Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pretty Business People in Sweden

Was at some sort of conference yesterday for work. Nothing too exciting at all really. We had a video game there so I played that and challenged people. One of the benefits of sports marketing I suppose is that you get to do some stuff that is a little more fun than just showing off your product.

So I played PS3. Which was fine. But I realized something. Aside from being able to beat all middle aged challengers on the PS3. I don’t know if it’s a Swedish thing. Or if it’s a business thing. But there were over 50 companies presenting stuff at this conference yesterday and then hundreds of people just milling about. A pretty good sample of men and women. In fact, it almost seemed like there were more women. But regardless, that’s not what was interesting. The interesting thing was the looks of the women who were at the booths compared to the looks of all of the other women milling about.

The women at the booths were all good looking. The women wandering around were more of a mixed bag. Which is more of what I expected. But the presenters were all good looking. It almost seemed like the companies just sent the good looking people to the conference as an outward face. Honestly, it’s probably a good idea; pretty people are more fun to look at as a general rule. I’m not sure if it was on purpose but there it was.

My company is very small. And so there aren’t a whole lot of people to choose from. Which is why I ended up standing there all day not because I’m pretty. Although I’m sure everyone appreciated my boyish good looks (what with my unshaven goatee and all).

And this raised a question in my newfound Swedishness. Because when you start flying on a Swedish passport you are supposed to pay more attention to sexism. And the environment. And love welfare and high taxes. And basically become a socialist. And, as everyone knows… that basically describes me to a tee.

Anyway, is this sexist? Or is it just good marketing? Or is it just a coincidence and these companies only have good looking women working for them? And according to the common Swedish stereotype, Sweden is supposed to have a lot of beautiful people (and having done plenty of studies I’ve decided that there aren’t more absolutely gorgeous people in Sweden. It’s just that the average person in Sweden is better looking). I say it’s a little bit of good marketing, and a little bit of just using the resources you have. And in Sweden that just happens to be good looking women.

Welcome to Sweden. Where good looking people can be used as a business resource.


  1. Putting pretty people up front is standard operating practice at conferences -- (what used to be) E3 "booth babes" for instance.

  2. I don´t think is sexism that companys´s choose more attractive people as there face to the world.

    It´s just business.

    Time to get drunk.
    Have a nice Valborg´s day!

  3. having pretty girls in your booth is pretty much the same as using attractive people in a magazine or tv ad--Your booth IS advertisement. Got to get traffic directed your way and how better to do that than with beauty. We used to hire a "hot" shoeshine girl to give free shoeshines at our booth--LOTS of traffic with that one.

  4. I agree with everyone. I'm just surprised by it here in Sweden after all the nonsense about sexism in advertising. But like I said, as a general rule pretty people are more fun to look at, so I'm not going to complain.

  5. We called them Vannas, though you are probably too young to remember Wheel of Fortune. The marketing department would hire them from agencies. In a different company, the company itself supplied the Vannas, and (somewhat to my surprise) my colleagues would show up in scoop-neck blouses that they normally never wore in the office.

  6. that's amazing. seriously. are there still companies like that?

  7. good looking people in sweden aren't used for the companies image! face it...a ugly person could have been given the same job! it's just that basically every single person in sweden is pretty and therefore you just never see ugly ones, and so you suddenly jump to conlusion that these people were hired because of their looks...when really they are smart, and actually earnt the job as much as a ugly person would have.

  8. I disagree... every single person in sweden is most definitely not pretty. at all.

    what Ive decided is that average is just a bit better looking than average back in the us. but really good looking people? about the same as youll find in the us.