Meeting with 5 CAD Alumni who launched Ambr, digital agency

By 15 February 2020News

A couple of weeks ago, we met with the faces behind Ambr (pronounced “Amber”) in their Flagey office. Ambr is the digital agency created in October 2017 by five recent CAD graduates.

As soon as they graduated from CAD, Merlin, Arnold, Rob & Brieuc, soon joined by Thomas, decided to launch their own agency. The idea had been in their heads for a while, but it was the support, the valuable advice and the encouragement of their teachers that gave them the last boost they needed. Among them Audry Van Essche (Hilarious), Georges Petkidis (1md), Marie-Laure Cliquennois (TBWA), and many others …

The many internships that they have done (Ogilvy Paris, JWT Paris, JWT Brussels, Details Geneva, Mediamonks Amsterdam, ID Weaver, …) during their respective courses at CAD had also given them confidence in their ability to be quickly effective, competent and autonomous.

The agency offers its services in the fields of branding, web, brand identity, video, animation, motion design, production, shooting, photography, packaging, …

We took advantage of our visit to ask them some questions over a coffee.

Please describe one or two big projects you have recently been working on for your own clients.

Ambr: there are many projects we are proud of! To select only a few, we would name the poster for the 2019 “Foire du Livre de Bruxelles”, Brasserie 28’s brand identity and communication, Tellin’s graphic identity, videos and website and finally Veepee (formerly Vente Privée) for whom we are currently working on the Artistic Direction of their new face.

What parts of your job do you find most enjoyable?

Merlin: The fact that this is our agency, we work for us and we are responsible for all our decisions, while not having to answer to anyone else. It is very rewarding to see the company evolving. Every time we sign a new customer, it’s a real success for us all!

Brieuc: The flexibility that it offers to work for oneself (which does not mean to work less, quite the contrary!), but also the entente between the five of us and the pleasure of seeking solutions to the problems that we encounter together …

What parts do you find most challenging?

Brieuc: the flip side of being our own bosses is that when one makes a decision, he is accountable for the 4 other people in the company, and at the end we are all responsible. Another challenge lies in having to prospect for new customers when we are in a rush period to avoid slow periods after! It’s up to us to bring back customers in!

Arnold: Some of our projects require us to outsource some parts of the job, such as development, to other people. It is not always easy to surround yourself well, yet it is the key to the success of a project!

How has the CAD helped you get where you are today?

Arnold: In addition to the support and advice of all our teachers to launch our own agency, it is the CAD’s practical approach that has helped us tremendously. The way we approach our briefings today is the same as we learned at the CAD. This allowed us to be effective, competitive and qualitative from our first day on the market.

Thomas: The internships that we did throughout our studies at CAD clearly opened our eyes to the professional world and to what would await us later. We always came out of those internships more confident and experienced!

What is your best memory at the CAD?

Ambr: The workshop in Shanghai in the 3rd year and the one in London that same year. It’s at that time that we realised how much we enjoyed working together.


Rob: All current students or alumni are welcome to our office at 12 Rue Alphonse De Witte in Ixelles – better known as the balcony of the Bar du Marché. If you have questions, specifically about the launch of your agency, we would love to talk over a coffee!

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