Jorn Kruijsen’s (1972-2023) Walk-in Refrigerator Advertisement Goes Worldwide

Jorn Kruijsen's (1972-2023) Walk-in Refrigerator Advertisement Goes Worldwide

Holland knows him from commercials such as Walk-in Fridge or supermarket manager Harry Piekema. Many, many of his friends know Jorn Kruijsen as a playful and friendly big bear, who has produced a lot of sounds, and also his love of life.

Hans van der Beek

Jorn Kruijsen was great in every way possible. In his way of working, enjoying life, and how he entered a room at first. It is ninety feet tall, sturdy build and a voice that often announces itself from afar.

“If he gets into a place, everyone will notice him in a few seconds,” says his brother Otto Kroesen. “Jorn was very good at making noise.”

“He filled it all,” says his wife, Marielle Knapp. “There was always something coming.”

It wasn’t called the Great Bear for nothing. “Or Big Bear,” says his partner Jeroen van de Sande. “He was also a very likable person.”

This past Thursday, Croisen, creative director and partner at advertising agency Alfred, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 51.

Rolling over with laughter

Croisen was born in 1972 at OLVG in Amsterdam, but grew up in Amstelveen. His single mother has three sons. Eric, Otto and Jorn the Younger.

He studied at the Art Academy in Campen and Utrecht, but soon made a meteoric career in the world of advertising in Amsterdam. At DMB&B, an agency that no longer exists, Kruijsen and Van de Sande, both still young, were kept in one room. They just had to work together.

“Within two hours we were rolling laughing on the floor,” says Van de Sande. What followed: a deep friendship and close collaboration for 26 years, in several agencies, but always as a duo. They have made a total of about five hundred ad films and have won countless series of Golden Lamps and Lions in Cannes, and one Golden Loeki.

During the many brainstorming sessions via the Amsterdamse Bos, Kruijsen liked to say: “Nice, but is it a lamp?”

Heineken fridge freezer

Advertising should be interesting, interesting and funny. That was his mission. Heineken’s Walk-in Refrigerator was only intended for the Dutch market, but it became viral and was eventually released in about 45 countries. Snoop Dogg made his own version, with a closet full of weed.

The list is endless: Pearle campaign with Ton Kas, Dick van den Toorn, Albert Heijn with Branch Manager Harry BeckemaUnox, McDonald’s, Royal Club, Amstel, Texels, and more recently Fighting Knights of Affligem who became a monk.

Another beautiful story from the history of advertising: Croisen met his wife on the set of Mora twenty years ago. NAP: “He was very stubborn; he would only drive on the left side of the road. But he was also very romantic and loving, always with flowers and notes. He had a big heart.”

As he loved his work, he loved life. Everything should be big and convincing. “It was very black and white,” says Knapp. “He really loved food and drink, but if he had to exercise, he would also go to the gym in Soho House for an hour and a half every day, and put a cubic meter of vegetables in a blender.”

Van de Sande: “Everything he did, he did with a straight leg. Full in. All or nothing. With double mayonnaise.”

Lots of painkillers

The cancer was diagnosed over a year ago. The disease was irreversible. Nap: “He didn’t want to get sick. He wasn’t ready yet.”

Croisen died three days after his son Jimmy’s tenth birthday. Brother Otto: “With a lot of painkillers, really in character, make sure Jimmy’s birthday is as ordinary as possible. That also says everything about Jorn.”

Kruijsen will be memorialized in a private circle on Thursday.

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