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DDB Amsterdam & Centraal Beheer’s Rewarding Partnership

Centraal Beheer Achmea is an Insurance Company based in The Netherlands town of Apeldoorn. In 1984 DDB conceived a commercial for Achmea Insurance with the catchphrase “Even Apeldoorn Bellen” or “Just Call Us” that has become part of the nation’s popular culture.

It was also the year that heralded the beginning of a remarkable, and long-lasting client and agency relationship, that consistently delivered superbly produced brand communication campaigns that have been awarded multiple times at the Cannes Lions Festival of creativity, and offer highly memorable brand affinity entertainment, as evidenced by the supplied, small sample, of commercial references.

DDB’s recent ‘Freedom’ commercial is their 61st instalment of the ‘Just Call Us’ series of rewarding storytelling. As Linda Codega on the ‘Shots’ website insightfully commented; “It takes guts to stick with a campaign for 45 years. Or maybe just one really good idea.

1. Centraal Beheer Insurance, Freedom

Advertising Agency: DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Filmed in Spain and directed by renowned filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen, who elicits sterling performances from his cast, the amusing scenario’s unexpected twist ends with a broad smile for viewers, and maybe also a little sympathy for the ex-detainee’s joyous freedom that may be short-lived.

The soundtrack features American musician, singer, and songwriter George Thorogood’s “Bad To The Bone”.

2. Centraal Beheer Insurance, Rapper

Advertising Agency: DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Filmed in Echo Park, Los Angeles, and directed by filmmaker Sven Super, the amusing, lively and upbeat commercial, that ends on sour note, features a specially written rap song soundtrack of “Honk The Horns” with vocals by American actor and rapper Courtney Richards.

3. Centraal Beheer Insurance, Welcome

Advertising Agency: DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Directed by filmmakers Dylan De Backer and Joris Kuipers, this highly amusing escapade of two opportunistic burglars, who unexpectedly find entering a state-of-the-art luxury mansion mysteriously easy, makes for fun viewing.

4. Centraal Beheer Achmea, Birdie

Advertising Agency: DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Filmed in Miami USA and directed by filmmaker Hein Mevissen, with a great cast of characters and a priceless lineup of customised, classic American car showpieces, the commercial is an amusing delight to behold with a surprise reveal of ‘Birdie’s’ identity.

5. Centraal Beheer Achmea, Acupuncture

Advertising Agency: DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The 2007 New York Festivals Gold and Cannes Lion Winner ‘Acupuncture’ commercial, brilliantly directed by filmmaker Bart Timmer, and filmed in Bangkok, Thailand, stars English actor Kevin Ashley as the needle festooned victim of an abandoned Chinese acupuncture exercise.

The entertaining scenario with its great characterisation and attention to detail of setting and props, is one of my favourite Centraal Beheer Achmea commercials that I never tire of viewing.

6. Centraal Beheer Insurance, UFO

Advertising Agency: DDB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Directed by filmmaker Les Stylewar, this cinematic, impressively produced alien invasion parody, with spectacular special effects, is a visual delight with a very funny twist and a tongue-in-cheek end of message ‘Just call us … or maybe not’.