Amsterdam Ad Blog

Fond of Fonts

August 27, 2014 AAB

2014 08 Fond of Fonts WebsitesCutouts of Rick de Zwart (left) and Glenn Doherty’s Tumblr sites.

Amsterdam is a place where you see many different (handmade) typefaces in the street – all with a different message and emotion. This is what fascinates two industry professionals; independent graphic designer Rick de Zwart (aka Meneer de Zwart) and Glenn Doherty, art director at iris Amsterdam. Both typophiles have a Tumblr that features the types they see around them everyday. De Zwart (who designed Amsterdam Ad Blog’s visual identity) has named his Tumblr – with types from around the globe - A Pile of Type. Doherty has named his Tumblr My Type of Amsterdam, thus only focusing on Amsterdam. More…

Brand New China

August 20, 2014 AAB

2014 08 Brand New China On the roadMaren Stiker and Rogier Bikker traveling through China – here from Qinghai Lake to Dunhuang.

Two Dutchmen, Rogier Bikker (26, ad strategist) and Maren Striker (30, urban planner) three weeks ago left on a 3-month journey, from Shanghai to Rotterdam. The trip, dubbed Brand New China, follows the former Silk Road and will cover 20,000 kilometers and 11 countries. The Dutchies are using only Chinese brands during their trip to show that China is becoming more and more innovative. The PR-cherry on top of this adventure is that the trip coincides with the celebration of the 35 years sister-city relationship between Shanghai and Rotterdam. Enough reasons to ask Striker and Bikker some questions. More…

Jeroen de Korte: “In New York anything is possible”

July 24, 2014 AAB

Jeroen de Korte in NYCCopywriter Jeroen de Korte recently decided to pack his bags and move to the US to join Publicis Kaplan Thaler in New York as Associate Creative Director. In Amsterdam Jeroen most recently was a freelance copywriter, and before that he worked fulltime at DDB, JWT and Publicis – on, among other brands, the Dutch Heart Foundation, KitKat, MINI and insurer FBTO. At Publicis he will be working on clients such as Vicks ZzzQuil, Crest, Tri Honda Dealers and Citi Bank. We asked De Korte a few questions about his move. More…

Where new species are conceived

July 17, 2014 AAB

This animation, featuring a chameleon humping a caterpillar, instead of eating it, was created by animation director Daniel Hope from Glassworks, to promote X-Pollination and bring its distinctive visual identity (designed by Rick de Zwart) to life. X-Pollination, founded in 2008 by Amsterdam Ad Blog, is the bi-annual networking event connecting Amsterdam’s myriad of ad professionals. Glassworks was asked to make its own interpretation of the proposition “Where new species are conceived” and the standard gimmick of two non-matching animals mating. Here‘s another animation of a bear raping a fish. Though we are slightly biased, of course, we love the result. We asked Daniel Hope some questions about the creative process. More…

The Backpacker Intern is just doing it

July 3, 2014 AAB

Mark van der Heijden - July 2014Mark van der Heijden with the carton that is taking him around the world.

At the end of last year copywriter Mark van der Heijden quit his job at Lemz to go traveling. He bought a round-the-world ticket that included 7 destinations. It was a bit of an impulsive decision because he soon found out that he didn’t have enough money. That became the trigger for his now world famous job title: ‘The Backpacker Intern.’ Van der Heijden was in Amsterdam for a few weeks and last week, at the last minute, we were able to book a timeslot in his busy agenda. We sat down for the interview and a beer at De Ysbreeker on Weesperzijde, overlooking the Amstel. More…

Bert “Dutch Digital Design” Hagendoorn

May 14, 2014 AAB

Bert HagendoornPhoto credit: Hans Frederiks

Next week, May 22, Amsterdam will welcome the first edition of Dutch Digital Design, an event held in Pakhuis de Zwijger, celebrating the best digital work from the Netherlands. This first edition (of a series of events) is themed Made in Holland, and was sold out in no time. Bert Hagendoorn, the founder of Dutch Digital Design, is a jack-of-all-trades; he used to be editor-in-chief of graphic design magazine Dzone, was chairman of the Adobe User Group, for 10 years part of the jury of the Spinawards – the Dutch digital awards – and he is a jury member for the FWA. Today he runs a strategy consultancy for creative agencies, is an avid and skilled networker and – last but not least – is omnipresent in social media. More…

Reinier Steures

April 3, 2014 AAB

Frank de Ruwe, Reinier Steures and Lard BreebaartFrank de Ruwe, Reinier Steures and Lard Breebaart, during the introduction of Brusco.

We like the entrepreneurs in advertising. And 28 year-old Reinier Steures is one of those. Together with Rik Eysink Smeets, he is hosting the second Café de Zaak (professionals from the industry give free business advice to small businesses) tonight. He is also co-founder of RA*W (facilitating young advertising talent in sharing knowledge and learning from the industry) and recently joined Natwerk as Strategy Director and partner (next to Frank de Ruwe and Lard Breebaart). Before joining Natwerk Steures worked for Delight Agency, N=5 and director Johan Kramer. About his new job at Natwerk he says: “I’ve been screaming and preaching that things in the advertising industry should change. That is why I co-founded RA*W 2,5 years ago. Now as an agency partner at Natwerk I can really do things differently. I can’t wait!” Natwerk is already known for doing things differently (most recently introducing Brusco, for example), so the alliance seems a logical strategic fit. Reasons enough to ask Steures our 10 Questions about Creativity, advertising, and Amsterdam. More…

Dirty pun becomes Carnival’s song

February 17, 2014 AAB

Hair on my dick - February 2014Ronald van Vessem (Vanabbetotvessem), Stef Jongenelen (DDB) and Matthijs Schoo (TBWA) created quite an absurdist carnival’s song with videoclip. It is called “Haar op mijn pik” – literally ‘hair on my dick,’ but since the word ‘haar’ also means ‘her’ the title has a double entendre. Though it’s difficult to translate the entire song – it uses for example an endless amount of synonyms for penis – the result is art directionally quite smart. We asked the initiators how it came about. They answered, typically, with an absurdist sense of humour.  More…

