Take your career beyond borders: There’s so much to explore in Lisbon!

The capital of Portugal does not only offer much for the multitude of tourists; Lisbon has successfully emerged as a true entrepreneurial capital. With its special program and by creating excellent conditions for fostering SMEs, Lisbon is attracting a wide variety of entrepreneurs. The start-up scene in Lisbon is thriving with record numbers of companies registered, and there is a large contingent of foreign entrepreneurs who have taken root in the city. The wide availability of support, low taxes and affordable resources all make Lisbon an ideal launching pad for the young and ambitious.

The Lisboa City Hall Programme

The Lisboa City Hall programme stimulates the economy, by supporting people to create their own business. It provides specialised support in the most diverse areas and enables a personalised answer to all with a great idea. Over 300 entrepreneurs have already enrolled and more than 200 personal meetings have been held. “The idea we want to promote is that we have an economy based on knowledge and an entrepreneurial community that is growing. We’re attracting them for a lot of reasons: because we have a financing system, a very competitive fiscal setting for startups; but also because of the lifestyle and quality of life that entrepreneurs find here.” Manual Caldeira Cabral, Minister of Economy, says.

The success story of Taigo Ribeiro

Consider, for example, this success story of Taigo Ribeiro. Ribeiro sells beautifully canned Portuguese fish products from his Tuk-Tuk. He was the first to receive the support of the Lisbon scheme. Through the programme, Ribeiro was able to buy his first vehicle and initial stock. Beyond financial support, he also enjoyed coaching and personal mentoring. The programme enabled him to feel stronger. At the moment, his products are sold worldwide via Internet and are even available in stores around Europe.

Invest Lisboa

So much for the business activities in Lisbon? Not at all! The city’s entrepreneurial support is not limited to just the City Hall programme; Invest Lisboa is a Lisbon-based investment promotion agency. In 2009, Invest Lisboa was the result of a strategic partnership, aiming to attract investment, companies and talent. Invest Lisboa is a one-stop shop for companies, investors and entrepreneurs looking to invest or set up their business in Lisbon. Ambitious as they are, their strategic vision is to achieve full employment in Lisbon.

Convinced that Lisbon is the city for business to take place? And interested to discover it for yourself?

This is your chance!

Join this year’s Careers Beyond Borders from the 21st to the 25th of February and have an unforgettable experience.

Apply now!

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are dealing with a lot of prejudices. They would be more narcissistic than other generations, prefer flexibility above stability and care more about idealism instead of earning money. But is this really true? Actually not.  Since a couple of years HR specialists, trendwatchers and consultants started to investigate this target group, which seems very hard to reach.

Millennials are digital natives, which basically means that they were born with a computer in their hands. No wonder that social media is such an important place for them. It is nowadays the center of marketing and communication. But just a digital presence as a company is not that simple. You have to offer much more.

Multitasking is the new relaxing

According to Forbs, for many millennials multitasking is the new relaxing. Study shows that millennials use different media devices at the same time. Companies can benefit from this, by spreading a whole advertisement budget across multiple platforms. On the other hand, this does not mean that you have to reach every millennial in the same way.

“Hiding behind a pretty website is not good enough”

Therefore, it is good to make it personal. Hiding behind a pretty website, or a very well organized customer services are not enough. The threshold to contact someone should be low. This means that you have to react soon to questions or remarks, but also show who are the people behind a company. It makes your company more reliable.

The five things millennials have in common

Of course, it is important to notice that every millennial is different, and therefore you need to make content as personalized as possible. But sure there are some aspects that millennials have in common. And therefore you do not have to make everything personal into detail.  Sprout claims that there are five values which all millennials have in common: happiness, passion, diversity, sharing and discovering. On the basis of these values, you can create the best millennial proof content ever.

Join the Amsterdam Commercial Night

Do you want to learn more about this topic? Do not wait any longer and join the Amsterdam Commercial Night! During this awesome evening, you will get all the information you need about millennials, provided by professional companies. PepsiCo will talk about their rebranding campaign on Lay’s Sensations, AB InBev about a case on Jupiler and Tomorrowland and GroupM about their media campaigns of IKEA! Additionally, there is room for informal network drinks with the firms and you can even get your LinkedIn checked!

Tickets are going pretty hard, so don’t wait any longer if you want to join us! Get your tickets here and follow the event on Facebook!

The Amsterdam Commercial Night – Thursday 30 November 2017 from 07:30 to 11:00 PM

Have you ever imagined what Amsterdam would look like without any form of advertising on the streets? Maybe it has crossed my mind, but the scenario seemed to unrealistic to give any further thought. Not for Gilberto Kassab, a former mayor of São Paulo. Due to the exponential growth of advertising in the city and the difficulty to regulate it, Kassab decided in 2006 to ban advertising altogether. He introduced the “Clean City Law”, outlawing the use all outdoor advertisements, including billboards, transit and storefront signs. In a single year, 15.000 billboards and 300.000 oversized storefront signs were removed in the the city. Was São Paulo in 2006 the start of an era of ad-free cities? Or is it just naïve to think we can fully banish advertising?

