Fast food chain exploits Dutch stereotype


I saw this on Dutch commercial television, which more often than not features American series and subtitled or dubbed American advertising ‘like you never left the US’.

Guy: Hey, you owe me money.
Girl: …
Guy: For the burger.

Voice-over: So very Dutch! Our new (product name), etc.

Guy: Yep, right amount.

Voice-over: It can’t get any more Dutch.

The adjective ‘Hollands’ meaning Dutch has this reference to the olden days when the Netherlands was just North Holland and South Holland. It can be used in a neutral manner, derogatory or positive manner, depending on the context. In this case it denotes comfort food (brown bread and cheese being a classic here), which is positive.

The negative part remains the stereotype that the Dutch are cheap, which is a gross generalisation, but sometimes where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The Dutch are traditionally thrifty and save a lot of money and don’t run rampant with credit cards, not so much cheap. Oh, and all the Dutch television shows with people about to lose their homes due to overspending kill this stereotype, with the Dutch calling their situation ‘an American one’.

‘Going Dutch’ means paying your own way in English, which in American dating land is surely not a given. And of course, anyone who only wants to pay half the bill at a fast food chain while on a date could easily be labelled poor, not cheap.


  1. Great post & déjà  vu! In my home last night, we were watching TV and this ad came on again. Afterwards, we discussed briefly many of these same topics. Well written!

  2. yurigoul says:

    Someone from the Netherlands here: … and throwing an american party means you bring your own boose (in the Netherlands) ….

  3. Neil says:

    McDonald’s thinks that selling it’s products as “so very Dutch” instead of “I’m loving it” or appealing to children with the Cheeseburgler is the way to maximize business in the Netherlands.

    I’m not against profit, I’m against food that makes you sick. McDonald’s is food that makes you sick. Next time you eat there, see if you don;t end he meal with a nice stomach ache.

    In the US, we do have BYOB parties, bring your own beer, and we have parties the hosts provides the libations.

  4. Orangemaster says:

    I promised myself about 8-9 years ago never to eat McD’s or any other major fast food ever again and I haven’t since. I read the book Fast Food Nation and don’t ever want to eat this non-food again.

    In Canada it’s BYOB too for two simple reason; booze is more expensive than in the US and parts of Europe and people can’t whine (pardon the pun) about what there is to drink. My friends and family also supply lots of nice food, not just chips/crisps and crap like that :)

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