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Decathlon

A banned TV Commercial directed by Jeroen Houben for Decathlon and XXS

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Every morning it’s the same scene: before mom and dad can finish their breakfast in front of their caravan, junior is up in his swimming gear and on his way to the pool. Why is he so quick to put on his flippers and goggles? It turns out his interests belie his young age and don’t have much to do with either playing or even swimming.

Client
Decathlon
Agency
XXS Amsterdam
Concept
Saskia Meijer, René Verhagen
.
John de Vries, René Verbong
Director
Jeroen Houben

Viewers familiar with director Jeroen Houben’s 2015 short film Gips (international title: Plaster) will immediately recognize the setting: a family with a young boy on holiday at a French camping site, a funny screenplay and a nostalgic colour palette. It’s a very similar template. No wonder, then, that XXS Amsterdam approached Jeroen to do the honours of directing Decathlon’s first Dutch commercial. Filmed at two different locations in the Netherlands, it’s a cheeky story that shows just one possible use for the retailer’s Easybreathe goggles—without turning the viewer into a creepy voyeur themselves, notably. It was so spot on, the French owners of the brand cancelled the commercial after 2 weeks.