennett. He joins All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, the team's other No. 1 selection, former No. 4 picks Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, and former No. 17 pick Tyler Zeller.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"I learn by going where I have to go"

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

After tearing through And Quiet Flows The Don, I also read Kurt Vonneguts semi-autobiographical Slaughterhouse Five during my recent vacation in Turkey. I was introduced to the book via John Green's Paper Towns, and it has been on my Book Bucket List ever since. Slaughterhouse Five was published in 1969.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"The grass grows over the graves, time overgrows the pain"

And Quiet Flows The Don by Nobel Prize winner Michail Sholokhov

During my recent vacation in Turkey, I read And Quiet Flows The Don, an epic 1936 novel by Nobel Prize winner Michail Sholokhov. My girlfriend Sarah had bought the four-volume behemoth at a flea market during our earlier summer trip to De Panne. The Quiet Don is not quite easy poolside material, but it was definitely a fascinating trip through the life of the early 20th-century Don Cossacks.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard joins James Harden in Houston

2012-2013 record: 45-37

After being discarded by the Thunder last year, former sixth man James Harden never looked back, upping his scoring from 16.9 PPG to 25.9 PPG as a full-fledged starter/All-Star for the Rockets. GM Daryl Morey must hope that three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard can shake off an ugly year in L.A. and return to form.

Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 Offseaon winners: Minnesota Timberwolves

Healthy Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are the key cogs for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season

2012-2013 record: 31-51

When the 2013-2014 season gets underway, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio will be nearly 20 months removed from ACL surgery and two-time All-Star power forward Kevin Love, who has been working out with Team USA this summer, will benefit greatly from playing with a fully recovered hand. The duo combines for 171 games played out of a possible 296 (.578) over the past two seasons. Their health is crucial for the Timberwolves.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Indiana Pacers

Versatile forward Luis Scola joins the Pacers frontcourt

2012-2013 record: 49-32

The pesky Indiana Pacers pushed LeBron James and the eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat to the brink in the Eastern Conference Finals, and their offseason wheeling and dealing suggest that they aim to take the East next season.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: New Orleans Pelicans

All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday joins a young core in New Orleans

2012-2013 record: 27-55

New Orleans basketball is starting a new chapter. Billionaire owner Tom Benson, who had indicated in 2012 that he wanted to change the name of the franchise, kept his promise as NOLA will take the court as Pelicans next season.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets acquire Hall Of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics

2012-2013 record: 49-33

The tax-strapped Nets went all in for 2013-2014. They kept starters Deron Williams (who will receive tutelage from freshly minted coach Jason Kidd), Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, and they upgraded their SF and PF spots by swapping Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries (plus MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and three first-round picks) for Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (plus former Dallas sharpshooter and Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry). 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Adidas makes you jump higher


Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose can jump. Late July, he rewarded London sneakerheads who can get up, too.

2013 Offseason winners: Los Angeles Clippers

Every year I select seven NBA teams that I believe will make a leap from the previous season in some way. It could simply mean more wins, but it could just as well signify increased playoff run positioning or a even jump to contender status. Sometimes I am right, other times I am horribly, horribly wrong. 

My 2013 Offseason winners are:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Celtics add 15th guaranteed contract

Boston Celtics sign European guard to roster 2013

Eminem to return from three-year hiatus with MMLP2



There had been some rumblings about Eminem's eighth solo effort, but the latest Beats commercial (which appropriately premiered during the MTV Video Music Awards) finally reveals the album title (Marshall Matters LP 2) and its official release date (November 5).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Always in motion is the future"

The Conversation Manager by Steven Van Belleghem

My brother Marlon recently recommended The Conversation Manager by social media savant slash marketing professor slash B-Conversational chief Steven Van Belleghem. He spent 11 years at InSites Consulting and I have had the pleasure of receiving a guest lecture by him during my Social Media course at Plantijn Hogeschool (now AP Hogeschool).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sir Yes Sir!

Sir Yes Sir performing

I recently attended a Sir Yes Sir gig at Jour Tibour. I had heard about the Tijs Delbeke-led 5-man collective on now-suspended current affairs program De Kruitfabriek in February, but I had not yet familiarized with their music. Even though it rained, and most people took shelter under the trees, Sir Yes Sir gave a great performance: their songs are mature and multi-layered, the inclusion of the saxophone is awesome, and you should definitely check out their debut album We Should Talk.

Monday, August 19, 2013

"The highest of distinctions is service to others"

World War Z by Max Brooks

Earlier this month I saw Marc Forster's World War Z. When I read in Humo that the movie was basically a loose interpretation of Max Brooks' 2006 horror novel, I decided to also check out his well-received effort, which peaked at No. 9 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Via a series of interviews, the story of World War Z, the decade-long global war against zombies, is told.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Now You See Me

Now You See Me by Louis Leterrier

To celebrate our five-year anniversary, me and my beautiful girlfriend Sarah went out to see Now You See Me by French director Louis Leterrier. Usually, we select movies by means of teaser trailers and interviews, but today, we pretty much decided upon our choice at random. I'm glad that we did!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"We've crowded in here to hide from the future and the past"

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

I found out about Tim Tharp's The Spectacular Now via this list on Buzzfeed.com. I brought it with me to the seaside this week and tore through it in little over an afternoon. I really hate that I did: I liked The Spectacular Now so much that I wished I had savoured it. I can't wait to go see the movie.

Monday, August 12, 2013

World War Z

World War Z by Marc Forster

Anti-Hollywood Hollywood star Brad Pitt is a popular target for ridicule. Though I am not a big fan of his, I must admit that with the right script (Fight Club, Moneyball) or the right role (the Ocean's trilogy, Inglourious Basterds), he can deliver solid performances. My sister Margot convinced me to go see his latest behemoth action effort World War Z.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Can a butterfly sing?


Basketball ads are no longer mini music videos - like here, and here. Hip hop has ceded to viral tactics and humor. Los Angeles Clippers power forward Earthquake Blake Griffin, a popular vehicle for funny ads, now co-stars in the new Jordan Super.Fly2 spot, alongside swagged out streetball sharpshooter D'arryl Drain.

"It is as if the light were ebbing out of the world"

The End Of The Tether by Joseph Conrad

Because I really liked Joseph Conrad's detailed writing in Heart Of Darkness, but not very much the story, I decided to also check out Conrad's 1902 short-story The End Of The Tether. 
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