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28/03/2020 The magazine by Communication Science students of the UvA

ADNIGHT 2019: A truly mad world!

Our editor Menahil went to ADNIGHT and visited the agencies Accenture, Kult and Ace and Ogilvy.


Yet have you ever wondered what motivates us to buy? Is it the billboards we see, the ads on our Instagram feed or the parallel world of television? What is it that makes us buy a particular product rather than the other? What convinces us to make these certain choices?  We all realize the power that advertising has in cumulating the allure of a product. However, we forget the real question – who is it that convinces us to consume? Who are the people making those very ads on billboards and Instagram? These creative prodigies influence so many decisions of what we spend on, yet we rarely have the chance to find out who they are.

This changed on October 4th, when the best of digital design and creativity was unleashed for the public – a creative hotspot formed. This was ADNIGHT 2019. An evening where a collective of fifty creative agencies opened their doors all around Amsterdam. For the fourth time, it allowed the outside world to be able to experience the mad realm of advertising.
Hence, the decision was made. I had to know what the world of advertising held.

Bigger than ever before, this was an exceptional edition of ADNIGHT. Within the span of six hours, multiple events were held with a closing party at Paradiso. From talking about the evolution of storytelling to implementing sound across it digitally, all the agencies presented their uniqueness in each of the events. Unfortunately, as much as I wished, too, but I could not visit all of the companies. Yet I was able to view three, which showed me what the abyss of advertising encompasses.

They make the impossible happen

The first stop on my agenda was Accenture Interactive. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, they really made the impossible happen – I had a conversation with Kurt Cobain. This was their “The 27 Club”, a discourse with those who left the world way too soon. They had created a magical lab where you could interact and reconnect with Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and Jimi Hendrix, among many others. This amalgamation of digital media with artificial intelligence, simply put, was very cool.

After being awestruck by this, I moved on to their basement. Before I could get there, however, I met a super fun automated person who composed music for me! All I had to do was write in my dream, press enter, and he brought out beautiful melodies personalized for me. Finally, I reached the lower level. Here, they offered free snacks and drinks! They had beautifully changed the basement into a living space where I was able to interact and meet a lot of interesting people!

What I learned from interacting with new people is that ADNIGHT itself doesn’t have to market the evening based on free goodies and drinks. It’s quite the contrary; people actually want to go and see the works behind these creative agencies.

They understand us

Next up was Kult and Ace. My mind was not ready to be blown away even more. Kult and Ace is a marketing agency specializing in youth and their culture. They really know the millennials and the Gen-Z. Their décor was around the current trends and the hype that exists, as part of the Gen-Z myself, I was blown away by them. 

They first started with a quiz, sounds boring right? That’s what I thought when I read it in the schedule, yet it was the very opposite. “Ace your Gen-Z Knowledge” was all about us – the ever-changing consumer. The whole of the Gen-Z landscape was explored in a fun way through kahoots. After this intense yet super fun quiz session, I got to soak up some hip-hop and R&B karaoke! The best part? It was open all night long and had shots for the best and the worst rappers and singers.

I could have stayed there all night, but there was so much more left to do, so I went along to my next and last stop.

Their daddy is the real deal

Ogilvy is one of the most powerful and oldest creative agencies. They believe in one thing “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” Throughout the night they showed me how to connect story and system, it was some food for thought!

On my way to their “Greatest of All Time” Talent night, I witnessed how creativity emerged in the elevator. This was the “Elevator Pitch”, in the time it takes to ride to the 9th floor and back, contestants had to present a pitch to the CEO or the Strategy Director of Ogilvy. They said no pressure, but I could feel the buzz in the air, or well the 12-person elevator that was. The best part was seeing people win job interviews and a trophy! The creativity of the contestants was outstanding; again, I felt my mind being blown away to its fullest potential, yet there was more to come.

Once I was out of the elevator, it was time for the “Keynote Karaoke”. Anything but ordinary, they tested our improvisation skills. The participants had to present slides on a Keynote. It seems simple but there was a twist: you have no idea what’s coming on the slides! The participant who did well and did not crack under the pressure got a chance to win a job interview on the spot! 

This was Ogilvy, a powerhouse teaching and testing all creative compasses to our full extent. I saw how they combine powerful creativity and effective distribution for their clients. 

ADNIGHT truly is a mad world!

This was the end of my night sadly, but I emerged out with greater understanding and more will to become part of this world. ADNIGHT 2019 showcased to be an incredible platform to meet companies and network while having fun. Each of these companies showed me how advertising in its realm has revolutionized to become equipped with the changing customer and times. The experience that I had this year is already making me look forward to what the next edition of ADNIGHT will bring.

Cover: ADNIGHT

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