May 19, 2013

Parody of Holland Marketing’s latest video advert

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 12:43 pm

Last week published a video advert in which a cocky narrator explains why ‘Holland’ is the original cool. He contrasts posh English phrases with the down-to-earth words the Dutch supposedly use, such as ‘food’ instead of ‘artisanal cooking’.

The video above is a parody that appeared shortly after — I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been made by the same ad agency — in which the original visuals are replaced. ‘Artisanal cooking’ is suddenly contrasted with pulling a croquette from a street-side vending machine and ’boutique shopping’ becomes the Saturday morning Albert Heijn (Dutch supermarket) run. Added in for good measure is the world famous Dutch ‘service’, a concept so alien that the language doesn’t even has its own word for it and defaults to the French word (although we generally pronounce it the English way).

The original advert caused a minor uproar in the Netherlands, with pundits reacting strongly to the fact that most of the footage is shot in either Amsterdam or greater Amsterdam. Elsevier lists the complaints.

Personally, I think it is a great advert. It highlights the open manner in which the Dutch speak to the point of being abrasive and presents this as charming and desirable. The heavy Dutch accent spoken by everybody in the video underlines the exaggerated, almost cartoonish tone of the video. Our English really isn’t that good, but the message the viewer takes away is that it’s good enough to get by when visiting the country. This entire presentation helps smuggle in a lot of fact-free content, stressing great food for example even though our culinary tradition is mostly one of Calvinistic soberness (as long as you stay north of the great rivers), and pointing out our traditional use of wind energy even though nowadays our record for renewable energy is one of the worst in Europe.

(Video: YouTube / DoLeaveItOutMate. Photo: crop from the video)

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October 26, 2007

Buying vinyl records from a vending machine

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 2:36 pm

[Gramophone vending machine]In their latest episode of Fool’s Gold in Zone 5300, Milan Hulsing and Frits Jonker ask their readers: was this for real? Was there ever a store in Amsterdam in the sixties where you could buy records using an outdoors vending machine? (The Dutch name of this device: grammofoonplatenautomaat. There.)

These types of vending machines are quite popular in the Netherlands, but are used almost exclusively to sell unhealthy snack food—note how inconveniently sized the compartments in the photo are for 45s, but how well they would fit a greasy meatball! I’ve also seen one such machine used by a fishing supply store, but there it made eminently sense; fishers get up at ungodly hours, so having a machine to sell them maggots and worms is better than having to get up early yourself. But did the vinyl vending machine ever exist? Perhaps it was there for bad cases of the “you have to have heard this song, man!” jones.

Answers to Fool’s Gold, P.O. Box 75459, 1070 AL Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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