These Days launches Labstore Benelux, a full service solution for retail innovation and shopper marketing

Denis Ghys joins as Managing Director.

These Days launches Labstore Benelux, a team of shopper marketing experts to support clients in the ever changing retail environment. These Days can now tap into Labstore’s global retail and shopper marketing network, with offices in over 20 countries, and a deep understanding of the shopper in every major market around the world. Using the Shopper Chemistry(tm) process to create ideas that result in purchase through the fusion of digital and shopper.

Jon Bird (Global Managing Director Labstore): “I am so excited to be opening our newest Labstore in Benelux. These Days has a history of bold and highly creative work in the retail space, and this is the next logical step – building out a strategic and specialist practice that has the capacity to add real value in what is a thriving retail market."

Denis Ghys will lead this team as the managing director, teaming up with the recent hires like Sébastien Greffe and the existing creative and project management teams. Denis Ghys joins These Days from 10 advertising where he held multiple roles, including Managing, Strategy and Creative directorship in which he especially thrived in building integrated retail marketing solutions.

Denis Ghys: “ I see a tremendous opportunity on the Benelux market in really building a full stack agency offering that excels in building integrated customer voyages that convert.”

Toon Diependaele – Chief Strategy Officer These Days: “Labstore needs the focus and drive of a dedicated lead and team that is immediately enabled by These Days strong expert centers and local and international network tools and capacities. Making it an unparalleled player for retail and FMCG overnight.”


Dirk Milbou appointed Chief Data Officer of These Days

Dirk Milbou has been appointed to the new position of Chief Data Officer at These Days in the aim of driving clients’ competitive advantage and improving marketing effectiveness through smarter use of their data. 

These Days CEO Erwin Jansen:  “We are in the creative industry and in the inspiration business.

We use data and analytics to identify insights that fuel creative campaigns with the sole purpose of inspiring people to take action. To engage today’s consumers, we understand that brands must deliver content, experiences and information across different channels, at the right time. We are uniquely positioned to integrate the capabilities that build stronger 1:1 relationships and deliver results for our clients. We created this executive position to stay on top of our game and to continue to develop our service offering based on client demand and consumer needs. We have known Dirk for many years: he has ample experience both on the advertisers’ side and the agency side, and has worked for data as well for media companies, making him a seasoned, data driven marketer and the ideal guide for this intrapreneurial challenge.”

Dirk Milbou: “As a leading creative agency with digital DNA, These Days has the perfect foundation to inspire their solutions with data.  I will tap into the agency’s vast international knowledge, tools, processes and IP in this domain –including Wunderman and Y&R, the agency’s parent companies. I’m very glad to be the guardian angel of this expanding service offering and I will make sure that data delivers new insights, even better ideas and a maximum impact on our clients’ business.”

Dirk will work under Toon Diependaele, Chief Strategy Officer These Days.



We’ve just hosted our very first Creathon. Third-year students from Studio Reclame at the LUCA School of Arts invaded our agency bright and early on October 22. After dividing the students into teams, we briefed them and started the countdown: 24 hours to brainstorm and develop campaign ideas.

Why is a Creathon important for us? Because we feel that it’s crucially important for students to keep up-to-date in a communication landscape that is evolving increasingly quickly. We want to give students a taste of today’s workplace by working with them on real briefings for actual clients like Telenet, Het Laaste Nieuws, Mazda, VAB and Bridgestone.

The Creathon was a real rollercoaster: working against the clock, searching, swearing, sweating, brainstorming… fueled by pizza and energy drinks. And our creation, branding, social, content and technology experts were there to lend a hand where needed.

Their hard work really paid off with some of their ideas being submitted to satisfied clients. But what do the students think about our Creathon?

“We think it’s a great initiative. Our briefing was hard and it was a little exhausting, but that was the point of it all. We found the interaction between different functions in the agency to be very interesting. Their feedback was critical and very instructive. We had a very good time, despite the hard work. The Creathon was a great experience that will help us in the future.” – Hanne Buyse & Caroline Lismont

“It was an unique experience for us students, very instructive and we were constantly motivated to really give everything we had. It was a confirmation that advertising truly has no boundaries.” – Simon Vandevoorde

One thing is for sure, a new These Days tradition has been born!