Positive Vibes

For São Paulo, it has definitely led to some positive things. The hidden beauty of the urban city was revealed and the unique character was able to resurface. To help people identify and distinguish between businesses, buildings were painted in various colours making the public space vibrant and attractive again. Moreover, it freed up space for street artists to work on graffiti masterpieces. And above all, it forced them to be creative and agile, leading to a thriving advertising industry. They had to come up with alternative methods, like indoor innovations such as elevator ads, but the primary focus was on digital media. It has made São Paulo a front runner in the area of social media and digital marketing.  

No pain, No Gain

On the other hand, São Paulo had to deal with some negative consequences as well. The city went through something like an identity crisis, since the uncovered and ugly concrete jungle was making the city look worse without its advertising mask. The once hidden favelas were revealed showing gross inequalities and the city became less safe due to the loss of lighting. Furthermore, it had a large impact on the local economy, leading to revenue losses and the disappearance of jobs. Not to mention the limitation of the freedom of speech. Consumers have less information on which to base purchase decisions, damaging the rules of a market economy.

We may think that advertising is the devil bringing us nothing but misery, but there might be more to it. People have a basic need for relevant, entertaining and informative content. If it’s done in the right way, commerce can be a valuable exchange. If brands are part of the public space, it enters people’s thoughts and becomes the subject of conversations. And most of all, advertising helps to fund city infrastructure and is often a crucial source of revenue for many cities. Generally, it is not feasible to discard advertising.

Yay or nay?

All in all, an advertising ban has a big impact on the economy. It might look better, with less distraction and more focus on art, but it is a utopia? If it’s not on the streets, it will be somewhere else. Marketers will find other ways to influence you. And is restriction always the solution? Perhaps, it is possible to find a middle ground that takes all considerations into account. What would you like for Amsterdam?

Written by Jasmijn van Veggel

From passengers getting dragged out of an airplane, to a soft drink that solves social issues. This year we have had it all and thanks to the Internet everyone not only knows about it immediately, but also can comment and share their feelings. When such incidents spread widely, it becomes a nightmare for the particular brand. Let’s first have a look at the most memorable social media fails of 2017 so far.

The one that probably no one missed was when United Airlines dragged an Asian-American man violently off a plane to give his seat to a crew member. Of course people on the plane filmed the whole accident and posted the video on YouTube and Facebook where the clip went viral. It was watched over 5 million times on YouTube and people reacted to it in the funniest ways.


The second greatest corporate social media fail this year, which I’m sure you’ve heard of is from Pepsi. When they released a commercial featuring people of every gender, shape, and color enjoying ice cold Pepsi to show how #woke they are. Yet, they overstepped it by having social media star Kendall Jenner creating peace between police and protesters by offering the cops a Pepsi. Of course people reacted to this insane idea on social media.

These two examples where obviously two companies not acting according to the understanding of social and cultural norms. However Dove, who is known for its cultural sensibility (“real beauty” – campaign) now created a new campaign offering customers a limited-edition of six different body wash bottles who are representing the diversity of woman’s body. The containers are curvy, skinny or hilariously pear shaped. This campaign has been seen very critically on the Internet. Even though many believe it was a great idea, the majority criticized the way Dove executed this idea. Is every woman now supposed to pick the bottle that most closely aligns with their own body shape? Is okay, if a skinny woman chooses a round bottle? Well, for sure people reacted to it on social media networks.

All of these events would have never been viewed so widely if it wasn’t for the Internet. Nowadays, when a brand makes a mistake it may receive backlash from millions of people around the world.  All these comments and shares on social media made the incidents go viral. When people react to it by creating their own pictures and more content, the effect even multiplies. In the three examples mentioned above, the reaction of people was obviously not in favor of the brands, but it can also be the other way around. The best example of 2017 would be Salt Bae. Chef Nusret Gökce went viral with his video adding salt to raw meat in an artistic way. This led to great attention to his chain of Turkish steak houses.

In conclusion it can be said that marketers will never be able to control which content goes viral and which not. They can only try to lead it in a favorable direction. And for sure people will always continue to react, create, share and comment their own opinions.

Written by Meike Behrens

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), is also infamously known as anti-immigration, anti-Islam, and a Eurosceptic. With the disconcerting rise of right-wing populism, the results of the Dutch national election have afforded a sigh of relief for many throughout Europe, and the world. As if Wilders’ popularity in the Netherlands is not concerning enough, the use of Wilders’ political marketing mirrored many of the tactics and political rhetoric of the ill-famed Donald Trump.

The lead up to the Dutch national election was plagued with Wilders leading in the polls. This gain was backed by a party platform that was summarized on a single page; tactics that Trump knew all too well: repeat simple, key messages meant for a common voter. The resemblances of Wilders’ campaign were dangerously similar to that of Trump’s from the use of framing and outrageous Tweeting, to boycotting interviews and debates. Wilder’s political marketing took more than a few pages from the “Trump playbook.”

