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Jens Mortier

Partner & Creative Director / mortierbrigade

 

After 8 years as Creative Director and Managing Partner at Duval Guillaume, Jens founded mortierbrigade with 3 partners in crime in 2004.

mortierbrigade works for clients like Deutsche Bank, Mobistar Telecom, The National Lottery, Studio Brussels, Chiquita Europe, Adecco, Radio 1, and many more. It is one of the most awarded agencies in Europe, proud winners of a Titanium Lion and 3 Grand Prix at Eurobest, nominated Small Agency of the Year by Adage, and elected Boutique Agency of the Year by The New York Festivals.

In 2012 mortierbrigade also opened a hotel for international creative trainees (www.mortierbrigadehotel.com).

You judged at Cannes Lions in the Titanium and Integrated Lions three years ago. How is it like to judge in a category that has no categories? 

We were asked to first look for the biggest and most breakthrough ideas, the real game changers. Once the shortlist was made, we had a debate on every campaign, then we decided if they were worth an award, and if it was Titanium or Integrated. It was the best jury experience I’ve ever had, being a small Belgian among the biggest minds in the business.

Are some Cannes categories more difficult to judge than others?

A big idea is a big idea. And might win awards in different categories. But it is very important to judge it in the context of its category…  I think a lot depends on the jury president. It’s very important that he shares and protects his vision. And that every sub-category (best use of this, best use of that) is well communicated during judging. It’s a dirty job, but very important for a credible palmares.

Can you name some of the works that you believe will go home with lions this year? And can you think of one that has the potential to win Titanium this year?

Don’t know if it will be entered, but Red Bull Stratos was one of the most talked about stunts in the world – or should I say universe. Can’t go any further than that one…

Looking back on the creative work you've seen in the past years, what campaign you wish you had the chance to work on?

It might seem a safe choice, but I really admire what nike and Wieden+Kennedy and other partners like R/GA do. For more than 20 years, they've been surprising the whole world every year again with their products, their advertising, their innovations. It’s one of the most consistent, coherent, relevant, innovative, and admired brands in the world. We all know how hard it is to live up to the expectations, every time again, but they euhm just do it.

What work from Mortierbrigade do you believe is a top contender for a Cannes lion this year?

Always dangerous to do these kind of predictions, but… We feel a lot of potential in two campaigns we did for the charity event Music for Life by radio station Studio Brussels.

We had to create awareness around dementia. We found out that music has an important therapeutic effect on people with dementia. In one campaign we asked a group of people with dementia, to perform as support act for one of the world’s biggest bands: Muse. In 4 mini documentaries, we got to know the disease better, the ups and downs these people go through, the music therapists at work. And the rehearsals for the big event: performing for Muse.

We made dementia visible, showed that these people are capable of a lot more then we think, and gave music therapy a giant boost. Music therapy packs were created, and or now being used in 65% of the retirement homes as we speak.

The other thing we did is ‘Song for Life’. Your musical memory is stored in the back of the brain and is therefore affected last by dementia. People who have forgotten even the names of their children, light up and start singing along when they hear their favorite music. But who will remember your favorite music, when even you have already forgotten what it was? That’s why we created Song for Life. Song for Life is the world’s first link between your favourite music and your ID & medical record.

The ultimate warranty that if you need it one day, someone will make you listen to your favourite music. From now on every Belgian can officially register their ‘song for life’ on their ID, and the song is kept in their medical file forever. Over 15.000 people have registered their Song for life in one week’s time, including the Belgian Prime minister Elio di Rupo.

What was your favorite year at Cannes? And why?

The year that we won a Titanium Lion (2009) with the Black boy wanting water for Music for Life by Studio Brussels. Titanium still is the biggest and most exclusive award in the world to win. It was a dream come true for a small agency like ours, standing next to the agencies we admire. And it’s a great motivation for our troops to try and win one again, to dream big. It pushes our work forward.

Can you name one category you never judged so far in any competition, but you would like to get to judge?

I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege to be in Press and Outdoor, in Film, and in Titanium & Integrated. I love every medium, so I’m open to anything!

What's the best thing that ever happened to you because of Cannes?

I met my girlfriend in Cannes 13 years ago.

Why should people come to Cannes?

The Cannes Lions is the most inspiring and motivating venue in the world. The work is brilliant, the seminars very interesting, the speakers are often heroes. And it’s fun. We go there every year with the whole agency. It’s the best boost you can get. And the booze is not bad too.

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