The National Happiness Survey.

All people are different and unique, but in the end we all want the same thing: a happy and healthy life. When life insurance company Delta Lloyd Life became NN Belgium, NN decided to position the company as the leading expert in happiness and health. Why? Because our wellbeing is the best life insurance we can have. The ultimate goal? Make Belgian people healthier and happier!


The ingredients: 

1 NN chair (University of Ghent)

In order to get to know the key ingredients for our national happiness, NN set up an academic chair at the university of Ghent. Health economist Lieven Annemans carried out scientific research in Belgium around the simple question ‘What makes Belgian people happier?’ The answer? The most important domains for our national happiness are our social relations, our health, our financial wellbeing, our job and the environment we live in.

1 happiness platform 

All the content was published and elaborated on the website, A great tool to make the scientific research accessible for everyone and to get Belgian people acquainted with the brand NN. With the ‘Geluk-O-Meter / Bonheur – O –Mètre’ people can test their happiness level and compare it to other Belgian people. On the happiness blog, experts comment the scientific results and give easy tips and tricks to integrate in your lifestyle. 

2 happiness ambassadors

Two famous and well-chosen happy Belgians became the happiness ambassadors of NN to carry out the message to the large public. Cath Luyten and Maria Del Rio shared their stories on happiness on the blog and on social media.  

What we did.

During a whole year NN planned 8 press moments to communicate intermediate results of the scientific study, always about a certain topic with an important impact on our happiness.

An example: social relations

According to the National Happiness Survey of NN and UGhent our social relations are the key factor for our happiness. Friends and a good and healthy relationship have a significant impact on our everyday happiness level.

In our press story we chose to focus on loneliness. The results were stunning. Almost half of the population feels lonely on a regular basis. And what is even more surprising, especially the young generation (people under 34) often feel lonely. The impact on our happiness is huge: loneliness quadruples our chances to be unhappy.

We wrote a detailed press release with the data from the scientific results. We added comments of the CEO of NN and the professor of UGhent. In order to reinforce the message, we asked all political party presidents to react to these alarming data. We added their quotes to the press release. We also asked a psychologist to explain why social relations are so important for our happiness and added her vision to the press release.

A few days before the launch of the press release, we contacted key journalists. They received the detailed press kit – under embargo – and were offered the opportunity to interview the CEO of NN, the experts and the political party presidents.

We published the personal stories of happiness ambassadors Cath Luyten and Maria Del Rio in an interview with tips & tricks from experts on the blog.

What we got.

The communication on social relations got nationwide attention, resulting in more than 100 press clippings.

  • Front page news in the most popular national newspapers (Het Laatste Nieuws and Het Nieuwsblad) and covered by a wide range of media (from La Libre to Flair).
  • National television and radio (VRT, VTM, RTBF, Radio 1, Radio 2, Joe FM, MNM, Vivacité) brought the news and published interviews with the spokesperson and CEO of NN, as well as with professor Annemans and the other experts.
  • De Morgen wrote an opinion piece on the second page about the results, making it a trending topic that day. 
  • The happiness platform (, got a peak in its visitors. A lot of happiness tests were filled in.
  • Even months later, the results are still often referred to in articles about loneliness.