Creative Press Challenge



Bad ideas can’t hide in print and good ideas deserve to shine. That’s why de Persgroep proudly presents the second edition of the Creative Press Challenge. A competition challenging the advertising industry to go back to the core. The winning idea will be produced and promoted in de Volkskrant and sent off to Cannes.




Good ideas are too often lost in execution. That’s why the Creative Press Challenge invites creatives to go back to the core of a charity: the Foundation for Refugee Students. To strip their identity down to a single page ad, where the true strength of its idea unfolds. An idea that doesn't hide behind technical marvels or paid Likes. It might sound simple, but it’s really not. The final ad should be more than just a pretty image and a witty line.




Mardjan Seighali, CEO The Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF)

Mardjan Seighali is CEO of The Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF). In 1992 she fled Iran and found asylum in The Netherlands. With help of UAF Mardjan studied Social Work and Services. Mardjan held several management positions with the Dutch organization for Youth Care and Criminal Rehabilitation. She was also CEO of the Foundation for Dutch Heritage. 

“You learn about different worlds from the newspaper. You read the story behind the news. In special reports refugees are given a name and face. The newspaper is, for me, the medium of freedom. The guard dog of freedom of speech and democracy.”



Bas Engels, Creative Managing Director TBWA\Neboko

Who says you can’t have an exciting career working for just two employers? Bas started his career in 1994 as a junior copywriter at DDB Amsterdam, which merged with Result in 1996. In 1998, he joined TBWA\Campaign Company, which merged with Neboko in 2002. He’s now partner and Creative Managing Director at TBWA\Neboko. Bas has won numerous national and international awards for films, print ads, websites, mobile, pr-stunts and even the odd trade show booth. His roots are in scriptwriting, his heart is in integrated storytelling.

"If advertising is more and more about sharing true brand stories in an engaging way, Print, in every form, is still a widely trusted medium to be part of that story."


Mark Woerde, Founder & Strategy Director LEMZ

Mark Woerde, founder of LEMZ and is on a “crusade” to promote peace and progress using the power of advertising. He is an iconoclastic thought leader and the author of the bestselling book “How Advertising Will Heal The World and Your Business.” His vision of hope and the numerous award-winning campaigns he has led, have earned him an influential role in the creative world. 

“My appeal to creatives: the world needs you!”


Mark Chalmers, Executive Creative Director Vice

Mark Chalmers works with art, technology and commerce. An early pioneer in digital, he co-founded the global digital collective Creative Social in 2004, the network central in uniting the industry’s interactive leaders for shared inspiration and collaboration. Developing brands globally from Converse to Heineken, Google to Gucci, he most recently worked on the international roll out of the iconic British fashion magazine, i-D. Now, based in Amsterdam, Mark is executive creative director of Vice. 

“Print is great, a great challenge. A picture, some words and just one chance.”


Philippe Remarque, Editor-in-chief of De Volkskrant

Philippe studied Russian and started his journalistic career in 1991 as a Moscow correspondent. He later worked as a correspondent Berlin, political reporter in The Hague and as the Washington correspondent for de Volkskrant. He wrote books on Berlin and Barack Obama and was awarded De Tegel, the highest Dutch journalism award, for his coverage of the first Obama election. In 2010 he moved back to Amsterdam to become editor-in-chief of De Volkskrant.  

"Good advertising makes the newspaper interesting and lively for readers. When you take your time to indulge in a newspaper, you open your mind to the world and also to advertiser's stories that are powerfully told."




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.




De Persgroep chooses Foundation for Refugee Students

De Persgroep 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.


Agency Shortlist 2014

Good ideas only deserve the best. That’s why the Creative Press Challenge is an invitation only competition. Click here to see which agencies have been selected for this year’s shortlist. Creative directors of these agencies will receive an invitation shortly with unique participation codes to give away to their most talented creative teams. Last year’s winners – Luuk van de Put and Jurre van de Ven from Alfred – and top 5 teams get a free pass to join the competition again this year.


Save the date

The jury will convene on December 2nd to decide which idea is the best in capturing the Foundation for Refugee Students’ identity. The winner will be announced on Tuesday December 9th during a special event at the ADCN starting at 18:00, with a live performance by Bade. Save the date and bring your colleagues! The winning entry will be produced by de Persgroep, promoted in de Volkskrant together with an exclusive interview, and sent off to Cannes.



True talent could be hiding behind any corner. That’s way we awarded several wildcards to creative teams that convinced us that they deserve a spot in the competition by sending us a brilliant mail. Wildcard were awarded to, amongst others, FCB Amsterdam, Han Snel, Khanna/Reidinga, The Other Side of The Moon en Van Santen Netwerk. Congratulations and make us proud.


Fifty teams join the Challenge

Fifty teams signed up to join the Creative Press Challenge. Some of the agencies that are competing: Achtung!, Alfred, DDB & Tribal, JWT Amsterdam, KesselsKramer, Woedend! and Sid Lee. We're very happy to have so many creatives participate in our challenge and we're curious to see your work!


Kickoff: unique insights installation

The Creative Press Challenge kick-off was pretty awesome. A bunch of people got their brief in our unique insights installation, experiencing reality in Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift. Check the pics of the kickoff here, shot by Matthijs Immink. It was quite busy, so not everyone got their brief properly. That’s why we will be at the ADCN every weekday until Friday November 21 between 12:00 and 14:00. So come by in your lunchbreak (we're full on Monday and Tuesday). The installation was built by, Thijs Biersteker, Pieter van den Heuvel, Daniël Nogueira (Cake Film), Man Yong Toh, Camilo Kneppers and Amp.Amsterdam / Amp.Studio.


Submitting your work

Make sure to download the presskit (after you log in on our website). This contains your one page brief and a bunch of information about your client: their brand strategy, brand values and results. Download it, study it and let it inspire you. Your work must be submitted as a sketch with a black marker on a sheet of white paper. Because this competition is about going back to the core. Deadline to enter your work is midnight on November 30th.




The winning entry will be produced and promoted in de Volkskrant. Next to that, de Persgroep will enter it 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. And all wildcards have been awarded. So if you're not on the list, try again next year. 


How can I submit my work?

Login with your unique participation code after the kick-off, 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 it solid and does it have stopping power.


Will my work be produced?

Yes, the winning entry will be produced in collaboration with de Persgroep 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. A good time for charities to do business (New Year's resolutions and stuff).


How does the interview in de Volkskrant work exactly?

The winner gets an exclusive full page interview in de Volkskrant in December. We will discuss details with the winners.


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

We will send the winning work to Cannes Lions 2014. 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?

The Creative Press Challenge is an annual competition. Send us an email if you want to participate next year. We will look at this when we make our agency shortlist for next year.


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