Diary of a Young Creative: Darkrooms and waffle heists

We decamp to the great city of Berlin for this latest diary, featuring Haribo, hedgehogs, marathon training and the occasional crafty ciggie.

Diary of a Young Creative: Darkrooms and waffle heists

We are Eva and Marc, a creative duo at Jung von Matt Spree, close friends and enthusiasts of all things bubbly. 
Apart from embracing our inner child on a daily basis—working mainly for a major sweets brand—we’ve recently started utilising AI in our creative workflow. And we can’t stop playing around with it!

Getting paid to experiment with AI, come up with silly jokes and brew up big ideas is what makes us love what we do.


Monday: rise and shine, Kreuzberg!

8.49am I arrive at the agency. My orange skirt matches my dog Pino’s orange winter suit. (His official role: director of cheeriness.) The familiar sound of my creative director Yvo’s iconic “GuMo” (guten morgen) echoes through the office.
9.18am First things first. Drafting an online briefing for our Haribo ad. It feels like solving one of those “spot the difference” puzzles. Thinking back on how often the actors had to repeat the scenes… 300 times?
9.44am Team meeting with our unit.
10.01am Briefing a motion designer for a social media campaign.
1.31pm Lunch, which includes a debate over whether you can type with acrylic nails (you can).
2.12pm Sharing the finished Haribo brief with my CD. Now need to prioritise some retouching tasks due to budget constraints. Time to dive into it again and see what we can do without. *Deep breath*
4.09pm As a copywriter, Marc doesn’t like to listen to music while working (I think maybe it’s the same as trying to do maths while someone yells random numbers at you?). So he puts on his “thinking cell” (that’s what we call ear defenders at JvM), while I plug my headphones in to make my afternoon slump more bearable with Ibiza Global Radio.
4.42pm After receiving the green light from our producer, I send the Haribo documents to the production house. From tomorrow on, post-production can run at full speed.
5.16pm My art-CD gives me his full trust to oversee the production for the next few days in the studio.
6.14pm Closing my MacBook. I say goodbye to the team, hug Marc and he wishes me good luck for the upcoming days at the studio.

Tuesday: embrace your inner warrior queen

9.59am DiRu (our Tuesday all-agency meeting), which I join online as I’m heading to the production company.
10.24am The colour grader’s monitor looks like a pipe organ from a mega DJ or something. Max, the director, randomly asks me to give him a crash course on AI. I worked on a large AI project all of last year so I know more than a thing or two about the topic…
11.44am It’s surprisingly sunny today! Berlin winter lasts usually until around April. Of course, it comes on the one day that I’m in a darkened room doing grading. But I feel lucky because it’s my first television ad as the AD, and I’m incredibly proud of it. So, let’s go!
2.32pm Back to the giant electric organ in the dark room with seven screens and a thousand knobs: are their teeth white enough? Does the product stand out well?
3.57pm Sun. Cigarette. Texting with Marc. We’re partners in crime, even digitally.
4.11pm Last touch-ups. Armed with my colour grading and retouching briefing like a warrior queen with a shield.
4.45pm Online client presentation. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted once we’re finally able to show the client what we’ve been working so hard on. What a relief and joy to see everything come together. *Sigh*
6.24pm Feeling pumped!


Wednesday: the waffle heist 

8.34am Heavy snow today. The commute feels more like a sketchy mountain hike. Attempting the “penguin walk” as advised on the news.
9.20am I arrive at the agency. It’s Waffle Wednesday, but the kitchen is already a waffle wasteland. I’m playing it cool, but the truth is there’s a waffle-shaped hole in my heart.
10.30am Getting briefed on crafting a brand platform for our new airline client. It’s the fifth project that has landed on my desk in two days—good thing I’ve got that wellness retreat booked for next week.
11.05am Cone of silence engaged. Ascending into airline brand realms. I start looking for insights— trying to spin gold from ChatGPT. Feeling unsatisfied. Chat with Eva instead.
12.53pm Discussing whether we should get a salad or a panini. Salad’s the reasonable option, but there’s a panini that has been named after me (I’m practically a regular).
1.30pm Just devoured the “Marc” panini. What an ego boost.
3.37pm Embracing the weirdness while experimenting with Runway Pro and ElevenLabs, two recent video and voice-AI tools.
5.42pm Thinking about the waffles again. Where did they even go? The agency’s a ghost town today. I’m brewing a theory: waffle heist in broad daylight?

Thursday: kickboxing Michelin chef 

9.40am Breakfast. Stand-up meeting. We’re discussing the crucial topic of appropriate dinner footwear.
10.20am Welcoming the new intern. Our cutout of the celebrity Kai Pflaume (Germany’s answer to Bradley Walsh) sports her face as she comes in. It’s office tradition.
10.40am Running late for the sound studio. Mixing our latest TV ad. I take the intern with me. Upon arrival there’s bad news and worse news: the elevator is broken and the studio is on the fifth floor. Heavy breathing. Note to self: ramp up marathon training for the race in two months.
12.11pm Discussing whether the ambient sound should be louder or quieter. The director votes loud, the agency and client prefer quiet.
12.34pm The sound engineer gets playful, flipping voices backwards. The intern and I start laughing. 
2.23pm Damn, these studio couches are too cosy. I almost fall asleep. The intern’s on the brink of a siesta, too.
2.52pm I decide to introduce the intern to Midjourney. We’re generating a “badass female kickboxing intern with sparkling water and a neon tiger sitting on her table”. Sleepy eyes give way to wide-eyed wonder.
4.10pm Sending the intern home. She’s done plenty for her first day.
5.04pm Back at the agency, and Midjourney. I’m generating a picture of Eva as the head chef of a Michelin-starred kitchen, prosecco in hand, flames ablaze, for her birthday card. Ever since AI came along, our unit’s greetings card game has reached new heights.
6.15pm Closing the day on image variation 38 and joining Eva and the team for the weekly DoBi (Thursday beer).
11pmish Sudden airline inspiration strikes. I reboot the creative engine. Buzzed brainstorming—the best kind.

Eva and Marc

Friday: hedgehogs and pancreases 

8.40am Home office. Time to clock-in. Kicking off the day with our game-plan meeting.
9.10am Hits & shits: our weekly round-up of ad updates, personal tales and everything in between. It’s always a highlight. We share our groundbreaking discovery that the pancreas resembles the Nike swoosh and discuss the animal of the year: the hedgehog.
10.30am Presenting the client our week’s-worth of efforts. At last, everything comes together: sound mix, colour grading and retouching.
11am Meeting’s a wrap. Everybody loves it. The CMO’s got nothing to add. What a way to end this week.
12:30pm Time for the weekly debrief with our CDs. Checking in on how everything’s coming along and perhaps more importantly, how we’re feeling about it all.
2.07pm Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on all ongoing projects.
5.30pm Wrapping up the day with some check-out chit-chat and exchange of weekend plans— Berlin’s buzzing.
5.53pm Cheers. Prost. It’s the weekend!

Eva Hofauer and Marc Nelte are creatives at Jung von Matt

Campaign UK

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