Lunch session: "Dear brands, women no longer need to be pampered. Fathers do."

Meet Sandy Thompson, Global Strategic Palling Director at Young & Rubicam. Sandy is regarded as one of the industry’s most innovative and productive strategists. Prior to joining Y&R, Sandy spent 15 years with Saatchi & Saatchi, where she played a key role in strengthening both the Asian and North American regions.

Sandy is a champion of understanding real people and their real motivations in purchase decisions. She gets that the best strategies are about simple human truths. She knows that connecting with people is about connecting with their hearts.

That’s why we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that she’ll be paying our Antwerp office a visit on the 26th of November. She’s here for two sessions about modern women and young dads and how brands can seduce them.

What can you expect from these presentations?

Where’s the logic behind brands empowering women, when women are already powerful? We need to turn the story round so brands engage in real conversations that make a real-life difference while women themselves are redefining who they are.

And what do you understand about the differences between modern dads and their childless peers? For a start, they’re nothing alike when it comes down to the laws of attraction…

Triggered? Join us, and learn to seduce both!

Thursday, November 26th
11:00 – 14:00

These Days
Generaal Lemanstraat 47
2018 Antwerpen

Want to join us? Send an e-mail to by 12/11. Be quick because places are limited!


Erwin Jansen and Gio Canini add European role within Wunderman to their curriculum.

On 1 July, Wunderman EMEA appointed Erwin Jansen and Gio Canini, CEOs of These Days Y&R, as Senior Vice Presidents Business Development & Marketing. In addition, they have also been appointed Presidents of Wunderman Benelux. In practice, this means they are taking Blast Radius Amsterdam under their wing. Their role at These Days Y&R remains unchanged; the Antwerp branch becomes the European Centre of Excellence with regard to Performance Marketing and Retail.

Together with Y&R, the Wunderman branch network constitutes the Young & Rubicam Group, the holding These Days Y&R belongs to. Wunderman’s positioning is unique because they link data with creativity, making it easy for them to bring big trends to the individual for brands and companies. Wunderman has 175 branches in 60 countries.

Wunderman EMEA CEO Mel Edwards: “Both with regard to content and business performance, These Days Y&R has established an exemplary track record since joining our group eight years ago. Looking at the added value they create for their international clients from their Belgian base of operations, I have no doubt they will give Wunderman EMEA a considerable boost from day one.”

Erwin Jansen: “Gio and I were obviously honoured when Mel asked us. It’s a fantastic sign of confidence and a great honour. New global CEO Mark Read is the motor behind an incredible transformation. The network has a unique market position and I see many possibilities for continued growth in the short and long term.”

Erwin Jansen and Gio Canini will take up their new role from Antwerp with the support of the These Days Y&R management team: Sylvie Versteylen (Managing Director), Toon Diependaele (Chief Strategy Officer), Werner Van Reck (Chief Creative Officer), Vera Van Doninck (Talent & Marketing Director), Peter Clijsters (Head of Production), Christophe Mes (COO) and Adeline Behets-Wydemans (CFO).


Child Focus and These Days Y&R join forces

Child Focus has selected a new communication partner: These Days Y&R. The Antwerp communication agency has committed to supporting Child Focus’s strategic objectives on a pro bono basis for the next three years: the fight against child disappearances and the sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18.

Sylvie Versteylen (Managing Director These Days Y&R): “Strictly from a professional viewpoint, Child Focus is the ideal client. The brand has a rock solid image in Belgium and communication on Child Focus is ‘untainted’: instead of the brand itself, it is the organisation’s noble cause that is the focal point. Of course, several other factors come into play as well. The main reason for our commitment is emotional. Social responsibility is ingrained in our agency’s DNA. Also, our agency includes a great many young parents: the protection of children is perfectly in keeping with our everyday reality.”

