Creative Press Challenge



Bad ideas can’t hide in print and good ideas deserve to shine. That’s why de Volkskrant proudly presents the second edition of the Creative Press Challenge. A competition about the power of ideas. The winner gets a fullpage interview in de Volkskrant and the winning entry will be produced, published and sent off to Cannes.




The Creative Press Challenge is all about the individual power of ideas. That’s why we challenge creatives to strip an integrated campaign down to a single print ad, where the true strength of its idea unfolds. This might sound simple, but it’s actually quite hard: The final ad should be more than just a pretty image and a witty line. It must represent the original thought behind the brand’s campaign, match the brand’s identity and still be original and appealing to its target group.




Leon Willems, CEO Free Press Unlimited

Leon is the CEO of Free Press Unlimited. He is also chairman of the committee for the Global Forum for Media Development and a board member of Ghetto Radio, a project in Kenya. Before joining Free Press Unlimited in 2011, Leon worked for the United Nations, setting up independent radio stations in Southern Sudan. He also worked for the Dutch public broadcasting station IKON in various positions.

"Newspapers are the foundation of journalism. To this day newspapers often still shape social debate. Which radiostation, tv program or internetmedium can survive without the information newspapers have to offer?"



Chris Buur, Chief editor ‘V’ de Volkskrant

Chris (1970) studied Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Between 1989 and 1992 he made three series of animation movies for the VPRO. Before joining de Volkskrant, he worked as a film & entertainment editor at VARAgids, where he later became deputy editor. His career at de Volkskrant started in 2010. He is now chief editor of 'V', a section in de Volkskrant focusing on culture, media and arts.


Andre Matarazzo, Executive Creative Director Sid Lee

Who says you can't see the whole world while having a desk job? André started his career in 1997 in São Paulo and managed to work in 6 different countries around the globe, from Canada to Japan. He's also managed to create one of Latin America's hottest creative boutiques, Gringo, later snatched by WPP. Finally ending up where he really belongs, Andre is now having the time of his life leading the creative team at Sid Lee in Amsterdam, and continues to be thirsty.

“Print is trusted by consumers much more than any other medias types, which forces advertisers to go back to the core of what makes people tick: powerful stories, plainly told.” 


David Snellenberg, founder Dawn

David Snellenberg is a writer, creative director and founder of Dawn (2008), an Amsterdam based strategic/creative agency. His agency makes 'brands matter in today's culture' with a strong focus on social relevance and impact. High end execution is an integral part of every project.

“In a digital age, print ads still rule. Because it's the root, the real essence of a great idea. There's no narrative, no interaction, no technique. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.”


Alvaro Sotomayor, Creative Director W+K Amsterdam

Born in Spain, Alvaro has been at W+K Amsterdam for over 17 years. During that time he has worked across clients such as Nike, Coca-Cola, EA Sports, Levi’s and Powerade. A very well-travelled chap, Alvaro left Spain 21 years ago and went to London, New York and finally Pasadena where he studied at the Art Center College of Design. After graduating in 1995 he moved to Amsterdam to work at a small advertising agency called Wieden+Kennedy. And we’re very happy to say he’s still here.

"Print is a great medium to streamline your message. If an execution works in print, it's proof that it is going to translate elsewhere. And not vice versa."




We only want to do good for a client that wants to do good. The Foundation for Refugee Students helps highly educated refugees in choosing and pursuing a study, and finding a job that will fulfill their personal and professional goals. Click here for more info.




Appreciation for the Creative Press Challenge

The Creative Press Challenge video won a Lamp at the Art Directors Club Nederland award ceremony 2013. We’re proud! Many thanks to Thijs Biersteker en Corriette Schoenaerts, who led the project, and all of the other amazing creatives who helped us produce this amazing video. The Creative Press Challenge won a nomination for a SAN Accent at the Stichting Adverteerders Nederland in the category Business-to-Business. We also sent it in to Cannes Lions as PR case. We’ll keep you updated!


De Volkskrant chooses Foundation for Refugee Students

De Volkskrant personally chose a charity dear to its heart: Foundation for Refugee Students UAF. An organization that matches the identity of de Volkskrant perfectly: education and social involvement are high on their list editorial priorities. The foundation helps highly educated refugees in choosing and pursuing a study, and  finding a job that will fulfill their personal and professional goals. Click here for more info.