Mees Peijnenburg

January 21, 2014 AAB

Last week we learned that 100% Halal director Mees Peijnenburg’s graduation film “Even Cowboys Get to Cry” will be part of the official ‘Generation’ selection of the Berlin International Film Festival. The film already won the Topkapi Films Fiction Award and the NCP Audience Award during its first screenings at the Keep An Eye Graduation Festival in Amsterdam. Reasons enough to ask him our 10 Questions: Peijnenburg (1989) was born and raised in Amsterdam. From the moment he began high school he was making short films, skate videos, and documentaries. After completing high school he had the opportunity to study at a Danish film school, which a year later – among other things – got him accepted at the Dutch Film Academy. He specialised in directing and adopted a signature style that plays with different narrative forms, while at the same time keeping a constant distinct visual style. His short film “We Were Wolves” was part of the official selection of Edinburgh International Film Festival and Message to Men film festival, Saint Petersburg. More…

Introducing frozen pizza in China

January 14, 2014 AAB

Jesse Ridder - January 2014Digital agency Energize Shanghai in December released a Dr. Oetker commercial on the Chinese market for frozen pizzas. Normally we would have shrugged our shoulders – the commercial is clearly not made for the Western market – but what tickled our curiosity when reading the press release is that frozen pizzas are completely new in China. Therefore, to introduce the new brand Pizza Box Energize had to demonstrate how to consume it; completely chilled out, in front of the TV. We asked Amsterdam based copywriter Jesse Ridder, who went to China for a week to understand the culture and help concept the campaign, how this work came about. An educational experience, Ridder told us over a beer at Marathonweg. More…

Hippy things with a business plan

October 28, 2013 AAB

Thijs Biersteker - October 2013
Thijs Biersteker at Langendijk – after we gave him the freedom to add some Photoshop layers.

A busy lad, that’s what art director Thijs Biersteker is. We wanted to interview him this spring about the fact that he initiated the Creative Press Challenge, organized spontaneous pétanque get togethers (“Pop-up Pétanque”) and created the visual identity for Amp.Amsterdam. But since that moment he was continuously busy. He even had to cancel a few times – “sorry, last-minute conference call with Australia.” Just when we thought, take it or leave it, buddy, he contacted us; he finally had some blanks in his agenda. So we met up for a few (too many) beers at Langendijk (next to Brouwerij ‘t IJ) and found out that he indeed hasn’t been sitting still.
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Transformative stories by Absolut

October 3, 2013 AAB

Roger Leebody and Gillian Glendinning - October 2013
Roger Leebody and Gillian Glendinning at Sid Lee.

Last month we were quite impressed by the brand new global Absolut campaign, created by Sid Lee Amsterdam, and more specifically by Roger Leebody and Gillian Glendinning – among others. The integrated campaign replaces the world famous Absolut Silhouette, and is dubbed ‘Transform Today.’ It features four artists who clearly have their own creative signature; French director, graphic designer and musician Yoann Lemoine (aka Woodkid), Brazilian comic book artist Rafael Grampá, American digital media artist Aaron Koblin, and French designer and couturier Yiqing Yin. We were curious how this campaign came about and sat down with Leebody and Glendinning at Sid Lee in the Gerard Doustraat. More…

Dropped: More real than you think

September 26, 2013 AAB

Philip Brink & Hugo van Woerden
Philip Brink and Hugo van Woerden eating pancakes.

This summer creatives Philip Brink and Hugo van Woerden created Dropped for Heineken together with Wieden+Kennedy. The concept was a follow up on the commercial The Voyage and consisted of ‘consumers’ being dropped with a special task, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Their adventure was recorded by a small film crew and broadcasted on a YouTube channel. It was quite an intense production we learned from the creative team, during a pancake lunch. More…

Artisans offer concepts and execution

September 19, 2013 AAB

Bart Kokke and Jilt Meeder - Sept. 2013
Bart Kokke and Jilt Meeder founders of The Artisans, at Hutspot.

There’s a new creative digital production house in town; The Artisans. Not just any kind of production house, but one that works as a creative hub and offers both concepting and execution. The agency was founded by creative director Jilt Meeder and business director Bart Kokke, who met at FHV BBDO in 2006 while Meeder was working at its digital sibling Proximity. They reunited at Isobar where they worked together on various clients. We met up for a smoothie and a few questions at Hutspot in the Van Woustraat.
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Catering a faster and more dynamic world

September 9, 2013 AAB

2013-09-The Pop Up Agency Wout AretsThe Pop Up Agency was founded by six Hyper Island students who met in Stockholm in 2012. Beginning of this year the students decided they would do their internships around the world; 15 countries in 15 weeks, work for ‘free,’ for 48 hours on each assignment. Except that their clients (agencies, production companies, brands, and start-ups) needed to pay their flight tickets, accommodation, and food. The team visited Amsterdam (we then wrote a Shoptalk piece about it), London, Singapore, Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles, and worked for brands such as MediaMonks, BBH, Facebook, Coca Cola, and start-ups like AIAIAI and HowDo. Tonight Wout Arets talks at Pakhuis de Zwijger about the agency’s adventures. We called him on Skype, to ask him a few questions about this entrepreneurial concept. More…

Quality journalism has its price

August 22, 2013

Philippe Remarque, editor-in-chief de Volkskrant
Philippe Remarque, editor-in-chief of newspaper de Volkskrant. Photo: An-Sofie Kesteleyn

The Creative Press Challenge invites young creative talent to design a newspaper ad that goes back to the core of advertising, which should prove the strength of print. Last month we wrote a small piece about the wonderful commercial kicking of the event and conveying the key insight: “bad ideas can’t hide in print.” As a media-partner of the Challenge, we received the opportunity to interview editor-in-chief of de Volkskrant Philippe Remarque. Naturally, we grabbed it with both hands. Remarque who is chief since 2010 presides the newspaper in exciting times; regardless the importance of the paper edition, still making most of the newspaper’s money, he is to pilot one of Holland’s leading newspapers into the digital age. More…