Child Focus Communication Manager Dirk Depover explains why Child Focus opted for These Days Y&R: “We were founded in 1998 and we can look back on many years of seamless collaboration with Grey. But the world has changed. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s parents and to them something like the Dutroux case is just a distant memory. We need contemporary communication to keep our minds sharp. Back in 1998 there were no social media. We are relying on These Days Y&R to teach us how to use this innovative channel of communication in a creative manner. After all, we have to broach even the most disturbing and disquieting themes in a hopeful and positive way.”

More concretely, the agency’s communication strategy will be based on three pillars:

Two major cross-media campaigns per year

Social media support (location & prevention)

Boosting the Child Focus brand (using parent agency Young & Rubicam’s annual, international BrandAsset® Valuator)

For more details please contact:

Dirk Depover (Child Focus): 0476 95 95 04

Sylvie Versteylen (These Days Y&R): 0477 51 65 89

Child Focus was founded 18 years ago as the Stichting voor Vermiste en Seksueel Uitgebuite Kinderen (Foundation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children). The organisation consists of some 50 employees and 800 volunteers and can be reached 24/7 on the free emergency number 116000. Close to 2,000 cases are treated each year. Prevention and raising awareness are also central to our mission. Every day, Child Focus works closely with police, the justice department and countless welfare organisations.


Pioneer DJ launches global website together with These Days Y&R.

Pioneer DJ has developed a new global website platform in collaboration with These Days Y&R. is the first site to be developed with the latest Sitecore 8 technology and runs on a large-scale global Microsoft Azure infrastructure. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated agile project team, the site was built from the ground up – in English and Japanese – in just 15 weeks. Kudos to all parties involved.

US investment company KKR acquired Pioneer’s DJ division at the end of 2014. Pioneer DJ Corporation was born and entered into a partnership with These Days Y&R for its digital infrastructure and website. These Days Y&R devised a young, dynamic brand identity for Pioneer DJ and built a fully functional global website in two languages – English and Japanese – in just 3 months in cooperation with back-end partner Cegeka.

In January, an agile team used the devised concept to start the website’s UX and graphic design as well as the front-end and back-end set-up. The team opted for a unique, user-based design. By using vivid colours and DJ-inspired elements and animations, it ensured that the next-generation DJ community is well represented. Sitecore 8 was chosen as a centralised solution for the easy management of content, products and other assets. This multi-channel campaign management system also allows enough room for custom development, so that the interactive designs can be rolled out for all possible devices and screens.

Today, one month after the launch of, the results are impressive. Not only have significant visits (longer than 2 minutes) increased by 25%, the number of returning visitors is showing an upward trend. The site’s general performance has also improved enormously: the average page load time has fallen by more than 50%.

In the future, These Days Y & R will continue to work with Pioneer DJ to further expand and roll out the site in multiple languages. In the long term, new features, such as retail conversion paths, will be developed and extensive CRM solutions will be integrated.


Client: Pioneer DJ

Client Contact: Takako Fujiyama, Simon Hart

Agency: These Days Y&R

Strategy: Raphael Nolens

Account Manager: Tom Schepers

Scrum Master (Cegeka): Nico Vanoppen

Project Manager (Japanese version): Pauley van Rixtel

UX & Service Design: Bram Boot, Jeroen Haijen

Design: Jeroen Michiels, Reginald van de Velde

Front-end Development: Katrien Delarue, Olivier Berger

Back-end Development (Cegeka): Ivan Lieckens, Daan Van Uytvange, Ruben Verschueren

Content Manager & QA: Kim de Vylder, Sarah Vermylen


Telenet and fans’ Game of Thrones campaign ignites struggle for Iron Throne

​ Baratheon, Lannister, Stark or Targaryen? How far will Flemish viewers go to put their favourite house on the Iron Throne?

Antwerp, 21 April 2015 – Game of Thrones fans worldwide had marked 12 April on their calendars, the day of the long-awaited launch of season 5 of the HBO hit series. These Days Y&R and Telenet, who are broadcasting the episodes simultaneously with the US on Play More, wanted to celebrate the premiere by launching a campaign together with the fans to answer the burning question once and for all: who will mount the Iron Throne?

