Hein Mevissen

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Hein Mevissen (born January 3, 1972) is a Dutch director,[1] artist, designer, photographer and entrepreneur with a Jewish Catholic background.[2] He started John Doe in 2001. He is the developer and designer of the John's Phone[3][4] with Diederiekje Bok: they created the phone in 2006 and launched it into the market in 2010.[5] John's Phone is also on display in the Museum of Ideas and Inventions in Barcelona. Some of Hein Mevissen’s design and art work is part of the permanent collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in the Netherlands.[6]

Mevissen has directed short films[7] and television commercials for European products. He also directed several shorts for MTV, which he has sometimes chosen to film in the United States.[8] In 2011 he directed a short comedy film he wrote with Dutch writer and columnist Leon de Winter and Diederiekje bok called Bin Laden The musical[9] for which Frank Zappa's keyboard player Peter Wolf, wrote the music. Hein Mevissen emigrated to the United States in 2008.[10]


In 2012 Mevissen was featured[11] as one of the most talented individuals in the Netherlands. In 2008 Advertising Age featured Mevissen as Director to watch.[12] Mevissen is big in charity[13] and helps several charity projects every year with his company Ollimania.

Film directing[edit]

  • 2004 – L 'Ospedale (MTV) (Short)
  • 2007 – Brassband (MTV) (Short)
  • 2008 – Rocket Bros (MTV) (Short)
  • 2010 – John From Burlington (Comedy Central) (Short film)
  • 2010 – Aliens (Comedy Central) (Mini series)

(Named are only shorts and short films)



Hein Mevissen won several international awards[14] for his work as a creative and as a director. Including a few times the New York festival[15][15] Gold World Medal. In December 2013 John Doe[16] got awarded with the highest Dutch advertising award[17][18][19][20] the Golden Loeki[21] for the Olli commercial that Mevissen wrote, produced and directed.[22] The agency John Doe got the award in a Live television[23] show from Arian Buurman, CEO of the Stichting Ether Reclame who hosts the Loeki awards.


John's Phone[edit]

John's Phone designed and created by Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok.

John's Phone is a mobile phone that Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok designed and manufactured.[24] It is marketed as being ideal for children, the elderly, and technophobes.[25][26] and made in the Netherlands and sold by John's (Phone From The Supermarket BV). It claims to be the world's most basic cell phone, allowing the user only to make and receive calls, with none of the features of modern cameraphones such as a camera, Internet access and text messaging; the address book is a paper pad and a pen, built into the back of the device. It is built around the Keep It Simple concept.[27][28] In 2010 Fast Company wrote that John's Phone[29] made it in the top 12 of the Year's Best Ideas in Interface Designs.


Hein Mevissen is also the creator and designer of the character Olli that was original created in 2004 as a character for a bottled mineral water.[30] Olli is a cartoon character and a stuffed toy. In 2013 a toy of Olli toy was licensed for another campaign and became again a hype[31][32] in the Netherlands in March 2013. Olli was used under license as part of a campaign Mevissen created with Diederiekje Bok to save the Rotterdam zoo Diergaarde Blijdorp. Olli became a national hype[33] in the Netherlands in March 2013. After saving the ZOO Olli became the symbol[34] of Rotterdam[35] and professional football club Feyenoord.[36][37] The original Dutch name, Olli, is a shortening of Olifantje, "little elephant". The hype around Olli is explained as a new way of marketing called brand feeling[38] or emotional branding. Ollimania is the mother company of Olli and many other characters. Ollimania publishes children's books, creates toys and is very active in charity. On September 10, 2015, Ollimania and it’s creators Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok donated [39] a huge Olli statue to the Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam. They did this to give a smile [40] to the little patients and parents in the hospital. Diederiekje Bok and Hein Mevissen are the founders of Ollimania.[41] Ollimania books are published in The Netherlands, France, England, Germany and Belgium.


  1. ^ "Directors to watch". Creativity. November 19, 2008.
  2. ^ "Founders of John Doe Amsterdam". Idea Mensch. March 15, 2011.
  3. ^ "Dutch launches no-frills mobile phone". Brandrepublic. November 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Nederlandse mobiele telefoon alleen om te bellen" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. January 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "John's Phone: minimalistisch designmobieltje" (in Dutch). Het Parool. September 24, 2010.
  6. ^ "Hein Mevissen in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen". Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. June 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "John From Burlington". IMDB. May 16, 2010.
  8. ^ "Dutch director finds L.A. area a fertile field for commercials". Los Angeles Times. March 3, 2010.
  9. ^ "Bin Laden star in musical" (in Dutch). De Telegraaf. May 5, 2011.
  10. ^ "The US is inspriring". Jalta. October 15, 2015.
  11. ^ "Entrepreneurs to watch out for". March 28, 2012.
  12. ^ "Directors to watch Hein Mevissen". AdvertisingAge. November 19, 2008.
  13. ^ "Sophia children's hospital". July 19, 2013.
  14. ^ "John Doe Amsterdam grossiert in prijzen" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagblad. June 26, 2007.
  15. ^ a b "New York Festival Gold Medal". 2007.
  16. ^ "John Doe grossiert in prijzen" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagblad. June 26, 2007.
  17. ^ "Olli wint Gouden Loeki" (in Dutch). Telegraaf. December 19, 2013.
  18. ^ "Olli wint Gouden Loeki" (in Dutch). Volkskrant. December 19, 2013.
  19. ^ "Gouden Loeki naar John Doe's Olli" (in Dutch). Adormatie. December 19, 2013.
  20. ^ "Gouden Loeki 2013: Olli met reclamebureau John Doe" (in Dutch). Reclamewereld. December 19, 2013.
  21. ^ "Gouden Loeki Awards".
  22. ^ "Olli creditlist". October 2, 2013.
  23. ^ "Olli wint gouden Loeki" (in Dutch). Show News. December 19, 2013.
  24. ^ Ingeborg van Lieshout. "Een telefoon om mee te bellen". Sync.
  25. ^ Karin Thomas (January 26, 2011). "Simplified mobile phone just makes & receives calls". Springwise.com.
  26. ^ Pichayada Promchertchoo (November 17, 2010). "John's Phone Launched for Technophobes". eWeek Europe.
  27. ^ Jack Loftus. "The Anti-Smartphone". Gizmodo.
  28. ^ Cory Doctorow. "John's Phone: the minimalist anti-smart-phone". Boing Boing.
  29. ^ "12 of the Year's Best Ideas in Interface Design". Fast Company. December 2010.
  30. ^ "Olli en het poepkanon trekken de wereld in" (in Dutch). October 29, 2014.
  31. ^ "Ontwerper Olli" (in Dutch). Rijnmond. April 2, 2013.
  32. ^ "Stormloop op Olli" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagblad. March 28, 2013.
  33. ^ "Olli mania". Feyenoord News. March 28, 2013.
  34. ^ "Olli als uithangbord van Feyenoord". Algemeen Dagblad. March 30, 2013.
  35. ^ "Olli de vredesduif". AD. March 2013.
  36. ^ "Feyenoord mascotte Olli" (in Dutch). March 30, 2013.
  37. ^ "Nieuws" (in Dutch). Feyenoord. March 28, 2013.
  38. ^ "Over Olli, brand feeling". Blauw. February 14, 2013. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015.
  39. ^ "Sophia Kinderziekenhuis verwelkomt Olli de olifant" (in Dutch). RTV Rijnmond. 10 September 2015.
  40. ^ "Iedereen is blij met Olli" (in Dutch). Metro. 10 September 2015.
  41. ^ "Home of Olli". Ollimania LLC. 10 September 2015.

External links[edit]