The Story of the Forget-me-nut

Once upon a time (last holiday season to be exact) online toy store Bol launched a one of a kind interactive podcast inside it’s “Big Toy App”. 

By combining linear storytelling with interaction we doubled the app downloads and had a huge impact on the app engagement throughout the holiday season.

The Problem

The Big Toy App is a crucial channel for Bol, allowing kids to interact with the latest toys and, most importantly, create their wish lists for Sinterklaas—the Dutch version of Santa Claus. We needed to keep children engaged with Bol’s Big Toy App for eight weeks leading up to the exciting night when presents arrive on December 5th.

The Insight

Our research showed that the holiday season isn’t just about toys; it’s about the magic children experience throughout the period.

The Idea

 We infused this magic into the Toy App with an interactive podcast about how Sinterklaas loses his memory after accidentally eating the magical ‘Forget-Me-Nut.’ The listener actively helps Sinterklaas regain his memory. As the story unfolds, children are asked to complete various tasks and answer questions like:

  • “What’s the name of that funny red hat again?”
  • “Does Sinterklaas ride A) An ostrich, B) a camel, or C) a horse?”

The story cleverly utilized the device’s capabilities and included fun interactions such as:

  • Blowing into the mic to clear smoke
  • Finding a dark room to read an exciting part of the story at night
  • Playing hide and seek with the device while listening to the story with a parent

Every few days, we released a new chapter of the magical story via the Big Toy App, keeping kids on the edge of their seats for eight weeks.

Impact

We saw a significant increase in our main objectives:

  • App downloads increased by 105%
  • User numbers grew by 62%
  • Digital wish lists surged by 120%
  • Parent accounts linked to The Great Toy App more than doubled, increasing by 115%

This traffic boost led to a 30% rise in sales of products featured in the Big Toy App.

All of this positively impacted the Bol brand. We measured a 7% increase in the statement “Bol adds magic to the holiday period,” solidifying Bol as the number one holiday brand during the Sinterklaas period.

Cultural Context

Alright, so far you probably understood that Sinterklaas is the Dutch version of Santa Claus. Right? Great! And his helpers are called “The Piets.” 

The remaining question is: what are these “nuts”?!

“Peppernuts” are little oven-baked treats. They are ginger-flavored cookies about 3 centimeters in diameter. Peppernuts are the number one treat during the Sinterklaas holidays. The “Forget-me-nut” (pun intended) looks exactly like a normal Peppernut but, as the story goes, has an added forgetting potion. Hence, Sinterklaas loses his memory after eating one.

Hope that clears a few things up! 😊