bol.com

Bol.com’s Christmas House

Tim Kugelmann Bol

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.

Challenge 

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.

Idea 

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.

visual fundacases

Execution 



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!

Impact 

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.

Relevancy 

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.

Tim Kugelmann Bol 1

Questions?

Strategy director NL

Dennis Hamakers

Discover more

Claiming the Christmas period with Sinterklaas

visual filmstrategy

By using the 6th of December as bol.com’s official switch day from Sinterklaas into Christmas, bol.com became the brand with the strongest mental link to the holiday period.

Challenge 

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%).

The December holidays are a hectic period. For our audience, but also in the media landscape. Big brands (like Albert Heijn, Jumbo Plus, Lidl, Aldi, along with Amazon’s increasing presence) are heavily competing for the attention of the audience, trying to win the battle of mental availability with grand storytelling and big media budgets.

So when it comes to breaking through the clutter, bol.com has to be smart about it, because it can’t compete with the budgets of the biggest food-retailers.
So what do we have, what our Christmas competitors lack? And how can we put that to good use? Those were the questions we asked ourselves, when we set out to create 2021’s campaign.

Idea 

Bol.com can see in their shopping data that people can’t wait for Christmas to begin. Already in October and November people start prepping decorations and gifts. But we also know there’s an unwritten rule in the Netherlands that you have to wait with all the Christmas fun until Sinterklaas has officially left the country. On the 6th of December.

Instead of seeing Sinterklaas’ presence until the 6th as a barrier, we saw the insight as an opportunity for our campaign and used it to our advantage. The 6th of December became the official bol.com switch day. The day many have been waiting for. Sinterklaas out, Christmas in. Dag Sinterklaasje, Hello Christmas!

Our Sinterklaas also became our Christmas property. A property already linked to bol.com, that weaved the two holiday periods into one seamless storyline.

Dia1

Execution 

We claimed the moment of saying goodbye to Sinterklaas as a new cultural phenomenon, the kick-off for celebrating Christmas in all its glory. We sent off our own Sinterklaas in the Christmas film. The first time Sinterklaas actually starred in a Christmas campaign.

The TVC has all the iconic Sinterklaas ingredients: his steamboat, the song ‘Bye Sinterklaas’ (Dag Sinterklaasje) and of course Mr. Holiness himself. This magical setting transitions into people getting excited for Christmas. After Sinterklaas has only just left the harbour and is barely out of sight, our bespoke ‘Hello Christmas song’ starts, giving the commercial an instant Christmas feel. Bol.com’s tongue-in-cheek humour really shines when Sinterklaas comes back to look for his lost scepter, enters the Christmas scene and is awkwardly convinced to put on Santa’s Christmas hat. 

The same construct is used in radio and online, where we make the transition from Sinterklaas to Christmas both in audio and visually.

Check out the case film below!

Impact 

The goal was to strengthen the mental link between Christmas and bol.com, and be in the top three brands associated with Christmas. The results didn’t disappoint.

In 2020 bol.com was closing the ranks on the 9th spot with 2%. After the campaign in 2021 bol.com dominated the list with 12%, leaving the strong Christmas brands Albert Heijn (10%), Coca-Cola (10%) and Jumbo (5%) behind (Memo2, campaign tracker). What makes it even more of an achievement is the fact that the two supermarkets had an average of x1.5 more GRPs, compared to bol.com. 

Our remarkable film had everything to do with breaking through the clutter, it scored 64% on spontaneous brand linkage, 41% above the Memo2 benchmark.  

Claiming the holiday period with one guy. Gotta love Sinterklaas!

Relevancy

This approach worked its magic because of three reasons:

Ownable and recognisable  

The 5th of December is ‘pakjesavond’ and the last day of bol.com’s Sinterklaas campaign. The next day we say goodbye to the same Sinterklaas and kick-off the Christmas campaign. This approach made all communications unmistakably bol.com. 

Smart timing in the media landscape  

The 5th of December is ‘pakjesavond’ and the last day of bol.com’s Sinterklaas In the 2nd week of December (6-12 Dec) the media landscape is not as cluttered as it will be in the week leading up to Christmas. An opportunity for bol.com to grab the #1 share of voice position and build recognition for the campaign, before the big media budgets of our Christmas competitors (Albert Heijn, Jumbo) kick in.

Humour in a sea of tearjerkers 

Bol.com is a down-to-earth brand that likes to make a joke or two. But Christmas is all about big emotions. We decided to stay true to our brand with a lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek.

Questions?

Strategy director NL

Dennis Hamakers

Discover more

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