HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES AMSTERDAM Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Media Placement 4
DIGINED Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
N=5 Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
SUPERHERO CHEESECAKE Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
PUPKIN FILM Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Daniel te Lindert
Olaf van der Geld
Jan Jesse Bakker
motion graphics designer
Silvia van Hooft
Dewi van der Kolk
client service director
Jordy van den Boom
Roel van 't Hoff
Evert_45: a boy who tells his story on social media, from 1945
What better way to engage young people and show them that our freedom is our most valuable asset. During national liberation celebrations in the Netherlands this May, Evert_45 did just that. Evert_45 is an immersive campaign played out as an ongoing series on Instagram, YouTube and on the website evert45.com. Evert’s war story is an account of his journey to find his brother in hiding after escaping a German labor camp. The narrative of the online campaign was carefully crafted from numerous insightful interviews with World War II veterans, as well as historians and teachers. It is in fact the end result of a Dutch newspaper article entitled ‘It’s up to you to keep this story alive’ featuring interviews with elderly resistance fighters.
Real historical stories
Even though the character Evert_45 is fictional, his story was based on true stories of ordinary Dutch people from the Second World War. Historical accuracy was safeguarded by historian Dr. J. Rosendaal. And during development it was tested by experts and stakeholders (e.g. veterans, teachers, National Committee for 4 and 5 May, and the Dutch Resistance Museum).
Content = king
The content of Evert_45 can be found on his own YouTube and Instagram channels. The media consumption of young people was used to determine the frequency, duration and location of the content. It was aligned with the way they would view content from ‘normal’ vloggers. Thanks to an overwhelming response in both volume and interaction among young people, teachers across the Netherlands are embracing this new way of exploring history and Evert_45.com is due to be included on the Dutch school curriculum as of 2018.
Young people voluntarily watched 1.3 million minutes worth of history lessons
The story of Evert_45 connects powerfully with young people. We wove their visual language and day-to-day interests (pranks, foodie shots etc.) into the historical narrative. This led to Dutch youngsters voluntarily watching over 1.3 million minutes of history lessons within three weeks. Young people, as well as their parents and teachers kept asking for more and longer content. Teachers even opted to teach about World War II using Evert_45’s story, and it’s due to be included on the Dutch school curriculum as of 2018.
The Evert_45 initiative also had a positive impact on KPN’s brand image. On the most relevant association statements, the scores among those who recognise the campaign are significantly higher than the annual average. The initiative shows that KPN makes society better, through technology, and it contributes to the feeling of safety which the brand evokes.
The story of Evert_45 makes a powerful connection with young people by interweaving their visual language and day-to-day interests (pranks, foodie shots etc.) with an historical narrative. This led to Dutch youngsters voluntarily watching history lessons on YouTube and Instagram. Teachers also opted to teach about World War II using Evert_45’s story in their classes and Evert_45.com is due to be included the Dutch school curriculum as of 2018.
KPN connects Dutch generations
As a telecom provider, KPN is rooted in Dutch society. It has been connecting generations for decades. And as a Royal company, it is keen to help pass on Dutch history. Moreover, KPN has also been specifically associated with freedom, since 2014. With the tagline ‘Feel free’. And with social initiatives in which technology facilitates freedom. That is why KPN feels a responsibility to help pass on stories from WWII to the youngest generation.
Speaking the language of today
Stories about the past are often told in the language of the past. They thereby miss a connection to young people. They were written and/or told by previous generations. If we want to reach young people with the stories of the past, we have to do so with the language of today. Through the channels where they search for information and find inspiration: YouTube, social influencers and Instagram.