Marktplaats: Holiday campaign 2022

Client Marktplaats

Partners Happiness – Brussels

Award and Nomination Sabre Award
Sustainable Brand Index (SBI)
YouTube Works Award
Effie Award Netherlands Bronze+
European Excellence Award

Gift used toys as presents instead of new ones more often. It makes no difference to children, but all the more to the environment, your wallet or purse and the world. This is the message Marktplaats conveyed  in its newest holiday campaign. Bijl PR was asked to advise on the campaign strategy and encourage people to choose second-hand (toys) more often. The aim was also to promote Marktplaats as the place to buy and sell second-hand products and to position the platform as a leader in the development of the circular economy.


(Grand)parents and caregivers often assume that they can only make children happy with newly bought gifts. An unscripted experiment with children, initiated especially for this campaign and subsequently shown in a TV commercial, shows that children do not care if toys are new or previously owned. At the start of the experiment none of the participants knew  who was behind it.  The children were invited into a room full of second-hand toys where hidden cameras captured children’s emotions. What transpired? They just see toys and want to play with them straight away. Parents’ assumptions about second-hand toys – my child doesn’t like them, they are ‘dirty’ or ‘damaged’ – were disproved by the children’s sincere and funny responses. When asked if they would mind getting second-hand toys, the answer was convincing: “I wouldn’t mind at all, as long as they’re fun!”


Together with partner agencies Happiness-Brussels & Higuita, EssenceMediacom en Maxlead, we launched  an integrated campaign that combined earned, owned and paid media. We targeted (grand)parents, caregivers, policymakers and politicians to reiterate key messages and highlight the positive effects of recycling. Not only what it means for the planet – a better world for children to grow up in – but also what it means for (grand)parents and caregivers: to save money in times of inflation. We didn’t do any finger-pointing, but offered advice on where second-hand items can be bought. With examples that are relevant to people and with stories they can identify with. In doing so, we reduced reluctance and showed them how they can to take the first steps to modify their behaviour.

Inspire millions of (grand)parents

In the run-up to the campaign, we involved politicians by organising a face-to-face meeting between the Minister for Climate and Energy and Marktplaats’ Sustainability Officer during the National Climate Week. In early November, we launched the campaign with an announcement in trade media, a personal journalist approach and a national press release in the third week of the month. The timing was carefully chosen. We knew from experience that publications on consumer buying behaviour in the run-up to the holidays would  appear in this period.

We deliberately planned the national press release later in the month. That provided an opportunity to include the development in demand for second-hand toys on Marktplaats since the start of the campaign. User data showed that demand for second-hand toys on the platform increased by 10% in the first weeks of November compared to the same period last year. Simultaneously, we partnered with influencers (mostly young parents) who shared their own experiences of buying and giving second-hand toys to children.


These efforts, combined with the TV commercial, ads on social media and advertorials among others, ensured a frequent repetition of the campaign message. It lead to massive coverage in national media, including the ANP, AD, Telegraaf, Trouw, LINDA. In addition, the campaign received loads of coverage on national radio stations and through national television with items on NOS, RTLZ and EditieNL.

Key results

  • The campaign couldn’t be missed and literally and figuratively got (grand)parents to change their behaviour;
  • 10% more demand for second-hand toys on Marktplaats, more children received second-hand toys as gifts and were equally happy with them;
  • Representatives of second hand shops openly supported the campaign in interviews with journalists and welcomed more visitors to their shops;
  • Potential reach: 27.5 million people via a total of 161 publications: 83 print articles (incl. forward placements), 58 online and 20 radio and television items;
  • More than 2 million people reached through influencers on social media.

It gives me great satisfaction to work on campaigns with societal significance. This is one of those. We succeeded in bringing the message about the importance of recycling to millions of people. (Grand)parents, caregivers, policymakers and politicians embraced the campaign and second-hand toys will now be considered quicker than before by many thanks to the campaign. Together with Marktplaats and partner agencies, we achieved a great result. That makes us proud.

Melvin Voskuijl
Melvin Voskuijl