Amir Kassaei, DDB Chief Creative Officer, is the new President of the Art Directors Club of Europe – ADCE.
A top advertiser picked to head the Association of European Creative Clubs
Amir Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide, was named last Friday the new ADCE President by the Board of the Art Directors Club of Europe, the Association of the European Creative Clubs. With his appointment, the ADCE has garnered one of the most renowned advertisers as its leader. Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide, has worked for world’s most significant brand names – such as Mercedes-Benz, smart, Coca Cola, Allianz, Apple, adidas, Reebok, Nike, Bosch, Volkswagen and McDonald's. He has received over 4,000 national and international awards, including more than 60 Cannes Lions won at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. In recent years, New York’s “The Big Won”, the bible of the marketing and advertising industry, has ranked Amir Kassaei as the top three creative directors of the world, and in 2009 he was declared the best creative director.
The ADCE, comprising creative clubs from 21 countries as its members, is evolving against the grain of the trends in the industry and is increasingly gaining influence. In 2012, the prestigious British creative club D&AD made its reentry public – and now, the announcement of Art Directors Club of Europe about the appointment of Kassaei as president came as a bombshell. The structure of ADCE, in particular, the manner in which the awards are structured, is his USP (Unique Selling Proposition): Only the winners of the creative club competitions held by the respective home country are eligible for the European ADCE Awards. Johannes Newrkla, founder and former ADCE President, successfully maintained the core of the entity and its brand. Together with the ceding president Franco Moretti, Creative Director of Leo Burnett Italy, and Mercè Segú, ADCE Director, they successfully kept the umbrella association on the right track, obtaining in addition EU funds for the project in recent years.
A new chapter can now begin with Amir Kassaei at the helm of the affairs. Kassaei has grand plans: He would like to transform the “Club of Champions” to an active driving force in the European creative business. First step: the club is open not just to clubs, but also to creatives. “I would like to gather the crème de la crème”, Kassaei declares. “Without the ridiculous barriers posed by agencies, categories or borders.”
Even the value of ideas and the very idea that creative individuals must participate on equal footing with their clients, are some issues listed on Kassaei’s agenda. The goal is to create an influential club of the creatives for creatives in Europe that offers its members a real advantage by representing their interests as well as offering a platform for exchange and inspiration.
Kassaei’s strategic approach is based on three principles:
1. ADCE as the club of the champions: The crème de la crème of the creative industry in Europe must be united under the leadership of ADCE.
2. ADCE as the gold standard for quality: The ADCE must set an example, in particular in the manner it grants awards for works and offers membership, but also through its initiatives.
3. ADCE as an innovative facilitator: The ADCE must take its role as the “enabler” seriously and advance the quality of creative communication with select programs on the one hand, and on the other, also in its capacity as the interest representative of the creatives in Europe, and garner more long-standing acceptance in the political and business communities, as well as create greater scope for constructive exchange.
The Executive Committee of the Art Directors Club for Germany (ADC) e.V. is delighted with the appointment of Kassaei as the Europe-Chief. “It is a brilliant gesture to have one of the creative stars of the world at our helm,” Hans-Peter Albrecht, member of the ADC executive committee declared.
Amir Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide
Amir Kassaei, newly appointed DDB Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, is one of the most lauded creatives in the world. He likes to say “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.” He firmly believes that if one has passion, will and courage, one can change the world for the better. Of our business, he says, “It has never been just about advertising. Our business is marketing products, companies and relevant services – and one of our vehicles is advertising.”
Amir and his teams are the recipients of more than 4,000 national and international awards, including over 60 Cannes Lions in the past five years. He was named The Big Won Report’s Top Chief Creative Officer” in 2009, and has been one of The Big Won’s Top 3 Chief Creative Officers for each of the last three years.
Born in Iran, raised in Austria, and educated in France, Amir settled in Germany in 1997, gaining experience early in his career in a variety of roles ranging from Account Manager to Strategic Planner to Art Director and Designer at agencies such as TBWA, Barci & Partner and Springer & Jacoby. At Springer & Jacoby, Amir advanced from Copywriter to Creative Director and finally to Executive Creative Director on the global Mercedes-Benz and smart accounts.
In 2003, Amir joined DDB as Chief Creative Officer and Associate Partner of DDB Germany, where he quickly helped reshape the agency. After joining the agency as the youngest DDB Chief Creative Officer in Europe, he quickly transformed it into one of the most creative and successful agencies in Germany. Under Amir’s leadership, DDB Germany has also been ranked the most awarded German agency in the Gunn Report. During his tenure at DDB Germany, Amir founded and established Tribal DDB Germany as a modern and multichannel agency.
A past President of the Art Directors Club of Germany and a member of ADC New York, CCA and D&AD, he has served as a judge in some of the world’s most famous award shows. He was President of the Jury at Eurobest and Meribel in 2007, and ADCE in 2011, and judged the Dubai Lynx 2010.
Amir has taught at such famous advertising schools as the Miami Ad School, spoken at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership and served as a Professor at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. His most celebrated presentations include “Digital Thinking” and “Manifesto of Succesful Marketing.”