The objective of Telenet’s Choose Sides campaign was to find the most popular Game of Thrones family. To further develop the concept, the help of a group of die-hard GoT fans was enlisted. The result was an exciting online and offline battle. Stand-up comedians Alex Agnew and Xander De Rycke, both major fans themselves, were more than happy to spearhead the campaign. In 5 episodes, they debated what makes the series so great and which houses will ultimately triumph in the struggle for the Iron Throne. The videos were distributed on Telenet’s social media channels.

To give the fans a voice in the debate, we launched the hash tag #choosesides. This allowed fans to support their favourite character on social media. In just a few days, fans organised special activities such as ‘Howl like a Wolf’ (howling at the full moon for House Stark on 4 April) or a road trip to Dorne in Limburg in tribute to the eponymous peninsula, ruled in the series by House Martell. Still, the tattoos some fans had done in honour of their favourite house probably took the biscuit.

By participating in the #choosesides-debate, the fiercest fans could win a ticket to the final event on 11 April at the Monasterium Poortackere in Ghent. Especially for the occasion, the venue was completely transformed into Westeros, the world of Game of Thrones. Characters from the series welcomed and accompanied guests to a medieval buffet in true GoT style and afterwards the winners got to attend a sneak preview of the new season’s first episode. 


Bio. There's no way around it.

Gone are the days when bio was synonymous with back-to-nature freaks. Figures published by VLAM (Flemish Centre for Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing) revealed that nine in ten people stocked up on bio products at least once last year. However, consumers primarily bought traditional bio products such as vegetables, fruit and milk. Also, such purchases were few and far between.

Buying more products more often

VLAM tasked These Days with the following: get consumers to eat more bio products. Not only should bio products feature on the menu more often; the menu as such could also do with a higher bio content.
That’s why These Days and VLAM set up the ‘Bio. There’s no way around it.’ campaign, which delivers a dual message:

    You can eat biologically every day. For everything you put on your plate there is a biological alternative.     So not just for fruit and vegetables but also for chocolates, pasta, sandwich filling and even beer. In     addition, most food stores today carry bio products.

    Bio products can be recognised by the EU bio label.

Radio, print and POS
We developed four radio commercials and four campaign visuals for advertisements and POS. The campaign has been ‘on air’ for three weeks now and it’s featured in newspapers and magazines everywhere. A second wave and an online competition in the margins of the Gentse Feesten (Ghent Festival) are set to reinforce the campaign message in the autumn.


These Days Y&R revisits WWII for Het Laatste Nieuws

As of 18th April, Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws is reprinting 24 historical newspapers on World War II. The aim of the biggest Belgian newspaper is to make its readership reflect on this horrifying chapter in human history. To introduce the series, These Days Y&R has mounted a campaign that also merits a moment of reflection.

It’s been 75 years since WWII broke out. The perfect time to look back on some historical newspapers. That is why, over the next few weeks, Het Laatste Nieuws is reprinting a number of key newspapers. Not all the selected issues date back to the war period itself. On the contrary, most are actually from the years before the war.

The newspapers primarily tell the story of the events leading up to WWII. That’s why our campaign takes the reader back to pre-war days. The TV spot does this by rewinding time in an alienating way, whereas the print and radio campaign focuses on locations whose name is forever tainted by the horrors of WWII. The series chronicles what life was like in those places when war was still a distant nightmare, and the result is very confronting’ according to Sam De Volder, ECD of These Days Y&R.                                                       

To find these images, These Days Y&R pulled out all the stops. For instance, the photograph of Auschwitz belongs to the private collection of a photographer associated with the Auschwitz Jewish Centre, a Polish museum. Other locations that feature in the campaign are Pearl Harbor and Omaha Beach. The question the campaign raises is answered in the newspapers: how did it ever get to this?


