Product/ServiceT-SHIRT & LOVE
Category B03. Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale
Name Company Position
John de Vries XXS Amsterdam Creative Director
René Verbong XXS Amsterdam Creative Director
Joram Helmer XXS Amsterdam Strategy Director
Chantal Spieard Fotoformation Photographer / Director
Robin Verhoek XXS Amsterdam Account Director
Julia Zijderveld XXS Amsterdam Agency Producer
Robbert Boom XXS Amsterdam Agency Producer
Martine Verhaar HEMA ​Campaign Manager
Pauline Marres HEMA PR Coördinator
Francis Oud XXS Amsterdam Account Manager

The Campaign

HEMA, one of the biggest retailers in Europe and an established lovebrand in the Netherlands, is a department store built for everybody. It is only natural that HEMA also believes that you should love everybody. Without prejudice. And there no moment was better to express that idea than during the yearly Pride festival in Amsterdam. HEMA gave people the opportunity to show that everybody should be able to love everybody. The brand created thousands of t-shirts with a random name from one of the 100+ different nationalities in Holland on it. Each with a heart in front of the name. We put them in unmarked packaging, so people couldn’t know the name in advance. People from all different backgrounds bought the shirts. All carrying out the same message: love everybody. Regardless what their colour, age or sexual preference is. By saying: “I love this person”. Whoever he or she is.

Creative Execution

The campaign kicked off with a video starring famous Dutch people, influencers in the gay and transgender community and even HEMA’s CEO. These different people shared their ideas about equality and acceptance, all wearing a t-shirt with a random name. We also had a couple of short snippets of the influencers and celebrities talking a bit more about the name on the shirt, wondering where they lived or did as a job. These were shared by the celebrities and influencers on their social channels. Next to that we had a PR push headed a ‘What to wear to Pride’ section in the popular talk show RTL boulevard. The t-shirts went on sale as soon as the first video was released and had the hashtag #?? everybody on the back, making each shirt a walking billboard for social sharing. The proceeds of the sold shirts went to Dutch Gender & Sexuality.


The Pride festival is one of the most talked about topics of that week in media and online and our shirts became an important part of that conversation. The shirts got a lot of attention from the press: reaching 1.4 million impressions via TV and radio, 53 million impressions via publications and 829,000 impressions on social media. HEMA earned a PR value of 732,000 euros with 0% being negative, good for a 3700% return on advertising spend. On the week of the Pride we sold 10,000 shirts, which meant 1 out of 56 attendees was wearing our shirt that day. The shirts cost 10 euros, resulting in a 100.000 euros donation to the Dutch COC, advocating the rights of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders.

HEMA gave people the opportunity to show that everybody should be able to love everybody, by creating a shirt with which people could show love for a random stranger. On the week of the Pride we sold 10,000 shirts, which meant 1 out of 56 attendees was wearing our shirt that day. The HEMA shirts gathered a lot of attention in TV, radio, publications and social media and earned the brand a lot of PR value with 0% of them being negative. All of this led to 55 million in impressions earned with HEMA t-shirts.

In its roots, HEMA is a shop for everybody. Since 1926 the retail store made affordable products and therefore accessible to all. That's why HEMA became a symbol in the Netherlands of equality and acceptance and HEMA takes pride in that. In the spirit of that acceptance and freedom, the brand shows its support for equality during the Pride festival. The Pride organisation believes that “everybody has the right to be who they are and to love who they want”. We couldn’t agree more. HEMA also considered the representation of gender in its advertising or systematic problems in society. The choice for a T-shirt as a medium was twofold. First, HEMA didn't want to take away the spotlight from the event itself, but rather support it. Second, it was an opportunity for people to carry out our message by choice, which was more powerful than any billboard would be.