In the Netherlands we have various traditional holidays we like to celebrate. With friends, loved ones or the whole nation. Take for example King’s Day, April 27th. Or Sinterklaas. At these special times of year brands are busy creating the most original ‘inhakers’ (newsjacking). King of all seasons is definitely Christmas. As soon as the Coca Cola truck is heading to town, Dutch super markets launch their “Kerst” commercials. Some are real winners, others losers (see last years article of PR Week). What is your 2016 favourite? And who will be the winner, Christmas wise?:

Jumbo – Helemaal Kerst met Jumbo [All the way Christmas with Jumbo]
Our grumpy Jumbo father seems to have a little heart of gold in this new Christmas “Helemaal Kerst met Jumbo” commercial. The supermarket chain tells consumers they can find whatever they need to create their ultimate Christmas, through a little story of ‘sharing & showing someone you care’. In my opinion they did a good job here. (It reminds me a little of the new ad of Coca Cola). – Kerstcommercial
Also Dutch TV icon Linda de Mol asks her viewers of to be kind and to take care of each other. Although this commercial is very cheerful, and the video is mainly about the tv hosts of, this message gives it a little serious Christmas twist. Funny to watch, but not a ‘big shot’ Christmas wise.

Bijenkorf – Castle of dreams
THE department store of the Netherlands made a Christmas commercial about a little hedgehog. The story tell us to take care of each other and celebrate together. Although they tried to touch hearts with the lovely animals that play a role in this commercial and a beautiful theme song, it is a little bit “too much” for me. The connection with the luxurious department store is a little bit lost here… if you ask me.

Albert Heijn – 50seconds
Every year Albert Heijn had one of the most popular commercials of the country. The adorable supermarket manager Harry Piekema brought Christmas in a very authentic and funny way. His Christmas songs were instant ‘hits’. But… this year Christmas at AH is different. A series of “50 seconds commercials” show various Albert Heijn clients prepping for Christmas, outside and at home. No fairytales but ‘real stories’. I am not sure if this will give the same Christmassy touch as the other commercials did in the past…

Wehkamp – Wij zijn er voor jou [We are there for you]
This online fashion store dedicates its Christmas commercial to their most valuable customers: the mothers. These moms are there for their children at Christmas time and do everything they can to let them ‘shine’. “Wehkamp is there for those caring moms” is the message in this Christmas commercial. It fits their brand and mission well, but if it will be a real Christmas hit, I don’t think so.

Although Dutch brands try their best to come up with authentic and personal stories to promote their products around Christmas time, ads from the USA keep surprising and touching me. My favourite of the last couple of years? The “#ManOnTheMoon ad – John Lewis”. Definitely.

Travel commercials
Do you know any strong, touching travel Christmas commercials? We have noticed that the Dutch travel brands are not ‘newsjacking’ Christmas like supermarkets do. However, abroad it happens more often. Like the one of London’s airport Heathrow that was launched of couple of weeks ago. Please do not hesitate to share your favourites with us!