John DE VRIES

Creative Director | XXS AMSTERDAM

After a career at BBDO, John became the creative lead at the independent creative agency XXS Amsterdam early 2016. There he leads a diverse team and is responsible for the agency’s creative output across a portfolio of international and local clients.

Prior he flexed his creative muscles at leading agencies such as J. Walter Thompson, Doom & Dickson, DDB&Co and BBDO, where he took the position of Creative Director.

His work has  been recognised multiple times at high profile award shows – both national and international – such as Gold in Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Webby Awards, Effie, CLIO and Dutch Art Directors Club (ADCN).

John’s accomplishments demonstrate his pursuit of making innovative and impactful work in all matter of media.

Alongside his job at XXS Amsterdam, he also acts as a mentor at the prestigious advertising course at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK

 

questionnaire

What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?
I was lucky enough to start my career at DDB. Green as grass I was in awe of everything that was made around me. And learned a lot.
One of my very first assignments was to help with a typography driven ad for Volkswagen. It ended up highly awarded, so I got off from the right foot.

Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
I lead a diverse and talented team of creatives and am responsible for the agency’s creative output. With our mantra Brave & Ambitious I set the framework for making impactful and great work across a portfolio of international and local clients, in a diverse media landscape.

How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
It was a discovery, yes. Commercial work that i loved as a teenage consumer, I didn't see them as ads. But as cool posters, great pieces of design and crafty films with stories. I didn't know there was a whole industry behind it with art directors, copywriters and designers. Once i did know it was an actual job you could practice, I wanted that.

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
To explore thinking and doing from the edges of every discipline, from Aerobics to Zoology and everything in-between. Being a contributor for EveryoneForever.com, a blog back in the heydays, and some of it I think is still online. That was our tagline and I still practice it.

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be?
Fortunately both. Few years ago i did an ad for HEMA with an androgene male model for a Push-up bra. Innovative because it was ahead of the gender discussion which is still a hot global topic in the industry and community.

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