Growing up means saying goodbye to things. For Hugo van der Kun, it means saying goodbye to Boomerang after working here for ten years.
For Boomerang, it means saying goodbye to employee number one. When he arrived for his first day, Boomerang Agency Part of Publicis Groupe wasn’t a full service advertising agency with two hundred employees and part of a concern with more than 80,000 employees. It was just two guys and a desk. Founders Bo The and Alexander Veltman hired him as their intern and gave him one assignment: make funny pictures for this thing called the internet. And that’s the story of how Hugo invented the meme.
In subsequent years, Hugo would be responsible for a lot more groundbreaking inventions. Most of them would have exactly nothing to do with his work as a creative at Boomerang, but they sure were inventive. What to think of the McDonald’s Frozen Meal Program, which was essentially just Hugo buying a lot of Big Macs and storing them in his freezer, ready to be reheated in his microwave as the perfect hangover cure. Or the Kaaslippo, the cheese version of the Calippo popsicle that sadly (or fortunately) never made it beyond the concept stage.
But just like that other homo universalis Leonardo Da Vinci, Hugo is so much more than an inventor. As a creative, he has been an integral part of the success of Boomerang by producing witty and powerful work for brands such as Heineken, Amstel and Amnesty International. As a person, he was crucial in shaping the unique culture of Boomerang. And as a storyteller he made excruciating long bus rides in France and Iceland during company retreats feel like the best moments of your life.
Over the last ten years Hugo has grown from an intern to a respected senior creative. He’s ready for a new challenge and Boomerang is ready to give another talented kid a chance. Saying goodbye to each other therefore feels right for so many reasons, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. We miss you already, Hunky. Love you.