How a French village became Dutch

For Tele2, with Indie

The transformation of a picturesque French village into 'Nederland'

When the Dutch travel abroad for vacation, they’re afraid of using data on their phone, frightened by stories of extremely high phone bills. With Tele2 however, you can use data abroad just like you do back home. This is the story of the French town of Châteauneuf, which was transformed into Holland for one day, literally allowing Dutch tourists to use data abroad as if they were at home.

To truly transform the picturesque town of Châteauneuf into Holland, we needed all the town’s residents on board. The local mayor was a big help in that endeavor. We taught everyone what Dutch people love to eat, drink, how they dress, and how they shake hands. Even singer Frans (‘Je Suis Frans’) Bauer stepped in to teach them a real Dutch song. Furthermore, we involved iconic Dutch brands like Amstel (with a bar), Zeeman (with a shop), FEBO (with a ‘snack wall’), and Jumbo (with a supermarket) to be part of the central square that obviously also featured a Dutch coffee shop and pancake restaurant.

On ‘Black Saturday’ 2016, Dutch holidaymakers are stuck in French traffic en masse. That felt like the right moment to get things started. As we were capturing the transformation of Châteauneuf with our first film crew, our second unit followed an ordinary Dutch family driving south, about to make an extraordinary pit stop…

The result: an awkward but amazing Saturday in the most southern Dutch village, in France. By broadcasting the film online, we let everyone know that phone is where the heart is. Not because we had to, just because we could.