Amsterdam Ad Blog


Hidden Persuasion

June 10, 2014,

Hidden Persuasion cover - June 2014One of the most important reasons why ad people can’t always communicate with marketeers is that they like to take decisions on gut feeling, while marketeers prefer to be convinced by evidence-based cases. There’s a bit of a Catch22 here, since creative agencies per definition try out completely new things that go unprecedented. However, if you zoom in on the psychological mechanism of persuasion of a certain idea, there are many scientific studies that might be able to tell you something about its potential effectiveness. The book Hidden Persuasion, recently published by BIS and written by Marc Andrews, Matthijs van Leeuwen and Rick van Baaren, has collected and summarised a big chunk of these studies. More…

Why I Love Tattoos

June 2, 2014, AAB

Why I Love Tattoos, Ralf MitchFreelance art director, designer and photographer Ralf Mitsch has always been fascinated by tattoos, which is why he created the book: Why I Love Tattoos. The idea was conceived years ago at a studio in Duintjer CS in the Vijzelstraat, where he met Holger. About this encounter: “The tattoos crawling out of Holger’s shirt, immediately rekindled my fascination for this nowadays very popular body art.” Mitsch asked him if he could take photos of his tattoos and that’s how Holger ended up becoming the very first model (and cover photo) of his book. Author/journalist Henk van Straten interviewed the myriad of models, ranging from living pieces of art, to those who don’t give much meaning to their tattoos and sometimes even seem to use their body as a scrapbook – Jordy, 24: “I wanted a fish, but my friend was drunk so it looks more like a torpedo.” Van Straten is especially interested in the stories behind the tattoos by asking questions such as: What was your first tattoo, do you regret any, what’s your favourite one, what’s your next one, and what do you think of the current tattoo trend? More…

The art and science of great ideas

March 17, 2014,

Dr. Ysbrand van der Werf, Wouter Boon and Dr. Matthijs Baas at the launch of ‘Defining Creativity.’

“You seem to be the creative type” is a strange little combination of words I hear every once in a while when I find myself getting to know someone new. What it means, I don’t know. I’ve always figured it’s because of my curly hair and my quirky motor skills. It might just be that in fact it has nothing to do with my appearance. Nevertheless, I have noticed that I do take it as a compliment. But what the hell does it actually mean; to be creative? And, aren’t we all the creative type? This is a thought that has crossed my mind several times, as I’m sure it has crossed yours as well. For all who have wondered this, now there’s a concise little book - Defining Creativity - written by Wouter Boon that dives into “The Art and Science of Great Ideas.”

Digital ADCN yearbook shows dedication

December 4, 2013, AAB

Floris-Huelsmann-and-Joris-van-Elk Floris Hülsmann and Joris van Elk receive first ADCN 2013 yearbook and iPad app

Last week the Art Directors Club Nederland presented its yearbook for advertising and design. Besides the fact that it was beautifully designed, this year’s book is very special since it is for the first time accessible through an iPad app. What was unique about the book too, is that it’s usually hard to find people who want to make it, since it’s a hell of job. But ADCN chairman Lode Schaeffer enthusiastically told the crowd in the ADCN clubhouse that this time he was approached by FHV BBDO team Joris van Elk and Floris Hülsmann who told Lode they felt a strong urge to make this year’s book. With the theme ‘Monnikenwerk’ (Sisyphean task) Van Elk and Hülsmann wanted to celebrate the fanaticism and determination that can make the difference in advertising. More…

Human targets

September 5, 2013, AAB

Useful Photography #11 - September 2013The KesselsKramer Useful Photography series is a collection of magazines focusing on “overlooked images taken for practical purposes.” In its 11th edition the magazine focuses on shooting targets. A selection of targets in photo form has been collected by going through tens of thousands of shooting ranges across the USA. The country with its 2nd amendment, granting the right to keep and bear arms, has 55 million households with at least one firearm. No surprise that gun crimes are a common good in the land of the free. The images depict terrorists, hostages, rottweilers and even pregnant ladies aiming a gun at you. Are the people aiming their gun at these targets protecting themselves, or are they only fueling the gun violence statistics? Interesting question. Useful Photography #011 is collected and edited by Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain, Erik Kessels and Hans van der Meer. Special guest editor: Frank Schallmaier. Published by KesselsKramer Publishing.


