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Epica Cel­e­brates its 30th year of Cre­ative Ex­cel­lence

A con­fer­ence was re­cently held to com­mem­o­rate Epica’s 30th an­niver­sary en­ti­tled, 'When Ad­ver­tis­ing Be­comes Artver­tis­ing'. The event, held at the Panama Club, was at­tended by glob­ally prom­i­nent speak­ers, who ex­changed fresh thoughts and ideas about the com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try. Open­ing the show was Dan­ish au­thor

renowned for his book, "Good­ver­tis­ing", who went through a mul­ti­tude of ex­am­ples re­lated to brands that truly at­tempted to do good in their re­spec­tive com­mu­ni­ties.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Arabad, Kol­ster, when asked about the limit of CSR (Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity) said, "CSR is what com­pa­nies need to do, whereas do­ing good is what they want to do to solve a prob­lem." But when con­fronted with an op­por­tunis­tic side to brands, Kol­ster gave the ex­am­ple of Amer­i­can Ex­press who is the found­ing part­ner of Small Busi­ness Satur­day, a man­i­fes­ta­tion

Thomas Kol­ster

De­cem­ber 2016 that sup­ports small busi­nesses in the United States. He elab­o­rated say­ing, “The com­pany has, since the seven­ties, been do­nat­ing one cent out of ev­ery Amer­i­can Ex­press card trans­ac­tion for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Statue of Lib­erty in the United States." Another ex­am­ple he gave re­lates to Nike’s Flyknit shoes, which were pur­posely de­signed to re­quire much less sew­ing and fabri­ca­tion, and raw ma­te­ri­als, thereby pro­duc­ing much less waste when com­pared to reg­u­lar sneaker pro­duc­tion.

Kol­ster started out as a reg­u­lar Joe in the tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing field be­fore ev­ery­thing changed when he at­tended COP15, the Copen­hagen Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence. "Naively,” he re­called, “I truly be­lieved we could ar­rive at a so­lu­tion to world is­sues dur­ing that con­fer­ence. The event was the jump­start that got me to start think­ing about the en­vi­ron­ment. An ad I re­mem­ber from the time was for a car brand, which read, ‘we bring our cars by train’. It was that brand's con­tri­bu­tion to solv­ing the is­sue."

Asked about whether the al­tru­is­tic vi­sion came from the fact that Den­mark was a so­ci­ety in which the gov­ern­ment would pro­vide too much to the pop­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing cell phones for ex­am­ple - Kol­ster replied, "It lit­er­ally dif­fers from one so­ci­ety to the other. In cer­tain coun­tries, multi­na­tion­als are re­buked if they in­ter­fere in peo­ple's lives, whereas in other coun­tries the gov­ern­ment is so over­whelmed, that com­pa­nies see it as their duty to in­ter­fere, and in do­ing so, af­fect change. Unilever is a prime ex­am­ple of com­pa­nies re­ally try­ing to do good. They have a vi­sion of where they want to be in peo­ple's lives."

The topic drove the ques­tion of whether he be­lieves his projects have had any tan­gi­ble ef­fects? ''I have done projects in Mozam­bique, where one hair­dresser had one bucket of wa­ter for all his clients. In some na­tions sav­ing and re­cy­cling is part of pop­u­la­tion’s DNA and it is up to us to take them fa­ther on that jour­ney," Kol­ster con­cluded.

Next on stage was a cre­ative brand strate­gist and co-founder of Lava Lab, a com­pany ded­i­cated to in­tro­duc­ing in­no­va­tion in mu­se­ums through de­sign, tech­nol­ogy and art. She spoke about mu­seum brand­ing and her out­reach at­tempts to mil­len­ni­als aimed at at­tract­ing them to a cul­ture, which sup­posed is not their own. Ex­am­ples in­cluded the rikjsstu­dio app, launched by the ven­er­a­ble Rikjs Mu­seum, which al­lowed a younger cat­e­gory of po­ten­tial mu­seum go­ers to play with the art­works, store them ac­cord­ing to de­tails as well as mix them and re­work them ac­cord­ingly. Another won­der­ful case study was the Moscow De­sign Mu­seum, which started out as a dream, a ma­jor pre-open­ing cam­paign, only to reach tremen­dous buzz

Ce­cilia Martin,

Thomas Kol­ster

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