Centraal Beheer "Speedboat" by DDB Amsterdam (2012)
With the commercials industry in virtual shutdown, here's another ad we've known and loved before. Dutch insurer Centraal Beheer is renowned in its home country for what was until recently one of the world's longest-running ad campaigns. For more than 30 years, longtime agency DDB Amsterdam presided over a series of annual ads, each of which depicted some comic disaster or other, culminating in the tagline "Even Apeldoorn Bellen", or "Just Call Apeldoorn", which is the town in the Netherlands where Centraal Beheer is based. We've covered these campaigns in these pages before - see here for another classic, 'Acupuncture', and an interview with the campaign's former creative director Dylan de Backer. However, in terms of perfect comedy construction, the spot 'Speedboat' is a classic for the ages. The basic idea is funny enough, with the shy girl, the cocky show-off and his inevitable comeuppance. But the real kicker is that closing reveal: the reason they were on the boat in the first place. We're pretty certain *that's* not a situation you can insure against. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and Central Beheer finally changed their marketing approach in 2018. Instead of a single annual comic disaster as before, their ads now offer a more frequent compendium of smaller and less extravagant mishaps.