AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS // Bas Korsten is J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam’s ECD and one of the agency’s managing partners. His ambition and commitment to creativity has turned a traditional office into one of the most talked about and awarded agencies in the world.
Bas originally graduated as Engineer in Logistic Management in 1992 and received a business degree from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) in 1994. Quickly realizing the error of his ways, Bas followed his heart and moved into advertising. He started as a junior copywriter at Result DDB in 1997; founded agency Selmore in 2004; then Nothing in 2008; and in 2011 he joined J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, where he is responsible for strategic and creative development for all of the agency’s clients.
When Bas joined JWT Amsterdam, his first move to transform the agency was a literal one: he moved the office to a new location. Together with his partners, he designed an award-winning interior and created a new working structure with only three departments (Think, Do and Make) and adopted a rather ambitious agency motto: “Intergalactic Domination.” And, crucially, put innovation at the heart of the agency.
With this ambition, Bas had a remarkable 2015, winning the Epica Grand Prix, two Cannes Lions and D&AD Pencils. But 2016 has become the high point of his five-year journey with the agency.
In 2016, JWT Amsterdam was voted Dutch Agency of the Year and its two-time Cannes Grand Prix-winner ‘The Next Rembrandt’ made the office the most awarded Dutch agency at Cannes 2016 (17 Cannes Lions in total), outpacing Wieden + Kennedy, 180 and 72andSunny. In October 2016, the Cannes accolades continued when JWT Amsterdam was named “Cannes Lions Innovation Agency of the Year”.
Bas’s campaign The Next Rembrandt’ has been presented at TEDx, the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, on scientific TV-shows in France, Germany and Japan. It was featured in the Netfix series ‘Bill Nye saves the world’. And it was the topic of a speech given by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to 50 of America’s top executives. And to date has won no less than five Grand Prix.
In December 2016 Bas was honoured by AdAge’s Creativity 50, listing the 50 most creative people of the year, together with a.o. Tom Ford, Beyoncé, Prince and David Bowie.