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Red-backed shrike, ringed plover and other unknown birds get half a million euros to make themselves more famous

The Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds wins campaigning in 20 cities on Ocean Outdoor’s large digital screens. Increasing awareness of modest and oppressed birds is the key theme.

Amsterdam, 19 October 2021 |What started with an idea from communication agency KesselsKramer, which set to work with a briefing devised by itself, resulted in huge profits for modest and unknown bird species. Under the guise of ‘to know is to appreciate’, the idea arose to immodestly seek a lot of attention for modest birds. The Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds became enthusiastic and it was decided to submit the idea for the Ocean Outdoor Digital Creative Competition Amsterdam, in the non-profit category. The result was first prize, 500,000 euros in media value.

Modest birds

Urban people currently know more car makes than bird species, which is an unfavourable development for the unknown species. Urbanisation, recreational pressure and large-scale agricultural land use, among other things, are making the habitat of many birds in the Netherlands increasingly smaller. They come under pressure and become less visible. But the greater the awareness of something, the greater the appreciation for it, according to advertising scientists. And we tend to care for anything we appreciate. All the more reason to use digital outdoor advertising – which can display immense moving images – for this campaign to bring the species that need it to the attention of the general public.


In the messages, various birds, such as the red-backed shrike and redshank, show themselves from their most beautiful and iconic side, as if it were an advertisement for the latest smartphone. This way, they capture the attention of a wide audience and help to teach passers-by more about birds. Familiarity with and knowledge of birds are the first steps towards protection. And that is necessary to maintain the diversity of species for a healthy habitat and biodiversity in the Netherlands.

The campaign for the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds uses one of Ocean’s innovative tools – Interactive Augmented Reality. This platform makes the digital birds seem to walk among the people and follow the passers-by.


The Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds has launched the online tool mijnvogelvinder.nl for those who want to go a step further after their first acquaintance with the birds. This handy web app quickly shows which bird areas are near the user, which birds can be discovered there, how they can be recognised and what sounds they make. It makes up a little for the decreasing attention that is being paid to bird species at schools.

“The competition was an excellent opportunity to highlight the vulnerability of endangered birds in a different, positive way,” says Matthijs de Jongh, a partner at KesselsKramer. “It started with the question of what these birds themselves would do to boost their name recognition and appreciation among a wide audience. Making full use of the city locations and digital possibilities offered by the huge screens. The fact that the judges described the entry as a ‘gift to the public’ was a fantastic incentive”


About the birds

Four birds are used in the campaign: the blue-headed wagtail; the red-backed shrike, recognisable by his Zorro mask; the ringed plover, with its orange bill running back and forth on the beaches of the Wadden and Zeeland Delta; and the redshank. These four represent the, unfortunately, many species that are on the red list. Birdlife International recently released an alarming update about this.


About the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds

The Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds is an independent nature conservation organisation with more than 160,000 members. The Society stands up for birds that live in the wild and their habitats. In the Netherlands and across the world. We work on better protection for birds through projects, campaigns, lobbying and collaboration. Some of our successes include the return of the stork, kingfisher and barn owl. – vogelbescherming.nl

About KesselsKramer

Founded in 1996 by Erik Kessels and Johan Kramer, KesselsKramer is a design and communication agency based in Amsterdam, London and Los Angeles. KesselsKramer mainly advertises “for people who don’t like advertising” and is responsible for campaigns for brands such as Bever, Timberland, citizenM and Fairphone. – kesselskramer.com


About Ocean Outdoor

Ocean Outdoor Nederland is the market leader in Digital-Out-of-Home (read: DOOH), the fast-growing specialisation within Out-of-Home. With a national network of 195 locations and 335 screens along motorways and in the cities, we reach millions of people each day. Ocean Outdoor Nederland attaches great importance to quality and innovation. That is why we continuously invest in the latest DOOH technology and research opportunities for advertisers, media agencies and contracting authorities. Ocean Outdoor Nederland is part of Ocean Outdoor Limited with offices in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany.



  • Creation: KesselsKramer
  • Customer: The Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Animation: PlusOne Amsterdam
  • Outdoor/ AR media: Ocean Outdoor
  • Illustrator: Elwin van der Kolk


If you have any questions or are interested in an interview with the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds, Ocean Outdoor or KesselsKamer, please contact:

Ottalie Westerink:

+316 1324 0366

Marlies Smits:

+316 1076 6161


For additional images click here.

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