When Canadian-born Brian Elliott and his partners decided to rebrand their ad agency two years ago, location played a key role. From being a branch of a New York company, Strawberry Frog became a separate entity called Amsterdam Worldwide. And the name says it all. “We quickly realised that our location in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is one of our most valuable assets,” says Elliott. A base in Amsterdam allows the agency to be “wired to the international community on all fronts.” That means keeping ahead of trends and staying connected to all media platforms. It also means attracting the right kind of creative talent. Amsterdam Worldwide reflects its founders’ belief that the growing importance of technology calls for a new kind of agency.
Amsterdam Worldwide is living proof of the creative strengths of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Its sizeable advertising and marketing cluster takes advantage of an open and lively culture, the presence of plenty of creative talent, and a great technological infrastructure.The sector accounts for a turnover of €5 bn annually. The fastest growth is in small and medium agencies with an international outlook. Recently, agencies like 180Amsterdam from the UK and the USA’s Wieden+Kennedy have all made successful debuts. Today, global brands such as Nike and Adidas rely on worldwide campaigns that are made in Amsterdam. “Nowhere else will you find an industry so keyed into understanding what is and what will be important to the global consumer,” explains Brian Elliott.
His own agency specialises in digital communications. “We have pioneered the use of social networks like Hyves, Twitter and Facebook,” he says. “Nowhere else do people make as much use of these networks as here.” The presence of major internet and technology companies that results from this is a great bonus as far as Amsterdam Worldwide is concerned. Meanwhile, its own clients come from France, Armenia, Belgium, Japan and the USA, and a growing number from Russia. Its staff members are equally international. Elliott explains that being located in Amsterdam “gives us an edge in recruiting the best creative minds in the business.” As he says, “Everyone is keen to live and work here.”
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