“Stubbornness is my superpower”

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Luciano Jardim is the Design Lead at SuperHeroes. After years of working as a freelancer for leading agencies, he recently switched to the Amsterdam agency. We talked to him about this change and his view on design.

 

Congratulations with your position at SuperHeroes. You were a freelancer before this. What made you decide to exchange a life of freedom for a permanent job?

It was not so much a trade-off, but a logical step. As a freelancer, it rarely happens that you’re involved with a project from beginning to end and you don’t always get the best projects. On rare occasions you do, but it’s not a constant factor.

 

When I first arrived in Amsterdam, I got to know the local market well and found agencies that suited me. SuperHeroes was one of those agencies. They have a lot of ambition, a great portfolio, and an awesome team. SuperHeroes is also one of the very few agencies where political games and hierarchy don’t come into play. So, a few years later, here I am!

 

What makes you a SuperHero?

I’m stubborn. That always drives me and takes my work to a new level. I think that’s my superpower.

 

What task or assignment did you get when you took the job at SuperHeroes?

Bring the design output to a higher, global level. And ensuring that our work doesn’t go unnoticed, while also applying the SuperHeroes philosophy of post-advertising.

 

What recent campaign of SuperHeroes appeals to you in terms of design in particular and why?

Everything we have recently done for Quinny has been a step in the right direction: the campaign, tone of voice, branding, art direction.

Why? It’s a perfect match between a client with balls and an exceptionally creative team that dared to push the boundaries.

 

SuperHeroes is on a mission ‘to save the world from boring advertising’. What role does design play into this?

Design and creativity go hand in hand at SuperHeroes. Visual stimulation is currently at its peak, people are smart enough to distinguish right from wrong. The problem is that a lot of it is being done wrong. Good design helps to solve that, like a superpower almost.

Brands shouldn’t follow trends that make them look like every other brand. Because everyone will look alike then. That’s something we do not want at SuperHeroes. We want to attract attention to our design. We want to create campaigns that linger, that are memorable. And great branding makes a brand stand out.

 

You have worked for some of the biggest names and most famous brands during your career. How do you ensure that it all remains challenging? How do you stay fresh?

I’m naturally impatient and inquisitive. I’m always reading, researching, and studying: from quantum physics to fashion, from cooking to art, from design to psychology. I take notes, bookmark, cut things out of magazines and newspapers, make screenshots. So much so, that I sometimes get completely lost in it. Now that I’m at SuperHeroes, I also have to think about other things, such as management, and I will use my natural curiosity from my work there. Not only concerning design, but also for the team.

 

How has your view on design changed over the years?

I don’t know if that has changed, but I do know that the type of design that I have always had in mind is now becoming a reality. More inclusive, more flexible and friendlier. The time has finally come to start bending the rules established in the field of design in the 20th century, thanks to new technologies and the changing ways of communication.

 

How do you use design to attract the attention of consumers, who get incentives and information all day long through all kinds of ways?

By hiding the aspect of design, as it were. We’re now addressing our target audience directly, and because of visual pollution, we must be as focused, honest and clear as possible. I don’t think it’s necessary to always want to reach everyone. If you have an honest message and spread it, it reaches a larger audience in organic ways. Design shouldn’t stand in the way of a message or story. With the current techniques, it is easy to go all the way and go over the top with our output. So let’s think carefully about what’s really necessary. That applies to our industry, but also Hollywood and the 3D fever.

 

Which developments in the field of design have your special interest?

Low threshold and range. Things to think about carefully. Our campaigns reach a larger audience than ever, so we also have more responsibility. If we tackle that properly, we can change things for the better.

 

How do you see the role of data in your field of work?

Data is useful but also has its limitations. We are not robots, even when current platforms try to categorize us as such. There’s only so much that analysis, strategy and data can offer. To be able to take that extra step, you sometimes have to leave data for what it is and bring in other input for the ideal cocktail. I sometimes compare it to the car industry. Despite everything we know about safety, the latest technologies, robotics, and wind tunnels, we still long for a 1967 Ferrari or a classic Aston Martin rather than having a new one. In fact, manufacturers are releasing classic models. You also see it with electronics. The latest models are almost identical inside, only the design makes the difference. The article with the best design often wins. Technology might be here to stay, but design still speaks louder.

 

What is the latest news?

SuperHeroes has just celebrated its tenth anniversary. We’re transforming. New people, new clients, and stronger campaigns. We’re buzzing with new ideas every day.

 

Originally published by Marketing Report

It’s Time for the Post-Advertising Ad Agency

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How do you really feel about yourself when you say that you’ve founded an advertising agency? Well, it’s twofold, to be honest. We started SuperHeroes 10 years ago, and during this time we’ve brought together this amazing, passionate group of people that give their best to bring ideas to life. But there’s always a nagging feeling to it as well.

Am I really proud of working in advertising? I always find that I’m a bit reluctant in talking to people about what I do. It’s been like that for a long time already. It must be why, when I explain what we do, I always immediately say that our mission is ‘to save the world from boring advertising’. We aim at making advertising that people choose to look at, and this attitude has probably brought us where we are today — a flourishing international agency. But it’s also kind of sad to apologize for an industry that should be all about energy and surprise.

 

A little while ago, we were rethinking about why we are in this business and what we really want to achieve. Our main conclusion: there simply is too much advertising and there are too many advertising agencies. Basically, everybody is saying the same things but using different words. Forward-thinking, innovative, data-driven, effective: look at any agency’s website and you’ll find the same lingo.

 

At SuperHeroes, it has led us to reconsider our mission and who we are. Going a little meta, we have chosen to name ourselves the ‘post-advertising ad agency’. We are not in this business to annoy, to pollute, to interrupt or to add to overconsumption. We are in this business to make advertising something of added value. Because we totally believe advertising can be useful, hugely entertaining and just there when you need it.

