Photographed at the entrance of the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam by Twitter user @vankarine, this advert from Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn featuring Dutch Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars seems to be attempting to cash in on people’s covid-infused sleepless nights.
The sign says ‘These won’t make it to the holidays’, which is what is being said about covid patients in hospitals. It has caused some outrage, and rumour has it the signs are being pulled because they are in poor taste – shocker. I hope the person who thought this up has a few sleepless nights themselves, to be honest.
Regardless of the state the world’s in, some things march on, and one of those things is voting on the worst Dutch slogans of 2020.
There are 10 in the running, but let’s pick the raisins out of the porridge, as the Dutch would say. And if you follow the link below, you can cast your vote as well.
First, the obligatory dirty joke that’s surprisingly not misogynistic, from animal protection group Gaia: ‘Laat je poesje knippen voor ze begint te wippen’ (roughly, ‘Get your pussy fixed before they start reproducing’, but rhyming and a bit funnier. ‘Wippen’ here is Dutch for ‘having sex’ and amusingly enough it means ‘see-sawing’, which the Dutch associate with the act.
Then, there’s the quintessential ‘poop and fart’ joke, from Rennie, pills that help against flatulence and stomach acid: ‘Liefde maakt blind, maar je neus ruikt nog steeds een wind’ (roughly, ‘Love is blind, but your nose can still smell a wind’. Sadly, ‘blind’ (blind) and wind (wind/fart) rhyme in Dutch, but not in English.
And there’s always the Dunglish joke, that you need to know Dutch and English to understand, and that would be ‘O my goot…’ (‘oh my gutter…’) from a roofing company. ‘Goot’ is Dutch for ‘gutter’, and of course the slogan is trying to say ‘Oh my God’ in English, which in Dutch would be ”Mijn God’, with ‘God’ and ‘goot’ sounding very similar.
UPDATE: ‘Laat je poesje knippen voor ze begint te wippen’ from animal organisation Gaia won.
A television advert for Dutch VanMoof bikes has been banned from French television because it causes anxiety, which is illegal in France. In the words of VanMoof, ‘reflecting on the rat race of the past proves too controversial.’ In the words of France’s advertising watchdog it creates a ‘climate of fear’ about cars and uses non-car related elements to get its point across.
A French friend said there’s three reasons the advert was banned: Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, all three French car manufacturers. Twitter has more jokes about the banned advert as well.
Despite being aired on Dutch and German television, the Autorité de régulation professionnelle de la publicité (ARPP) said the ad for the VanMoof bike unfairly discredited the automobile industry. The advert features a shiny black car on which are reflected images of chimneys, the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and traffic jams. The vehicle melts away to transform into the Dutch company’s latest e-bike, accompanied by the tag line: “Time to ride the future”.
This comes at a time when the progressive mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is turning big boulevards into bike paths, getting her much praise.
“Some images in the reflection of the car are, in our opinion, unbalanced and discredit the entire car sector,” the ARPP said in a letter sent to VanMoof. “The images of factories/chimneys and an accident create a climate of fear. So they will have to be adapted.”
VanMoof has accused the watchdog of wanting to protect the French car industry after sales plummeted during the health crisis. VanMoof is not going to edit the advert, and because television doesn’t have the weight it used to have, everybody is going online to view the video and find out why it was banned.
The French are saying the video is openly criticising the automobile industry which is a bad thing to do at the moment, while the Dutch are pointing out that there’s nothing wrong with encouraging cycling using imagery that implies cars as bad. Gotta love Europe.
It’s that time again, time for cringeworthy bad slogans, and much like in 2016 (see link below), we’ve got a fun one in the running from a barbershop in Laren: ‘We do women, but we don’t cut their hair’ (‘We doen wel vrouwen maar knippen ze niet’). It started as a joke that their male clients and female friends thought was funny, and it kind of stuck.
And in the running, there’s always a construction-related business as always, with ‘Don’t fuck around yourself, call Ronald Schutte!’ (‘Ga niet zelf kutte, bel Ronald Schutte’). My rough translation of ‘kutte’ is basically ‘fuck around’, but in this case, it’s a verb made from the noun for female genitalia that indicates the same thing and even rhymes.
Last but not least, there’s ‘For every arse, there’s an Aarts toilet’, (‘Voor ieder reetje een Aarts W.C’tje’). Once again, the word ass ‘reet/reetje’ [diminutive] rhymes with W.C’tje’ [diminutive for toilet aka water closet = WC], the name of the company.
UPDATE: ‘We do women, but we don’t cut their hair’ took the win, with ‘Ga niet zelf kutte, bel Ronald Schutte’ winning second place and ‘Voor ieder reetje een Aarts W.C’tje’ taking third place. Read the rest.