Political Rhetoric

Propagating messages directly to voters, through repetition of simple messages, with little substance appeals to the common voter. Yet, most political sophisticates can see that this use of framing is simply a persuasive political marketing technique. Trump won his campaign by appealing to the “everyday” American fed up with the establishment; while Wilders mirrored this marketing tactic appealing to the everyday Dutch voter, as Henk and Ingrid referred to them. Both Wilders and Trump used provocative accusations and slogans to raise attention and advertise themselves as the most ethnically intolerant candidate. Trump garnered support by labeling Mexicans as rapists, and Wilders echoed the same rhetoric only with Moroccans and Muslims. To make a more obvious comparison, one does not need to be an expert in rhetoric to spot the obvious similarities in Wilders’ New Years Eve Tweet.

Perhaps Wilders should have been subtler, it is clear that he was channelling his inner Trump, borrowing Trump’s favourite adjective (fantastic, of course), and only slightly altering his campaign slogan.

A Personal Narrative

How was Wilders’ campaign successful based on a platform that was highly racist but incredibly low on substance? Wilders avoided mainstream media by refusing many interviews and boycotting participation in debates to create a media narrative that was largely controlled by his party and followers. Sound familiar? Much of Trump’s success can be attributed to his erratic, offensive, and often entertaining use of his personal Twitter account. By evading the mainstream media Wilders and Trump were able to spew dishonest, divisive, and racist messages that provoked hatred, passion, and support for their campaigns.

Twitter: the Ultimate Tool for a Populist

The use of Twitter was instrumental in Trump’s campaign; Wilders took inspiration from Trump’s Twitter success and summarized the lack of integrity that characterized his entire campaign in a single Tweet.

This Tweet was an altered photo, which photoshopped the D66 leader Alexander Pechtold into a rally that presented signs promoting Shariah law and pinning Islam against Europe. Although most recognized this tweet as manipulated by Wilders, it was successful at reinforcing this anti-Islam narrative. Once again, Twitter acted as a forum where Wilders could control the message, a message that would not have been picked up by any reputable mainstream news source. Fellow politicians urged Wilders to delete his Twitter account, with Wilders responding “180 characters and an old fake photo from 2009. #ilovetwitter.” More like, how much rubbish can you pack into 180 characters? #FakeNews. The rise of fake news and alternative facts largely increased during Trump’s campaign and has continued to be a contentious issue with Trump’s presidency. Wilders followed the strategic yet tasteless use of Twitter, demonstrating the dangerously similar elements of both campaigns.

If an orange face, and platinum hair were the only similarities these two men shared the future of the global political landscape would look much brighter. The concerns posed by the resemblances of Wilders and Trump’s political marketing is far more detrimental than similarities between two politicians. Rather, these commonalities represent a larger change in political marketing, one where the incitement of hatred and distribution of dishonest social media has become normalized.

Written by Alexandra Martin

The chat bot technology is rising and becoming a preferred customer interface. Chat bots are personal assistants designed to simulate conversation (text or voice-based) with human users over the Internet. They have been around for quite a while now, but the quality is becoming better and better through natural language processing and big data analytics. They can answer your question, help you to get things done and do suggestions. Chats bots are also great for interactive customer service because they are accessible 27/4.

Apple Siri

One of the most known examples is Apple Siri. Things you can ask Apple Siri are for instance: ‘how is the weather tomorrow?’, ‘can you wake me up at 7 AM tomorrow?’ but also ‘what is the best sushi place in town?’ Imagine you are an owner of a great restaurant; of course, you want Apple Siri to mention it.

Only Sending an Emoij to Receive Relevant Information

In the travel industry chat bots are already quite popular. Companies like KLM, Booking.com, Cheapflights and Skyscanner are using chat bots on a daily basis. One of the most progressive examples is Dutch airline KLM.

KLM uses the chat bot technology as a new kind of service towards their customers, and has built a code on KLM.com that makes it possible to show a personalised Messenger plugin. If you use the plugin then things like your boarding pass and flight status updates will be sent to you directly via Messenger. It has never been so easy to find your information, and be up to date!

But that is not it, KLM offers also offers services during your holiday.  Imagine that you look for a bike rental; you only have to send a bike emoij and your current location and KLM instantly replies with the best address. Check it out here!

Chat with Miss Piggy on Facebook Messenger!

Recently The Muppets promoted their show on ABC via a so-called celebrity chat bot promotion. It was possible to chat via Facebook Messenger with Miss Piggy and ask her anything! Miss Piggy is definitely a chat bot with character. The people behind The Muppets Show came up with 6 000 possible reactions in de style of Miss Piggy and it was a success: some chat session took over 30 minutes!  

There are many ways that consumers and companies are using chat bot; as this technology continues to develop it is creating new and innovative ways to simplify and improve efficiencies in our lives. The technology has proven advantageous for everyone from everyday iphones users, to promoters of television shows. Keeping an eye on technology, such as the chat bot, is critical if companies and consumers are going to keep up with our growing markets!

Written by Leonie Douma