Tonight we have the final meeting with the operational team in Amsterdam before we start our trip around the world with a flight to London tomorrow. We meet up with our creative designer and our chief editor in de Ysbreeker, a grand café overlooking the Amstel River.

“Every time we have a meeting with a brand,” I say, “somewhere around the world, we will gather the input and write the first draft of the story. We’ll send this to you, together with the pictures we’ve taken or the brand’s image material.”
“Your job is to make sure that the style of the text is in line with our storytelling guidelines,” I continue. “Personal, short, narrative with a wow factor. And the images are there not only to support the text, but to provide visual storytelling at the same time.”

“Sorry to interrupt, but isn’t that Chad?” Anouk says, pointing to the table next to us.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers

We all look at the man and woman sitting at the table eating a salad. “Chad who?” I ask.

“Chad… You know Chad the drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” Anouk replies, “I’ve been a huge fan of their music since I was 16. I’m sure it’s him!”
“Well go say hello,” I say.

“Chad is famous for his ghost notes, his beats and his fast right foot,” Anouk continues. “Rolling Stone listed him as one of the ‘100 Greatest Drummers of All time’.”
“Well go say hello,” I repeat.

“Nah…. He’s enjoying his meal in peace with his wife,” she says with a touch of doubt in her voice. “On the other hand, I would have done anything for this chance when I was 16… But then again, I am not 16 anymore. Let’s continue the meeting.”

“So we were talking about visual storytelling,” I continue. “We should use the imagery as….”
“Sorry, I’m going to say hello anyway,” Anouk says getting up. “I’ll be right back.” She walks towards the adjacent table and I see her talking to Chad and shaking hands. I see Chad making a gesture inviting Anouk to sit down
at their table.

Twenty minutes later I fi nish the meeting and Anouk is still chatting at the other table. “Pssst… Pssst, Maarten, come sit at our table,” Anouk says.
“Our table?” I say, “I thought this was our table.”
“Come on,” Anouk repeats while pointing at an empty chair next to her. “I’d like you to meet Chad and his wife Nancy. Chad has invited us to come to the concert tomorrow, as guests of the band. ‘Meet and greet’ and
everything. Isn’t that cool?”

“Very cool,” I say, “but tomorrow we have a fl ight to London, remember? Our trip around the world… Meeting interesting people and brands?”
“Exactly,” Anouk replies, “Chad and Nancy are interesting people and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are a genuine rock brand. The brand, uh… band, was formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The product portfolio consists of rock
with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock, and psychedelic rock.”

“And, if I may add,” Chad interrupts, “the Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy Awards and sold over 65 million albums worldwide. More than most consumer brands.”

“Sorry, but you forgot something important,” Nancy says. “The Red Hot

Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.”
“They have brand awareness of close to 100%,” Anouk says.
“Brand identity; cutting-edge rock,” Chad adds.
“And the brand perception, even more rock,” Nancy says.

The three of them start laughing. “Come on Maarten, London will still be there next week,” Chad says.
“And you don’t have to travel,” Nancy adds, “we’re right here in Amsterdam!”
I look at the three laughing. “Okay, okay,” I say, and sit down at “their” table. “But can I bring my camera to the concert?”

“Of course!” Anouk says before turning to Chad. “Is that possible, Chad?”
“That can be arranged,” Chad replies.
“Well, in that case, I guess we could start our trip around the world next week,” I surrender.
“Excellent! Cool!” Anouk exclaims as if she had just turned 16 again. “Rock rules!”

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Tags: Around the world, Around the world in 80 brands, Around the world in 80 days, 80 brands, CoolBrands, Cool Brands, Maarten Schafer, Maarten Schäfer, Anouk Pappers, Pappers, Schafer, Anouk, Maarten, Meeting the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anouk Pappers and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amsterdam