Growing with craftsmanship

July 9, 2013 AAB

Wesley ter Haar, co-founder Media Monks - July 2013Digital production company MediaMonks is hot. Their name pops up constantly in articles and at conferences. Not just because they understand PR, but also because they make qualitative work; in Cannes “the Monks” won five Lions. It was also in the sunny South of France where they threw one of the biggest parties – together with MasssiveMusic - and where they announced to open an office in Singapore. Last November, when we interviewed CEO Victor Knaap and CTO Wesley ter Haar, the duo explained they guard against becoming a “big company.” It seems though as if becoming big is only an inevitable matter of course for one of the most successful creative companies in the Netherlands. Or isn’t it? We sat down with Ter Haar at Mazzo for a Latte to ask him. More…

Rudiger Kaltenhauser

July 8, 2013 AAB

Rudiger Kaltenhauser, head of 3D at Glassworks Amsterdam, recently came to our attention when Glassworks won a Bronze Lion for their ‘Art of Raw’ animation for G-Star. The impressive film was made and directed in-house, with Kaltenhauser at the helm as director. Kaltenhauser was born and raised in Germany and studied at the Film academy of Baden-Wuerttemberg. For his graduation he created ‘Treibgut,’ which won an award at the computer animation festival Siggraph. He moved to London in 2005 to join Glassworks and soon became one of London’s leading CGI artists – not just specialising in character modelling and rendering, but also in things like storyboarding and project leading. In 2007 he was asked to help launch Glassworks Amsterdam. Reasons enough to ask him 10 Questions about creativity, advertising, and Amsterdam. More…

A bigger version of Wellington

June 5, 2013 AAB

Rik Campbell - June 2013Resn, a digital production company from Wellington, New Zealand opened an office in Amsterdam about a year ago. Though Resn is doing quite well internationally it was not the most convenient time to land on a continent where the economical crisis is hitting hard. We were curious how Amsterdam is treating the agency. We met up with Rik Campbell, MD and founder of Resn, last week in his office at Duijnter CS in the Vijzelstraat – though today they’ve moved to Herengracht 320, the Madison Avenue canal of Amsterdam. Campbell, instantly sympathetic with his soft voice and New Zealand accent – which, for that matter, sometimes is hard to follow – sits us down in a cosy corner of the office. More…

Craften celebrates the craft of production

April 17, 2013 AAB

Craften FranciscoEvery November, Ciclope Festival (@CiclopeFestival), one of the few festivals celebrating craft, is being held in Buenos Aires. This year, for the first time, an off-shoot of the festival a two-day conference, called Craften Amsterdam is coming to Europe. It takes place at Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ on 24th and 25th of April. The event will bring together Europe’s “most well crafted campaigns of the year” to be analyzed by influential European creatives, directors, producers and clients. We had a chat with Francisco Condorelli, founder and CEO of Ciclope and initiator of Craften Amsterdam at Caffe Oslo. More…

A mix of cultures and great work/life balance

April 4, 2013

Gian Carlo Lanfranco and Rolando CordovaGian Carlo Lanfranco (copy) and Rolando Cordova (art), commonly known as Gian Carlo & Rolando, are two Peruvian Senior Creatives with a wide international agency history – they’ve spent the last 9 years travelling and working around the globe, between Peru, Singapore and Amsterdam. Last month they’ve embarked on a new adventure at Fred & Farid Paris, and last week the team had a layover in Amsterdam while heading to judge and speak at the Dubai Lynx Festival. I met up with them, we sipped some Portuguese beers, and talked about their worldwide experiences, the cultural differences between different ad capitals they worked in, and life in general. More…

It shouldn’t feel like advertising

February 5, 2013 AAB


Revolver’s founder and producer, Raymond van der Kaaij, poses with Yoda in his brand new office

After having been founded in Rotterdam in 2001, production company Revolver two weeks ago moved to Amsterdam. The company became world famous about a year ago for its meticulously executed hoax ‘Human Birdwings.’ It was a story about Jarno Smeets, a guy that blogged about his dream to fly with artificial wings – inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, and who eventually succeeds and films the result. A few weeks ago we were invited to the opening party of Revolver’s brand new office, in a huge basement on Oosteinde, next to De Nederlandse Bank. Last week we visited founder and one of the producers Raymond van der Kaaij, to talk about Revolver’s position in the market and the future of advertsing. More…

How to build an online museum

December 20, 2012 AAB


Dani Polak, Joeri Bakker, and Joep Drummen, the founders of The Big Internet Museum

Last week we wrote about The Big Internet Museum, the first online museum solely dedicated to online. It’s an initiative of Joep Drummen (copywriter, 36), Dani Polak (art director, 26), and Joeri Bakker (account manager, 31). An initiative that was immediately backed by their joined agency, TBWA\. We love the idea so much that we decided to visit the team at TBWA\ and ask them some questions about this project. When we arrive at TBWA\ Drummen and Polak are behind the computer, checking their Google Analytics for traffic. They start by apologizing for Bakker who isn’t there yet – “account manager, eh, always busy.” Then they start to take us through the statistics with a very satisfied smile on their face. More…

De Vries & Verbong

December 12, 2012 AAB

In our opinion, the best ad of 2012 was the Hema push-up bra, with male model Andrej Pejic. It was conceived by John de Vries and René Verbong. We not just love it for the convincing casefilm, but rather because it’s the perfect example of finding the very essence of a product, before blowing it up disproportionally – excuse the pun. Until recently the team worked at Doom & Dickson, but they were head hunted by FHV BBDO after the Hema ad won them about every award there is to win. Among others: Gold in Cannes and at Eurobest (both for PR) and Gold at the ADCN. The team was especially proud to hear “ad guru” Lee Clow judge their ad as the “ultimate product demonstration,“ when it received the TBWA Disruption Award. More…

