Erik Kessels doesn’t like most ads, so that’s why he has to break the mould

Erik Kessels talks about taking side streets and tells the story of Hans Brinker.

Erik Kessels is one of those guys who just seems to find a creative capacity in anything – including old, abandoned photographs and the two worst soccer teams in the entire world. The photographs he finds at various fleas, or that find their way to him, are made into books that tell unique stories – from a woman’s taxi cab trip around Europe, to another’s numerous visits to carnival shooting galleries throughout her lifetime. And in 2002 when his home team Netherlands didn’t qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals, to give the Dutch something new to rally behind, he organized a soccer match between Bhutan and Montserrat (on the morning of the FIFA final match), and made a documentary on it - The Other Final.

He’s also the mastermind behind Amsterdam-based agency KesselsKramer, which has become known for its very original campaigns, such as their ongoing effort for the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam. There are not many agencies out there that could attract more business for a hotel by pointing out how much it sucks. While he was in town for our Shift Disturbers event in April we sequestered him to talk to us about where he gets all his wonderful ideas and what the deal is with the KesselsKramer website(s) – about 200 different landing pages that range from selling hats to deconstructing the Yeti and lack any significant agency mention.