A moving integrated campaign from Dutch telecom brand KPM that makes a historical moment relevant for young viewers has earned a Grand Prix in the Cannes Lions Entertainment categories.
The Entertainment Lions are meant to celebrate creativity that "turns content into culture." In the case of this year's winner, that culture-creating idea was also an educational one. "Evert_45" is an integrated campaign from Dutch telecom brand KPM and agency N=5 Amsterdam. It uses modern day forms of communication -- like social media and YouTube -- to bring World War II stories of Dutch veterans to life for younger generations. Jury President Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer of VML, said that during judging, the jurors had two criteria: Is the brand relevant? And is the work something that drives culture?
The Grand Prix winner quickly rose to the top, amidst all the others, she said. "Why we decided on this piece of content has to do with the fact that it is about the brand playing a part of lives in a different way. You don't have to have your brand running through every piece of content to matter to people," she said. Moreover, she said the work is inspiring in that it preserves an old story through new generations.
Dutch telecom brand KPN is reimagining stories from the Second World War for the digital age, to connect the generations in a campaign for Dutch Remembrance and Liberation day.
The trigger for the campaign, by Amtserdam agency N=5, was a newspaper article in the Netherlands featuring interviews with a group of elderly resistance fighters titled "It's up to you to keep this story alive."
KPN imagined the story of a boy called Evert, and put it onto YouTube vlogs and Instagram posts to make his story seem real for the younger generation. His experience includes an account of his journey to find his brother in hiding after escaping a German labor camp, viewable on the campaign website.
KPN conceved the campaign in partnership with the National Committee for 4 and 5 May (Remembrance Day and Liberation Day), and the Dutch Resistance Museum. Historian and author Dr. Joost Rosendaal of Radboud University joined the project to aid historical accuracy. It has already proved popular with educators and there are plans to include it in the Dutch school curriculum as of 2018.
Silvia van Hooft, strategy director at N=5, told Creativity: "Evert_45 is not a traditional campaign for KPN with an ROI in mind, but rather a social initiative into which the brand wishes to invest time, money and energy into as it proves and underlines KPN's brand mission. KPN believes new technology enables people to feel free. Evert_45 technology is used in an innovative way to [remind] that we should never take today's freedom for granted."