Bol: The Store of Christmas makers
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Christmas is celebrated all over the world as a feast of abundance. But latest numbers show one in five people in the Netherlands and Belgium are overwhelmed and overstimulated by the abundance of lights, hundreds of christmas-songs, overflowing shopping streets and immense social pressure that comes with the holidays.

Dutch online store Bol chose to represent those who experience and celebrate the holidays differently with a campaign that created a nation wide conversation with its message: Make Christmas what you want it to be.

A campaign that shines a light on neurodiversity

The Dutch online retailer Bol proudly calls itself “The store that belongs to all of us”. And with that the brand wants to tell all possible stories found in the Netherlands and Belgium to show the diversity of its customers.

Before we started ideating, we extensively researched how Dutch and Belgians liked to celebrate Christmas. We looked across cultures, age, gender, sexual orientation and religions. What appeared was a recurring theme across various demographics, one that became more apparent in the recent years: overstimulation and oversensitivity. Because on one hand, Christmas celebrations in the Netherlands and Belgium are getting bigger every year. On the other hand, we as a society are learning more every day about different forms of ‘neurodiversity’ and its effects. Neurodiversity recognizes the different ways our brains develop and covers a very broad range of different conditions, including the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), AD and ADHD as the most known ones. Different research concludes that at least one in five people has a form of neurodiversity and can experience overstimulation issues during periods like Christmas. An upsetting statistic that deserves more awareness.

With that we developed a narrative that was all about compassion for those who choose to celebrate the holidays different from the norm.

overview with tweets

What made it successful?

Three main things created a cut-through film that stood out with a message that resonated across all demographics:

1. The compassion at the heart of the campaign was echoed by many, many positive comments from those who have had first hand experiences with neurodiversity and felt the social pressure to go big during the holidays. They finally felt seen and understood.

2. The execution of the idea made the campaign stand out in the tropes of Christmas ads that were all about celebrating Christmas as big as possible. Where in our film we made it almost seem like the holidays are over. Capturing the attention of viewers with an expected twist.

3. For the campaign we collaborated with as many people as we could, who share a first hand experience with neurodiversity. The research team, the director, film crew and even the song was recorded with the arist ‘Bente’ who proudly represents the neurodivergent community in the media and talks about how her ADHD influences her art and her life.