Amsterdam based international agency goes all-in on ‘creative activism’

Cloudfactory repositions itself as a provocation to reset the industry

(from left to right, César Garcia, Sandeep Chawla, Julio Alvarez)

Award-winning Spanish team Julio & César has joined Cloudfactory, to lead the creative agency – together with Managing Director, Sandeep Chawla – into the next era of advertising. The creative activists, as they call themselves, have the ambition to liberate creativity in our data-driven world. With more respect, simplicity and trust.

The three of them share the firm belief that creativity is the answer to any and every future challenge brands will face. Creativity is and will continue to be the key differentiator in our industry to add value to brands and businesses.

 

Banking on like-mindedness

Sandeep Chawla, on landing Julio Álvarez and César García, who in recent years have been in charge of the adidas football global account (at TBWA\Neboko) and Philips global (at Ogilvy Social.Lab): “I firmly believe advertising is all about chemistry. You can assemble the most talented people in the world in a room, but you will never get to great without like-mindedness. I believe we’ve met each other at the right time in both our journeys. And I’m equally convinced they are more than ready, seasoned and experienced enough to lead an international agency creatively.”

 

Resetting our culture

Sandeep Chawla, on how Cloudfactory is evolving with the times: “As it says in our name, we will always have our ‘heads in the clouds, feet firmly on the ground’. We will always love to think big, but together with Julio & César we’ve reset how we work and behave. Clients come to an agency for a reason. To give them what they can’t do themselves. It's foolish to shape ourselves to mirror them; it's a sure-fire way of losing respect in the relationship. Also, all agencies seek creative glory. That’s table stakes in our business. But once that culture and like-mindedness – between clients and us – flows, great things happen.”

 

Testing the chemistry

“In fact”, Sandeep adds, “now more than ever, we place Respect, Simplicity and Trust (RST) on a pedestal. One that we know will truly unchain creativity, set it free! It’s also why we urge new clients to challenge us with small try-outs, to truly test the chemistry, instead of big mutual commitments and long-drawn-out pitches. At the end of the day, we would like to be perceived as an influence in shaping and resetting the industry we all wished we work for. To make a long story short: Cloudfactory is dead. Long live Cloudfactory!

 

Something more

Julio & César on why they chose the ‘evolved’ Cloudfactory, an award winning agency with work for clients like Heineken, Booking.com, KFC and Twitter, but still a bit of a ‘best kept secret’ in the international advertising and marketing industry: “Looking back at the moments when we’ve done our best work, they all followed the same pattern: a handful of (very talented) people, decision makers only, the right energy, ambition and a shared mission: freeing creativity. Cloudfactory is made of all these elements. A super talented core team, great freelance partners, an open collaboration mindset and the right chemistry. Ingredients that ensure they can deliver quality global work from a small boutique agency in the middle of Amsterdam.”

Julio goes further to say: “We also believe that timing is everything. Sandeep, César and I were looking not only for something different, but for something more. We share a vision about this industry, a love for media-agnostic ideas, and the drive to put what we preach into practice.”

 

Creative activism

César: “More specifically, our goal is to help brands release their creativity. These days, especially during Corona, most brands have gone a conservative path. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity not as a source of risk, but as the best way to help brands be relevant and stand out. We believe it is time to take action and free creativity! That’s what we call creative activism.”

“And to elaborate on what Sandeep says about ‘RST’, our ambition is to actually ‘reset’ the way our industry works. We need to Respect ideas and everyone involved in their making. Let’s stop selling ideas by the kilo and treat every brief – and each other – as an opportunity to do great work. Plus, we have to Simplify the process. Creativity doesn’t like hierarchy and oversized structures. And we need to build relationships based on Trust. The best creative work comes from collaborating with like-minded partners: bold clients, creative talent from all disciplines, cutting-edge production companies, and even with other independent agencies. But collaboration only works if there’s trust.”

“In the end, we want to be the agency brands want to work with and creatives want to work for, because of its respect for creativity.”

 

Ready to fight

To put it more strongly, Julio adds: “We have all the traits of activists in our business: we are romantic, passionate, we believe a better way is possible. And we know the answer to our problems. Like in activism, it all starts with taking action, with believing that change is possible. And this change starts by setting creativity free.”

“The way to do so is the way we work, the way we want to work, the way we’d love the whole industry to work: creativity needs respect, simplicity, trust. These are values we are ready to fight for. For our clients, for this business, and for ourselves.”

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