The Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands commissioned us to create a campaign aimed specifically at young citizens: many don’t realise that personal information they share online isn’t only visible to them and their friends but can often be easily viewed by undesirable people with dodgy intentions.

The aims of this campaign are:

  • To raise awareness amongst young people about cybercrime in a way that is relevant to them.
  • To give advice on what they can do to prevent misuse of personal information online.


85% of Dutch youngsters have a profile on social network Hyves, which they use on a daily basis. So the best way to warn them of the dangers is to do something on the Hyves network. Undertaking a campaign on Hyves we knew that each individual would be logged on with their own profile, which meant we could do something tailor-made/personalized using information from their specific profile.


We decided to create an ‘ambush’ on Hyves using the Hyves API. A tailor-made action video that, disguised as a YouTube clip, would reveal along the way that it was about the person currently logged on. Hyvers could send each other a Hyves-message that linked to a ‘Hyves video message’ which was a fake layout identical to the ‘Hyves message inbox’. The title of this message was ‘You are more famous than you think!’ and included the personalized video wrapped in a fake YouTube player. The video showed a group of criminals in a basement, speaking a made-up language, collecting personal data which, and as the film progressed, turned out to be the viewer. We’ve worked to make this all look and feel as realistic as possible, with different outcomes dependent on your relationship status, location and gender, creating a shockingly realistic outcome.


We went live by posting a link on Twitter on a Wednesday. This spread and resulted in 54,661 page-views for the first day and 2,505,690 page-views for the following Friday. By then the campaign was picked up by all leading on and offline newschannels and main item on NOS Kids News (Jeugdjournaal) in the evening. In just seven days the viral was sent around 7,014,285 times, viewed 5,113,115 times and had over 2500 visits per second on peaks. Because of the viral effect people sometimes received the ‘You are more famous than you think!’ message more than 20 times in just a few days. This seismic impact let us reach our goals quickly and to avoid negative response we decided to send Stanislav home a lot sooner than we thought we would. Our plan was to start media after two weeks of going live so we were quite lucky we could cancel all media-buy and seeding for this campaign. In the end it took just seven days to create the biggest social-media viral campaign in the Netherlands ever and, according to research by our client, one of the most successful dutch government campaigns of the last ten years.

Side Effects:

  • Some people took the effort to screen-capture their personal video and put it on YouTube - which by themselves have now surpassed 100,000 views. (here and here).
  • Even parody started happening: BNN, a TV channel by and for youngsters, made a funny parody featuring dutch celebrities.
  • On the day of going live the public API supplied to us by Hyves served more private information than users allowed. Hyves quickly fixed this.
  • Non-targeted audience would call us up hysterically and claim royalties for ‘being featured in a movie’.

: 5,113,115
Visitors Campaign Target
: 500,000 over a period of 2 months
Sample Group
: 9,030,261 Hyves profiles (8,000,000 active)
Dutch population
: 16,500,000
: 7,014,285
Sent Through Rate
: 1,37
Average Visit Duration
: 4,22 minutes
Average Visits per Second
: 11,59
Peak Visits per Second
: 2500
First Day Visits
: 54,661
Busiest Day Visits
: 2,505,690
: € 2,500 (Hyves mini-site)
Free publicity value
: € 1,200,000 (Source: Bex PR)
Cost per click
: € 0,0023
Campaign Runtime
: only 7 days!

One the most successful dutch government campaigns of the last ten years.
Coverage in all major Dutch newspapers - online and offline.
Coverage on national TV news and radio. Parody on national TV.
Screen recordings on YouTube (100,000 page-views and counting).
838,000 results for 'stanislav hyves' on Google.
Busiest day (Monday 17 August) on the Hyves network ever.
The biggest Social Media viral campaign ever in The Netherlands.