I hate these advertising campaigns because I didn’t do them
Diesel, for example. I had never seen the Diesel film, ’5am Mono
Village’, before Cannes this year. It took me five seconds to hate it.
Rightfully, the Cannes jury awarded it the Grand Prix. Afterwards
journalists asked me, as the president of the jury, why DDB Paradiset’s
campaign won. And it struck me: what can you do with a jeans brand from
the North of Italy to put it on the map? The product is the advertising
and vice versa. A tribute to those who dare.
But apart from hating the Diesel campaign - merely because I come from
that part of Siberia known as Scandinavia - I am proud of the
international success of our ads.
My second abhorred Scandinavian campaign is the Hall & Cederqvist/Y&R
Gevalia coffee campaign, ’when you get unexpected visitors’, which has
been around for ten years. It used to be a nice campaign with a good
concept which each year became more and more difficult for the agency to
do something ’unexpected’. However, during the past couple of years, the
agency has managed to breathe new life into it by using ’live ads’.
People were surprised to find an aeroplane in the middle of Stockholm, a
subway train bursting through the pavement or a Russian submarine in an
ice-hockey arena. The campaign has been extremely successful, talked
about and, of course, has won a lot of prizes. Gevalia now has a market
share of 40 per cent and 100 per cent brand awareness. And I still hate
As if that wasn’t enough, our neighbour to the East, Finland, is
emerging as a competitor on the Scandinavian advertising scene with its
agency, Hasan & Partners.
Before the arrival of Arla, the Swedish dairy company, in Finland in
1995, the Finnish yoghurt market was dominated by domestic brands. Being
Swedish does you no favours in Finland (little brother love/hate
Finland used to belong to Sweden and almost all Finns understand
Swedish. The idea was to project Arla as the most ’natural’ dairy
company, so Hasan invented a Swedish farmer who complains about
everybody and everything. The commercials are hilarious - brand
awareness increased 40 per cent in three months. Market share stabilised
at 15 per cent. It makes me sick.
Bo Ronnberg, the founder and chief executive of Ronnberg McCann in
Stockholm, was chairman of the Cannes juries this year.