What's new with DDB Unlimited? - an interview with Joris Kuijpers
Posted on 2019 Feb,11  | By Mark Tungate

Officially launched on January 1, Netherlands agency DDB Unlimited may be a fusion of existing entities, but its founders say it was built from scratch to be different. Mark Tungate spoke to ECD Joris Kuijpers about what that means. 

DDB Unlimited positions itself as a new kind of agency, driven by data but delivering high-end creativity, content and media. In the press release describing the launch, we’re told that it will combine “the strategic-creative heritage and skillset of DDB & Tribal, the local creative insight and change management of Etcetera, and the data analytics and precision marketing of Databay.”
So how does it feel to be an executive creative director caught up in this revolutionary swirl of new thinking? Joris Kuijpers answered our queries.
Please talk a little about your background and how it led to your current role?
I’ve been working for DDB as a creative director for 10 years now. Quite strange, as I don’t really like doing the same thing for long. But the advertising landscape, as well as DDB, has changed a lot through the years – so I’m still around. Now that DDB Unlimited has been announced, change is keeping things fresh again.
DDB Unlimited will have data at its heart and offer “guaranteed results” instead of hourly fees. How will this impact the creative department?
I think this is a very strong offering. These days, a lot of clients are asking for a more data-driven way of working. So the more clients like this new approach, the more clients we will get. And having a range of different cool clients to work with is food for creatives. In the end, data always has to translated into ideas that create a noticeable difference for clients. Which brings us back again to strong creativity.
There would seem to be a sort of tension between data (statistics) and creativity (art). As a creative, how do you reconcile the two?
The more targeted an ad is, the less creative it needs to be, I think. But a lot of brands simply will not be able to create brand preference by only using targeted ads. So that means brands also still very much need strong, memorable and visible ideas, which also make the very targeted work a little more distinctive. Besides, strong insights – gained from data – do help us to create even better ideas.
Where will the new agency fit in to the creative offering in Amsterdam (and further beyond) compared to its competitors? In other words, what can you offer clients that’s unique?
Simply put, DDB Unlimited has the best talent in every part of the communications funnel.
As a creative, what kind of work do you find most satisfying? Maybe give an example of a campaign you’re really proud of.
It’s a big challenge to create work that reaches a lot of people, that is innovative and that also fits the brand. That work I personally like the most. The work we’ve done for KLM is a good example of that.

Interview courtesy of Epica