Campaign International: What’s Hot In Amsterdam

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.

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

product benefits.

Johan Kramer is the co-founder and creative director of Kramer Kessels.


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