The atmosphere was excited and jumpy in front of the VICE headquarters on the Regulierdwarsstraat as Fashion & Branding students from second, third and fourth year were getting together for a VICE X AMFI creative workshop session.
Rens Verweij and Pascal Rotteveel (respectively VICE Media’s Strategic Director and Creative Director) were both worringly amused by the mass of us as they invited us to discover their working space. We were first taken on a tour of the office, not a person under 40 in sight – this is part of the VICE philosophy : young people writing, editing, clipping for young people.
The strength lies in the ‘young’ angle VICE takes on current issues. The laid back and creative atmosphere is not the bustling haymarket you would expect from a media empire that has its own television channel, several publications and a booming global readership. But it’s everything you could hope for – cool, understated, edgy and designed for millennials. The whole office is keeping a lid on the fact that it’s Friday afternoon, not to mention a sunny Friday afternoon, and they are quietly busy and undisturbed by the herd of AMFI students.
the VICE philosophy : young people writing, editing, clipping for young people
Shorty after that we were taken to the den for the creative workshop session. The brief was the following: VICE Benelux is creating their annual festival guide and wants to increase their readership by a neat half a million this year. To do so, they need a creative concept for a one minute video that will drive traffic to the VICE website. Any ideas ? Well, we were given a short and sweet half hour to prepare a three minute pitch.
The volume boomed as every eager-to-win-the-elusive-prize students huddled in their groups with excitement. The mood sobered up when it was time to present in front of the VICE creative team and see if the idea passed the test. The reactions from Vice were very positive and ideas spanned from livestreaming a Dutch star skydive into a festival, to ‘sneaky little fucks’ stealing beers through an app or living a festival through the eyes of a hearing impaired teen.
But the prize went to the ‘Festival Swap’ : an unexpecting person would swap festivals with someone else with completely different taste in music (think Hellfest swapping with Coachella), and the clip would follow their experiences. The boasting team accepted their prizes in the bright sunshine of the VICE courtyard. The reward? a coffee table book, VICE paraphernalia and being noted in the various influential good books. Laura Sinnhuber, part of the winning team was surprised: ‘having our idea picked by the creative team of VICE was an exciting moment. I did not go into this workshop thinking that our team would make the cut, but we did. Now I am curious to see whether they might make the festival swap happen in real life.’
The after-hours atmosphere sunk in quickly as beers were had and we got a chance to talk to the VICE team. The entire experience was a direct application of the reality school concept AMFI works with, where students are constantly challenged to produce viable ideas for the real world.
Overall a very fun and successful day really, thanks for having us VICE!
Louise Sonne Thaning and Violette van Den Berg
Louise Sonne Thaning and Jo Watson