20 years has passed since Nikolaj Stagis founded a small ad agency in Odense. Since then Stagis has worked on transforming businesses into flourishing brands. Last Friday, on a sunny afternoon, the first guests arrived at the Stagis office in Kompagnistræde to celebrate these 20 years of transformation. The DJ filled the room with tones of summer, the bartender handed the first cocktails over the bar and just like that the old space in the city centre of Copenhagen transformed from office into buzzing summer party in just a couple of minutes.
20 blooming ideas
Besides tones of summer, snacks and 20 different cocktails – one for each year – the evening took the guests on a trip down memory lane. Nikolaj Stagis spoke about some of the countless ideas in Stagis’ history and shared some of the most successful concepts as well as a few alternative events. I have picked out some of my personal favorites:
If we only go back a few years to 2015, Stagis hosted the first Re:garding event. The original idea was to provide inspiration through different perspectives: cultural, financial, aesthetic and human. The first event called “Re:connect” was about how brands can use a more personal and authentic communication style to re:connect to its fans, users, and customers. When the performance artist Lilibeth Quenca Rasmussen appeared in her “sun-costume”, singing the “Ego Song” the participants were quite surprised. Lilibeth was the artistic feature and gave her perspective on how to use ones personal voice to re:connect and create personal relations. We have now hosted 8 Re:garding events and you can sign up for the next one on our event page.
An untraditional approach to recruitment
Back in 2001 Stagis chose quite an untraditional approach to recruit new talents and staged a crime scene in front of competing agencies by drawing the outline of a man – just like in old movies. The next day, a message appeared next to the sketch saying: “He jumped because he missed creativity”. It was a bold move but it got the attention of the public eye, put Stagis on the radar and attracted talents from all around.
Nikolajs entrepreneurship began with an elephant
At the end of memory lane, Nikolaj took the guests 23 years back in time. Back then Nikolaj was 17 years old and had his first job as a freelance press photographer. He was sent to the town Nyborg because the elephant Siam had escaped the circus and was rampaging the streets. The day after Nikolaj’s photos were in magazines and papers around Scandinavia and Germany. The run-away elephant was the beginning of Nikolaj’s career as an entrepreneur and a reminder of believing in your own abilities.
Some of the other great ideas that Nikolaj highlighted in his presentation were a tree of books, colourful printers, reflection pairs at CBS, praise to the Danish bus drivers, the design vision for Kolding, conferences about city branding, introducing digital cinemas, and a new brand purpose for the 150 years old company Hedeselskabet.
We would like to thank all of you who came and joined the celebration of the first 20 years in Stagis’ history. We feel lucky to have a wide network of people who continue to support and inspire us. Without all of you, we would not have been where we are today. Here’s to 20 more!
The guests could choose between 20 different cocktails – one for each year in Stagis’ history.
Nikolaj took the guests all the way back to when Stagis was a small ad agency i Odense.
We have not forgotten where it all began – at Fyn. That means ‘brunsviger’ – brought all the way from Odense of course.