Centraal Beheer

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The office of Centraal Beheer in Apeldoorn
The slogan "Even Apeldoorn bellen" on a hot air balloon

Centraal Beheer is an insurance company sited in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. It is part of Achmea, the largest insurance company in the country. It is usually referred to as "Apeldoorn". Their Offices are well known for their architecture by Herman Hertzberger.


Centraal Beheer is famous for its TV commercials. These are short humoristic spots, generally without dialogue, in which something usually goes horrendously wrong, followed by the catchphrase "Even Apeldoorn bellen" ("Just call Apeldoorn"). This phrase is sometimes used as a general saying, in meme-like fashion to mean something like "oops" or "D'oh", and it is for this reason that the company is generally referred to with the metonym "Apeldoorn" rather than its proper name. On the international versions of the commercials, the catchphrase is "Just call us".

For instance - a nervous man is offered a place in a secure witness protection program if he will testify against a mafia leader. He accepts and testifies. Then he packs his bags and drives off to an idyllic, friendly town in the middle of nowhere. Unpacking and settling in, he breathes easily once more. Then the doorbell rings. He opens the door to find the mayor and town officials giving him an official welcome as the 100,000th inhabitant of their village, accompanied with dozens of journalists and film crews. Fade.

One of their most famous commercials involved the Garden of Eden with Eve walking around exploring. She encounters parrots, wild flowers, and exotic scenes that may have been in the garden. Then she discovers a waterfall in a hidden away sanctuary. Just then, Adam, who is told to be her companion in the Bible appears from the bushes. The two stare at each other with lust as they are both naked, but covered with a single leaf. Just as they are about to possibly kiss, Adam says in a high pitched voice, "Hi! I'm Adam." This makes the viewer assume that he is gay, as Eve immediately loses her attraction towards him. The message is that Centraal Beheer will be there for the customer even when things don't go as planned.

The concept was developed in 1987 by advertising agency Geudeker/Oerlemans (GO) in the Netherlands with creative director Christian Oerlemans. It is the longest 'living' advertising theme/slogan in the Netherlands and many of the commercials have won awards, like the Gouden Loeki, the so-called Academy Award for Dutch commercials.

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