Merien KUNST

Creative Director | HAVAS LEMZ

Merien started in 2000 as a digital developer with bsur agency in Amsterdam. Here he quickly transformed into a creative copywriter and worked on accounts such O’Neill and BMW MINI. Going independent in 2006, he hooked up with many different Amsterdam-based agencies for creative strategy, brand development and copywriting projects. He also worked directly for NGOs. In 2010, he helped set up the Amsterdam office for Iris Worldwide as creative director and worked on several international Heineken projects. Then followed 5 years of innovative creativity at Woedend! agency. In 2016, Merien joined Havas Lemz where he happily works on impactful work for meaningful clients like IKEA, Greenchoice and Citroën.



What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now? 


My first job was at a creative agency, but not as a creative. I started on their brand new interactive floor as a developer. Fortunately, they offered me many opportunities to develop my creative side. Within 2 years, I was a full time copywriter. So it’s a nice story about serendipity and luck… you can’t plan everything.


 Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.



At Havas Lemz Amsterdam, we create campaigns and ideas that appeal to conscious consumers, i.e. people that expect more from brands than only good products or services. So we make sure the brands put their words into actions. We call it meaningful creativity.


How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?



Although I am fascinated by the digital world, I found out that my love for words and concepts is a far greater inner creative force. Many times, I take the liberty to improve copy or an idea, share my view – even when I am not asked. Most times, people appreciate it. If you stay humble and hook up with friendly people, you can get very far. For me, it was always the people around me that made the difference. My tip: don’t work with assholes.


 In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?



Read. Travel. Museums. Lately, podcasts, on any topic. Also, try to find out what the kids are doing on their phones. They have totally fresh perspectives. For example, I like the inventive homemade creativity on Instagram – clever ideas that can become the seed for really big ideas.


If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be?



I would pick the 2012 “Live Twitter Film” for the Dutch Film Festival. Together with Wefilm, we created a live feature film with Holland’s best actors who were controlled by the audience though Twitter. We developed everything: the campaign, the platform to process the tweets, the high-end shoot with live national broadcast for TV and cinema. It was groundbreaking then, and still is unique today. It was the most intense project I ever worked on.







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