KPN: Evert_45 campaign brings WW2 history to life on social media

In this latest case study from the Dutch Digital Design collective, Dutch agency N=5 re-connects young people with history, via a project that has just won the prestigious Grand Prix at the ADCN Awards. The agency created social media accounts to tell the fictional story of Evert_45, a boy on a quest to find his brother, in April 1945, during the final weeks of WW2.

Background

As many war veterans have died since the end of the second world war, there are fewer people to pass on memories and, therefore, an important part of Dutch history. KPN, the Royal Dutch Telecoms provider, have been connecting people since the late 19th century, and felt it their duty to help connect the past with the youth of today. N=5, together with creative digital production studio Superhero Cheesecake and Pupkin Film, created Evert_45, a young Dutch boy living during the final days of WW2, to do just that.

Strategy

The agency was keen to connect young people with history in a way that appeals to them, making them appreciate how valuable but also vulnerable our freedom is. Evert_45 tells his story on his own YouTube channel, Instagram account and website, with vlogs and photos. The story is based on real-life stories of war veterans and civilians during that time.

Process

The vlogs and posts were shared on YouTube and Instagram, over a three-week period, around 4 May – Dutch Remembrance Day. They were also made available to a wider audience on evert45.com. A website containing a selection of Evert_45’s vlogs, photos and more, in an easy-to-follow timeline, telling his story. With auto-scrolling episodes and fluent transitions, it creates a lean-back experience, as if you are watching a movie. Sound plays an important part throughout, with a continuous soundtrack, intermitted by snippets from the vlogs and a voice-over quoting war veterans. Altogether creating an emotive and, above all, respectful representation of that particular part of Dutch history.

For Evert_45’s YouTube channel and Instagram account, the agency created a look that was influenced by well-known, popular vloggers, mixed with 1945-style typography and colours. Using a (visual) language that appeals to young people, incorporating Instagram boomerang videos, stickers and emoticons.

Outcome

Evert_45 truly connected with his audience, with 1.3million minutes of history watched by young people, over a period of three weeks. Also, Evert_45’s story will be part of the Dutch education curriculum for 2018, using the website as a portal. And the initiative has already won numerous awards, including: 2x Gold, for best functional design and best user experience, 2x Silver for best use of animation/motion graphics and best brand strategy and planning at the Lovie Awards, a Eurobest Gold for best film and Silver for digital craft.

This case was brought to you by the Dutch Digital Design collective.

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