MediaMonks’ digital design

November 1, 2012 AAB

Victor Knaap and Wesley ter Haar at ‘The Future of Digital Advertising’ - © Peet Sneekes

Last week we were at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. A wide group of creative agencies and people interestingly talked about The Future of Digital Design. One of the most entertaining presentations was that of the Dutch digital production agency MediaMonks. Victor Knaap (Partner & CEO) and Wesley ter Haar (Founder & Head of production), were clearly in their element on stage, joking and not taking their selves too seriously – “Saying that you are the biggest digital production agency in Europe works very well in the States.” MediaMonks started out in Amsterdam as a full service digital agency in 2001, but decided to focus on digital production when Knaap and Ter Haar realized they were in meetings all day. Today the agency has offices in Amsterdam, London, and New York – and “as rumour has it, in Singapore soon.” The presentation inspired us to ask them a few more questions about their success. More…

Khanna\Reidinga

September 27, 2012 AAB

Last month we featured a viral we quite liked. It was made by Khanna\Reidinga, a new agency in town, for the fictitious brand Boss Noodles, an autonomous project to generate some PR around the launch of their hotshop. Rikki Khanna (right in picture) and Hesling Reidinga worked at AKQA Amsterdam and Pool Worldwide respectively. They met already a while ago, but only recently when both were quitting their jobs they met up for a coffee and decided to work together. Today they are busy, working on several Dutch and international brands. We were eager to learn more about Khanna\Reidinga. More…

Ad Stars

September 25, 2012 AAB

Jeroen de Ruijter (left) and João Inácio – a freelance team from Amsterdam – were invited to participate in the Young Stars competition (part of the Ad Stars festival) in Busan, South Korea, last month – the team got noticed because of the awards they won at the Global Best Digital Advertising, D&AD, Young Cup, and Piaf Awards. According to the team the festival was useful, amusing, and very inspiring. It thus opened their eyes a little further and grew their international network substantially. We asked the team a few question about their stay in Busan. More…

Logo R.I.P.

September 20, 2012 AAB

In 2003 Garech and Declan Stone, a.k.a. The Stone Twins, published the first edition of Logo R.I.P., a book that commemorates 50 famous logos that are now defunct. A few weeks ago, the Twins released the revised and updated version. Each logo is displayed on a headstone and is accompanied by an obituary (read: short history of the logo). It’s a book with broad international appeal. The Twins first presented the book in the Cooper-Hewitt in New York, before doing so in Amsterdam, where they are based. Reason enough to ask a few questions. More…

A nightmare becoming reality

August 13, 2012 AAB


Merien Kunst and Lennart Driessen.
For the Dutch Film Festival (NFF) Woedend! and Wefilm created a 1,5 hour long thriller, titled ‘Under Control,’ with some of Holland’s best actors. But not a normal film, it was shot live and directed through Twitter by the crowd, making it the world’s first live thriller. Though we immediately liked the idea, in our post ‘Twitter directed’ we were somewhat skeptical about the output and said it would execution-wise probably be a nightmare. The film was shot on August 6 and we were curious to learn how things went. We interviewed responsible creatives Merien Kunst (copy) and Lennart Driessen (art) of Woedend! to find out. The journey was quite a thriller in itself, they learned, but one they wouldn’t want to have missed. More…

Pol Hoenderboom & Bart Mol

July 19, 2012 AAB

Pol Hoenderboom (copy) and Bart Mol (art) are a creative team at Tribal DDB Amsterdam. The reason why we invited them to answer our 10 Questions is that they won 4 Lions last month in Cannes with Obsessed with Sound for Philips; a very ingenious, interactive website for the Dutch Metropole Orchestra. But that was not all. They won a truckload of awards both nationally as well as internationally – among which at ADCN (Dutch), Spins (Dutch), One Show, SXSW, D&AD, Eurobest, Epica, etc. Hoenderboom did the Junior Academy for Art Direction in Amsterdam and straight after his graduation found a job in advertising. Already after two weeks he went on a sunny shoot to Cape Town and knew he made the right choice. Mol discovered a few other directions before moving into advertising; first he tried to join the Marines – though he “luckily” got rejected on his eyesight. Then he tried construction. Finally Mol studied interactive design and in his third year he joined Tribal for an internship. In 2010 Hoenderboom and Mol became a team at Tribal. Since then they have worked on many brands, among which KLM for whom they also won many awards with Tile & Inspire. More…

Sundays.

June 19, 2012 AAB

Last week director Mischa Rozema and his production agency PostPanic launched an interesting new project on KickStarter – the crowdsource-funding platform; Sundays. It’s “a film about our future” and will be a cross-over between a trailer and a ‘short.’ Through KickStarter PostPanic wants to raise $50,000 to finance a 5-day shoot in Mexico and plenty of CG post production. Rozema is typically known for using 3D animation to enrich his cinematographic, alien worlds – as he did in the idents for MTV and the leader for OFFF that was recently nominated for the VIMEO awards and viewed 1 million times already. It’s exactly this style that will give Sundays. its distinctive look. Quite an ambitious project. A good reason to ask Rozema a few questions. More…

Bas Geelen at Sid Lee’s Boot Camp

June 14, 2012 AAB

A few weeks ago Sid Lee Montreal had its annual Boot Camp. The Dutch Bas Geelen who opened his own industrial design studio Ordo dB last year was one of the chosen ones to attend the Boot Camp – with 7 others out of  600 applicants. The eight boot campers had very different backgrounds; an architect, art director, copywriter, industrial designer, creative technologist, web designer and two graphic designers – all from different parts of the world. The assignment was to help (RED) stimulate people to be more aware of and involved with AIDS – the theme was “Inspi(RED) to Innovate.” After 240 consecutive hours, on May 24th, the Boot Campers presented the fruit of their labour on the main stage of C2-MTL, an international conference on commerce and creativity curated by Sid Lee. After his return to the Netherlands we asked Bas a couple of questions about his Boot Camp experience. More…

