Here’s a brief missive from a little country called the
Netherlands, updating you on the state of Dutch advertising, and work
from DDB in particular.
You may remember the merger a few years ago with Result - well, patience
paid off and everything finally came together last year. Among the big
agencies here, Result/DDB stands head and shoulders above the rest.
First there’s the campaign for Volkswagen. Times are a-changing and
while that may take some getting used to, product benefits are not
always the most important factor: a company’s sense of social
responsibility now plays an important part. You can see this in the
latest Dutch Volkswagen campaign from Result/DDB. In the two spots, we
see footage taken using a hidden camera. A car has stopped in the middle
of the road and the driver is busy unloading. A line of cars forms, all
impatiently tooting their horns. Suddenly, a man steps out of one of the
cars and you just know it’s going to turn ugly. But then he unexpectedly
starts helping the man unload his car. The message? Road rage doesn’t
need to happen. A modest VW logo appears.
Another familiar name is that of the insurance company, Centraal Beheer,
which has been running an internationally known campaign in the
Netherlands, created by DDB/Result, for some time. After several less
catchy spots, there’s one making film audiences laugh. In this
commercial, a teenage boy ’borrows’ the keys to his mother’s flash
convertible and takes it for a spin. You know something’s bound to go
wrong. Sure enough, he crashes into a posh Jaguar at a traffic light.
The boy gets out, inspects the cars and breathes a sigh of relief when
he sees it’s only a slight scratch.
But then Mr Moszkowicz, the most infamous lawyer in the Netherlands, who
regularly appears in the media, steps out. He rubs his neck, simulating
whiplash. The boy’s eyes widen in alarm.The words ’Just call us’ appear
on screen. Internationally, this ad may not make any waves, but it’s
hilarious if you know who the lawyer is.
My final choice is the Nuon campaign, again by DDB/Result. The corporate
ad campaign explains different ways of handling electricity
An amusing spot shows an over-the-top TV host asking people if they
drink from the toilet. The message is that Nuon is investigating whether
it’s really necessary that toilets use water which is the same quality
as drinking water.
All in all, advertising here seems to be catching up with real life.
Advertisers are realising that a brand can show a responsible attitude
and tell a different story rather than just being used to showcase
Johan Kramer is the co-founder and creative director of Kramer Kessels.