An international hub for creative industries

Amsterdam is home to some of the biggest brands in the world, including KLM, Philips, and Heineken. This helps explains why the city also has a thriving advertising industry, with top agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy, 180, and DDB.

As the Digiday article explains, Amsterdam’s rich history and culture make it an international hotspot not only for advertising, but also for other creative fields such as fashion, design, and technology.

Amsterdam’s creative focus attracts the best talent

Amsterdam’s focus on these industries attracts a diverse pool of international talent to the city, which in turn makes it a breeding ground for creativity. The city’s high-quality educational system, the many international companies with headquarters in Amsterdam and a large startup scene all help to ensure that the city offers a great range of skilled talent.

“Everyone speaks English, so everyone feels at home,” said Bram Holzapfel, creative director at the Amsterdam branch of DDB & Tribal Worldwide. “There is a great ecosystem of specialist creative industry suppliers. It is one big cultural village.”

Dutch humour and a one-on-one approach

The dynamic advertising landscape of Amsterdam features a wide range of top agencies, from smaller boutiques to big international agencies that work mainly for corporate clients. A special focus of Amsterdam’s agencies is interactive design, exemplified by companies such as such as Momkai, Code d’Azur, and Minivegas.

As Sandra Soskic, the co-CEO at the Amsterdam branch of DDB & Tribal Worldwide explains, “Clients want a more one-on-one marketing approach, rather than mass marketing.”

What unites them is humour,” said Holzapfel. “While quirky Dutch humour works for the local brands, broader, universal humour translates well internationally.”