A farmer in Berkelland, Gelderland had a shed built on his land along the new N18 motorway to use as a shed, reduce traffic noise and make some extra cash. The idea was to rent space on the side of his shed to advertisers.
However, once the space was rented, which happened fairly quickly, the mayor went over to the farmer and explained that he was not allowed by local law to have advertising on his shed that was unrelated to his business. The farmer removed the advertising banner, but used several Dutch expressions to say that he wasn’t going to take it lying down.
The farmer then parked a trailer next to his shed and put advertising there. He is allowed to put adverts on a trailer by law, and it would be weird if he couldn’t. The municipality checked their facts and indeed, the farmer can go this route. “There are tons of trucks driving around with adverts on them, you’re not going to pull them all from the road?” reasoned the farmer. Since the trailer is ‘rolling stock’ with wheels, it can have advertising that is non-related to the business of the farmer.
However, the mayor isn’t quite ready to let it go: if our farmer friend doesn’t move his trailer within a year or takes the wheels off and makes it a more permanent structure, then they’ll be back in a year. Farmer wins for now.
I wonder if he farms any cucumbers, as this is great ‘cucumber news’ (slow news period in the Netherlands).
Heineken, and the oblivious people that green lit this script, have produced a “terribly racist” advert that has been pulled after America’s Chance The Rapper called them out on it, on social media.
With the tagline ‘lighter is better’, referring to a range of light beers, a light skinned barman sees a similarly light skinned woman and slides a beer down the bar past two black patrons and one black musician. The beer slides for a long time being light and all, but the unfortunate message is loud and clear.
Chance The Rapper said it seems like companies pull stunts like this to purposely bait people to write about them, and that in this case, he had to say something. Heineken had since apologised, saying they “missed the mark”.
During the World Cup qualifiers in Seine-Saint-Denis just north of Paris last Thursday, Volkswagen France thought it appropriate to diss the entire country of the Netherlands with some advertising that read “We’re not going to let a nation of cyclists block our path”. Remember, this advertising was approved by the French Football Federation.
While it’s true the French team had no problems moving the Dutch team out of the way with a 4-0 victory, French social media and surely others weren’t impressed with what Volkswagen called “humour”. ‘It was just a joke’ is the classic response people give after they get caught saying something stupid.
We’re talking about this because we speak French, but the Dutch press isn’t talking about this yet, so you may have read it here in English first. Maybe Volkswagen needs to learn what “speel op de bal, niet op de man” (roughly, ‘kick the ball, not the man’) means.
Cher Volkswagen France, on ne va pas laisser une entreprise qui ment au public depuis des années nous dire des conneries.
(Dear Volkwagen France, we’re not going to let a company that has been lying to the public for years talk rubbish about us.)
A health insurance company active in the east of the country has recently made a video (see below) that is really only made to watch an elderly lady treat Pokémons to the business end of a flyswatter.
Then there’s other Dutch business that have carved out a piece of the action using Pokémons. A Dutch sex toy shop asks on Twitter ‘What Pokémon is this?’, showing a dratini that’s more of the vibrating kind. Then there’s someone who claims Dutch Rail has a train running late because of a Snorlax on the rails. And then there’s more serious stuff like the World Wide Fund using a meme of a rhinoceros saying in English ‘Don’t catch ’em’.
The video is for fans and haters alike, so check it out.
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of jokes and less funnier stories about lost bags, but this fine film should make you smile: a baggage car from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport gets lost like a tourist in Antwerp.
It’s an advertising stunt for Schiphol because “Schiphol, is closer than you think.” The baggage car is driving through the main square, attracting all kinds of attention. The Dutch driver goes around asking how to get to Schiphol. Some people were helpful with instructions like “drive along the Schelde”, the river that runs in Antwerp, and “keep on for two kilometres then ask again”.
The makers also claim that Antwerp is only an hour train ride way, but that’s with the expensive Thalys train, as there are no normal trains running between Antwerp and Schiphol, a well-known headache for years now. The normal train service between Brussels and Amsterdam that also includes Antwerp and Schiphol is not a direct service and is still a mess (dated article, but gives you an idea).
Then again, Brussels Airport, aka Zaventem, is closer, so why go to Schiphol I wonder, especially if your baggage gets lost in a foreign country.
– Light peanut butter with a whopping 451% (!) more sugar than normal peanut butter.
– A small dessert of which half of it is air.
– Apple juice diluted with water and passed off as half as sweet.
– Cranberries that have a layer of syrup on them, sold as superfood.
– Children’s cookies “full of nutrients”, but with tons of sugar in them.
And two others with misleading labels that finally have less to do with hidden sugars and more to do with not enough proper product. I voted for the cranberries, which seems like the biggest con, but the cookies and peanut butter are right up there.