June 6, 2012

Speed skaters more popular than football players in the Netherlands

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 6:19 pm

Arjan Robben and Dirk Kuyt may be household names the world over, but this year they have to leave the strongest brand title to long track speed skater Sven Kramer.

A poll held by Hendrik Beerda Brand Consultancy confirms this. The first woman in the list of strongest brands is Ireen Wüst, also a speed skater, taking the number three spot between the two strikers.

A similar poll two years ago had football goalie Edwin van der Sar in the lead, but he has retired since then.

The Elfstedentocht and the Olympic Games switched positions as the most popular events, the latter taking over the number one spot, followed by the World Cup football and the Tour de France. The European Football Championship only came in fifth among events.

Outside the Netherlands Sven Kramer is perhaps best known for the gold medal he failed to win at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics due to a technicality. He has been ruling supreme in long distance and all-round championships since 2007, although he had to skip the 2010-2011 season due to an injury.

(Link: Algemeen Dagblad. Photo of Sven Kramer by Mingo Hagen, some rights reserved)

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June 2, 2012

Amsterdam petting zoo looking for ‘Holland’s next Octopus Paul’

Filed under: Animals,Shows,Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:43 pm

In 2010 a German octopus called Paul made worldwide headlines by correctly ‘predicting’ the results of South African football World Cup matches.

A petting zoo called De Pijp in Amsterdam (after the neighbourhood) is now trying to ride Paul’s famous name by organizing an ‘eviction show’ called Holland’s Next Octopus Paul in which twelve animals compete for the honour of being the most prescient.

The format is similar to a lot of reality shows. Animals have to predict the outcomes of a 2012 European Football Championship match by eating from a container with the flag of a competing country. The animal that gets it wrong, gets the axe—not literally, we hope. Parool reports that the contestants include a sheep, a horse, a donkey, a mouse, a cat, a guinea pig and a chicken.

The first predictions, for the Netherlands v. Denmark match, are now in:

(Photo of an octopus by NOAA, which means it is in the public domain. Video: Youtube / ‘octopus paul‘)

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April 25, 2012

Trashing Ukraine for profit leading up to Euro 2012

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:00 pm

Insiders will tell you that Dutch energy firm Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij has been accused of bad advertising before and even of questionable business practices, and don’t have a good reputation. This time, they’ve really outdone themselves: they’ve trashed a country, subjected another to gender stereotypes and told everyone not to go to the Euro 2012 in Ukraine (yes, partially being held in Poland).

The website with porno posing ‘shopped Ukrainian women is actually online as part of this media strategy and basically says ‘keep him [your guy] at home’. You keep him at home, away from the mail order porno brides by switching energy firms and receiving a home beer tap that’s all pimped up in Dutch team colours. Ukrainian women are sluts, Dutch women need to worry about not being so chunky and keeping their stupid football crazed men at home using beer.

I’m a ref and I am holding up a red card right now.

Imagine if the makers had picked on Polish women, considering the recent wave of Poland bashing some Dutch politicians have inflicted on the rest of us. Picking on Ukraine was probably the only culturally sensitive thing this company did.

UPDATE: Adversing blog Adformatie quotes the makers of the advert as ‘reflecting pure reality’ because Ukraine gladly profiles itself as having beautiful women. I never thought fake pictures looked anything like reality.

(Link: www.dutchnews.nl, Photo of Ukranian woman by my3colors, some rights reserved)

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