What is truly Scandinavian?

Not a lot, apparently. In a new campaign, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) claims that everything from Swedish meatballs to the world-famous Danish is a copy. And that travellers are to blame.

SAS launches a new campaign that questions the very origins of Scandinavia. The campaign’s centrepiece – an almost 3-minute film – is a timely, warm and slightly tongue-in-cheek reminder of why we travel. And what we bring home with us.

The new work is created by leading Danish agency, &Co and directed by Gustav Johansson with production company, New Land.  It follows the success of SAS’s previous campaign, “The Arrivals”, also made with &Co, which struck a chord worldwide – and won a handful of Effies. However, where “The Arrivals” honed in on the impact of travel on the individual, the new campaign goes wider by showing how travel has a positive effect on a cultural and societal level.

The film is a pointed look at notions of culture and identity and champions openness and diversity as key to shaping Scandinavian identity. It takes a closer look at all the things Scandinavians are most proud of – ranging from Midsommstången to Smørrebrød, parental leave and women’s rights. Surprisingly, most originate elsewhere.

It remarks: ‘What is truly Scandinavian? And the answer is: absolutely nothing. ‘Our democracy? Credit goes to Greece. Parental leave? Thank you, Switzerland!’

“At SAS, we are proud of our Scandinavian heritage and the role our travellers play in shaping tomorrow’s Scandinavia. We’re already seeing a change in travellers and in ourselves today – we’re more conscious of how and why we travel. When going abroad, most travellers want inspiration. They want something to bring with them home, be it memories or knowledge. And that’s going to move our society forward. If we weren’t curious about other parts of the world, Scandinavia simply wouldn’t look the way it does today.” says Martin Adonis, Integrated Marketing Manager, SAS.”

“Every time we go beyond our borders, we add progress. In a way, Scandinavia was brought here, piece by piece.”  Says the Art Director behind the campaign, Lea Flodgaard of & Co. “Experiencing new cultures, ways of living and seeing new parts of the world is always inspiring. We cannot close ourselves off. And sometimes, it feels as if we’re doing just that – as individuals, and also as a region. We wanted to remind Scandinavians of the importance of traveling and giving ourselves and our region new input”

“Scandinavia is having a moment. And us Scandis love it when the rest of the world talks about us. In a way, our little region is being put on a pedestal. So, we wanted to dive into how Scandinavia became to be Scandinavian in the first place – and how we can keep it evolving.” says Copywriter, Mathias Trads of & Co.

Source: SAS

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