Question Marks, The big event

August 2007



De Volkskrant’s brief was for Selmore to raise awareness and generate publicity for the newspaper’s legendary reputation of being inquisitive.

The campaign centres around a very current and somewhat sensitive topic in the Netherlands: more and more world-renowned Dutch multi-nationals, such as

ABN-AMRO and KLM are being sold to or taken over by non-Dutch companies. De Volkskrant triggers the country with questions like: “Who’s next to sell?, How Dutch are we still? When will these brand names disappear? Is that a bad thing?”

Check out the making of video.

Advertising Agency: Selmore, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Creative Directors: Poppe van Pelt
Art Director: Poppe van Pelt
Copywriters: Diederick Hillenius, Paul van der Wijk
Planning: Otto van der Harst, Bart van der Vliet
Agency Producer: Danielle van Berkel
Account Handling: Linda de Graaff, Emilie van Dijk
Production Company: Comrad, Amsterdam
Director: Willem Gerritsen
Producer: Jelani Isaacs
Editor: Martin Heijgelaar
Post production Online: Valkieser, Amsterdam
Sound Studio: FC Walvisch, Amsterdam
Music Company: Massive Music, Amsterdam

Comments (5)

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Blahg's picture
Activity Score 616

Interesting. I wouldn't have done it. The bread and butter for newspapers isn't circulation revenue, it's advertiser revenue. Defacing, although harmlessly, your customers logos isn't a strategy I would have considered wise. I don't think potentially alienating big customers accounts to appeal to the top crust of the business world who are actually genuinely concerned about foreign acquisitions is a wise move.

Major corporations like ABN-AMRO and KLM as mentioned likely spend millions every year, including in their newspaper, promoting those logos.

Little Father's picture
Little Father

totally desagee.

ultraboon222's picture
Activity Score 220

The purpose of a news organization IS to raise questions and awareness about the most relevant topics in the public. Their intentions are true regardless of who pays the bills and the public would realize that the newpaper would not "sell out" themselves. Good way to communicate honesty and ethics to the worthy public.

Too many cooks in the kitchen....

Blahg's picture
Activity Score 616

Very good points.

But the point of the campaign is self-admittedly to further their "inquisitive" reputation. Inquisitive doesn't absolutely translate into factual or accurate. The stated campaign has said itself that the question they're asking is "Who's next to sell?", not necessarily who has sold already.

So they are essentially creating sensationalism in the same way that newspaper published a story this weekend about a Microsoft bid for Research in Motion. Both sides said there wasn't any discussions going on, the story was made up and circulated for the newspaper equivalent of ratings and is just sensationalism.

Its admirable when a newspaper unearths news and incites a debate but just being sensational for the sake of it without facts to back it up makes it just another tabloid. Accusing a corporation of the equivalent of "selling out" just to be inquisitive is foolish from a business stand point. It alienates your customers and readers who consider your paper to be of record.

THAT is the long version of why this is a poor strategy, in my opinion. :)

Guest's picture

Come on. They created buzz! In a way that is really not bad for a newspaper.
The companies represent national pride. And the newspaper showed that it is worried about the well-being of dutch companies.

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