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Norwegian prime minister Stoltenberg's taxi stunt confirmed to be "street cast"

Only a couple of days after we concluded that Norway's Prime minister driving a taxi stunt has successfully been seen all around the world, and even The Lede (NYT) has written about the Norwegian leaders not-so-Candid-camera, the Norwegian Labour parties communications director Pia Gulbrandsen has made a blog post in English that confirms that some people were cast for the ad. Taxi Stoltenberg - English.

To be very clear, this is the point she wants to make:

According to the production company nine passengers were picked up at random, while five were recruited in advance by “street casting”. That means that they were stopped randomly in the street and asked if they would participate in a film for the Labour Party.
The only thing they were told was that they would be picked up by a taxi. None of the passenger knew in advance that the driver would be the Prime Minister of Norway. All reactions were genuine.

In other words, Pia Gulbrandsen just confirmed that the candid camera ad was made exactly like countless other candid camera ads have been made since advertising was born. Which is exactly what we said.

Political advertising has, just like all other advertising, evolved. We've gone from daisy girl countdown doomsday scenarios and dystopian futures to modern indie-go-go funds raisers for bribes. It was only a matter of time before the increasingly popular (some may say tired) hidden camera stunt was done. Stoltenberg and his labour party are getting a lot of 'earned media' from this stunt, which is exactly what the advertising guru Kjetil Try and the ad agency counted on, I'm sure.

Here's the best part, the labour party doesn't pay very well. 84 USD and a free taxi-ride! If they had had SAG in Norway, there'd be a shitstorm by now.

After they had been filmed, all passengers were asked if they agreed that the clip they participated in could be used by the Labour party. They all agreed. The passengers who were “street casted” received NOK 500 (approx 60 Euros) as a thank you. The passengers who were picked up at random got the taxi ride for free.

In conclusion, the ad that is more reality TV than observational documentary, but understood as the latter, is still getting press. Hooray for cheap labour when making advertising for the labour party.

Translation: "Useful clarification for those who doubt the genuineness."

These days, when few read past the headline, a lot of things are misunderstood. We don't doubt the street cast people are surprised that the prime minister is driving their cab. That wasn't the point.

* the word "confirmed" in the headline serves as cliff notes for lazy readers. There wasn't any doubt from the get-go as Verdens Gang had already confirmed this on Monday with the headline: 'Was paid to take a Taxi driven by the Prime Minister'

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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kidsleepy's picture

"All reactions were genuine." But it was still edited. So if anyone say, had a beef to pick with the PM, we didn't get to see it, which means this is nothing more than the usual "common man" propaganda. This is as same as President Obama going to have a corn dog at the county fair. This isn't news.
This is pandering. And the fact the leader of the Labor party is paying these perfectly street casted people peanuts to fawn all over him should make every proper socialist out there sick to their stomachs.

But I guess it's hard to be a proper socialist with all that oil money.

Dabitch's picture

Remember the mayor who ran over illegally parked cars with a tank stunt? That was fun too, but also arranged, albeit more so. Two TV-show hosts and the actual mayor did trash cars with a tank. It was reported as news. It was not actual policy of Vilnius to smash illegally parked cars with tanks, however.

hd wallpapers's picture

While driving, I hope he's listing and noticing the problems of common people that are needed to be addressed...