Viral PR campaigns in the Netherlands


Patricia Van Winden


PR is one of the most effective ways to distinguish your business from competing companies in the industry. In order for a PR campaign to be successful, it needs to follow crucial criteria. We take a look at what a PR campaign needs to succeed, with examples of successful Dutch campaigns.

Great timing

It takes time and energy to plan a successful PR campaign. PR is a continuous and labour-intensive process and it will only work if you are willing to put in the time and effort. It is also crucial for a campaign to be timely and relevant.

The ‘High Five’ campaign created by Dutch airline KLM shows that timing is key. It took place as part of the Airline’s World Deal Weeks and runs throughout summer, when there are heavily discounted fares.

KLM installed video and audio installations in Amsterdam and New York, enabling passers-by to see each other at the other end of the world. They then had to give each other the perfectly timed High Five in order to win a holiday. This campaign was very successful, creating buzz for the brand and tying in celebration and happiness.



Being newsworthy

It is useful for a company to have experts in place with a strong vision or opinion on the market. Not only does a campaign need to be well timed, it has to also have a story worthy of coverage. What will make people talk about your brand, and how is it relevant to current news, themes and conversations?

TNT broadcasting created a viral marketing campaign to promote the launch of its American TV channel in the Netherlands. The company placed a red push button in the middle of a quiet square in the Netherlands. When pressed, a sequel of dramatic events followed. After the events unravelled, a sign read ‘’TNT, your daily dose of drama’’. This campaign earned thousands of viewers on YouTube as well as great exposure on social media.

The right mindset

Increasingly in PR, it is important that brands seem human, trustworthy, and real. This sometimes means sharing knowledge and opinions, and taking a stance that may not be the universal opinion. Companies have to be prepared to express opinions and make statements if they are to gain trust.

Dutch company Delta Lloyd tried to get people to think about their pensions with their ‘Retirement Home’ campaign. They planned to transform the prison in Breda into a retirement home, which was broadcasted on national television. The public raged about this transformation, only for the company to then expose the truth that it was all part of a plan to get people to think about their pension early on. Delta Lloyd was brave enough to talk about a controversial topic and be bold with their campaign, which resulted in huge increases in public awareness of the company.


Delta Lloyd – Budget Retirement Home – casestudy from Rogier Verbeek on Vimeo.

In short, for PR campaigns to break through the clutter, businesses must ensure to always make the campaign relevant to the public. If the story is relevant, people will naturally want to talk about your brand.


Four considerations to help determine which international market is right for your organisation

Read article