Arnold Amsterdam

June 13, 2012 AAB

Though this interview is part of the section ‘New in town,’ Arnold isn’t really new in town. They’ve been here more or less since 2011 when Volvo landed its global account in Amsterdam. Back then ‘Team Volvo’ was launched to be able to offer truly integrated advertising – it was built up from the most important Volvo agencies in the world; Arnold (Boston), Sapient Nitro (Shanghai), and EuroRSCG 4D (Amsterdam). But things in advertising change quickly. Through the Stüssy ‘Strip for Likes’ campaign we recently found out that Arnold is not just working for Volvo anymore. In fact, we found out that ‘Team Volvo’ has now become Arnold Amsterdam, a fully-fledged agency handling multiple brands. We met up with ECD Sean Thompson – who we already knew through the multi-awarded Honda Grrr commercial (2004) – in The Bell, Arnold’s office on the Sarphatistraat, to ask him some questions about his ‘new’ agency, his work, and ambitions. More…

Rogier Verbeek & Matthijs Schoo

May 25, 2012 AAB

Childhood friends and creative team since 1985, Rogier Verbeek and Matthijs Schoo both finished Graphic Lyceum, and, subsequently, School for Commercial Communication and Academy for Art Direction, respectively. They started their career in advertising at FHV BBDO in 2004. After four years they switched to Rich&Famous, but when the Belgian agency merged with N=5 in 2010 and the financial crises entered the arena, Verbeek and Schoo became unemployed. They then created a Facebook fanpage on which they shared their unemployed life. Very successfully; within no time they had many followers and job interviews – casefilm, in Dutch, here. They ended up at Lemz – where they are still working. This year the team – together with Lemz – won the most Spins (digital awards) and Bulbs (ADCN awards), making them one of the most awarded teams of 2012 in the Netherlands – the winning case is mentioned under most exciting project, below. A good reason for us to ask them 10 questions.

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Hansje van Halem

May 4, 2012 AAB

A few weeks ago we visited Schrank 8. A home exhibition held by designer Hansje van Halem. She has an old german display cabinet which she opens for designers and artists to exhibit their work. This time the work of Koen Taselaar was displayed. The posters Hansje designs to promote her Schrank8 exhibitions are quite amazing. So we wanted to ask her some questions about her life and work. More…

Tom Ormes

April 23, 2012 AAB

A few weeks ago we came across the anti-smoking ad by iris Amsterdam and since we appreciated the extremely original take on quitting smoking we wanted to know more about the original brain behind it. Creative Director Tom Ormes has worked in advertising a great part of his life – and also in a great amount of different places, for that matter. He started his career at McCann Sydney – first as the “despatch kid”, but soon moving up as junior writer. Then he was transferred to India to work on Levi’s. Within the 12 years that followed Ormes did not only switch between employers many times (Lowe, Publicis, FCB and Y&R), but also between cities: Colombo, Dubai, Singapore, New York. And since 2011 he has joined iris Amsterdam. More…

Joe Public brings affordable advertising

March 21, 2012 AAB


There is a new agency in town, called Joe Public, a sibling of Joe Public in South Africa. The Dutch office is founded by ECD’s Bart Oostindie and Antoine Houtsma (ex Doom & Dickson and Etcetera) and Strategy Director Jeroen van Eck (ex-Unilever and Doom & Dickson). Joe Public operates under a special formula called ‘Take-away advertising’, which means it’s cheap, quick, and transparent, like in a take-away restaurant. Apart from your regular commercial they also offer things like ‘Quattro Stagioni’ (four different routes), ‘All you can eat’ (integrated campaign), and a ‘surprise meal’ (media-neutral). The key to Joe Public’s formula is set prices, short delivery times, no long-term contracts, and no pitches. A distinctive proposition that asks for some elaboration. We met with Antoine Houtsma (picture below) at Joe Public’s temporary office in Amsterdam Oost.

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Philip Brink & Hugo van Woerden

February 23, 2012 AAB

We decided to invite Philip Brink (right in picture) and Hugo van Woerden to answer our 10 questions when we found out that their Heineken film, ‘the making ofThe Date, won a Grand Prix at Eurobest last December. But we were already following them since their viral ‘Liquid Mountaineering’ for Hi-Tec conquered the world. Their most recent work the Serenade for Heineken – yet another spin off from the date – also impressed us. Brink and Van Woerden were a team way before they started in advertising. They visited the same secondary school (Coornhert Gymnasium in Gouda), finished the same study (Film and Television science at the University of Amsterdam), then did Hallo Academy, created documentaries and short films together, lived in the same house, and had girlfriends that shared the same name. Because of this they always like to quote Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “We are individuals”. In 2006 Brink and Van Woerden started as an ad team at CCCP. Apart from the Hi-Tec viral they also built a much awarded website for Hema – winning a Lion, a Webby, and a Dutch design award. Enough success to be picked up by Wieden, where they have been working since 2010.

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APG Netherlands; a forum for planners

January 23, 2012 AAB

There’s a new ad brand in town, called the Account Planners Group (APG) Netherlands, an organization that brings account planners – or strategists, if you will – together. APG is an existing brand that was first coined in London and which now exists in several other countries than the UK, among which Germany, Sweden, and Australia. Gerald Hensel, German, planner at Blast Radius, blogger, and fanatic tweeter, is the initiator and the co-founder of the Dutch APG. In November, the first open invitation meeting kicked off at Strawberry Frog – hosting the event. We were there and judging by the amount of planners that attended, it was a success. We took Gerald out for lunch at Stanislavski to ask him a few questions about his initiative.

