The last two weeks has seen me take heed of a couple advertising campaigns. And honestly, that’s not something I very readily admit to. Usually I don’t pay direct attention to ads I see hanging around town. In Central Station for example. In the last two weeks that has changed.
Last week I noticed an ad campaign with people drinking out of a gas pump. Caught my attention. The one that really grabbed my eyes was of two children, one sitting on the pump holding the nozzle while the other one sucked on it. Others showed people pumping gas into a glass. Various other forms of drinking really. It was effective. I paid attention. The ad was for Flygbussarna, the bussing company that takes you back and forth to the airport. They’re using bio-fuel now. So good for the environment you can drink it. That’s the claim. I don’t know if it’s true or not but the campaign got my attention.
The thing is I’m not going to use them even after the ad campaign. Not because I hate the planet, or because I was offended by the ads. But because the train is cheaper. Or almost cheaper since I haven’t hit 25 years of age yet. And since it takes about half as long on the train, I’ll stick with them. Hell, I even think the train is better for the environment anyway. After I turn 25 though? Maybe I’ll give them another chance. We’ll see.
But now on to this week’s ad campaign that snagged my eyes. This one literally made me rubberneck. Turn my head. Damn near trip on the stairs. The ads were in a series on the wall climbing the stairs in Central Station. And what caught my eye was a large poster sized ad of a purse open with the Bible, Bakis (an anti-hangover medicine/supplement/nonsense), and a vibrator. The message being that even Christian girls like to get drunk and pleasure themselves. Or that Swedes, who we already know like to drink and pleasure themselves, also read the Bible. Suppose it depends on your point of view.
Actually, to be honest all I caught of this ad campaign was that it was for some sort of girl magazine. I’m thinking Cosmo på Svenska. Presumably focusing on Swedish fashion, sex, alcohol, and religion? Now obviously (I hope), I wasn’t the target market here. But if I was they dropped the ball. Because I couldn’t tell you the name of the magazine to save my life. So while they might have caught my attention I didn’t actually pay attention to the brand. They just did too good of a job catching my attention.
Unfortunately some people got fired up. But not for the ad you might think. They were mad about the bio-fuel ad. Because it might give kids the wrong idea. And they might start sucking on gas pumps. Obviously.
I find it interesting though that the ad campaign that created the most controversy was the one focusing on the environment, not sex, alcohol, and religion. Not sure really if this is something unique to Sweden. Or to Stockholm. Maybe Swedish advertising is just a bit more risqué because I don’t know that the combination of the Bible, vibrators, and anti-hangover pills, would fly in the US of A. Maybe.
I like it though. I’m all for a little advertising that wakes some sort of emotion. Whether it be shock, disgust, anger, whatever. Make people pay attention. And both ad campaigns did just that.
Well done Sweden. Well done.