Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dutch advertisements

It's a terrible thing to admit, but one thing I miss about the UK is the consistently high quality of product advertisements. I noticed it again this weekend while listening to Dutch radio. Every other radio advertisement I heard was based on a cringe-worthy rhyme around "punt NL" (the Dutch version of / .com), for example:

Kopen makkelijk en snel

Boek flieggen snel

Obviously Dutch Radio advertising is suffering from a total lack of creativity.

The same goes for Dutch TV ads. I saw a news item on the BBC UK news this week about a Ryanair campaign which played on the sexual allure of women dressed in school girls uniforms. There had been numerous complaints to the UK Advertising Board and calls for the ad to be banned. This was one bad advert and the industry jumped on it to wipe it out! Well I can tell you that every tenth TV / poster advert in the Netherlands is based on female nudity. One TV station's buffer ads (their own intro slots/5 second slots before/after breaks for adverts) are nothing more than women strutting about in bikinis. For me, it's the worse form of advertising.

The only advert that has ever caught my attention as a high-quality Dutch advert was in the Heineken "Biertje?" series. (Biertje? is the Dutch way of offering a friend a beer). I think this was designed for use in NL, but may well have had a worldwide audience.

Here it is: