A Flemish employment service walks the talk and gets 60+ year workers to create a magazine

We’ve conducted a collection of case studies featuring award-winning native advertising examples. This blog post features Best Use of Print Media.

Introduction 

  • Brand: VDAB
  • Agency: DPG Media NV, Belgium

VDAB, the Employment and Vocational Training Service of the Flemish government in Belgium, brings together supply and demand in the labour market. Tasked with mediating and guiding job-seekers towards employment, it wanted to raise general awareness that people over 60 years can still be active in the job market and awesome at their jobs. It just needed to prove it.

How could VDAB show that workers in their 60s still have what it takes?

The Content

DPG Media NV came up with a revolutionary idea. It would team up with the most iconic magazine in Belgium, HUMO, and put it to the test. It would bring the original makers of HUMO back to the office and create a legendary special edition of HUMO magazine.  

In collaboration with the magazine, DPG Media NV launched the one-of-a-kind edition, called “HUMO’s Krasse Knarren” (“Sharp Older Minds”). It was created entirely by the original HUMO editorial staff, who were all older than 60 and focussed on the “sharp older minds” who used to or still worked for HUMO. Every reporter shared their unique perspective on what it’s like to work in their 60s.

DPG Media used Guy Mortier, probably the most famous editor-in-chief in Belgium, to spearhead the exclusive native campaign for VDAB. The iconic HUMO radio ads supporting the campaign were also written and recorded by the legendary 70-something editor-in-chief. 

By using these 60+ year old reporters, the campaign succeeded in combining the witty pens of HUMO with the claim that VDAB set out to prove: you’re not written off after 60!

Distribution 

The campaign was led by the HUMO magazine and supported by digital and radio campaigns across DPG Media’s different channels. 

The special edition of Humo’s Krasse Knarren was announced with a co-branded campaign on several of DPG Media’s platforms, together with a classical advertising campaign for VDAB.

To create a broader reach and get the message across, a native series was launched on HLN.be, along with a series of testimonials in Dag Allemaal, to hit VDAB’s target group.

The Results

Throughout the campaign, the native articles scored between 7.7 and 7.9 out of 10 in terms of likeability, which was above the benchmark. 

There was an overall growth in the already positive brand image. This elevated brand image was attributed to the combined power of the native campaign and the complementary classical campaign.

People loved the idea. But most importantly, it motivated retired workers and inspired employers to give 60-somethings a second chance.

Take Note

The idea of bringing 60+ aged workers together to create a magazine is interesting in two ways:

  • The workers contributed to the production of the content; and
  • They were also a part of the story that VDAB wanted to convey. 

As the Managing Director of VDAB, Win Adriaens, said: 

"We are very happy that Guy Mortier and his mates show that you are not written off when you turn 60".

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