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 .co.uk / .com), for example:

Kopen makkelijk en snel
op wehkamp.nl

Boek flieggen snel
op fliegticket.nl

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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neoUi4poCXI

10 comments:

Alana said...

Totally agree. I cant believe how many ads they have here as a regular rule. And all the "send a sms to: ". Its so annoying!

Paul said...

Pretty funny, reading about people from other countries, talking about the bad commercials we have! :-)

Love your posts, will be reading them in the future!

P.S. One of your 'Expat' links is broken ;-)

Nederlands Newbie
(http://nederlandsnewbie.wordpress.com/)

Regards,

Paul (upbeat (dot) nl)

Ozcloggie (jo Mulholland) said...

Just, in an idle moment, searched for my original Dutch name: Mul. (Want to start a group on Facebook, connecting with other Muls.) So found your your: Living in Dutchland (where I was born).
Actually, quite a few yeas ago, here in Sydney, there was a TV series where they showed (funny) international commercials. There were often Dutch ones there.
When we migrated, in 1956, t.v., had only just started and advertising was very low key anyway.
Through the internet, I see so many LINKS!!
I wear a t-shirt, which says: WIJNTJE? It's big white lettering on a blach shirt and I see people look - a lot. Perhaps it's the question mark.
I bought it, in 2005, on the market square, in Gouda (where I was born), when I was there showing my daughter (born in Sydney) my Gouda (again- Did it in 1997 1st time.)
A t-shirt with BIERTJE? on it, caught her eye and she bought it for her brother. My son has worn it a lot, while performing in Sydney venues (pubs, clubs, etc.).
Here it comes.....small world!!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog ... I'm Canadian but my wife is Dutch, so we're in NL often, and I get a laugh out of your observations.

My wife has our house in Toronto outfitted with the necessities, including those cheese slicers and chocolate hagel. dish towels also have a high importance in her culture. People here generally regard dish towels as dowdy / frumpy things that should be kept in a drawer when they're not being used, but at our place, they proudly hang in every corner of the kitchen. I suppose it's to show cleanliness / practicality.

cheers,

Paul
Toronto

A Touch of Dutch said...

I love your blog! I've just found it via Another American Expat's blog. I see I've got a lot of fun reading to do! ;-) Do you mind if I add a link to your blog on my 'Expats in Nederland' links?

Groetjes!
Isabella

Sarah de Mul said...

Hi Isabella, glad you like my blog. I have to get around to writing my next post...

Please feel free to add your link.

Joanna said...

Dear Sara,

I found your blog while searching for a list of international companies in the Netherlands. Do you still live here? How are do doing? Do you still work for Philips? Groetjes. Joanna

Anonymous said...

Your posts are so fun to read. To bad you don't post nowadays anymore. Sometimes I don't like the bad comment of dutch thing.. just because you are right haha(mostly).

Swati Mittal said...

Hey Sarah...to start with i have to say i love your blog....i just moved to The Nederland and happened to come across your blog. Guess what after reading your post on Dutch ads i couldn't stop laughing as i have been feeling the same after seeing couple of dutch ads....

Victoria said...

When I first moved here it took me weeks to work out what a "puntanelle" was - lol!