Wasa Sweden has decided that the best way to advertise crisp bread is to shove Swedish stereotypes and some baby-CGI into a yoga-class. I couldn't stop cringing even for a second watching this. Our spokesperson is an American woman, so thrilled to look at attractive men in her yoga class because ogling isn't sexist when a woman does it apparently, and all Swedes are ridiculously attractive. Sure sure. -"Where are the moms?" asks our befuddled sweden tourist -"They're at work" a man replies. She then breaks the fourth wall to declare the moonlanding a waste because sending men to the playground with the kids is a better idea. *Sigh*
While it's true we have paid paternity leave, it's not actually taken out by all that many men (though the summer months are popular, I've noticed). In 1980 95% of the total number of days for parental leave were taken by women and only 5% of men. In 1995 the rules changed, so 30 of the 225 days of insurance could not be transferred to the other party - forcing men to take parental leave, and shortening women's allowed parental leave time. For parents of children born in 2002 or later, it's now 60 days that can not be transferred to the other party. This did help change the numbers, in 2003 was 83% of the total days were taken by women and 17% of men. The corresponding figures for 2009 are 78% for women and 22% for men. It is still on every political parties debate-list come election time, with suggestions on making the number of days that can't be transferred half of the total time of allowed parental leave. Because in Sweden, families can not decide for themselves how they want to sort out their lives. That should be in the ad.
Now, I am a fan of Wasa crispbread (try sourdough!) when I'm not eating Leksands Rundrut that I love so much more, so seeing it sold on the tired old "Swedish Stereotype" is very disappointing. Didn't we already do this with Johan from Gevalia and his fika, the Rekorderlig Cider Swedish school, and even that Swedish sexy barber way back in the super bowl of 1969? This is just an updated version of the Swedish Bikini Team if you think about it, now with men doing baby-yoga. How progressive.
Agency: StrawberryFrog NY CD/Writer Scott Goodson, StrawberryFrog NY
Agency Producer: Courtney Trent
Account director: Christine Piper StrawberryFrog NY
Director Oskar Bård, Hobby Film Stockholm Sweden
Producer: Frida Heder Hobby Film Stockholm Sweden