Category B08. Events & Stunts
Idea Creation XSAGA Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Production XSAGA Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Name Company Position
Patrick Roubroeks XSAGA Founder / Creative Director

The Campaign

When you ask people in Holland and the rest of the world about the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, everybody will say “The Night Watch”! So, the following creative idea arose: Let’s create an extraordinary experience with this painting as a unique backdrop for a special occasion. We waited for the 10 millionth visitor and invited him to sleep next to the world-famous painting of Rembrandt van Rijn, to experience his own “Night Watch”. This once in a lifetime experience was introduced on tape to the flabbergasted winner by the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. To assure the effectiveness of the creative idea, we needed a strong candidate and an impeccable preproduction! The once in a lifetime event had to radiate the Rijksmuseum’s exclusive claim as “a surprising place to be”.


The “operation” was prepared with extreme precision. Every conceivable scenario was discussed in advance. The entire technical crew was on standby for two days, to be able to take action at the right moment. On "D Day", all of the museum staff gathered to discuss the production schedule before the museum opened. At 2:04 p.m. the unsuspecting visitor entered the museum. The doors swung open, after which more than a hundred employees welcomed the guest with a resounding applause. Totally bewildered, the guest walked to the museum’s Director who congratulated him. In a pre-recorded video, the Dutch Prime Minister explained his unique opportunity: a night underneath The Night Watch. From that moment on “our winner” was in the lead and the cameras could only follow until he turned down the light and started dreaming next to The Night Watch….

The event was featured in a wide range of national media, with 41 articles and an appearance in the leading and prime time Dutch talk show RTL Late Night. Internationally, it was the subject of 36 articles, from in the New York Times to The Huffington Post, The Observer and Le Parisien. And in 7 days 31.007.482 social followers were reached! With more than 31.000.000 touch points for approximately 14.000 euro (the cost per single contact was less than 0.00045 eurocent) we can state that this stunt had a very high impact with a low budget. If the communication industry is looking for a PR-stunt with impeccable results, this one is!

The Situation

By organising this PR-event, the Rijksmuseum wanted to claim this special momentum, realise massive media impact and generate unique content for the brand. We created and produced a “V.I.P. pop-up event” for one person only! The 10 millionth visitor was given the opportunity to sleep underneath “The Night Watch”. The story of this PR-stunt, as well as the photo and film, went viral and led to massive impact and a humongous amount of (social) media touch points!

The Strategy

Everything within this creative idea was carefully pre-produced, except for the main figure of the film. This one was a lucky shot, because the surprise had to be real! The photos and video were distributed within several hours after “the occasion”, in order to truly drop this unique news and surprise the larger audience. The event, based on a simple and very cost-effective idea, with an impeccable execution, had to result in an event that marked the momentum, created humongous impact, as well as relevant content for the (Rijksmuseum) brand.