April 01, 2015

ticketscript interviews Gijsbregt Vijn

Gijsbregt Vijn is one of the speakers at our inaugural ticketscript talks – but who is Gijsbregt and what can we learn from him? Gijsbregt can teach event organisers how to translate storytelling into content for various different channels thanks to his many years of experience.

We had the chance to catch up with Gijsbregt before his ticketscript talks session on 7 April.

Who is Gijsbregt Vijn?
Gijsbregt has Amsterdam in his heart. He wanted a greener living experience with a village feel without leaving the city, and decided to settle in Schellingwouderdijk in North Amsterdam. He takes a ferry every day to Jordaan in the centre of Amsterdam, where his agency Lemon Scented Tea is based. Gijsbregt started Lemon Scented Tea 14 years ago with his partner, and hasn’t looked back since. 

And before that?
Gijsbregt began his career at Y & R in New York where he started at the bottom of the ladder working with small accounts. “I arranged stacks of 40 cm papers on my desk, with yellow post-it notes stating how many copies were needed for different people, usually working 12-hour days. I was young when I lived in New York, so I was never tired; however, the hierarchical structure breaks you in time, so I decided to seek happiness on Dutch soil”. It was a great choice.

On his returned to The Netherlands, Gijsbregt worked at FHV / BBVO, but soon came to the realization that in addition to the traditional marketing channels, there were cleverer ways to tell your message to consumers.

The birth of Lemon Scented Tea
“We were looking for other ways to position a brand. In the first four years, my partner and I were involved with several projects during the four years working for international agencies such as Dommelsch and Hoegaarden. In 2004, we came to a point where we had to decide where to take Lemon Scented Tea. Traditional media and TV commercials always stated ‘the creamiest this’ and ‘the fastest that’, however is that always relevant? From that point on, we focused on storytelling.”

Our storytelling experiments
In order to demonstrate the Dutch market the impact of storytelling, Lemon Scented Tea created two experiments to showcase this.

“We had two experiments. The first was ‘My Hummer’ along with a couple of copywriters and an artist. Berry is a rapper from Amsterdam Noord and Ber wanted a Hummer (all fictional, of course). We then built a website and recorded a song, “without Hummer you’re nothing”. Visitors of the website could give a donation for a Hummer in exchange for the song the rapper made.

Because of its popularity, we also recorded a documentary. We have reached 9 million people with the campaign!

Our second experiment was to develop our own music stream service called Blacktro. “In order to gain credibility, we approached journalists for different genres and launched a campaign website in collaboration with a number of top DJs, with a few songs specifically created for the website. At the height of the campaign, the songs on the website were played at clubs in LA where we did 4 sold out shows, with the event getting mentioned on Wikipedia. Both experiments have been the blueprint for some of our future work. As an agency, we have gradually grown to where we are now.”

What can event organisers learn from this?
“We have three levels on which we work:

  • Inspirational Selling Point (ISP)
  • Emotional Selling Point (ESP)
  • Unique Selling Point (USP)

This method of work can be very interesting for organisers. Your inspirational selling point is your base, the emotional selling point is your tone, style and feel, and lastly your unique selling point is of course your lineup and theme for your event. With free events we organised, we approached several groups, each with their own message. A differentiated communication strategy creates a diffused image for the organiser, so it doesn’t need to work for everyone. The difficulty lies with the connection between image and target group. The connection between your image and the target is the crux. The match will create a more effective way of advertising.

Raj Jilka