Albert Heijn stores celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Smurfs in 2008 with terrific fanfare...and free Smurfs for customers! Miniature Smurf figures, plush Smurfs, Smurf badges, Smurf games, Smurf recipes and cooking demonstrations, Smurf controversy - and so much more all happened at AH!
Ahold, as the store is also known, pulled out all the stops, transforming their stores with Smurf displays and providing free Smurfs - leaving kids and adults clamoring to collect the whole set.
AH's smurfy offerings included: miniature Smurf figurines, plush Smurfs, Smurf recipe cards and cooking demonstrations, colorful Smurf badges, television advertisements, Smurf trading days and even a special Golden Smurf figurine!
It was smurftastic! "Dress as a Smurf" extravaganzas were held outside AH stores. Normally reserved people became obsessed with collecting all the Smurf figurines. Around 23 million figures were given away in the first month - the Dutch went into a Smurf frenzy!
Albert Heijn Smurfs
Watch AH Smurfs Commercial
Fancy some Smurf pancakes with Smurfberries? AH has you covered, with a Smurf recipe card collection including Smurf blueberry pancakes (Smurfenpannenkoekjes met blauwe bessen), Smurf Pasta, Smurf Spinach Curry, and even a Gargamel cheese fondue... I wonder what Gargamel will dip into his fondue pot?
AH held instore cooking demonstrations where people could learn how to make Smurf pancakes with a celebrity cook (Chef Joop Braakhekke), along with Papa Smurf and Smurfette!
AH Brainy Smurf
Smurf Collector's Box
AH Smurf Figures
Free Smurfs! Every €15 purchase at Albert Heijn got you a free AH Smurf figurine. The Smurfs came in a yellow plastic bag along with a Smurf insert paper (BPZ) listing all 15 of the AH Smurf figures. A special collector's box to store your AH figures was available for free.
Customers who opted for AH Webshop Home Delivery during the Smurf promotion (February 18 - March 24 2008) received an envelope with eight free Smurfs, regardless of their order size.
Customers never knew what Smurf they would get. Each yellow bag looked the same, so it was a surprise every time! This lead to a huge amount of barter, trade and exchange of Smurf figurines so people could complete their collection of 15 Smurfs. Also inside the bag was a Smurf Point. Smurf Points could be pasted onto a Smurfs Saving Card - which was used to purchase a special AH Plush Smurf.
AH BPZ Smurfen
AH Golden Smurf Poster
AH Miniature Smurfs
Jokey Smurf (with a gift)
Lazy Smurf (on a pillow)
Handy Smurf (with saw and log)
Harmony Smurf (plays trumpet)
Shopping Smurf / Waving Smurf
Baker Smurf (flipping a pancake)
Grouchy Smurf (with water buckets)
Smurfette (holds a flower)
Hefty Smurf (with dumbbell)
Azrael the Cat
AH Gold Smurf
Special AH Golden figurines were hidden inside the normal packages of Smurfs.
Only 50 Gold Smurfs were created!
AH Smurf Set
Special Golden Smurf Figure
One of the most exciting aspects of the AH Smurf celebration was the special Golden Smurf. Hidden inside the standard yellow packages was a randomly inserted golden Smurf figure... only 50 Golden AH Smurfs were made! Each came with a unique code to be entered at www.ah.nl/smurfen to validate their win. Winners were awarded a smurfy surprise - a complete Smurfs package which included signed and numbered Smurf artwork.
The AH Gold Smurf itself holds a flag which reads "HOERA" and is completely gold in color. Hoera is a Dutch word used to cheer - it means "hooray". What a special Smurf prize!
The Smurfs have been captured in Gargamel's cage! Try to reach the safety of a mushroom house - all the while avoiding pitfalls, boobytraps, broken bridges, mousetraps... and especially Gargamel and Azrael!
On February 27, 2008 Dutch newspaper De Pers published a sensational front page story with the headline "Only Baby Smurf survives the The Press Team Test." De Pers called the AH Smurfs "29 million little blue bunglers".
The gist of the newspaper's take on the AH Smurfs is that with the exception of the AH Baby Smurf figurine, the tiny parts of the AH figures can come apart and thus may be harmful to small children.
