Amsterdam Reconsidered

By Tk Published on .

In light of the reputation of the agency and the city, KesselsKramer, in conjunction with Amsterdam Partners-a public-private booster organization-has produced a curiously restrained photography book about its hometown, Amsterdam. Titled I amsterdam; A Portrait of a City and its People, with the I am set off in white for a double meaning, the book is one of those civic hard sells designed to get results. Featuring the work of a score of Dutch photographers, there are so few sexy/kinky/druggie shots in the 308-pager, we were, frankly, stunned. But let's face it, this is no Diesel campaign, so we have plenty of pictures of people who come off looking regular and wholesome, even if they're probably not. As KK writes about the city, its "promise, diversity and wealth of opportunity make it an excellent choice for business, education, visiting and for living. Amsterdam's rich heritage and culture, its spirit of commerce, its innovative infrastructure, its liveability and its creativity set it apart from other major European cities. It's time for Amsterdam to speak out for itself and make its relevance known in a proud, supportive and positive manner."

Moreover, KK is branding the whole town with this oddly Anglicized turn of phrase, in a deliberate effort to make the maximum international impact. "I amsterdam is the motto that creates the brand for the city and people of Amsterdam. In saying or expressing I amsterdam, we demonstrate a clear choice for the city of Amsterdam. I amsterdam shows our pride, our confidence and our dedication. I amsterdam is our personal endorsement for our city." In addition to the book, there's an exhibition at Amsterdam's photography museum, an outdoor campaign and a host of branded collateral materials.

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