Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten, highly awarded ex-DDB Executive Creative Directors and co-founders of Selmore, have officially started Nothing this week.
Nothing is an Amsterdam-based, independent entrepreneurial agency that delivers innovation and commercial creativity for local and international clients out of a cardboard box. Literally. The Nothing office, built entirely of cardboard, was designed by internationally recognized designers Alrik Koudenburg and Joost van Bleiswijk.
"Nothing is about the power of ideas, about how a single idea can transform nothing into something," said Michael Jansen. "Using a cheap throw-away material to build a unique and memorable work space, seemed a good way to materialize this thought."
Nothing's goal is simple: turn consumers into brand advocates by any means to hand. This approach sees Jansen and Korsten creating meaningful brand experiences ranging from product innovation and store design, to employee training programmes and, yes, even TV campaigns.
"Technological innovation is developing at an amazing pace and so is the role of social persuasion, due to the wildfire growth of online social networks and blogs," commented Bas Korsten. "At the same time traditional mass communication is being met with increased cynicism. This means that brand advocates are quickly becoming a brand's most valuable asset".
Alongside Nothing is "Nothing Ventured", the company's in-house business concepts development arm. Nothing Ventured sees the likes of architects, industrial- and 3D- designers and online specialists come together to make their ideas happen. Current projects include an experiential measurement product, a web-based travel platform, an international webshop for young fashion designers and even a new sport, with all the accompanying commercial opportunities. These initiatives can be brought to market both as stand-alone ventures or to directly benefit clients.
Nothing Ventured partners with Ohio, part of a group of companies including international production company Czar.
Australia-born Jansen (50) and Korsten (37) are one of the most successful creative teams in Europe, winning amongst others, the Eurobest Grand Prix and 11 Cannes Lions. They met in 1997 and became Executive Creative Directors (Board members) at DDB Amsterdam. They helped take the agency to "Agency of The Year" status in 1999, 2001 and 2003 with pan-European clients including Volkswagen. In 2005 they co-founded Selmore with three partners and quickly gained a formidable list of clients including Unilever, Skoda Automobiles, Bavaria Brewery and Coca-Cola.