The Dutch Railways (NS) probably has the worst brand reputation in the Netherlands. The most important reason is that their trains can’t stand bad weather and their fast trains can’t handle speed – typically they recently changed “NS Hispeed” into “NS International.” Even in commercials by other brands the NS is being mocked. And that’s quite sad, since traveling by train is actually pretty comfortable; you don’t have to be at the station 2 hours in advance, you have free wifi on board, you can carry around a bottle of water without it being treated as a bomb and it’s pretty spacious. So turning NS into a love brand through advertising is actually quite doable. Especially when using the feel good song Piano Man. It makes you spontaneously want to travel to London to see a Billy Joel imitator perform in ‘Ricky’s Piano Bar.’ With the theme “Where are you going today?” agency N=5 will most likely give the train some of its charm back. If only NS (and Prorail, responsible for the train tracks) can keep the trains going (on time), we predict better times for the NS. Directed by Willem Gerritsen (CZAR), shot by Marcel Zyskind, post produced by Glassworks and the sound was done by Massive Music.
Tag Archive: CZAR
We don’t come across commercials very often that we find really funny – read: use our kind of humour. But here is one. To support the pay-off that “Holland is getting smarter and smarter” (LOI offers educations in all kinds of fields) the trainee assumes the finance, legal, and technical roles within his company – after being asked: “Are you guys still there?” It’s not just a nice concept (that actually reminds us of a similar Tempo Team concept – a temp running a DIY store on his own) but especially the execution makes it spot on; the mini scenes, acting, interaction between foreground and background, and the perfect timing. Kudos for director Bart Timmer (Czar). Created by N=5, shot by Lennert Hillige, and post produced by Crabsalad.
Quite a teaser this commercial made for the Ministry of Social Affairs that advertises a platform that tries to stimulate people to make more out of their working lives. The platform and its experiments have been developed together with the University of Amsterdam, which is actually why it might be a little too highbrow for the lethargic target it tries to motivate. But all in all it’s beautifully executed and a typical THEY concept; educational and well designed. The film was directed by Jeroen Annokkée (CZAR) and the site developed by MediaMonks.
Last year Khanna\Reidinga, in collaboration with director André Maat (Czar.nl), launched an ad for the fictitious product Boss Noodles. With this ad the agency very successfully picked up an existing internet meme, receiving over 2 million views. Naturally this tasted like more. So K\R created a new product; Energy Noodles, inspired by the professional cycling industry and their performance enhancing drugs. There’s also a website, purposely built in Flash, cause “that’s exactly what a brand like Energy Noodles would have done.” K\R is already planning to create a third film to continue the noodle sage. To be continued.
Get It Done is an online crowdfunding platform for small human-needs development projects all over the world. Amsterdam-based freelancers Philip Brink and Hugo van Woerden (Philip & Hugo), together with production agency CZAR, last week set up a project in Capetown, South Africa. The concept was simple; every donation (to reach a total of €10,000) was worth some singing, acrobatics, acting, or dancing, by the students of the Ubuntu Academy. Within one day (of 12 hours) they created 170 thank-you-videos. A few examples: Dutch singer Guus Meeuwis received his own song in South African, DJ Don Diablo a rap, and copywriter Johan Eleveld the Haka. See more videos here.
Mobile provider Hi and FHV BBDO add yet another humorous commercial to the 3-friends series – earlier we featured ‘Who needs phone calls?’ and ‘Hi Likes Facebook.’ A good example of a relatively simple (in the positive meaning of the word) concept that rises above itself through the awesome (art) direction – kudos for director Jeroen Annokkee (CZAR). Minor deception is the final scene, possibly dragged in by the client; the chef chopping the mobile phone in pieces. Another – more serious – deception is the fact that ‘All you can eat’ is not really all you can eat; the subscription comes with a data limit. Which typically is the most limiting element in todays mobile subscriptions. So what’s new in this proposition? Reminds us of the saying: “Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product.”
Centraal Beheer (CB) is an insurer known for showing the shit hitting the fan in their ads. Their commercials always end with the famous pay off ‘Just call us.’ Khanna \ Reidinga, inspired by Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner, created a spoof on CB’s advertising format; with an Austrian-like accent Baumgartner begs ground control to send him higher and higher. Until… tada… he is in space. Hesling Reiding from K\R; “We were surprised that Baumgartner’s jump got so much attention in the media. Even the respectable BBC broadcasted a 60-minute during documentary about it. That’s how we picked up this idea.” Just like the previous Boss Noodles ‘viral’ a sympathetic way to create some free exposure around their new ad agency. Directed by Gerrit Willemsen (CZAR), post production by Justin Baker (the Bakery), and sound by Feike de Wit (Soundcircus Kees Kroot).
You’d guess that selling lottery tickets during a crisis is easy. But when you hire an international celebrity on his return, you start to wonder. Then again, maybe David Hasselhoff is the perfect character to emphasize the fact that the ‘Millions Game’ lottery doesn’t just have one big prize, but many ‘small’ prizes of 1 million. After all, once the south of France is infested with Dutch millionaires, ‘the Hoff’ makes a credible loser: “Who are all these people?” Created by Joe Public and directed by Rogier van der Ploeg (Czar).
Pensions are intrinsically complicated. So when people talk about your pension, it would be nice if they speak your language – not Chinese as in this film. An attractive way by Delta Lloyd to tell its customers they answer “financial questions in normal Dutch.” The film was created by TBWA and directed by Bart Timmer and Willem Bos of Czar. Here’s another one with two flight attendants speaking Swahili – representing mortgage-talk. The only thing we don’t get is the pay-off “Critical at the right moment” – what do you mean ‘at the right moment?’ “We speak your language” or something would have much better wrapped up the film, so we’re guessing the current pay-off was developed for a different campaign.
This online film, created by Khanna \ Reidinga (K\R) and directed by Willem Gerritsen (CZAR), announces the arrival of TomTom’s navigation software for Android OS. It was the iconic Android robot that inspired the agency to let TomTom ‘do the robot’ – ironically enough to humanize the navigation brand. The last time TomTom tried to make its brand more likeable, it painfully failed with a dancing John Cleese. This one, with real (!) TomTom employees and a very distinctive, catchy track, works a lot better. The film also features the Danish ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ winners Nick and Jeppe – whoever that may be. According Hesling Reidinga, the short and tall guy were used in the moodfilm and looked so credibly ‘office-like’ that they decided to use them in the commercial as well. With or without them, an attractive film.