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 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 a charity's identity 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.




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.




Appreciation for the Creative Press Challenge

We are proud of the appreciation for our Creative Press Challenge, from creatives as well as advertisers. The introduction video won a Lamp at the Art Directors Club Nederland award ceremony for best art direction. 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. At the SAN Accent award ceremony (Stichting Adverteerders Nederland) the Creative Press Challenge won a prize for Business-to-Business campaign. Curious if we will win in Cannes in the category PR.


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.


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.


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

Three important dates to mark in your agenda:

  • Registration deadline: Sunday November 9th.
  • Kick-off: Thursday November 13th between 18:00 – 20:00 at the ADCN.
    We will be presenting an awesome interactive experience, combining the Oculus Rift with other unique elements.
  • And the winner is…: Tuesday December 9th between 18:00 and 21:00 at the ADCN, with a performance by Bade. Participating teams, Creative Directors and other agency colleagues are welcome at both events.


True talent could be hiding behind any corner. That’s way we have 10 wildcards available for creative teams working at agencies that are not on our shortlist. Convince us that you deserve a spot in the competition with a brilliant e-mail. Wildcard winners will be personally notified.




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 a good cause 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.



Are you one of the lucky few to have received an exclusive invite? Then activate your unique participation code here before September 29th to secure your spot in de Volkskrant Creative Press Challenge. If you don't activate your code by then, one of our many wild card applicants will be more than happy to do so for you.

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