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Ollimania character
Olli Ollimania.jpg
First appearance14 November 2004
Created byHein Mevissen
Diederiekje Bok
Developed byJohn Doe
Hein Mevissen Diederiekje Bok
FamilyOllimania Family

Olli is a cartoon character and a stuffed toy and a drink. The character Olli was original created in 2004[1] by Dutch designer and film director Hein Mevissen and writer Diederiekje Bok as a character for a bottled mineral water.[2] Olli was one of many characters used on the packages and posters of the bottled water brand and John's Phone. Olli was launched on a party of MTV In Rotterdam in 2004.[3] In 2013 Olli[4] was again part of a campaign.[5] This time to save the Rotterdam Zoo Diergaarde Blijdorp. Olli is part of the Ollimania family which is the company that created and owns all characters. Olli became a national hype[6] in the Netherlands from the launch in 2004. After the launch Olli became the symbol[7] of Rotterdam[8] and professional football club Feyenoord.[9][10] On 10 September 2015, Ollimania and its creators Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok donated[11] a huge Olli statue to the Sophia Children's hospital in Rotterdam. They did this to give a smile[12] to the little patients and parents in the hospital. This original big Olli is there to stay.


The first two Ollimania books[13] were launched in October 2014. 'Olli en het poepkanon' and 'Olli is een olifant'. Both books made it into the top 10 of best sold children books[14] in the Netherlands. In June 2015 Ollimania published again two new books called 'Olli en de woestijndraak'[15] and 'Olli op reis'.[16]

  • 2014 – Olli en het poepkanon (Leopold) (Dutch)
  • 2014 – Olli is een olifant (Leopold) (Dutch and German)
  • 2015 – Olli en de woestijndraak (Leopold) (Dutch)
  • 2015 – Olli gaat op reis (Leopold) (Dutch)
  • 2015 – Olli and the pudding rocket (Leopold) (Dutch and English)
  • 2015 – Een kusje voor Tutje (Leopold) (Dutch)
  • 2016 – Olli wordt later (Leopold) (Dutch)
  • 2016 – Sugar Mousey It's always about love Ollimania (English)
  • 2016 – Hello Olli (Ollimania) (English)
  • 2016 – The art of Ollimania(Ollimania) (English)


Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok from design company John Doe designed Olli from the basic shape of a soccer ball. They believe the basic shape, size and character was part of Olli's success. This made Olli easily recognizable to audiences. Olli is drawn in a minimalist style, requiring only a few lines and one primary color. Olli was created in three sizes, one small size 4.7 in. one medium, size 11 in. and one big size 7.2 ft.

Big Olli[edit]

There are two big Olli's. They are the elder version of small Olli. The Big Olli's is a special creature model made for several charities. One is a permanent hard plastic polyester statue at the Sophia Children's hospital and another one has a temporarily place at the Rotterdam Zoo. The big Olli that is used in the short film to save the Rotterdam ZOO is stored at a secret location according to the creators.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Olli is toy elephant grown to the size of a real elephant. Olli is a lovable character with furry friends living in a Japanese fantasy world. Later in 2013 there was a story added that he was also the favorite toy of Famous Soccer player Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Together they are the main cast of a short film.[17] In Rotterdam, Netherlands of 1980, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is a little boy (played in the short film by the son of Giovanni van Bronckhorst). One day, he discovers a stuffed Elephant at the Rotterdam Zoo and immediately grows attached to it. The name of the elephant is Olli. Giovanni takes him everywhere he goes, especially when he plays soccer. One day during a soccer game, he loses Olli in the canal of Rotterdam. 28 years later in 2013, Giovanni became a Famous Soccer Player and trainer of soccer club Feyenoord and Olli, also grew big, reunite again.[18]


Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok have a history in creating things that help people.[19] To give something back to society and convince big brands to do so too. Olli was a few times part of a strategy they developed in 2004 and created Olli as a separate brand to generate awareness and in one campaign to generate more traffic and money for a ZOO in Rotterdam.


In December 2013 Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok of John Doe[20] got awarded with the highest Dutch advertising award[21][22][23] the Golden Loeki[24] for this campaign. The agency John Doe got the award in a Live television[25] show from Arian Buurman, CEO of the Stichting Ether Reclame who hosts the Loeki awards.


In 2013 Olli was used to help and save the Rotterdam zoo to generate money after the zoo lost government funding. In one year over 200.000 Olli's[26] were sold. Olli also generated 75.000 more visitors for the Rotterdam zoo. Ollimania is a licensing [27] brand for a large range of products and always attached to a good cause. In 2015 Ollimania sold over a million[28] of their licensed products.


