Shuttle/Tram

Sweden’s Advertising Flagship

Forsman & Bodenfors have a very special place in my heart. Not only because of their great work, but because it was their advertising that made me choose this career path. There is one ad I remembered specifically, and it’s the one just below. I apologize in advance for all the Swedish ads, I’ll try to explain them as well as possible, but some of them won’t translate very well. Luckily the first one has headlines.

Familjen Dafgård Kama Sutra

It’s such a brilliant ad. It doesn’t speak much about the food, but it does tell the story of how easily you can get dinner ready when you absolutely have to. It’s easily one of my favorite ads of all time. The casting is perfect for the script. On one hand the idea is so funny and simple. On the other hand I can’t imagine the amount of time it’d take me to stumble upon an idea like this.

Västtrafik Tram Sightseeing
During the last few years public transport have often been promoted on it’s environmental benefits. But Forsman & Bodenfors took a completely different approach. They saw it as an opportunity for the cheapest guided tour possible.

I believe this is the cleverest use I’ve seen of mobile yet. Sure there are a lot of cool branded apps but few add something useful to my life. Sadly I haven’t tried it yet as I’m stuck in Karlskrona. But I will visit Gothenburg later this year and then I have to try it out. The only bad thing I can see with it is that a lot of tourists will get pretty high phone bills due to the data usage, but maybe you can prep it over WiFi. Which leads us to the next campaign.

Tele2 only free is cheaper
Everyone has been told of how they must protect their WiFi with passwords and encryption, but apparently some people missed the memos. Forsman & Bodenfors saw an opportunity. With an outdoor campaign telling people how they could use the Internet for free.


From left to right the ads read:
Here you can surf the web using the “pizzalover” network. But there’s a lot of people using it so sometimes it might be a bit slow.
There’s an open network here. Thank the Lidman family for that. Just enter: “FamiljenLidman”
Right here there aren’t many open networks. Try over at Nytorget instead.”

I think that this is just the start. We’re not far away from companies offering WiFi at bus stops to promote their service. However, here we have something completely different. Tele2 is offering other people’s access to anyone who wants. And tell them that if they want to keep browsing the Internet where there is no free access, the cheapest way is to use Tele2. What I like about this approach is that it’s so unexpected for a big telecom company to do something like this.

The cool part of this campaign is that all these networks could be accessed at the start of the campaign.

Apotekets Magtest
The ads for the Swedish pharmacy Apoteket were some of my absolute favorites last year. Instead of showing illustrated or animated shots of this and that part of your stomach, they dreamed up a metaphor where a stomach is the world’s most chaotic office.


Every character represent a different part of your digestive system the stomach and the small intestine as well as the large intestine. All the ads end with the question “What’s the working environment like inside your stomach? Take our stomach test.

The humor is great as well as the style, but I find that the absurdity in the ads is what makes them perfect. Compared to other ads talking about stomach problems it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s humorous without fart jokes and still makes you think and wonder. It’s a testament to the fact that you don’t need a convincing guy in a white coat in medical ads and you definitely don’t need cheap and boring animations.

Kalles i Tokyo
There have been many brands promoting how good they are by associating their product to national pride. Few ads have shown how people from other counties can’t stand the product. So with this approach Forsman & Bodenfors promoted a Swedish spread as the opposite of ‘Big in Japan’.

To explain this a bit Kalles Kaviar is a, comparably, cheap Caviar brand that is used every day on Swedish sandwiches, preferably in combination with a hard boiled egg.

I think this ad summarizes why I love Forsman & Bodenfors. Their ideas are so different but still sell the product perfectly. And while other agencies also do this, few can do it with the subtlety and elegance with which Forsman & Bodenfors does it.

Interactive bombardier bug.

So the day after I found the cool outdoor ad by Pool for Gröna Lund I found this on the subway – an interactive shuttle ad. This one is also made by Pool, they’re on some kind of streak. The copy translates to something like:

“This is how it sounds when a bombardier bug frightens with a gas bomb.”

I can’t imagine a better way to make an ad. Bubble wrap; the most loved material in the world. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found a few un-popped ones.