Europe’s creative capital

Countless creative masterminds based in Amsterdam are regularly behind groundbreaking advertising campaigns for clients from all over the world, including Google, Adidas and IKEA. And Amsterdam’s reputation as a world-renowned hotspot within the creative sector has not gone unnoticed by the international press. According to the Bloomberg article, Amsterdam’s advertising scene is flourishing; the number of agencies has more than doubled since 2011. Today, more than 200 agencies employ about 20.000 professionals in the field. Numbers obtained from the VEU trade group show that Amsterdam’s advertising, gaming, media and design companies generate some 4.3 billion euros  in annual sales.

Daily source of inspiration

One of Amsterdam’s most important assets in attracting the most talented creative professionals is the unrivalled quality of life it offers its residents. The historic city centre with its UNESCO-listed canal ring is a daily source of inspiration for creative professionals. Many trend-setting agencies have chosen to set up on Herengracht, where their offices overlook one of Amsterdam’s most famous canals. The city’s bike culture – Amsterdam’s 811,000 residents own an estimated 800,000 bicycles – is also highly appreciated among  creative professionals. In the Bloomberg article, Al Moseley, president of Amsterdam agency 180, which counts Sony and DHL amongst its clients, is quoted as saying: “It’s amazingly easy to live here. I bicycle past beautiful buildings, walk in, and my mind is focused on our business and clients and not standing on the tube with an armpit in my face.”

International mindset

Another big plus for advertising agencies is the international mindset of the Dutch. Amsterdam acts as a magnet for open-minded, creative talent from all over the world. Today, it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with inhabitants of more than 178 different nationalities. This allows advertising companies to develop campaigns here that succeed all over the world. Or, as Kerrie Finch, a British expat who owns Amsterdam marketing agency FinchFactor, puts it in the Bloomberg article: “It’s a tiny city that genuinely punches above its weight. London is very British and the U.S. is very New York or LA; the Dutch embrace other cultures.”