NRC Charity Awards // 2019
NRC Charity Awards 2019 - One of the winners, professional jury, category print. Created together with Luke Vermeulen.
A newspaper ad created in collaboration with NRC, Sterk Huis, Fier and CKM.
Tim (14 years old) offers sex through a supermarket advertisement: 10 minutes for 50 euros. The advertisement is intended as a metaphor for the shadowy world of boy prostitution, which is still very hidden in the Netherlands. Through the supermarkt advertisement it suddenly gets close.
Every day in the Netherlands there are around 1500 boys aged 12 to 18 who are abused, recruited, assaulted or threatened. There is a big taboo on boy prostitution and abuse of boys. Because there is hardly any talk about it, there is almost no attention for these boys or the problem.
In a collaboration between the NRC Handelsblad and the Willem de Kooning Academy, I was assigned, together with Luke Vermeulen, to make a 1/1 print advertisement for the charities: Sterk Huis, Fier! and CKM.
“Ook jongens worden gedwongen.
Tim is het slachtoffer van jongensprostitutie. Hij is één van de 1500 jongens in Nederland die gedwongen worden zichzelf aan te bieden. Deze jongens worden op jonge leeftijd geronseld en hebben geforceerd seks met mannen. Het is een verborgen, duistere wereld waar nog weinig aandacht voor is. Daar moet verandering in komen. Iedereen heeft recht op aandacht en hulp.”
“Boys are also forced.
Tim is the victim of boy prostitution. He is one of the 1500 boys in the Netherlands who are forced to offer himself. These boys are recruited at a young age and have forced sex with men. It is a hidden, dark world with little attention for. That must change. Everyone has the right to attention and help.”
We have chosen to make this ad-in-ad, which comes from a 14-year-old boy, in a public and accessible way that can be seen by everyone, namely through a supermarket advertisement. We want to give people the feeling that they have read it correctly at first. It leads them to think about it, read the text, understand what is at stake and give it the attention it needs.
On July 29, 2019, we filled the bulletin boards of various supermarkets throughout the Netherlands with the advertisements of different boys of 13, 14 and 15 years old with the same message as Tim. Interested parties can call the telephone number, but they will hear a confronting message.
We have designed several supermarket cards for this so that they fit into the signs of Albert Heijn, Jumbo and the Coop. These advertisements were shown in the larger cities such as; Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Tilburg. The advertisements were also placed in our (old)home towns (Capelle aan den IJssel and Castricum) with the possibility that it could ‘explode’ more and faster in smaller towns.
This stunt was performed a few days before the publication of our advertisement in the NRC without people knowing. These cards had to look as credible as possible and make it look like these boys really existed.
After this stunt, we prepared together with the charities a press release with the title; ‘Boys offer themselves for sex in the supermarket’ to give it attention in the Dutch media. This was sent to newspapers, blogs, regional magazines and the like.
We also sent a message to influencers with a picture of the cards on the bulletin boards. With the help of these people we had a chance to let the cards go viral.
Our goal was (and still is) to let people come face to face with the unknown world of boy prostitution and its trade in the Netherlands. People need to be confronted with it so that they can see and realize it up close and hope to turn it into a discussed topic.
On August 1st our page was publiced in the NRC, people were aware that the bulletin board messages were a deliberate action from us.
The winners were announced on Tuesday evening 27th of August and we were one of the winners of the category print chosen by the professional jury (consisting of Anne-Marije Vendeville of NRC, Wietse Vonk of Havas Lemz, Astrid van Rooij of NRC, Roel Pijnacker of Havas Lemz and Derk Walters of NRC).
“Deze advertentie is sterk in zijn eenvoud. Omdat het beeld zo echt is, komt het direct binnen. De boodschap is écht voelbaar.”
“This advertisement is strong in its simplicity. Because the image is so real, it hits you in the face immediately. The message can really be felt.”
This assignment has given us the opportunity to take the creative lead when it comes to creating a newspaper advertisement. The most traditional form of advertising.