- Production podcast
The Jewish Museum put together an exhibition of nearly a thousand rattles. The accompanying podcast tells the life story of the man who brought together this curious collection: Heinz Keijser.
From December 2021, the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam devoted a major exhibition to a collection of almost 1000 rattles. It consists of a wide variety of these baby toys, in almost every imaginable version: from archaeological finds to plastic. Viewing the collection becomes more meaningful when you know the story behind it, about the man who brought it all together: Heinz Keijser. His life story is connected with the most important periods of the 20th century: the rise of fascism in 1920s Germany, the Second World War, and the post-war reconstruction in the Netherlands.
The Jewish Museum was looking for a way to tell this story in an appealing way. At the same time, it wanted to inspire people to visit the exhibition in the museum. The aim was to reach a new and younger audience than the museum usually does.
A podcast turned out to be the most logical medium to use from the museum. In the first place from a reach perspective: podcast platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts are channels that enabled the Jewish Museum to reach the desired new audience. Secondly, the medium was also a logical choice from a substantive perspective, because a podcast lends itself well to telling a complex and personal story, such as that of Heinz Keijser.
To make the historical theme interesting and relevant for young audiences, podcast maker Lotte van Gaalen was involved in the project. In a 4-part series, she tries to find an answer to the question of why a grown man devotes a large part of his life to collecting baby toys. This search provides a clear story structure, in which Heinz Keijser's personal life story is linked to major historical events.
As a young podcast maker, Lotte looks at Keijser's story from a contemporary perspective. For example, each episode has a prologue that connects in an associative way with the historical events. Like a belly dancer who talks about the beneficial effect of rattling and shaking. With this approach, the podcast is more than just a story about historical events, it becomes a story with greater, universal values.
In addition to the research from the Jewish Museum, an autobiographical document by Heinz Keijser is an important source. Parts of this are integrated into the podcast and interpreted by the Dutch famous actor Leopold Witte. The podcast is deliberately set up in such a way that it is separate from the exhibition: a museum visit is even more interesting after listening, but not a must.
Outcome.The podcast was positively reviewed in various media and managed to attract a fast-growing group of listeners. The consumption ratio above 100% indicates an above-average high engagement among listeners.
De Man met de Rammelaars reached the top 20 of the overall podcast charts in the Netherlands. Besides, the show was number 1 in the History subcategory for weeks.
The podcast also reached a large number of listeners outside its own channel. Because the episodes were released within another successful podcast, Parel Radio, that presents a curated selection of audio documentaries. In addition, the podcast was broadcasted on one of the biggest radio stations in the Netherlands.
In combination with a paid media campaign, the Jewish Museum successfully reached a new audience. Ultimately, this also led to more visitors to the museum itself.