That was that for 2013

Thanks to everyone who joined the Creative Press Challenge this year! What a great kick-off it was for a competition that we’re going to organize every year, each time with a different charity. Congratulations to Luuk van de Put and Jurre van de Ven from Alfred, our winners of this years’ Creative Press Challenge! Their sketch will be produced and placed in de Volkskrant with an exclusive interview, and sent off to Cannes.


Top 5 teams 2013

The Creative Press Challenge jury convened in November 2013 to judge the 50 entries. In random order, the following teams were in the top 5: Wesley Visseren and Vincent Beijersbergen from Etcetera, Huub Haarhuis and Matthijs Vrooijink from Havas Worldwide, Luuk van de Put and Jurre van de Ven from Alfred International, Kai Nobbe and Rick van de Ven from Red Urban, Joost van der Schoot and Marten Meijboom from The Oddshop, and Bas Derks and Rob Voortman from Ogilvy (there is a shared number 5). On November 7th Philippe Remarque, editor-in-chief of de Volkskrant, and jury member David Snellenberg announced the winner at the Cannes Lions Show during the 24 hours of Advertising. 


Kick-off 2013

On October 3rd we had the official kick-off for the Creative Press Challenge at the Art Directors Club Nederland. Philippe Remarque (chief-editor de Volkskrant) and Leon Willems (CEO Free Press Unlimited) gave the participants their briefing. It was a busy, informative and fun kick-off. Curious? Check out the photo's to get an impression. Photo's made by Matthijs Immink.


Beautiful artwork

We are very proud of the beautiful video that was produced for the Creative Press Challenge. Special thanks to everyone who made this possible! Director: Corriette Schoenaerts, DOP: Hessel Waalewijn, Creative director: Thijs Biersteker x Nomadic, Copy writer: Pieter van den Heuvel, Art Department: Dirk & Hans x Jelier & Schaaf, Light: Mick Durlacher, VFX: Fred Huergo Superheroes, Editor: Will Judge x The Gentlemen's Club, Grading & compositing: Scott & Lise x Glassworks, Audio post & sound design : JONS, Music: Amp.Amsterdam, Production: Yasmin x UNIT c.m.a., EQ: 711 Rent, Golden Eye, Studio: Allard Studio's, Special thanks: Cam-a-lot.


Behind the scenes

We were blown away by all the wonderful responses to the Creative Press Challenge video. Thank you! That's why we decided to give you a sneak peak behind the scenes. Curious about the shoot? Check out our 'making of' photo selection




The winning entry will be produced in collaboration with the Volkskrant and other professionals. Next to that, it will be placed in de Volkskrant and even entered into the Cannes Lions Festival, where more success awaits. The brains behind the work will also get an exclusive interview in de Volkskrant, which is easily torn out to show to your friends and make your mom proud.




How can I join?

Participation is by invitation only. But don’t worry… we have 10 wild cards available. If you haven’t received an invite by September and you still want to join, try convincing us with a brilliant email.


How can I submit my work?

After you have logged in with your unique participation code, hit the ‘submit’ button and upload your pdf. 


On which criteria will my work be judged?

Your work will be judged on concept (is the idea clear, original and inspiring, does it fit the identity of the charity and will it appeal to readers of de Volkskrant?) and execution (is the execution of your idea solid and qualitative, does it have stopping power?).


Will my work be produced?

Yes, the winning entry will be produced in collaboration with the Volkskrant and other professionals. We have reserved a set budget for this and will discuss details with the winner. 


How will my work be placed in de Volkskrant?

The winning work will be placed in de Volkskrant as a full page on a Saturday in December. This is the period in which people are busy with new year’s resolutions and the likelihood of donating to Free Press Unlimited is maximilized.


How does the interview in de Volkskrant work exactly?

The winner gets an exclusive full page interview in de Volkskrant in December. An appointment will be set up to discuss the details as soon as we know who the winner is. 


How does submitting the winning work to the Cannes Lions Festival 2014 work?

We will send the winning work to Cannes Lions 2014 in the category Press Lions. We will take care of the costs for submitting the work. 


Is this a one time thing? Or can I sign up to participate next year?

This is an annual competition. Send us an email and let us know if you would like to participate next year. We will look at this when we make our agency selection for next year. 


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