By putting a fully decorated Christmas House up for sale on Funda, the most popular real estate platform in the Netherlands, we strengthened bol.com’s link with Christmas under an audience that’s usually very difficult to reach.
Bol.com is a brand that is, from its heritage, strongly linked to Sinterklaas. The ambition for the 2021 Christmas campaign was to also establish a similar mental link to Christmas, to ultimately become the leading retailer during the whole holiday period.
The goal was to be in the top three brands that are associated with Christmas. A hefty challenge. In 2020 the list was dominated by strong ‘Christmas brands’ Albert Heijn (16%), Coca-Cola (15%) and Jumbo (7%), with bol.com closing the ranks with the 9th position (2%).
Christmas is a cluttered time in the advertising space. We had our ATL campaign in place, but we also knew we didn’t have the media budget that would allow us to have the number one share of voice for 3 weeks long. An extra challenge was making an impact with our target audience under 40, who were hard to reach through our traditional assets. So we had to go clever about it.
Bol.com’s Christmas campaign was all about going all out this year and celebrating Christmas better than ever after two years of COVID. This involves decorating your house with beautiful Christmas decorations. To display and promote bol.com’s Christmas range in an original way, we used a very special and relevant medium: Funda.nl.
Funda is not only for buyers or sellers. With 5 million viewers every month, the platform is also visited en masse to find inspiration or sheer entertainment. The second reason was the booming housing market, especially for people between the ages of 30-40. That’s why we used the largest real estate platform in the Netherlands.
So we put a house up for sale, fully decorated from top to bottom, because Christmas decorations really come to life in a house. With Christmas lights, a snow projector, a huge inflatable Santa in the garden and every room in theme, the house was completely Christmassy, ready for sale and a sight to behold in all the pictures.
Another unique part of the content on the Funda page, was the presence of real estate agent Tim Kugelmann in the promotional photos – dressed up in all kinds of outlandish Christmas outfits. This made the house ad even more over the top. We also put some bol.com boxes as little easter eggs in the attic of the house, hoping for some first response from observant viewers.
As bol.com is not officially allowed to sell houses on Funda.nl, we first reached out to real estate agent Tim, who was already known for his eccentric way of promoting houses on Funda. This also gave legitimacy to the activation, as we could then communicate through a reputable real estate agent. Tim was immediately excited about the prospect and already had a fitting, typically Dutch house in mind.
We then joined forces with Jelier & Schaaf, a full service art department, to create a design and fully decorate all the different rooms in the house, in several Christmas themes.
With the house fully decorated, we then created typical ‘house-for-sale content’, together with the real estate’s official photo- and videographer and launched the house on Funda on the 6th of December. We first built as much organic reach as possible with a targeted PR approach. After that, paid content was used to make the link with bol.com even more explicit.
Influencer Kees Tol, known from tv programme ‘Weer Verliefd op je Huis’, gave Christmas fans a tour of the house. In the same week, Funda displayed banners from the overarching bol.com campaign to inspire people with the bol.com Christmas product range.
Check out the case film below!
The Funda Christmas House activation achieved a total reach of 8.230.011 impressions and a total PR value of €137.805,-. The Christmas house was the most viewed house on funda.nl for over a week and had the strongest single medium effect (compared to traditional and other digital media) on the total uplift of the campaign. Meaning that the target group who have seen the Christmas house, associates bol.com 8.2 times (index 820***) more with Christmas in comparison to the group with no exposure to the activation.
Bol.com won the attention battle and ended up as the number one brand linked to Christmas, going from the ninth to the first place. Overtaking big Christmas brands like Albert Heijn and Coca-Cola.
In order to really stand out and win the most important retail period of the year, we choose to not only rely on ATL communication, but rather display bol.com’s Christmas assortment on a medium that is already visited over 5 million times a month.
Funda is not only for buyers or sellers. The platform is also visited en masse to find inspiration or sheer entertainment. By understanding this cultural value and the power of the platform, we found a smart way to get earned attention without pushing the brand too much upfront from the beginning.
With one activation on a relevant platform; we cut through the clutter, reached and engaged with our target audience under 40, proved bol.com’s position as the one-stop shop for all your Christmas goods and we activated the relevant feeling of going all out this year.
Strategy director NL
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