It’s pretty well documented that Amsterdam has changed a lot in recent years. You’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to have noticed the transformation, regeneration and gentrification taking place. When it comes to the creative and advertising world however, there are a couple of developments of particular interest.
Firstly, there has been a melding of Dutch and international cultures in advertising. Then we also have the rise of digital craft and Dutch digital design. However, it is when these come together that some of the most creative and most interesting work happens.
Historically speaking, there were two distinctly different ad scenes in Amsterdam – namely Dutch advertising and international advertising.
As sacrosanct entities they rarely met, save for the occasional ‘biertje’, and certainly never on the creative floor. Now, however, there are clear signals that the goalposts are moving and that international and Dutch advertising cultures are increasingly coming together.
But is this melding of two different entities creating a new breed – ‘Dutch international’ if you will – and is this what’s making Amsterdam such a uniquely great place to work, and the work from the city so uniquely great?
The young creative team of Michael James Phillips and Scott Kooken (aged 26 and 21 respectively) won the Young Lions Cyber Gold at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity in June, and is a great example of this new breed of ‘Dutch international’.
They tell us: “We are a Dutch/British partnership and coming from two different backgrounds means that we both bring our own values to the table. This friction is the very thing that makes us a good team. We always surprise each other with different points of view or introduce each other to nostalgia from our childhood that the other can experience for the…