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Vodafone’s Grand Prix in tiny Roggel

December 7, 2011 AAB

Recently Achtung! created quite an unusual campaign to communicate Vodafone’s fiber internet; in the small town of Roggel (Limburg) a real race track was laid out around the center, where celebrity Jenson Button raced his Formula 1 car against the locals – who were racing in a simulator. The entire town was involved and a documentary was made of the event. The event was to bring Vodafone and its proposition (high speed internet) as close as possible to the user. To learn more about the story behind this campaign we asked Dick Buschman, MD and Head of Strategy of Achtung!, a few questions. More…

Hein Mevissen

November 22, 2011 AAB

Hein Mevissen is what we call a multi-creative. Next to being the founder of agency John Doe – together with Diederiekje Bok – he is independent director and the brain behind John’s Phone, a phone that is rapidly conquering the world with its elegant design and humorous simplicity. We wanted to interview Mevissen, because he is known for directing not your typical advertising commercials. Most recently for telco provider Ben – we called it “weird, but pleasantly weird”. Mevissen was born in Swalmen and he began working at an early age, first as a designer and illustrator of books. At the age 19 he started as art director at Ogilvy. But as he was discovering the world of advertising he kept designing. After 20 years of having worked at different agencies he moved to directing. Mevissen calls this switch a natural evolution, since he has always been passionate about films. And it’s that passion that makes his work stylized, crisp and extremely cinematic – often as if print has been given an extra visual dimension; motion.

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P&S brings us closeness to talent

October 27, 2011 AAB

Fltr: Alex Lavery, Chayenne de Witte, and Simon Robinson (click = full picture)

Since very recently there’s a new independent music agency in town, called P&S. That is, we’d simply call it a music agency, but P&S – meaning Pitch and Sync – will tell you it uses music, and the creativity that surrounds it, to amplify brands and their communication. The agency, that opened an office on Singel 146, was founded in London’s East End in 2005 and works for agencies like 180, W+K, Fallon, Sid Lee and also directly for clients such as Bacardi, Cadbury, Rafa  and Wallpaper. We met up with the Amsterdam staff, being co-founder and creative director Alex Lavery, head of music Simon Robinson, and business manager Chayenne de Witte (previously producer at 180 Amsterdam), in café De Tuin in the Jordaan to find out what has brought them here.

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David Snellenberg

September 19, 2011 AAB

David Snellenberg, ECD at Dawn, impressed us in the past months with his work for Artis and that’s why we wanted to ask him 10 questions about creativity, advertising, and Amsterdam. Snellenberg (1969) was born and raised in Amsterdam. He started his professional education at the HKU in Utrecht to become graphic designer. Ironically that’s where he found out that he wanted to copywrite. At first at JWT, quickly followed by FHV BBDO. At FHV his most striking work was made for Interpolis (‘Glashelder’; an iconic campaign in terms of strategy, design and impact) and Artis (Artis the Partis; a very loveable character and striking brand attribute for the Amsterdam Zoo). He (co) founded is own agency, Dawn, in 2008. Snellenberg is still copywriter, but has never given up his love for design – as you can see in all of his work. That’s one of the reasons why he also works on different projects outside Dawn – with the De Designpolitie for example. Besides Artis, Snellenberg and Dawn also work for Triodos bank, magazine De Groene Amsterdammer, Alex bank, and recruiter Maandag – among other brands.

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The FREEforce; Finding the best freelancers for free

August 3, 2011 AAB

In Cannes, last June, we were invited to a pool party organised by production agency 100% Halal and the FREEforce, a new online platform that connects freelancers and agencies. And as you do at pool parties in Cannes, you don’t just get tipsy at the edge of a pool (and at some point in the pool), you also get to know lots of new people. So that’s how we met Taco Zuidema, Pascal Boogaert, and Tim Voors, founders of the FREEforce. Since the editors of Amsterdam Ad Blog are all freelancers and since this new concept sounds very promising, we decided to meet up with Taco Zuidema after Cannes to ask him how things are going now.

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Jelmar Hufen

July 20, 2011 AAB

Jelmar Hufen (1981) calls himself an autodidactic filmmaker. After completing gymnasium (secondary school), Hufen wanted to do anything to enter the film world, so he started as set watchman. He then occupied virtually every possible position on the film set; from runner to assistant director. In 2006 he made his first short film: ‘For a few marbles more’. A huge success; it was selected for 230 festivals in 57 countries and won 41 awards – the best result ever for a Dutch movie. Subsequently he entered the realm of advertising. But, unsatisfied about the scripts that were offered to him, he decided to make his own commercial. Inspired by the Belgium anarchistic tone of voice in advertising, he wrote and directed ‘Femme-O-Matic’ for the fictional online dating site ‘vindeenlief.be’ (find a love). This film won him a Young Directors Award in Cannes last month and has opened many doors – he received lots of new scripts and is now represented in the Netherlands (Comrad), Belgium (TRS Brussels), and France (La Pac).

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Ewoudt Boonstra

June 17, 2011 AAB

Ewoudt Boonstra was born in Groningen and educated at the Photo Academy and Hallo Academy (an ad academy). In 2000 he started at FHV BBDO. He subsequently worked at Lemon Scented Tea and KesselsKramer (Erik Kessels was his mentor at the Hallo Academy), where he worked for six years, before starting his own business in 2010. Boonstra calls himself a modern creative, having worked on 360° campaigns, having done interactive design, directing videos, package design, publishing books, and curating exhibitions. Today, calling himself Mr. Boonstra, he is making a film about a banana, directing a video for Rimer London with graphic designer Piet Parra, making a magazine about wrestling, and preparing for the upcoming exhibition ‘From Here On’ at Les Rencontres d’Arles, France this summer.

