Oranje fever takes hold in Holland, freebies abound

Hair slides, Dutch lions, t-shirts and cds; the list of orange supporters’ giveaways for this year’s Euro 2012 football championship is endless.

The retail industry research group GfK said last week stores had already booked extra sales of €15m, thanks to football-related promotions. And ING economists calculate the championships will generate an extra €200m in exports for Dutch industry.
While in the Netherlands, cafes, supermarkets and electronics equipment shops will benefit from extra sales, other companies are supplying lighting, grass, technical services, transport and security gates to the Ukraine and Polish authorities.
Big screens
The hospitality industry in particular is hoping the Netherlands will progress beyond the group stage, which is when watching on big screens really takes off. Nevertheless, Nos television says for the first Dutch match against Denmark, there is hardly a big screen left in the country for hire.
Leading the supermarket pack, according to GfK, is C1000 with its lucky bird freebies. Plus is giving away arm bands and chemists’ group Etos has orange hair ornaments. Discount store Lidl is giving away an Oranje-music CD.
Albert Heijn, overwhelmed by the success of its furry Wuppies and Welpies in previous years, has taken a different approach this year with an online ‘men against women’ campaign. Shoppers can also collect stickers featuring the other teams taking part in Euro 2012.
In 2010, supporters spent an average of €5 each on Oranje articles and, GfK says, around one third of households was tempted to shop in a different supermarket because of the giveaways.
Twente university marketing professor Ad Pruyn told the Volkskrant the success of the campaigns depends very much on the type of product. ‘A product which football fans consumer, such as beer, is highly suitable,’ he says.
In addition, surprise is an important element. The freebie should be different from those of a company’s competitors ‘otherwise consumers won’t bother to walk the extra 500 metres to your shop’, he says.
Top of the individual branded items is the cushion giveaway with Tuc biscuits, which is being heavily promoted on television.
Supporters also have a wide choice of promotional t-shirts and dresses, as companies hope to emulate the success of the Bavaria Dutch dress at the World Cup. Bavaria itself has a new dress this year and Heineken is giving away t-shirts with a unique number, which can win prizes, including match tickets.
According to research by Coca Cola out on Monday, three quarters of the Dutch plan to decorate themselves, their houses or their cars during the European championships. And 45% of them think showing their support for Oranje boosts the feeling of community in the Netherlands.
What’s your favourite Oranje freebie? Use the comment form below to let us know.

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