Amsterdam as Sockeye’s first foreign office

The US-based advertising agency Sockeye, from Portland, Oregon, has opened its first foreign branch in Amsterdam. The new Sockeye Amsterdam will serve the European market and will work with companies that want to achieve greater success in the US marketplace.

Sockeye selected Amsterdam as their European foothold, said Sockeye president Andy Fraser, because the city “is a global hub with a super-strong creative community.” Amsterdam, he said, “seems in character similar to Portland: fiercely independent, progressive and open-minded.”

In America, Sockeye’s clients include Adidas, Zoom+, Portland State University and Breakside Brewery.

From Amsterdam, helping European brands succeed in the US

“We’re here to emotionally connect European brands to US consumers while staying true to their roots,” said Peter Metz, a co-founder of Sockeye. European brands are more likely to use rational selling propositions, he said, whereas American brands focus more on storytelling.

Sockeye Amsterdam’s Leander van Altena explains why this matters. Rational propositions, however unique or interesting, are less likely to find a willing ear on the North American market,” he said. "Therefore, it surprises me that brands with US ambitions don’t take notice of this insight in their go-to-market strategy."

Amsterdam a global creative hub

Sockeye will join many of the world’s leading ad agencies in Amsterdam, including 72andSunny, Amsterdam Worldwide and DDB & Tribal. Amsterdam also enjoys flourishing scenes in the fields of gaming, apps, TV production, and fashion. It is easy for creative companies to set up shop in Amsterdam, with local support offered by the Chamber of Commerce, amsterdam inbusiness, the Amsterdam Economic Board and many other networks and initiatives.