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Martin Pyper

June 6, 2011 AAB

Martin Pyper from Me Studio was born in Bristol (UK) in 1967. There he went to grammar school (the one where you had to wear a school uniform and tie and students still got the cane). After grammar school Pyper went to art school for four years, before moving to Cambridge for his first job at design agency Optimus. After one year he moved to Holland to work at Philips Design and subsequently at Corporate Graphics Inc. in London. When he moved to Amsterdam for a second time he worked at many different design and ad agencies: Michael Peters Design, VBAT, CCCP, FHV BBDO, and PPGH/JWT. After having learned as much as possible and with a wide range of experience, Pyper started his own thing in 2005. Pyper, who still loves his work as much as when he started 20 years ago, calls himself a ‘hands on’ designer, meaning that he does everything himself from making coffee to sending invoices. Sometimes a bit solitary, but it also keeps him fresh to run his projects from start to finish. On his website you can also find his design blog – see link above.

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Stefan Glerum

April 28, 2011 AAB

We were curious about the designer who made the Dog Day Disco posters that showed up in Amsterdam from the beginning of 2010 – click ‘more’ to see them. They were quite different from what was hanging around town. A style of their own which we would like to typify as Urban Deco. They are all from the hand of Stefan Glerum. Reason enough to ask him some questions.

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Andreas Pasvantis

April 20, 2011 AAB

Andreas Pasvantis (1982) was born in Amsterdam and studied ‘Media & Culture’ at the University of Amsterdam. There he quickly realised that he preferred to create movies instead of reading and writing about them. A logical next step was the New York Film Academy (Digital Filmmaking), followed by another hands-on film school in Amsterdam, the SAE Institute. After his studies he had the privilege to assist Johan Kramer in his wide range of film work. Pasvantis first appeared on our radar after creating the Christmas viral ‘December’ for his new production agency 328 Stories – together with Frenkel Schönfeld en Jan-Willem de Man of CCCP. It was featured on blogs around world – making it a ‘real’ viral – and recently received an ADCN (Dutch Art Director’s Club) nomination.

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Michiel Schuurman

March 18, 2011 AAB

Michiel Schuurman studied graphic and typographical design at the Koninklijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Den Haag, before moving to the Rietveld Academy – where he graduated in 2002. After his studies, Schuurman worked together with Floor Wesseling in studio IXOPUSADA. In 2005 he decided to go solo to develop his own style. A style that is hard to ignore and one that we would describe as “highly contrasting colourful typographical eye-benders”. Schuurman is known for constantly experimenting with different shapes, colours and techniques, likes to screen print his designs himself, and is of the opinion that every starting designer should have at least one client that provides the complete freedom to develop a unique style.

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Johan Kramer

February 8, 2011 AAB

Johan Kramer (1964) is easily one of the biggest ad creatives from Amsterdam. Not just because he created so much advertising, but also because he is extremely versatile. Kramer, born in Utrecht, already at a young age realized that football was his vocation; when he was 10 he changed his name into Johan – after his football idol Johan Neeskens. He started to work in advertising at the age of 20 and worked as a copywriter for FHV BBDO and PMSvW/Y&R. Kramer moved to London in 1993 to work for Chiat/Day. His London adventure only lasted 2 years – he was fired when giving a presentation to a client in a chicken suit. In 1995 he founded KesselsKramer (KK) with Erik Kessels. In the 9 years he worked for KK he directed over 500 (!) commercials. During this period he won a truckload of awards – among which 83 international ones. Today Kramer is still a very busy man; he directs commercials (through 328 Stories), films, documentaries, and music videos. He also curates exhibitions, teaches, and gives lectures.

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Diederiekje Bok

January 17, 2011 AAB

Diederiekje Bok grew up in The Hague, for the most part in the gallery of her mother – portrait painter Marike Bok. Regardless this inspiring background, Bok decided to choose for a relatively rigid study after secondary school; Fiscal Law. During her studies however, her genes started to itch and she subscribed for the Academy of Arts in Rotterdam – evening hours. It is this double education that taught her the importance of a balance between sense and intuition. She still uses it today. Her professional career started as a copywriter at KesselsKramer. In 2001 she founded John Doe with Hein Mevissen. A versatile couple; they create advertising, produce and direct commercials (Mevissen also directs for other agencies), and invent new products. Their first product was released in 2005: ‘Water From The Supermarket’. And most recently they very successfully introduced John’s Phone – dubbed ‘dumb phone’, since it’s the simplest mobile phone on the market. More…

Christian Borstlap

November 25, 2010 AAB

Christian Borstlap (1971) is what you could call a modern creative; without much formal schooling he became a designer, illustrator, art director, and filmmaker. Borstlap started in London at Wallpaper* magazine. Then he moved to BBDO Amsterdam where he was very successful with his work for Amsterdam Zoo Artis – he created ‘Artis de Partis’. Around that time he also made a brilliant poster for the Comic Book Convention – the latter was so iconic that the concept later ‘popped up‘ in China. After that Borstlap worked for KesselsKramer for four years. This year Borstlap won quite some prizes for the Children’s Stamps campaign – a Lamp (Dutch Art Director’s Club), Dutch Design Award, Golden European Design Award, and Yellow Pencil (D&AD). He also made a wonderful stop motion video clip for Clutchy Hopkins – who’s music also featured in the Children’s Stamps video. This summer Borstlap founded his own studio.

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Willem Gerritsen

October 25, 2010 AAB

Willem Gerritsen (29) was born in The Hague and studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. He started filming during his studies and liked it so much that within no time he founded his own film company. Without formal training, but very eagerly he created commercials, corporate films, TV programs, and videoclips – for artists like Postman and Di-rect. In 2008 Gerritsen directed a viral for Selmore (L.A.A.F.). It was so successful that from then on agencies started to approach him for virals too. This made him eventually split up in two directors: Willem Gerritsen & Gerrit Willemsen, making a clear cut between his TVC and internet work. Recently he made two virals as Willemsen for Hi-Tec (‘Liquid Mountaineering’) and TomTom (Star Wars). Today Gerritsen & Willemsen are represented by production agency CZAR throughout Europe. In Italy by Mercurio, in the UK by Passion Pictures Raw, and soon also in the US.

