180 has ranked as one of the leading creative boutiques in Europe since its foundation in 1998 in Amsterdam by a group of ex-pat Americans and Brits. Co-founders Alex Melvin and Chris Mendola were origianlly employees of Wieden & Kennedy's Amsterdam office. For several years, the newly launched 180 enjoyed a productive alliance with Omnicom, working with TBWA on the Adidas global account, and jointly winning Sony Electronics in the US in 2006 in partnership with BBDO. That eventually led to the agency's acquisition by Omnicom in 2007, and the launch of a second office in Los Angeles. The Amsterdam office rebranded in 2017 as 180 Kingsday following merger with that separate independent creative shop. Al Moseley is global president across the two main offices; Sander Volten leads the Amsterdam office. AdAge estimated revenues of $60m in 2017, of which the US agency contributed a little over half. Tragically, Alex Melvin died in 2011 at the age of just 53. Chris Mendola left the business in 2016 to launch investment consultancy Brand Equity Partners.
Capsule checked 1st June 2018
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Historical snapshot information for 180
Adbrands Social Media 17th Jan 2019: "Like Never Before". Qatar Airways really pushed out the boat - as it were - for this lavishly produced, effects-heavy new global campaign from Omnicom's 180 Kingsday in Amsterdam. Privately controlled Middle Eastern airlines Qatar and Emirates are really pulling the rug from under the feet of Europe's longer-established flagbearer carriers. Seriously, who these days would put up with the shop-worn cost-cutting of British Airways when you can get better long-haul service and value from Qatar? This is arguably the airline's most Western-facing campaign to-date. BA and others, beware.
Adbrands Social Media 16th May 2018: "Hold My Beer". Amstel - the *other* Dutch beer in the Heineken portfolio - doesn't get the kind of coverage enjoyed by its more famous sibling. Shame really, because it's a fine beer, and agency 180 Kingsday (the former 180 Amsterdam) has turned out some excellent ads in its honour. We've featured several on these pages before. Here's the latest, like its predecessors celebrating Amstel's symbolic role as a form of social glue that binds friends together. In this case, for a little longer than strictly necessary...
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Jun 2017: 180 Amsterdam, the head office of Omnicom's BBDO-aligned micro-network, has merged with local rival Kingsday, to create 180 Kingsday. Kingsday's Sander Volten becomes CEO of the combined Dutch agency, while 180's local leader and global creative chief Al Moseley moves to a new role as international president, overseeing the offices in Los Angeles and China.
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th July 2016: Ads of the Week: "Pass It On". The latest spot for Heineken-owned Amstel beer, from 180 Amsterdam, is a real gem. The set-up is charming, as a group of widely different Dutch men and women pass on from one to another a glass of Amstel that has been poured for specifically for their friend Alex, in a series of increasingly absurd situations. After that lengthy preamble, I think it's safe to say that you genuinely won't expect the ad's richly emotional punchline. A fine piece of work.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Jun 2016: The well-deserved Grand Prix for Good in the main Cannes Lions 2016 festival went to 180 LA's moving and atmospheric "Unfairy Tales" for UNICEF, telling the story of Syrian child refugees through personal testimony and superb animation. The first of these films, Malak & The Boat was the main prizewinner.
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