In a pre-emptive response to the story, AH stated on February 25, 2008 that "Smurfs are not playthings", and that the AH Smurf giveaways are not suitable for very small children because certain parts may break off. Thus, a deadly smurf scandal was averted!
Dress-Up Party - Over 800 Smurfs Arrived
Albert Heijn hosted a big Smurf dress-up party on March 5, 2008!
Around 800 people dressed up as Smurfs, wearing hats and blue makeup, appeared at the Renkum AH store to help celebrate the Smurfs' 50th Anniversary and the success of AH Smurfs.
The many Smurf fans were treated to dancing by jumpduo Jeckyll and Hyde, Smurf collectors traded Smurfs, and a smurfy time was had by all!
Smurf Trading Day
March 5th was designated a Trade Day where everysmurf could trade their doubles at AH stores. People flocked to the stores to exchange Smurfs with other like-minded collectors in the hope of getting a complete set of 15. Dutch television news covered the trading events with great excitement!
AH Smurf Badges
AH Smurf Badges
AH smurfed up some promotional Smurf badges! Four AH badges were created:
Jokey Smurf Farewell Tot Smurfs
Hefty Smurf Here They Smurf (Work) Hard Hier wordt hard gesmurft
Shopping Smurf Good Smurf / Good Morning Goeie Smurf
Pankcake Smurf I Smurf (Make) Everything Fresh Ik smurf alles vers
3 Points + €3.99 = 1 Plush Smurf
AH Plush Smurfs
Snuggle up with a Smurf or Smurfette Plush toy from AH!
Customers collected points on their Smurf Savings Card to get a plush Smurf or Smurfette. A full card (three points) - along with €3.99 - entitled the customer to a plush Smurf!
1 Smurf Figure earns 1 Smurf Point.
The AH dolls are three apples tall (or 12" in height).
AH Supermarket Campaign
AH celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Smurfs at their stores in the Netherlands. An amazing 29 million AH Smurf figurines were distributed, along with over one million plush Smurfs. The smurfiness began on February 18, 2008 and ended March 24, 2008 (although the in-store displays came down earlier in some areas).
There was a virtual Smurf frenzy that took over the Netherlands during the AH campaign. People never knew what Smurf they'd be getting when they received a sealed Smurf package in the store... it was always a smurfy surprise! Many people traded Smurfs in an effort to get all 15 different figurines.
Many non-Smurf items around the store had colorful Smurf tags that read "Now with a free smurf" ("Nu met een gratis Smurf"). The results of AH's labors were impressive. AH's turnover increased by 7.9%. The number of customers (families) grew by 70,000. AH's Smurfs were a total smurfy success!
AH Smurf Displays
AH Store Displays
Albert Heijn turned their stores smurfy when they began their Smurf promotion. Displays, posters and banners were placed throughout the store announcing the arrival of the Smurfs.
AH Smurf DVDs & Comic Books
Albert Heijn sold Smurf DVDs during their Smurf extravaganza. A giant display box sold 4 DVDs for €4.99 each and approximately 10 Smurf comics for €2.99 each.
Each Smurf DVD has 4-6 episodes and an approximate disc runtime of 70 minutes. Language: Dutch. If you signed up to become a member of the AH Webshop between February 25 and March 9, 2008 and used offer code "DVD0808", you would receive one free Smurfs DVD with your order!
AH Papa Smurf Bus Stop Poster
AH also advertised the Smurfs on outdoor bus stops and similar venues! Those lucky enough could wait for the bus sitting right next to a brightly lit Smurf display!
Television & Print
TV and newspapers got caught up in the Dutch Smurfmania, providing a stream of constant stories about the Smurfs that had captured the nation's attention.
Albert Heijn Smurf Legacy
For such little creatures, AH Smurfs have left a huge impression on the Dutch people and the Netherlands. For over a month the entire country was captivated by The Smurfs. AH released millions of figurines and excited the imagination of kids everywhere (both young and old). Thanks to Albert Heijn, the Smurfs 50th Anniversary was smurftastic!