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Mark Chalmers

June 21, 2010 AAB

Mark Chalmers (39) was born in the deepest countryside of the South of England – it took him a full day to cycle to the nearest shop – and later lived in Brixton, London, for 12 years. He studied architecture, but started a career in advertising in the 90’s at HHCL + Partners in London – he was brought in to take campaigns beyond traditional media. In 2000 he moved to Amsterdam to become executive creative director at the newborn Strawberryfrog. Apart from creating global and unorthodox campaigns, he was responsible for founding Blueberryfrog, one the first guerrilla agencies in the world – later the two frogs merged. In 2004, he founded Creative Social, a global  collective of digital creatives that share knowledge and inspire each other. And in 2008 Chalmers joined Perfect Fools (established in Stockholm in 2002) to work on brands like Converse, K-Swiss and H&M. Shortly after, he founded the Amsterdam office, where he is still ECD.

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John Weich

April 12, 2010 AAB

John Weich (California, 1971) is a copywriter in the most pure sense of the word. After graduating at UCLA, he obtained a Master’s in Literature at New York University. He subsequently became an editor for Wallpaper magazine in London, co-founded a magazine called 34 in Instanbul, and wrote for ArtReview in London. His culturally agnostic disposition made him move to Amsterdam in 1994. Though he only worked for the international agencies in town – Wieden+Kennedy, Riot/180 and Strawberry Frog – he is virtually an Amsterdammer by now. Today he is running the creative show at Lemon Scented Tea, together with Rogier Heijning. Among other brands he works for K-Swiss. Alongside his work in advertising, John is a regular columnist for Wallpaper and Contagious Magazine.

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Mischa Rozema

March 17, 2010 AAB

Mischa Rozema (38) is director of commercials and short films. He grew up near Amsterdam and studied Graphic Design in Eindhoven and subsequently Media and Technology at the School of Arts Utrecht (HKU).  Twelve years ago he co-founded PostPanic, the hybrid production company he still works for. Though Mischa has a background in graphic design, he has an all time love affair with classic film, which explains his taste for combining graphic elements in his films with live action. By also using ‘whatever technique available’ he creates fantasy worlds beyond the imagination. Mischa has become most famous for his ‘The Lost Ring’ trailers – part of an online game created by AKQA San Francisco for McDonald’s. The films were submitted to the archives of the MoMA and last year they won him the prestigious AICP Next award. His most recent project is a series of international idents for MTV Rocks.

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Richard Gorodecky

February 1, 2010 AAB

Richard Gorodecky, born in London in 1971, is one of the more remarkable characters in Amsterdam advertising. He likes to dress like an extra out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and is a great believer in the power of facial hair. Richard is Executive Creative Director of Amsterdam Worldwide. He has spent the last twelve years creating international advertising campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world including Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Electronic Arts, Onitsuka Tiger and Anheuser-Busch. Thanks to his experience, there is little that scares him these days – apart from spiders.

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Erik Kessels

January 12, 2010 AAB

Erik Kessels (1966) was born in Roermond – close to the border of Belgium. He grew up in a small village. When he found out that the most creative job in town was window dresser, that’s what he wanted to become. Kessels went to Sint Lucas in Boxtel to study window dressing, decorating and advertising. There he found out that advertising was more interesting, so he started as ad illustrator at Ogilvy & Mather Eindhoven, while in the evenings attending the Academy of Arts. After Ogilvy, Kessels worked at Kuipers & Schouten and Chiat/Day London, with creative partner Johan Kramer. In 1996 the agency KesselsKramer was founded in Amsterdam. Today it is renowned all over the world. Next to his job as advertiser, Kessels loves photography; he is collector, curator, publisher and magazine editor.

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Wencke van Amstel

December 1, 2009 AAB

Wencke van Amstel was born in Nijmegen and graduated at the Maastricht Academy of Artes Liberales in painting, sculpture and photography. After having lived as an artist for a while, Wencke studied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Maastricht. Then she started working in advertising as art director at FHV BBDO – combing her arty side with her interest in cognitive psychological processes. Four years later she switched to TBWA/Neboko, where she  worked on – among other brands – Heineken. After having worked for two of the best agencies in Amsterdam and giving birth to her first child, it was time to found her own businesses; Umsjatka (photosudio) and Pink and Poodle.

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John Norman

October 27, 2009 AAB

John Norman was born in Texas and raised as an only child by his grandmother. Already from an early age he loved design.  He got a degree in Fine Arts from East Texas University and started out as a graphic designer – he worked for Nike, among other brands. In 1996 he moved to Amsterdam to work for Wieden+Kennedy. After that he worked in Italy as design director for Benetton and as creative director for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. In 2005 John returned to Amsterdam to become ECD at Wieden. His advertising portfolio is impressive with art directional eye candy for global clients. At Goodby he was responsible for HP’s ‘Picture Book’ and at Wieden for Coca’s Cola’s Happiness Factory – to name only a few projects. John lives in Amsterdam with his wife Dee and their four children.

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Andy Fackrell

August 20, 2009 AAB

Andy Fackrell became ECD at 180 Amsterdam in 2003, alongside Richard Bullock. He grew up in both Australia and New Zealand, and is not really sure which place he likes better. Maybe that’s the reason why he lived ‘overseas’ most of his professional life. Like the founders of 180, Andy worked for Wieden + Kennedy (Portland) on the Nike account for several years before he joined 180. His most famous work for Nike was the Cannes Grand Prix in 2002 for the Nike ad ‘Tag’ – with that brilliantly contagious song:  tutututu-etc. Andy is working on the World Cup (soccer) 2010 campaign for Adidas at the moment.

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Colin Lamberton

July 28, 2009 AAB

Colin Lamberton is ECD at Grey Amsterdam. Colin studied Economics at University College London and Graphic Design at Richmond. He met his creative partner, Seyoan Vela, at the advertising course at Hounslow Borough College. They started their career in 1993 at Lowe London and founded St. Luke’s in 1995. In 2008 Colin moved to Amsterdam.

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