IKEA Mob – Barry Manilow 1-0

Flashmob is maybe yesterdays news in advertising. Or rather, news of the last decade.

Nevertheless I prefere to listen to this Christmas band of IKEA playing Jingle Bells using kitchen utensils from IKEA during rush hour, to listening to Barry Manilow, or similar, one more time.

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors

It’s Not a Wonderful Life – But an Ok Commercial

Christmas movies are blockbusters because they serve as stand ins for Christmas peace that we lose during the big holiday shopping.

But the guys at ad agency Garbergs consider they have found peace at a storage shelf of home electronics retail store Netonnet. And made a Christmas movie of it.

A sweet story but Christmas miracles used to be better.

Agency: Garbergs

The X Factor of IKEA

Who has the X Factor at home? Home furnishing chain, IKEA wants to know. In a few weeks IKEA will open a new store next to its original headquarter in Älmhult and there will be music at the opening.

Therefore, agency Futurniture has arrange an IKEA-made X-factor to find the best band playing in a (IKEA furnished) home. The bands must upload a video to YouTube and the video must be recorded in their home. A jury (no, Simon Cowell is not in the jury) will pick a winner but the winner will not take it all. The payment for the gig at the opening is 10 000 kronor (1500 dollar) but IKEA reserves the right to use the contributions without any compensation. Hmmm.

Agency: Futurniture

Zlatan Znoring

The amazing goal, and the overhead kick, of Swedens Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Englands team, has been praised all over the world, even in England

Now the Nestlé owned coffe roasting company Zoegas, located in the same part of Sweden as Zlatan grew up, wants to celebrate the hero. Or you might say that Zoegas takes the opportunity to parasitize on the triumph of Zlatan.

Another interpretation is that the copy of the ad is an expression of snoring.

Agency: DDB Stockholm

Slapstick Lawyers

This is not the best commercial, or maybe we should call it branded entertainment, you will see this year. No, this is not good.

But in many ways it is very funny.

Maqs is a high profile law firm in northern Europe. Their clients are big business and important media companies. The firm represented Hollywood during the Pirate Bay trial.

Hollywood was perhaps inspiring. Now Maqs has a new partner, a ”marketing director”, and the strict Swedish lawyers have suddenly transformed into super heros saying dorky lines.

Law firms who market themselves are very rare. Law firms making a five minutes long “commercial noir” with a silly storyline and terrible English pronunciation is almost unthinkable.

But that is exactly what Maqs have done. The partners and employees even act, sort of, in the legal drama. I’m not sure why but the “Maqs Justice” has really succeeded in moving the brand. From dull grey suits to slapstick lawyers.

This indicates a certain level of humor and the firm should be praised for daring to break the rigid standards of the legal world. But, Maqs, next time, please ask Hollywood about scrip and acting.

Production company: Fandango Film

Visit a Curator of Sweden

Maybe media is the message. But a more important formula of Sweden is People are the Media.

Do you remember Curators of Sweden, the Twitter campaign from the Swedish tourist agency Visit Sweden? All Swedish citizens can apply to represent Sweden at Twitter and every week there is a new curator updating the Twitter account @SwedenIt’s marketing in a Swedish  democratic style.

Although @Sweden has few followers the account has received worldwide attention. Especially after TV host and comedian Stephen Colbert started a campaign to become a Curator of Sweden (no, he failed).

Of course, the ad agency behind the project, Volontaire, was rewarded a herd of Cannes Lions 2012.

Now it’s time to take the next step. The new campaign Visit a Swede is an embodiment of @Sweden. You have learned about Sweden when following The Curators of Sweden and now you can visit them in real life.

You sign up at the webpage of Visit a Swede and the web page will match you with an appropriate Swede. 10 000 Swedes have already sign up to take care of a visitor. They will take you for a coffee, visit nice restaurants, you can exercise at gym, they might offer you a bed or just to hang around.

Visit a Swede is a development of webpages like Meetup, CouchSurfing, Tripping and follow an international trend where tourists want to become a part of the everyday life in countries they visit.

What is interesting is that 10 000 Swedes are the media channel of the campaign. The marketers at Visit Sweden say ”…the Sweds are the best marketing asset of Sweden.”

Let’s hope Stephen Colbert will arrive in Sweden soon.

The Home of Black Jeans

Black is the new black again, according to Tiger of Sweden Jeans.

Paint it Black

Black i Back

Boring, you might say. But wait a second, this time the black has a weird twist.

The campaign Paint it Black is a collaboration between the fashion brand and the paint manufactor Alcro. Before this season Tiger of  Sweden had developed a new shade of black and Alcro has transferred the Tiger of Sweden-black to wall paint you can buy in paint shops.

Therefor you can now match the colour of your home with your new jeans. Isn’t it amazing?

Agency: Lowe Brindfors

Sick Old Punkrocker

Do you know the old men from Bad Religion? If you do, it makes it easier to understand the new commerical from the pharmacy Apoteket.

It begins with an old man sitting in the kitchen looking at a post-it saying ”Don’t forget to pick up your medicine.” It’s probably a message from his wife and for some reason he doesn’t like it.

Then you see a tiresome cliche when the old guy transforms into a punk rebel smashing the home decorations. The story ends when he order his medicine from the computer. You know, very rebellious.

Well, this is not innovativ advertising and old men destroing porcelain figurines has never been funny. But you can notice one finesse inside the commercial. The music is the track 21st Century Digital Boy of punkband Bad Religion.

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors

The Bloody Announcement of the Swedish Republicans

The medival was a dark and gory era in Sweden. The kings killed peasants and each other and the priest set fire to women they called witches.

Today Sweden has left those kind of bad habits behind. But we still have a king. The Swedish Republican Association wants an end even to this medival institution.

Why? See the new clip from the organisation. At the end you can see the Swedish king are fed with grapes by a girl. It is a direct picture translation from the scandalous book “Carl XVI Gustaf: The Reluctant Monarch” published 2010.

Production: Hobby Animation

Ad Trip Ticket to North Korea

The Ad for the North Korean Contest

Earlier this year, The Association of Swedish Advertisers, ASA, carried out a major study of the Sweed’s attitude towards advertising.

The organisation didn’t like the result.

One of three thinks advertising is something evil, 80 percent dislike tv commercials and only 10 percent think ads are entertaining.

The advertisers explanation of the negative attitude is that the customer is always wrong (or rather: people don’t understand the importance of advertising). A grumpy and understandable respons.

Next step in the pr work of ASA was, however, really strange. ASA announced a contest for all Sweeds who dislike advertising and the first prize was a trip to North Korea. The header for the contest was “Stroll freely on ad free streets.”

The public respons to the contest was mixed. Some stated that you shouldn’t joke about a dictatorship. The president of ASA, Anders Ericson, replied that not everyone understands irony.

Anyway, 1200 submitted reasons why they should win the trip to the ad free North Korea. Now ASA has appointed a winner of the contest. A guy named Anders Högmark is the lucky (?) one. One of the things he wrote was ”I am so tired of the ad nonsens” and finished the reason with anxious curiosity “But just so I understand correctly – is it a round-trip ticket? “

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