ADCN Board Member Cyril van Sterkenburg on the magic and impact of creativity and the Lamp

Amsterdam, 15 January 2018

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ADCN is a non-profit Member-run organization, with over 700 members, led by an elected Board, existing of a wide variety of creative professionals who represent the advertising, design and digital industries. Their goal is to grow a multidisciplinary creative collective and develop an energetic platform for creativity with aspiration and impact. Cyril van Sterkenburg, Director and Creative Strategist at Vandejong Creative Agency and ADCN board member since 2017, shares her vision on her field of expertise and the magic and impact of creativity and the Lamp.

What is special about your field of expertise, creative strategy, and what is the impact?

In times like this, it seems easier to be ‘against’ something than to be ‘pro’ something. Being against something is easier and most of the time gets rewarded faster. The thing is, you can’t change something if you’re against it. If you want to change, you have to believe in something, you need to have a vision, one that sparks someone’s imagination, but also one that can be executed in real life.

Being positive about something demands perseverance. You have to go beyond your own ego and your own gain. You must opt for cooperation, take risks and build something big. At Vandejong we believe that this is our (creative) strength: optimistic branding. For the ‘win-win-win’. We see that ‘better world’ and, like no other, we can bring it to life, visually and textually. This way others can embrace, support and share this vision, what will result in more impact

We’re not the only ones thinking this way. Take Mark Woerde for example. He asked brands to try to win the Noble Prize for Peace. What Design Can Do tackles themes that matter in an inspiring way, professor Kees Dorst demonstrates how creativity and design can solve complex problems with his ‘Frame Innovation’ and makes people actively support their favorite creatives and artists in their work.

Which campaign inspired you last year and why?

There have been a number of inspiring ‘campaigns’ over the past year.

In Zondag met Lubach, Arjen Lubach and his team have put a number of difficult topics on the agenda: the situation with gaining gas in Groningen concerning gas, the situation in Turkey and the Black Pete (Zwarte Pieten) discussion. With ‘The Netherlands Second’ or ‘Westeros’, they have demonstrated that they have a well-thought communication strategy.

Another beautiful project is The Movement Hotel, a pop-up hotel run by refugees in the Bijlmerbajes in Amsterdam. This special concept tells a solid story, ensures that we can do something and gives people meaning. That is what I call creative impact!

Also special is the Jaffa Jaffa project by filmmaker Marnix. One year long, he did not leave the Javastraat in Amsterdam. What that does to someone’s view of the world, the bubble he lives in and that of others is executed in a very special and inspiring way.

What comes to mind when reading ‘The Magic of Creativity’?

Of course, magic is an important component of creativity, but in my opinion, we should talk more about the impact of creativity. I think that as an industry we have focused too long on the magic and too little on the value or meaning of creativity. When more value is assigned to the impact, we will not only pay attention to how to bring and announce the message but also focus on the meaning, the organization, the strategy and the movement of the message.

I would like to see creatives play a greater role in creating visions for the future, in shaping society, in developing products and in strategic decision-making in boardrooms. I think that when creativity is valued at those levels, we can really talk about the impact based on the magic of creativity.

What is your vision on the Lamp, what is the value and what is the impact of winning a Lamp for creatives, agencies and the industry?

It is nice to celebrate creativity once a year, but when we talk about impact and value, it is interesting to look at how we judge creative work and reward with a Lamp.

In the current categories, we are still talking about the medium or one dimension, while the magic or impact of creativity is right where it comes together or is less clearly defined. There where boundaries are being shifted. Where the impact is made. And communication further goes than just ‘advertising’, ‘design’ or ‘craft’. And also where real results are being achieved. Important is that we have to define that value together and make it visible to creatives, agencies, clients and the rest of the world.

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