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5 March 2020

Scandi-guilt?

by Syd Briscoe


Scandinavian Airlines: “What is Truly Scandinavian?” - 2 mins 42s

This controversial commercial from Scandinavian Airlines has run into hot water online since its release in February. The ad features a montage of things one might consider ‘traditionally Scandinavian’ - from meatballs to progressive social policies - and proceeds to explain how each of these aspects of culture hail from somewhere else. 

While this is an excellent argument against the nonsensical protestations from racists and ultra-nationalists alike that immigration is somehow ‘ruining’ countries, the ad’s execution narrowly misses a crucial step in making its point. Rather than focusing on the way these things aren’t Scandinavian, surely the focus should be clearly shifted to how they have become Scandinavian by being accepted? 

Ultimately, the film does its best to communicate such a message - but, as we’re come to expect, the attempt has been drowned out by voices accusing it of trying to dampen national pride and cries of ‘white guilt’ from cretinous toads in the comments section. It’s becoming increasingly clear that one shouldn’t expect a nuanced response to commercial work these days - perhaps SAS and Gillette could share a drink together.


Film Production: New Land
Director: Gustav Johansson Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Adam Holmström
Executive Producer: Sara Samsøe
Cinematographer: Jasper Spanning Ⓦ (WPA Ⓟ Ⓦ)

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