NewWerktheater, Amsterdam, 29 May 2017
Photo: Jonathan Papier

The journey to ADCN golden & silver lamps, four winners share their secrets

Following the ADCN Awards 2017, on May 17th, four ADCN gold and silver winners shared their journey to success. Sat on the sofa at the foyer of the New Werktheater were Vincent Lammers of Ambassadors, David Snellenberg and Maarten Nefkens of dawn, Michiel Rijschouwer of Persuade, and Abke Geels of FLEX/design. What were their secrets behind this year’s best creative work? 

#1. A strong client and agency relationship

As agencies, the duty is to produce the best for clients. Dawn, who has a seven-year relationship with Triodos Bank, and Persuade, who also has a long-term relationship with Zeeman, both relate their success to their client relationship.

The Zeeman Trouwjurk (wedding dress) campaign idea that created a buzz last year, took five years and two rejections before it came to life. “A long-term relationship between client and agency is important. You need trust for the best ideas,” Michiel explained. “There was also lots of effort in the execution, it took one and a half years to prepare this campaign! We wanted Zeeman’s story to be real, true and authentic.


#2. Work with your end users

“A lot more people are interested in sustainable changes, and social entrepreneurs are on the rise,” said Maarten. “If we really want to contribute to change, we need to make people active.”

That’s how through the long term vision of ‘Buy the Change’, Tridos Bank created a valuable community, organizing meet-ups for entrepreneurs to pitch their business and for consumers to give feedback. A space to enact their mission of making ‘more sustainable choices’. “The new target group, cultural creatives, don’t like being told what to do. They connect to brands who don’t ask but give their opinion,” explained Maarten.

FLEX/design also noticed that consumers of the Ultimaker were part of a community, that’s why they decided to upload their designs to an open source platform. “So we uploaded our ideas to improve the packaging, and users proposed ideas too,” said Abke.


#3. Go beyond the brief

FLEX/design credits their win on going beyond the brief.

The packaging has a lot of empathy and functionality, both on client and users side,” Abke explained. “The biggest impact on the final result was imagination. We thought further than the hard specs of ‘creating an un-damageable product’ by discovering the core of what the community of users really wanted.”


#4. Love and passion wins

As a final observation, all speakers radiated enthusiasm and devotion while sharing their stories.

Everything is a budget. Time and money are budgets, and love and energy are also budgets. But when you run out of love and energy, it’s almost impossible to finish the project to a certain percent,” Vincent described, while speaking about ‘Het Gewoontedier’ (‘Creature of Habit’).

Massive thanks to the NewWerktheater who accommodated us for the evening, and a big thank you to the winners for sharing their insights on the winning work.  Not a member yet and curious about ADCN? Become a part of the greatest creative collective in the Netherlands. More information here, or e-mail us at See you at the next event!

By: JiHye Kim (