When the "Call Sweden film and the Swedish Tourist Association number was announced I grabbed my trusty Swedish Skämskudde and prepared for the worst. Because just like when the Sweden Twitter account strategy was conceived, this idea is basically "talk to a Swede", which also means it's ripe for hijacking. So ripe.
The idea of the Swedish Twitter account is "a new Swede every week", so that's how you end up with Swedish radio personalities hosting the account asking "what's the fuzz with jews" one week, and then a Lebanese born Elias Kreidy telling immigration politic critics to "go back to fucking your sister" the next week.
Elias decided to remove the tweet where he said ”I’m the immigrant fucking your daughter while you’re trying to sleep ignoring her moans calling me daddy”, because he 'didn't want to be 'that guy' according to Emma Randecker from the Swedish Institute, and she says his language was "unfortunate". Understatement. Very Swedish.
Similarly the "call a Swede" idea allows any Swede to become an ambassador and receive phone calls from around the world, and anyone to call "Sweden". Of course, considering Swedens current reputation in media abroad, people will start trolling the Sweden phone number, and that's exactly what happened. In this phone call (grab your skämskudde everyone) some poor Swede gets to hear the question: "Why are you letting your country get raped by muslims?"
You can also hear someone ask a random Swede to "please join in if you know the lyrics" while he sings his favourite song, and surprisingly the Swede does. There's an American who calls, and the Swede asks "aren't you an immigrant?" and suggests their parents were immigrants, but gets the reply "I'm american, and my parents are American". Supposed Canadians tell Swedes that they have a higher Cancer-survival rate in Canada, despite not having a single payer system. There's plenty more cringe-worthy conversations where that came from: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10... There's probably more awkward conversations happening and being recorded right now. I can't even listen to them all.
The irony here is that these calls are actually not coming from Canada, The United States, etc - but from inside Sweden. (Insert "the call is coming from inside the house" joke here). The Sweden number from the Swedish Tourist association that wants to celebrate the fact that Sweden technically outlawed censorship is being trolled by Swedes.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, the same client (STF) who launched this campaign is advertising mountain walking vacations on all trains & in subways right now. Classic, simple, back to nature, camping vacations. Vacations where Swedes never have to meet & talk to any other Swedes - this is why we like them.
The following numbers in these countries lead to 'Sweden' and are local call priced:
The United Kingdom +442038089899
Update: This has been Badlanded - "Sweden number is failing, just like #CallBrussels"