For four years, the Holland Marketing Alliance has been making Americans laugh and motivating them to book trips to Holland with the visual content marketing campaign, Holland. The Original Cool. Now, the team is wrapping up the campaign with a 17-minute short film that captures your attention and takes you on an emotional journey to Holland.
The film features cameos by the campaign’s original characters, like Pim De Koel and The American, and includes subtle moments of humor. But it follows a new character with a powerful story that pulls at your heartstrings. The result is a short film with stunning visuals, engaging characters and a story that holds your attention until the end.
Check it out (and don’t miss the Instagram posts during the credits at the end):
The film uses Holland as the setting, but allows the story to speak for itself. Kat and the Dog are clearly the main characters (rather than Holland itself), but you get the feeling that this story could not take place anywhere but here. This is a fantastic example of compelling destination marketing content. Rather than simply using landscape shots set to a powerful soundtrack, the Holland Marketing Alliance is using a story you can’t help but watch, and weaving in Holland’s unique attributes in a natural way. By taking a chance on long form video, the Holland Marketing Alliance ensures its unique visual content will stand out among destination marketing campaigns.
To get a behind the scenes look at Holland. The Original Cool., we asked Rosina Shiliwala, who manages North America for the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, to share her perspective.
Kristin: Why did you choose a short film to wrap up the Holland. The Original Cool. campaign?
Rosina: We (The Holland Marketing Alliance – Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Amsterdam Marketing) have been humbled by how much Holland. The Original Cool. has resonated with consumers since the launch of our campaign back in 2013 with our first video in the travel series, Holland. The Original Cool. The Beginning.
That video went viral with over 1 million views and since the debut of the campaign, the US market – which we specifically aim to target with the Holland Cool campaign – has grown year over year ever since. At the end of 2015, we crossed a major milestone with over 1 million Americans visiting Holland — the first time in a decade. This year, we have +16% growth from the US to Holland through June, which is also a rate of growth we haven’t seen in several years. So looking back at everything we have accomplished with this campaign and on the US market, our agency, Mustache, felt that a short film – longer form content – was the best way to take Holland. The Original Cool. to end this campaign. We are really proud of The Tale of Kat and Dog: A Holland Cool Movie as we believe it captures the essence of the Holland. The Original Cool. travel series that our fans have come to know and love, but in a whole new way.
Kristin: What are your goals for the new film?
Rosina: Our main goal is for people to engage with the content we have produced and be inspired to book a trip to Holland. As we decided to produce a short film this time, we know it requires a bit more time to watch, but we feel strongly that once a viewer decides to watch the whole film, our Holland. The Original Cool. messaging that we’ve developed through this campaign over the last four years will really resonate and showcase our destination to potential travelers in an entirely new way. We premiered the film exclusively for select influencers and media on Oct. 4 in NYC, along with a live premiere online the same evening at hollandcoolmovie.com, in hopes that this group would start the buzz early for the film. We had a great reaction from the audience at the premiere, and have seen many posts on social media using our hashtag #HollandCool. We hope that engagement on social continues as more people watch and share the film.
— Strategic Cities (@StrategicCities) October 6, 2016
Kristin: I love how the film combines a strong, emotional story with moments of humor and even Instagram posts at the end during the credits. What drives your team to focus on story and emotion to highlight what Holland has to offer?
Rosina: Holland. The Original Cool. has always focused on telling stories in a unique, powerful and visual way, and striking the balance between story and emotion is part of what has made our campaign so distinctive. We developed the entire campaign from the get-go as a storytelling campaign to show viewers what makes Holland so cool by showcasing our cities and towns throughout the country, but also by digging a bit deeper and highlighting Dutch culture – everything from Dutch art, ice skating, the electronic dance scene, and cutting-edge design to even how to drink jenever properly.
Our agency, Mustache, who has been our partner on this campaign from the beginning of the campaign, is particularly skilled at hitting the nuance between story and emotion in a beautifully visual way, even using music as a way to hit emotion with viewers. We’ve found that our viewers feel an emotional connection to our destination marketing message because we’ve gone a bit deeper in how we communicate what Holland has to offer to potential visitors.