Vrij van Bezet
How 8 rolls of orange duct tape sparked a national debate.
Because of our cherished Dutch flea market tradition on King's Day, many Dutch people write the word 'bezet' (occupied) on the ground to reserve their place.
However, exactly one week later, on May 4, we remember those who died during the Second World War, when the Netherlands were occupied by the Nazis for 5 years. For some of the people who experienced that dark period, it is a painful memory to see the word ‘occupied’ on the pavement.
We decided to launch a new tradition: instead of writing ‘Bezet’ on the street, we offered people an alternative.
From now on, let’s mark our reserved space with the words ‘Vrij voor…’ (‘Free for…’): ‘Free for Tim’, ‘Free for Nicole’, ‘Free for Laila’.
By offering this alternative take on a long tradition, we unleashed an intense debate, reaching 1.9 million Dutch people without spending a Euro on paid media.
The first spontaneous, consumer-initiated ‘Free for…’ markings were already spotted during the campaign.