Ikea furniture, Absolut Vodka, Volvo cars, H&M clothing — Sweden may be synonymous with many things, but clever television advertising isn’t one of them.
Amanda and I don’t watch much TV, but when we do we usually mute the commercials because they’re so boring.
Maybe I was just spoiled growing up in a country where corporations spend millions of dollars and countless hours on one 30-second spot for Super Bowl Sunday, but the ads just seem dull here.
There are exceptions, of course. Here are a few of my recent favorites.
ICA Reklamfilm Midsommarfest i butiken 2011
I should preface this by explaining that ICA, one of the largest and most Swedish of the many supermarket chains here, is not making fun of Down syndrome.
The company launched a controversial ad campaign a few years back featuring Swedish actor Mats Melin as “Jerry.” According to one report, the ads were designed “to challenge prejudices about mental disability.” Different people think different things about the commercials, and it’s hard to say whether the ads have any effect on changing perceptions about those with mental disabilities.
This ad is a funny parody of Midsummer, traditional floral wreaths and all. Somehow, ICA commercials are consistently able to convey humor and the week’s sale prices at the same time.
Com Hem Bredband - snabbt stabilt och jättejättebra – Juditune
Fast, stable and very, very great. That’s essentially the broadband from Com Hem, a triple play telecommunications provider that has featured redheads Judith and Judith in many of its recent commercials.
I think autotune is the greatest things to happen to music in my lifetime, so I was obviously already onboard when Com Hem jumped on the bandwagon. Amanda and many other people I know hate this commercial, but I enjoy it.
Tele2 - Sound Studio
This commercial literally made me laugh so hard one night I cried. And that was probably the 40th or 50th time I had seen it.
Frank the Sheep originated with Tele2 Netherlands and spread to Sweden, Tele2’s original European market, because sheep is pronounced very similarly to “cheap” in Swedish.
Frank is pretty ignorant when it comes to Swedish. This ad gets me EVERY time.
“That wasn’t good? Felt good!
Who speaks Swedish anyway? Heh… Swedes.”
And I’ll leave you with a classic for a popular Swedish beer that aired at least a few years back.