 

Adding a human touch

Our collective talent is creativity and imagination. Going ‘post-advertising’ means that we embrace that people use subscription models, thumb swipes and adblockers to avoid advertising. Together with our clients, we add fresh human touches to the brand experience. We bring packaging to life, add intrigue to the in-store experience, surprise people while shopping online and add energy by standing out and earning attention in social and PR. And yes we still use paid advertising, but in a way that it is actually enjoyable.

 

The greatest asset of a modern agency is to be full of empathy. This day and age does not need more, it needs less and better, so this is what we focus our efforts on. We believe we are shaping ourselves into the creative agency of the future. I know it’s big words and big ambition. But why not? We’ve got to save the world from boring advertising.

 

Originally published on Little Black Book

10 Years of SuperHeroes

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We celebrated the party of all parties: 10 years of SuperHeroes!!!!! 🎉

What a crazy fun ride this last decade has been… and what a crazy Friday night it was. We’re still buzzing with excitement (or should we say recovering 😉) from a full night of festivities!

 

The night began with a heartfelt speech from SuperHeroes founders Django and Rogier.

Noteworthy highlights, unforgettable memories, eventful stories, and emotional tearjerkers were recounted. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, and thankfully, they were just happy tears. Much to Django and Rogier’s surprise, they were presented with a one-of-a-kind gift: a tandem!

 

After that great speech the party really started to rock when band Indian Askin literally rocked our socks off with their head-banging performance.

 

Next was DJ Cream, who got partygoers flaunting their best footwork with his selection of groovy beats. To give guests that extra liquid courage for the dance floor, the guys from V2C Gin had gin and tonics flow freely all night long.

 

Many eternalized the night by snapping a couple of shots in the balloon-filled GIF booth and all guests took home one of the coveted goodie bags.

 

No police officers showed up on our doorstep this time, but we damn sure had a blast.

We can’t thank everyone enough – all SuperHeroes, ex-SuperHeroes, Sidekicks, ex-Sidekicks ànd plus ones – for celebrating this milestone with us. On to the next 10 years!

 

If you’re brave enough to check out all the funny, silly, cheerful, fabulous and not so fabulous (joking!) party pics, do so on our Facebook page.

 

Last but not least, check out this tribute from the guys who started this whole thing:

 

‘Never a dull moment’: we’ve said it so many times.  Starting your own agency is one for the crazy ones. It’s an endless stream of exciting victories and pitiful losses; of difficult and sometimes painful decisions and a non-stop flow of stuff, and more stuff.

 

But who cares? It has been amazing! We’re so proud. Going from two young men to becoming a thriving independent agency with 50 Heroes from all around the globe, plus an office in New York and soon Singapore as well… wow.

 

Are we done yet? Hell no. When we started, we said: ‘Screw it, let’s do it.’

And that’s still what we fully believe in. We want fame. We want to be the most fun and best agency to work with. We want to give each and every one of our clients the time of their lives.

 

We, SuperHeroes, are on a mission to save the world from boring advertising. So many exciting adventures are waiting. But first, thank you all Heroes, Sidekicks, partners, and clients so much for the past ten years.

 

There’s no way we could’ve done it without you.

 

Let’s fly!

 

– Django & Rogier

 

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SuperHeroes develops the first international campaign for Swapfiets

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The iconic blue front tire can no longer be missed in our street scene. Swapfiets is widely known in the Netherlands in the cycling cities in the Netherlands. To further expand their success, Swapfiets and SuperHeroes Amsterdam are launching an international campaign to tie the cycling ‘young professional’ to the brand with the addition of the new Deluxe bicycle.

 

Not just in the Netherlands, but in more than 20 cities in Belgium, Germany and Denmark where Swapfiets is active.

 

It is the first international brand campaign for Swapfiets and its subscription-bicycle proposition. The essence of the campagne is that Swapfiets unburdens you. You no longer have to worry about repairs or maintenance of the bike, so you have the freedom to do all the other things that you find fun and important. Naturally, the iconic blue front tire stands out in all the colorful images.

 

The campaign consists of an extensive outdoor campaign in the cities concerned. There is also a digital campaign with a strong focus on social storytelling.

 

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SuperHeroes Amsterdam appoints Marc Pieterse to Head of Strategy

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Marc Pieterse has been appointed to Head of Strategy at SuperHeroes Amsterdam. He previously worked as a Strategy Director at Ogilvy and N = 5. Marc started in advertising 15 years ago at N = 5, where he developed into an impassioned brand strategist on accounts such as KPN, Mercedes-Benz, and Marktplaats.

 

Marc was responsible for the famous Telfort campaign that transformed the brand from a price slasher into a full-fledged brand that customers could greatly benefit from.

After a year of working on campaigns for Netflix, Essent, ASUS, Eurojackpot and energiedirect.nl at SuperHeroes, and learning to understand digital buzz words, he was appointed to Head of Strategy.

 

“So much is happening in the world of advertising and that change is really embraced here. We now call ourselves the ‘post-advertising ad agency’ (wink, wink ;))

With the combination of the agency’s digital DNA and my solid brand strategic background, we offer brands a magical combination of strategic superpowers full of innovation and with a strong focus on creating awareness for the brand in the current fight for attention.

At SuperHeroes we have the ambition to really advance the profession”, says Marc.

 

Founder/managing director Django Weisz Blanchetta adds: “Our Amsterdam Strategy team is accelerating quickly with Marc at the helm. Together with Geoff Desreumaux, our strategy lead in New York, we have developed a strategic and creative approach which is having an impact both in the Netherlands and globally.”

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