Cobblestone tribute


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Case Film






Situation:Het Nieuwsblad is Belgium’s leading newspaper for editorial cycling content.

Our cycling content tagline is “We own cycling”. Every year, the road cycling season starts end of February with the opening race, De Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a road race that even carries the brand’s name.

Brief: After the opening race, Het Nieuwsblad planned a communication campaign to highlight their cycling involvement. But due to Covid19, all sports event in Belgium were cancelled as of beginning of March. So we needed to find a way to talk about cycling, without having any actual race. And our message needed to be aligned with the Covid19 situation.

Objectives: Claim that Het Nieuwsblad is still the nr 1 newspaper for cycling news and spread a message of hope & support in the difficult Covid19 times.


In a normal year, millions of fans would be cheering for their cycling heroes, but this spring, other heroes were taking action: the health workers who were fighting for the nation’s health. So we turned the course of the canceled Tour of Flanders into an ode to our nation’s health workers. The Cobblestone Tribute was born.

On the most iconic roads of the race, we painted the names of hundreds of anonymous health workers with the same last name as cyclists. This way, we turned Flanders’ empty hills into monuments to honor healthcare workers nationwide.


The Tour of Flanders, the biggest day race in Flanders. Every year, it’s almost a national holiday for all cycling enthusiasts. So this was the momentum to spread our message. We needed a message of hope &support. A message of understanding but also with a big thumbs up to everybody who was contributing to help defeat the virus. But due to Covid19, the race day was cancelled. No riders, no fans, no sound, nothing. We wanted to use this momentum to spread our message.

Message: Don’t go looking for your cycling heroes. Meet the Covid19 heroes.

Our usual target group is everybody with a big heart for cycling. But for this campaign, we needed to spread the word to Flanders.

As a newspaper we have our owned media being full page ads and social media channels. Because it’s a live momentum for our message TVC was most relevant



The Cobblestone Tribute was aired on national tv on the exact moment the race was supposed to take place. At the same time, the most famous pro riders started sharing the film online. Fans and journalists followed, by the end of the day the Cobblestone was picked up by all other newspapers, making the story spread even further.


Launch on 5 April 2020, aired from 5 until 8 of April.


Several TV channels in Belgium from DPG media and SBS. Several media platforms picked up the news, was also widely spread over social media. Nearly all Belgian newspapers shared the story.


7 out of 10 Belgians were reached


Pro riders, cycling teams and fans were touched and shared this story of hope and solidarity. Other big news media followed and spread the message of the Cobblestone Tribute. The story was the talk of the weekend and raised the appreciation for all healthcare workers in Belgium.

And there was Media Peace for One Day: For the first time in years, for one day, the war between the Belgian media brands was put on hold. All newspaper competitor news outlets covered the campaign and shared the video across all their digital platforms. This increased the reach of the 70% of the Belgians.

This campaign was used by ACC (association of communication companies in belgium) as a benchmark case for communication in crisis times.

In one weekend, the Cobblestone Tribute counted over 15 million impressions, reached 7 out of 10 Belgians and earned 4 million euros of media value.

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