Let’s give a goat (and see what happens)


For the Christmas season, charity organization Oxfam Novib reached out to us with a special request. Help explain our gift-aid concept ‘Pakt uit’ to a large audience, increasing sales. And help build our brand name – since the merger of British Oxfam with Dutch Novib, the brand awareness in the Netherlands was historically low.

So we created the ‘Give a Goat’ campaign. A concept that at once explains the concept of ‘Oxfam Novib Pakt Uit’ – as a Christmas present buy something useful for families in third world countries, like a goat for instance, or a pig, or chickens… – and was unexpectedly fun, immediately positioning Oxfam Novib in a unique way to a broad audience.

What would happen, if we actually gave a goat to somebody who doesn’t need it – instead of giving it to the family who does? We collaborated with several Dutch celebrities and created short mockumentaries of them coping with their new ‘gifts’. The different stories appealed to different audiences: Marijke Helwegen for a mass audience, pop-star Ben Saunders for youngsters and writer Kluun for the more upperclass and older viewers. The videos were shared online and in social media, using the fan base of the celebrities to get instant buzz. Even while shooting, tweets and Facebook posts from the celebrities created a social media storm. Several major television media reported on the crazy shoots, creating a huge media buzz (“Marijke Helwegen drinking tea with a goat!”, “A pig in Paradiso!”).

Together with major TV program Holland’s Next Top Model, we created a commercial for the season finale, with the four girls starring alongside goats, pigs and chickens in Amsterdam’s most fancy shopping street: the PC Hooftstraat. Again, making headlines in newspapers and TV broadcast news reports. A major segment in the final episode of the show on RTL4, it premiered the commercial and boosted the Oxfam Novib campaign. After that, the commercial was run on all RTL channels throughout December.


Client:  Oxfam Novib
Concept & Production:  VERTOV
Director:  Martijn Winkler
Social media:  VERTOV, Oxfam Novib


Reach/views:  5,000,000+
Social channels:  YouTube, Facebook, Twitter
Offline media:   RTL 4, SBS 6, AT5, NOS, Het Parool, AD, Volkskrant, Trouw

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