July 10, 2013, AAB

iris Newsjacking - July 2013In the Netherlands it’s called ‘inhaken,’ but Grant Hunter, regional creative director at iris and Jon Burkhart, formerly social media director, call it ‘Newsjacking.’ The duo has written a book that features over 100 case studies of the best and worst examples of newsjacking, giving core insights into the seven key principles that brands need to think about when newsjacking, and showing the fine line between good and bad topical advertising. The book, subtitled ‘The Urgent Genius of Real-Time Advertising,’ is a spin off of iris’ website ‘Urgent Genius,’ a website on which the agency over the years has gathered a respectable amount of topical ads. Hunter about Newsjacking: “Brands looking to ride the wave of a trending story need to ensure that they are being genuine and relevant. In other words: if you’re going to be urgent then make sure it’s genius.” The book, published by Thames & Hudson, will be presented at Rosa & Rita on July 18th, from 18:00 till 19.30. If you’d like to attend you can RSVP here – there’s only a limited amount of spaces available.

Never sleep with the director

June 1, 2012, AAB

A few years ago Lemon Scented Tea came up with the ‘Ridiculous Rules’ concept to promote a design festival. It was so successful that today the sixth edition – again written and edited by Anneloes van Gaalen – is already out: “Never sleep with the director. And 50 other Ridiculous Film Rules.” The different rules are accompanied by their history and quotes by industry leaders, Hollywood big shots, indie directors and a whole list of actors and actresses. A wonderful read – not just when you’re working in the film industry. After all, rules like ‘Kill your darlings,’ ‘It’s better to be good than original,’ and ‘Show don’t tell’ are also quite useful rules for other creative industries - like advertising. You can preview the book here and find out more about the Ridiculous Rules series here.

The appbook combines print with digital

November 25, 2011, AAB

So that’s what you get when a management consultant hires a digital agency; an ‘Appbook’. The book, titled ‘The Next Ten‘, shows us the expected challenges and opportunities of the coming 10 years by combining old skool press with an iphone (app), to be inserted in the center of the book. Some great Dutch thinkers like Robbert Dijkgraaf (on science), Rem Koolhaas (on architecture), Onno Ruding (on the economy) and Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten (picture) – founder of The Next Web – (on digital media) give their view on the future and provide insights on how our life, work, and the way we interact will change. This fine book was created by Fitzroy in collaboration with Accenture, celebrating its 10th anniversary with its clients.

The housecat that wasn’t lost

October 28, 2011, AAB

Very nice concept by Incl. – which stands for all-inclusive communication design. It is to promote a poster made by Rop van Mierlo, exclusively for Found by James. Found by James is a design blog and online webshop selling arty exclusiveness from around the world. The limited edition illustration of the housecat was sold out for €350 (!) a piece in no time – there were only 9 copies, since the cat’s existence is also limited to 9 lives. The guerrilla campaign spread a note around Amsterdam and Eindhoven (home of the Dutch design week) which said ‘Found by James’ instead of ‘Missing’. “I’m quite surprised someone lost this well-fed housecat, since it has the incredible size of 84.1 cm high and 59.4 cm wide. I’m not sure about its gender, but a big brown dark spot distinctively marks half of his/her face” it says (click on pic to see full text). The wonderful book Wild Animals in which Van Mierlo draws animals in the same distinctive style won a Dutch Design Award last weekend.

‘50 years of human space flight’; The road to Gagarin

May 6, 2011, AAB

Recently Russia celebrated the 50th birthday of the first man in space; Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968). In Russia he is still a hero and revered throughout the country. This inspired director René Nuijens (328 Stories) and writer Steve Korver to visit Russia in search of Gagarin. Nuijens and Korver created a booklet with photographs of Gagarin statues and portraits; 50 Years of Human Space Flight. You can order the booklet on