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The Carrot Blog

Carrot Creative is filled with colorful characters. Cultured Carrots is a series that shares the outside passions that inspire the very best work for our clients. This week, Group Account Director Max De Vries talks about his transition from Amsterdam to New York a.k.a New Amsterdam.

MAx birds

Carrot: You recently moved here from The Netherlands. What inspired the change in scenery?

Max: New York has always had a strong pull for me. It's the center of the world after all, even more so in advertising. After spending so much time here over the past years working with Virtue and VICE, I really felt like I wanted to be an actual part of the city for at least a few years. So when the opportunity came along there was no hesitation to make the jump.

C: What's the most noticeable different between New York and Amsterdam?

M: Doors open the other way. No, really. I keep running into them because they swing outside in stead of inside, like they do in the Netherlands.

C: What do you miss about home? What don't you miss?

M: Of course I miss my family and my friends. Nowadays that sort of thing works a little differently because you are still constantly talking to each other over Whatsapp and Facetime of course, but I miss 'just hanging out' with the ones closest to me. Good thing I have my new Carrot family to soften the blow.

I don't miss the weather. In the Netherlands we have a saying thats something along the lines of, "I love Summer, it's the best day of the year".

C: What's something about Amsterdam that a lot of people in America don't know, or maybe get wrong?

M: The obvious one is that everyone smokes weed all the time. We don't. Thing is, because you're allowed to do that, most Dutchies get that stuff done and out of their system by the time they're 17 and then go on with their lives. If people ask me where to get good weed in Amsterdam, I have no idea what to tell them. Then again, I am a boring old man.

C: You've spent most of your time in New York so far. Where's your next domestic vacation going to be and why?

M: First thing is I'm hoping to make it out to LA soon, because a lot of our new and exciting business is run from there and I would love to meet the teams.

But for an actual vacation I think I would like to go do something like camping or hiking. See some real country. I spent almost a year in Colorado in college and love the outdoors. Bears scare the crap out of me, but I love exploring. I was thinking Yosemite or Boulder, something along those lines.

C: As someone who works in advertising, how would you compare marketing here in the U.S. versus in Europe?

M: I think a big difference is scale. The US market is, or is treated as, a much more homogenous field than the EU. So within Europe you're always dealing with local markets, with their own priorities and culture, and everyone has their own little marketing year plan that they are trying to execute. The US and EU markets are similar in size but the fact that the EU is so splintered means there is a lot more politics involved in rolling out an EU-wide project than some nationwide in the US. When you get a 'go' here, you go. When the EU marketing director gives you a 'go', it's a go that means you are now allowed to start selling your plans into all the local markets. It's basically a lot of work for less money. You guys have it so easy here...

Max flatiron

C: Amsterdam seems to be a very sport-centric city within Europe. Why do you think that culture emerged? Is it because most of you are giant humans?

M: Interesting you would say that. I'm not sure we realize that's how we come across. But the Dutch are an active bunch yes. Our football culture and league (yes I mean 'soccer') has been slowly hollowed out over the past 20 years. This is because all our talents are being bought by big international clubs and there's no way our tiny national league can hold on to them. Football will always be our #1 love though.

We are a big strong healthy bunch (Tallest people on the planet, WHAT?!) but oddly enough we can't play basketball to save our lives. We can ice skate, play field hockey, and are ok at volleyball, but there's not a lot of sports we are particularly great at on a global level. I think there's just not enough of us with only 16 million people...

C: Do you think people here would ever eat Bitterballen or Maatjes? Maybe you should open up a Dutch food truck?

M: I know of no American who has enjoyed the pure orgasmic pleasure of a good bitterbal and did not absolutely love it. They should be here already, I'm sure of it. I will find a place that sells them and bring some to the office, with a case of Heineken. Because thats how that is done.

As for Maatjes (young herring with onions). Gross.

Max LP