On December fifth Dutch people celebrate Pakjesavond. A national tradition which is the closing night of the Sinterklaas event. You can compare it with America’s Secret Santa where family members and friends make surprises for each other.
During a beer and brainstorm session in a bar in Amsterdam we came with the insight that not everybody in Holland, due to various reasons, has the ability to celebrate Pakjesavond. Since it is an evening of family, friends and happiness we wanted to give everybody the chance to make and receive a surprise.
To solve this problem we created Pakjesavond voor iedereen (Pakjesavond for everybody), a national lottery. We built a simple website where people could buy a lot for just € 1,50. Via our website they got the lot of another participant and had to write a poem and buy a small gift for this person. The other way around their lot was given to another participant who did the same. People filled in some basic information that the participants could use for buying a gift and writing the poem.
Just by posting the idea on our own social media we ended up selling almost 1000 lots. The reactions where overwhelming and very positive. Our Facebook page got filled with a lot of pictures of happy people with beautiful packages. Thereby we got quite some personal emails from people who didn’t had the chance of celebrating Pakjesavond and were very happy with our website.
With the money we raised by selling lots we bought gifts for children whose parents can’t afford any gifts. In this way truly everybody has a surprise on Pakjesavond!
The idea got picked up by many blogs and newspapers and we even got broadcasted on national tv.
The idea was an initiative of our own and with our resources we built the website and created all the content. Our Facebook updates and weekly newsletter where all written in rhyme.
Big thanks to Mediamonks for fixing last minute website problems and supporting our idea.