Have you ever heard about VliVlaVlo Flea Circus or The Big Bang Beans? If you live in the Netherlands, probably yes. However, these two brands are not real, created from scratch by JCDecaux the Netherlands in order to prove the effectiveness of an outdoor advertising campaign.

During summer 2016, colourful posters of “VliVlaVlo travelling flea circus” appeared all around the Netherlands inside JCDecaux’s furniture. This striking advertising campaign – which was composed of 4 different posters – invited bystanders to visit VliVlaVlo website.
VliVlaVlo poster in Amsterdam

The website have been viewed more than 20,000 times, more than 5166 people asked for more information on the tour schedule and nearly 17,000 interested people googled for the ins and outs of the Flea Circus.

The growing use of smartphones gives outdoor advertising campaigns the opportunity to penetrate far beyond the city where bystanders can see them.  Indeed, VliVlaVlo also managed to arose curiosity in relatively small towns: mails flooded from Zevenaar, Lochem, Katwijk, Maarssenbroek, Delfzijl and Venray… where JCDecaux is not even present!


People are used to spraying pesticides on fleas, but now thousands of people want to see them. This campaign shows once again that Outdoor Advertising is extremely effective even for something – let’s be honest – as trivial as a flea circus, which makes a lot of people moving even at the height of the summer. There’s no denying that VliVlaVlo can do nothing but itch the advertisers to deploy more OOH advertising. Bart de VriesCommercial Director of JCDecaux The Netherlands.

2 years before, in 2014, JCDecaux the Netherlands already tested this kind of fake campaign with the remarkable Big Bang Beans. The country was one week under the spell of these magic beans.

In both campaigns, posters were funny and colorful, immediately catching the attention of consumers. Furthermore, the lack of information creates some mystery.  Through eye-tracking studies, the market research agency Validators showed that 30% of the bystanders noticed the posters in less than 2 seconds (Stopping Power) and 20% in less than 5 seconds (Interest).

These results also highlight the effectiveness of outdoor advertising. The average Cost Per Click (CPC) measured across all media types is around 6.71€ while the cost to drive a consumer to the Big Bang Beans website was around  5.75€.  It is less effective than an outdoor campaign for a well-known brand (4€ or 5€) but the result is increbibly high for an unknown (and fake!) brand, and demonstrates the power of out-of-home for building brand fame.