Client: Het Laatste Nieuws
: Inge Debremaeker, Pascale Coppens
: These Days Y&R
: Joke Tersago, Veroniek Hesters
Chief Creative Officer
: Werner Van Reck
Executive Creative Director
: Sam De Volder
Creative Director
: Mateusz Mroszczak
Strategic Planner
: Nicolas Moerman
: Tomas Van Loon
: Pieter De Lange
: Inge Vanhees
: Ingeborg Van Hoof
Radio Production
: Studio Helsinki


Telenet idealabs forms partnership with These Days Y&R

Telenet idealabs is an intensive accelerator programme from Antwerp in which start-ups with fresh, innovative ideas evolve into operating companies in 4 months. To give start-ups greater support in marketing, Telenet idealabs will be collaborating with These Days Y&R.

Ten start-ups were selected from more than 450 candidates, and each of them received a financial injection of €25,000, office space and the opportunity to call upon an extensive mentor network of experienced entrepreneurs and employees of Telenet. With this accelerator programme, which ran from September 2014 to January 2015, the start-ups could develop their idea into a product or service that is ready to conquer the market. After an intensive four-month accompaniment process, a jury evaluated the ten start-ups on their progress and their ambition to continue growing in the coming months. Strong emphasis was placed on the evolution of the product and the business plan, as well as the capacities of the team.

The jury selected five start-ups that will be able to further develop their company for four months during the growth programme. They are being supported with an additional €50,000 each and a coaching programme where the focus is on growth, sales & internationalisation.

These 5 start-ups are participating in the growth programme:

Campr: an online platform introducing a new way to travel: both camping in luxury and in someone´s garden. Think of glampings, urban camping or adventure camping.

Dot: a mobile app that allows the user to give an identity to a place. In this way you can discover new places falling within your area of

Intuo: an interactive platform for companies that want to train their employees & customers. It enables companies to give the right training courses at the right time, taking each individual’s level of competence into account.

On Air: a mobile app that weaves videos from different people into a single story. Travelling with friends, at a festival, everything is a the yellow marker for the internet. enables you to highlight articles on the internet. doesn´t save a link, but provides the

Growth programme

During the coming 4 months the start-ups must take a major step forward. Their product will evolve, their team as well as their go to market strategy. The latter is an important link in the programme for the start-ups. And in order to clearly stand out from other accelerators, Telenet idealabs is forming a partnership with These Days Y&R. 

Most of the start-ups are headed by technologically-trained experts. They think about technological innovation all the time, but often forget that business innovation is equally important. That’s why idealabs went looking for a partner who could help the start-ups in marketing their products. In These Days Y&R, they found the perfect DNA match.

This advertising agency, part of WPP (the world´s largest communication services group, with 179,000 employees in 111 countries), offers the start-ups a wide range of resources: infrastructure (e.g. the mobile device test lab) and specialists (marketing, communication strategists, branding and design specialists, product developers and creative technologists) as well as access to their worldwide network. 

Employees at These Days Y&R can offer the start-ups advice on specific problems, or connect them inside and outside the company (think of introductions to the brands for which These Days Y&R works). In this way the start-ups can set up test cases and validate their assumptions concerning their product. Invaluable input for a young company. So they’re continuously learning from customers and building a product for which there’s genuine demand.

Erwin Jansen (CEO These Days Y&R):

"In the past, a number of These Days Y&R staff members had already worked for several of the Telenet idealabs start-ups in a mentor role. This experience demonstrated that our DNA perfectly matches that of Telenet idealabs. After all, with our own These Days Labs, we have an internal innovation department that develops creative technology applications for both clients and ourselves. Inside These Days Y&R we have the people who are necessary for achieving this on a larger scale, and moreover we’ll be looking at how we can connect the Telenet idealabs start-ups with our international network – the ambition must be to be able to capitalise on our innovation hubs , as well as establishing a direct relationship with major players such as Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, all thanks to the Young & Rubicam Group and WPP relationships.”

Cedric Deweeck (idealabs)

“We constantly try to differentiate ourselves as a builder of start-ups, and we’re always looking for the best possible partners who can play an important role in their evolution. As an agency, These Days Y&R provides a perfect mix for us: from building brands to building digital products.”