Why Amsterdam houses the new kids on the block

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How is Amsterdam is attracting and maintaining its creative diversity.

The Netherlands are increasingly looking like the promised land for agencies with big aspirations. Between the culture, the access to Europe, and the relaxed approach to collaboration, there’s plenty to tempt agencies to join the agency community in Amsterdam.

The Netherlands is home to the some of the world’s biggest fashion companies, which make up a great deal of our clientele, so the decision to open an office in the country was an easy one.

When we initially decided to open an office in the country, however, we had a tougher call to make: should we base ourselves in Utrecht or Amsterdam? As our director was from Utrecht, he had a vision of shaking up the digital landscape by opening a totally new type of agency there.

However, after numerous conversations and consideration internally, basing ourselves in Amsterdam gave us the best opportunity to be close to our clients and provide them with the best service as well as the talent that lives in Amsterdam. Brexit also factored into our decision, with the movement of business to Amsterdam - being able to offer our services both in London and Amsterdam gave our existing and new clientele the opportunity to work with us no matter where they were based.

When you think about fashion cities like Paris or Milan inevitably spring to mind. Increasingly, though, Amsterdam is stepping out onto the catwalk with some of the biggest fashion houses choosing to call it home. In Amsterdam or in the neighbouring Hilversum alone you’ll find the Global HQ for Tommy Hilfiger, G-Star, Denham and the EMEA HQ for Calvin Klein, Nike, Converse, Foot Locker, Karl Lagerfeld, and Diesel. Being surrounded by so many amazing brands and marketing teams makes the ‘Dam the best place for us to help bring digital experiences to retail.

Being the new kids in the ‘Dam, we’ve found that the difference between working in London & the Dam is that everything is more compact, traveling to clients and partners is easy and, let’s face it, much more fun by bike. We also found a thriving community of small startups and bigger agencies in the communal WeWork building in which we’re based. It’s great to have these competitors and friends around us, with a creative vibe throughout the office space and with events such as Adnight. We’ve really found the Amsterdam creative community to be welcoming.

New creative outlets

Thanks in part to the welcoming and creative nature of the city, our own creativity has found further outlets to explore on behalf of partners and clients. After throwing our doors open for business a year-and-a-half ago we’ve been busy creating and installing a number of projects in the Netherlands and across Europe. We’ve partnered with Nike to create multiple Micro-sites, designed and developed interactive touchscreen tables for stores in London, Berlin & Paris and created an Augmented Reality sneaker with interactive hotspots – all running in your mobile web browser. One of our latest projects was a VR Basketball experience that launched in the Jordan Bastille store for the Quai54 Street basketball tournament: we even had NBA star Blake Griffin shooting some VR hoops.

And we’re not slowing down. Right now our talented team are busy working on an experimental VR experience and several Augmented Reality projects due to launch in November & December across Europe.

The Netherlands has a rich and diverse digital landscape filled with talented artists, designers and agencies. We’re glad to be joining their ranks in Amsterdam, not only because of the contemporary digital landscape, but because of its rich history in art and that unique Dutch way of thinking you just don’t get anywhere else.

Roderick Goedhart, director of creative partnerships at OMM.

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