Creative Press Challenge



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




Last year 120 creatives literally ran for their lives and with every drop of sweat received precious insights into the life of a refugee. We created a unique insights installation combining a tread mill and an Oculus Rift to give participants an experience to never forget. This is how they were briefed to make their best printad of the year for the Foundation for Refugee Students. Watch the case movie. We’re sure you’ll get excited.




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. Fight cancer is an iconic charity that believes in fighting cancer from the perspective of loving life. Their goal is to create more awareness for cancer under young adults and to inspire them to take action by organizing fundraising activities. All funds raised are donated to cancer research in the Netherlands. A modern and rebellious charity that every jury in Cannes will recognize. Click here for more info.




De Persgroep chooses Fight cancer

This year creatives will work for Fight cancer, trying to distill this iconic charity’s into a single page. They believe in fighting cancer from the perspective of loving life. Their goal is to create more awareness for cancer under young adults and to inspire them to take action by organizing fundraising activities. All funds raised are donated to cancer research in the Netherlands. A modern and rebellious charity that every jury in Cannes will recognize. Click here for more info.


New: top 3 ideas will be produced

A new element in this year’s Creative Press Challenge is that the jury will select the three best entries, which will be produced. From this top 3 the jury will choose which ad is the best in revealing the true identity of Fight cancer. The winning ad will be sent off to Cannes and published in de Volkskrant together with an exclusive interview with the winning agency.  


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 were on our Agency Shortlist 2014. Creative directors of these agencies were asked to select their most talented creative teams to join. Mid September we will publish this year’s shortlist. If you’re not on the list, too bad for you.  You can try to win one of our 10 wildcards. Last year's top 5 teams get a free pass to join again this year.


Over 100 creatives joined last year

Over 100 creatives joined the Creative Press Challenge 2014. Some of the agencies that competed: Achtung!, Alfred, DDB & Tribal, JWT Amsterdam, KesselsKramer, Woedend! and Sid Lee. Thanks to everyone for joining the competition last year and we can’t wait to see which agencies join this year!


Unique insights installation

For the Creative Press Challenge 2014 a unique insights installation was created, combining a treadmill and an Oculus Rift. Participants literally ran for the lives, receiving insights about what it’s like to run like a refugee. Insights that a normal briefing could never give. 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. Check out the casemovie. You will be impressed. 




The winning entry will be produced and promoted in de Volkskrant. Besides 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. The Agency Shortlist 2015 will be published mid September. If you're not on the list, too bad for you. You can try to win one of our 10 wildcards.


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 worldwide, and execution: is it solid and does it have stopping power.


Will my work be produced?

The jury will select the three best entries and these will be produced in collaboration with de Persgroep. We have reserved a small budget for this and will discuss details with the top 3 teams. The jury will choose the winning ad from this top 3.


How will my work be placed in de Volkskrant?

The winning work will be placed in de Volkskrant as a full page 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 work?

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


Is this a one time thing?

The Creative Press Challenge is an annual competition. We will publish this year’s Agency Shortlist mid September. If you’re not on the list, too bad for you. You can try to win one of our 10 wildcards.


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