creative director

Erik Kessels

In an age where print media is practically an endangered species, where commerce is at our fingerprints 24/7, where we are inundated with adverts—“buy, buy, buy!”—it’s astounding how well Erik Kessels has expanded his communications agency on the following philosophy: “Advertising for people who don’t like advertising.” He’s the human touch that has seemingly expired in advertising. In other words, Kessels is a multi-media mastermind without trying, and it shows.

As citizens become more discerning in taste, communication agencies are charged with an increasingly difficult task of breaking through the overwhelming stimuli to the individual. The human interaction of small business, the attention to detail, the raw and relevant content is lost on most companies. Consumers have been resorted to simply becoming another “like” or “follower” in big business. This very concept is not lost on Kessel’s international media agency, KesselsKramer (KK).

citizen Erik says:

The best idea is yet to come.

One could argue Kessels’ unconventional approach to advertising is rooted in his artistry as a renowned collector of photography. His care and curiosity about people and their ideas–what drives their passions–expands to all areas of Kessels’ business. At KK, Kessels takes interest in staff members’ personal projects, and was once quoted at a lecture series, “You have to be strong to be different.”

Different. That’s the name of the game for KesselsKramer, with its Amsterdam office located smack dab inside an old church, Providence Chapel. If that’s not indicative of Kessels’ unorthodox style, what is? Though KK is celebrated for bold moves, it’s the intuitive ones that have truly stood out. Years ago Kessels created the “I amsterdam” concept, a city-wide marketing campaign, which rebranded Amsterdam by focusing on its people and cultural diversity. Kessels produced an iconic message for the city. In fact, in Museumplein sits the famously large public sculpture of letters spelling “I amsterdam”. Visitors flock here for photographs, a place where citizens from across the globe unite in front of Rijks Museum.

Like Kessels says himself, “advertising for people who don’t like advertising”: I amsterdam.