Ollimania is always involved with giving back to the community. Ollimania works with local charity organizations as well as collaborating on common projects, fund‐raisings and social activities. In 2013 Ollimania saved a historic Zoo.[29] In 2015 Ollimania brings its stuffed toy characters to children hospitals, where he interact with little patients by distributing Ollimania presents, reading out Ollimania stories, taking pictures and even organizing birthday celebrations for the most needing ones and their families. On 10 September 2015, Ollimania and its creators Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok donated[30] a huge Olli statue to the Sophia Children's hospital in Rotterdam. They did this to give a smile[31] to the little patients and parents in the hospital. This original big Olli is there to stay.

Copyright infringement[edit]

In 2015 John Doe BV/Ollimania started a lawsuit against the Dutch insurance company ASR Nederland for copyright infringement.[32] The Dutch Insurance company used illegally images and fotos from Ollimania to sell insurances to their customers. The Dutch court ruled in favor of John Doe BV/ Ollimania and urged ASR Nederland to stop their copyright infringement. ASR Nederland had a license for a year on one of the Olli toys that expired in August 2014. The insurance company also kept 30,000 toys that were meant for the Rotterdam Zoo to earn money to keep the zoo open. ASR Nederland was entitled to keep the toys and distribute them however they see fit as long they would not infringe the copyrights of John Doe BV and Olli again.[33] ASR Nederland is the biggest[34] insurance company of the Netherlands with almost 3,000 employees. Hein Mevissen, the artist and creator of Olli urged the insurance company to look in their hearts and give the toys back to the zoo where they belong.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Olli begroet patiënten Sophia Ziekenhuis". Metro. 23 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Olli en het poepkanon trekken de wereld in" (in Dutch). 29 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Water from the Supermarket". Partyscene. 29 October 2005.
  4. ^ "Stormloop op Olli". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 28 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Volksgekte om knuffeltje Olli". Metro. 29 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Olli mania". Feyenoord News. 28 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Olli als uithangbord van Feyenoord". Algemeen Dagblad. 30 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Olli de vredesduif". AD. March 2013.
  9. ^ "Feyenoord mascotte Olli" (in Dutch). 30 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Nieuws" (in Dutch). Feyenoord. 28 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Sophia Kinderziekenhuis verwelkomt Olli de olifant" (in Dutch). RTV Rijnmond. 10 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Iedereen is blij met Olli" (in Dutch). Metro. 10 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Olli en het poepkanon" (in Dutch). 29 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Top 10 liefste baby boeken" (in Dutch). October 2014.
  15. ^ "Olli en de woestijndraak" (in Dutch). June 2015.
  16. ^ "Olli gaat op reis" (in Dutch). June 2015.
  17. ^ "Olli & Giovanni van Bronckhorst" (in Dutch). FR12. 26 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Aaibare briljante reclame" (in Dutch). Christianne Blogs. 21 March 2013.
  19. ^ "Wereldheerschappij voor Rotterdamse Olli" (in Dutch). FAB. 30 March 2014.
  20. ^ "John Doe grossiert in prijzen". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 26 June 2007.
  21. ^ "Olli wint Gouden Loeki". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). 19 December 2013.
  22. ^ "Olli wint Gouden Loeki". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). 19 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Gouden Loeki 2013: Olli met reclamebureau John Doe" (in Dutch). Reclamewereld. 19 December 2013.
  24. ^ "Gouden Loeki Awards".
  25. ^ "Olli wint gouden Loeki" (in Dutch). Show News. 19 December 2013.
  26. ^ "Olli reddende engel diergaarde Blijdorp". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 3 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Olli licensing" (in Dutch). January 2011.
  28. ^ "Ollimania license". JohnDoe BV. 3 July 2015.
  29. ^ "Olli de vredesduif". AD. March 2013.
  30. ^ "Sophia Kinderziekenhuis verwelkomt Olli de olifant" (in Dutch). RTV Rijnmond. 10 September 2015.
  31. ^ "Iedereen is blij met Olli" (in Dutch). Metro. 10 September 2015.
  32. ^ "John Doe BV Olli". IE Forum. 30 July 2015.
  33. ^ "ASR en Olli". Reclameboek. 30 July 2015.
  34. ^ "Het nieuwe werken". Slimmer op weg. 13 December 2012.

External links[edit]