5th Destination: AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam was the fifth destination of The Saturn Return Project™hosted at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam

W+K Amsterdam was founded in 1982 (coincidentally the year that Brianna was born; to draw an obscure significance to visiting such an esteemed agency during the tour of The Saturn Return Project™). W+K Amsterdam does not aspire to be a Dutch agency, but rather a European agency, embracing its geographical position to produce both regional and global campaigns. With 130 people in its office hailing from more than 25 different nationalities, W+K Amsterdam brings that global melting pot sensibility with a diverse collective of culture, perspectives and experience.

Which was indeed a ripe ground for The Saturn Return Project™'s curiosity about the particularities of the business in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, an extremely hot spot in the industry, and only growing hotter. 

Brianna's arrival at W+K Amsterdam was a unique adventure (worth the read here) that ate up nearly a full day of her visit. Yet in the process, she learned a great deal about the spirit and people of both the city and the agency: a very positive impression. The remainder of her visit was a complete immersion jam-packed with conversations with the creative teams, strategy teams, digital groups (see Dam Armada below), time spent with the Kennedy's, accounts and more.

The collision of The Saturn Return Project™ in Amsterdam was incredibly well-timed with W&K Amsterdam's launch of the Dam Armada, a digital production unit within W+K Amsterdam. Comprising designers and creative developers focused on digital products, the Dam Armada's first claim to fame was the "Androidion" mobile app, the world's first dual-handed phone accordion. Yeah, that's right, awesome.

W+K Amsterdam brands include Coca-Cola, Nike, ESPN, Heineken, Levi's, Nokia and more. They keep it fresh on their DAM BLOG, and on Facebook and Twitter, as well. 

The special brand of W+K magic is all set against the backdrop of one of the globe's most eccentric cities, the largest city and capital of the Netherlands. Known far too often for free-for-all marijuana laws and the scantily-clad temptresses of the Red Light District, Amsterdam's reputation precedes her. 

But true Amsterdam boasts a culture that blends art with innovation, and respects a high quality of life. Streets trade off with canals and pedestrians mix with bicyclists ("mix," but don't "mess," there is a strict right of way for bicyclists and may God have mercy on your soul if you walk in the bike lanes). Fascinating and stunning architecture line the canals and history lines the walls of some of Amsterdam's signature museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. The city, as you get to know it, is actually much smaller and more tight-knit than it seems. Everyone knows everyone... even if they don't know they do.