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Åkestam Holst
Advertising Agency
Stockholm, Sweden

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About

Åkestam Holst is Sweden’s #1 creative communication agency, constantly awarded for creativity and effectiveness. We create real business value by combining data-driven marketing strategies with world-class creative thinking, and craft creative ideas with lasting impact that helps brands reach new levels of fame and fortune.


We create value that lasts.

Åkestam Holst is a creative agency dedicated to making creative communication with real value – for our clients, their customers and society at large.


We believe that bad communication pollutes society, and that good communication can enrich it.


We are known for creating lasting partnerships and creative concepts that bring long-term fame and success to our clients – an approach we sometimes call ”the long idea”. Our work makes a big impact here and now, but an even greater difference in the long run.


Our history - The experiment that worked.

Åkestam Holst was founded in 1998 as an experiment. Our founders wanted to see if they could combine a pleasant and sustainable work culture with world-class creative work.


20 years later, the experiment is still going. Åkestam Holst has grown into one of Sweden’s largest and most awarded agencies, sustained by our warm culture and values. Our way of working means that we constantly attract new talent, and that talented people tend to stay longer.


The people of Åkestam Holst.

Everything we do starts with our people. The talented people who work here, and the culture they and our clients create together, are the foundation of our creativity, our clients’ success and our constant reinvention of ourselves to remain one of Swedens leading creative agencies.


Åkestam Holst has been multiply awarded for being a sustainable, equal and diverse workplace, and we’re constantly striving to become even better.


Our offering.

Åkestam Holst’s offering includes strategic analysis, brand strategy, long-term communication concepts, digital and traditional advertising, channel-independent creative ideas to reach specific objectives, always-on strategy, social media strategy and content, and creative distribution across earned, shared, owned and bought media.


In short, we create amazing ideas that solve the right problem, in the right place, at the right time.


We’re an experienced lead agency that combines data-driven analysis with talent-driven creativity, and a dependable partner for small and big brands that want to succeed in a changing market. Plus, our clients say we’re funny, professional and very nice to work with.


Our method.

Åkestam Holst’s unique data-driven method is called DRIVE – a simple, evidence-based process for identifying and acting on what will help a brand succeed. The process includes:


Identifying what really matters to a brand’s audience, often by finding the true statistical drivers of people’s willingness to buy a brand more often or pay more for it.

Exploring possible positions for the brand – relevant, credible and engaging areas of focus for the brand’s image and communication.

Creating a big creative concept – a long-term, distinctive core idea that unites and directs all the brand’s marketing efforts.

Generating, executing and distributing creative solutions to the target audience in a relevant way, in order to create attention, emotion and reach key business objectives.

The DRIVE method helps our clients move from complexity to simplicity, and enable them to make better, more informed decisions about their business and marketing.


Our alliance.

We are proud members of The North Alliance – a family of some of the best creative agencies in the Nordics and the world. Born digital, constantly evolving, we help companies bridge the gap between today and tomorrow. Read more about us at here.

Specialities

Values

1. CREATE GOOD.

Our big mission is to create good - for our clients, our clients’s clients, the planet and each other. We’re always exploring new ways to create real value for people and business, and do our part to improve society just a little bit.


2. CREATIVE HEARTS AND SCIENCE BRAINS.

ÅH is a warm creative culture with a fondness for cool analysis. We believe that incredible things happen when you combine sharp business thinking, cutting-edge marketing science and the right data, with the radical inventiveness of nice, talented people.


3. HELPFULLY HONEST.

We speak truths. Sometimes uncomfortable ones. Not as in ”Wow, that tie is ugly!”, but as in questioning conventional truths, challenging clichés, and asking the hard questions that lead to better results. By consistently being helpfully honest with our clients and each other, we create more room for growth.


4. LONGTHINKERS.

Our biggest enemy is short-term thinking. Marketing works on many levels, and by narrowly focusing on the here and now, you can miss some of the biggest opportunities for profit and growth. We solve problems here and now, but our goal is always long-term success and creativity that lasts.


5. TECHNOLOGY-CURIOUS. HUMANITY-CENTRIC.

The one constant in our changing world is humanity. Of course, we’re all about digital, mobile, search, AI and all the cool new technological opportunities unveiled every day. But our lasting focus is the user - the smart, emotional, unpredictable and easily bored human being pressing all the buttons. Or ”Skip this ad”, if you’re unlucky.


6. HELP EACH OTHER GROW.

We forge long-lasting partnerships with our clients, and our co-workers tends to stay here for much much longer than at the average agency. We help our clients grow and evolve profitably, and our aim is always to help everybody who works at ÅH develop into their best selves.


7. THE IDEA IS THE BOSS.

We’re not big fans of titles or hierarchies at Åkestam Holst. In our agency, the idea is the boss. Our shared responsibility is to help each other bring ideas to life in the best way possible. Of course, some people take on larger day-to-day responsibility for running the agency. But first and foremost, we’re a big team of equals where everybody’s opinion holds weight.

Awards

Some recent awards and accolades.

Most creative agency in Sweden 2018

Åkestam Holst received the most nominations (23 in total), and won the most awards in Sweden´s no 1 creative awards show The Golden Egg, with a total win of 7 Golden Eggs and 10 silver eggs – a record-breaking 50% of the awards.


We also received the yearly no 1 ranking in industry magazines Resumé’s Campaign of the Month, with first place in 4 categories, and second place in the 3 remaining categories. And finally, we became the no 1 agency in Indikat´s yearly ranking of Swedish agencies.


Most effective agency in Sweden 2018

The most awarded agency in Sweden´s biggest effectiveness award, 100wattaren, with a total of four 100W (Gold) and two 50W (Bronze). We also won 2 out 7 awards in the Swedish Strategy Awards.


Most awarded Swedish agency in Cannes Lions 2018

Åkestam Holst was the most awarded Swedish agency in Cannes Lions with 3 Gold Lions, 2 Silver Lions and 1 Bronze Lion.


Internationally acclaimed – ADC´s Boutique Agency of the Year

In the Art Director´s Club Award Åkestam Holst won 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze, and received the prestigious title of Boutique Agency of the Year.


Golden days – Clios, D&AD Pencils, Epica, One Show and much more

In 2018 Åkestam Holst was awarded 1 Grand Clio, 2 Gold and 2 Bronze in Clio; 2 Graphite Pencils and 3 Wood Pencils in D&AD; 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze in One Show; and 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze in Epica. Not bad haul, all in all.


And the view in the rear-view mirror looks good, too

In 2017, Åkestam Holst was also named AdWeek’s International Agency of the Year, was the no 1 agency in both local creativity award The Golden Egg and local effectiveness award 100Wattaren, and was the most awarded Swedish agency in Cannes Lions – with our total wins including a Grand Prix. So, this year´s prizes don´t seem to be a total fluke.