SAS - What is truly Scandinavian? Nothing (2020) 2:42 (Denmark)

SAS ponders on what is truly Scandinavian? And their answer is: absolutely nothing. ‘Our democracy? Credit goes to Greece. Parental leave? Thank you, Switzerland!’ 

Now, unlike the failed Christmas ad from Åhléns that gave credit to everyone else for Swedish Christmas traditions for no apparent reason, SAS has a point with their worldwide crediting tour. They want us to remember that meeting other cultures is what made our culture. Which incidentally isn't unique to Scandinavia either, that's just how cultures evolve. At least it's not full of Swedish stereotypes. Though, one detail really bothers me, the ad shows King Charles XII of Sweden at the mention of meatballs, spreading the fake news that he brought this famous culinary delight from Turkey. Richard Tellström, a lecturer at Stockholm University's Institute for Ethnology says this is inaccurate "It's a sort of fake news definitely." 

“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.

Copywriter, Mathias Trads of & Co added:  “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.”   

Nobody has to do anything to keep a culture evolving. Cultures simply do. One might have to work harder on keeping a culture alive when it is tossed aside for more modern influences, or slowly rejected by revisionism. 

“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” 

Agency: & Co.

Creative Director: Robert Cerkez

Account Director: Morten Fabricius

Account Manager: Mette Kruse

Head of Brand Activation and Social: Morten Saxnæs

Media Strategist: Rasmus Philip 

Art Director: Lea Flodgaard, Katrine Winblad

Copywriter: Mathias Trads, Kristel Krøier, Joachim Juel Ulrich

Agency Producer: Filippa Borg

Graphic Designer: Anders Martin Jensen 

Interactive Producer: Palle Aufeldt


Production Company: New Land

Director: Gustav Johansson

Executive Producer: Sara Samsøe

Producer: Adam Holmström

DOP: Jasper Spanning

Focus Puller: Peter Topsøe, Henrik Lyngbo, Stickan Olsson

Editor: Sam Ostrove

Editor Assistant: Martin Zaar

Colourist/Grader: Nicke Johansson

VFX & Online: Kalle Lundberg

VFX Animation: Per Helin

Music Composer: Pierre Riddez

Sound Design: Anton Ahlberg

VO: Elisabeth Garden


Client - SAS

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Anders Nordvik's picture

The ad is plain anti-scandinavian propaganda using direct lies in most of its claims. No one, not even white supremacists, wants to “close themselves off” - what does that even mean? Is he claiming that progress stops without tourism? Without immigration? It’s a straw-man argument, used to argue that things have to be like they are, or “progress” stops.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

i hope you enjoy waiting tables.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

Ridiculous. You mean to tell me that nothing originated in Scandinavia like art, music, language and folk costumes?

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

Right? They are eager to admit that tons of things originated in all those other places. In Scandinavia *really* the one place in the world that didn't have any original ideas, or is this just progressive self-loathing?

Goldbergsteinowitz's picture

Anti-Scandinavian demoralizing piece of propaganda disguised as an "ad".

Dabitch's picture

Update, SAS has removed this commercial from their official Youtube channel after receiving more than 13000 downvotes.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

anti-White European, despicable propaganda

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

Can't genocide what doesn't exist. So what do you do, when you really want to genocide a people? Start by telling them that they don't exist.

Embarrassed Dane's picture

The Gillet Moment of SAS, #SASHATEUS Time to Dump the Stocks

kiryu's picture

What a terrible ad. Who in their right mind would aprove this crap?

Bleh's picture

...omg, SAS should be proud of this ad. The irony, nationalist usually call "the left" snowflakes and are easily "triggered" but mention paper clips og licorice and the go bananas...

helB's picture

Well, Imagine if they targeted Africa, Africa you are nothing.
All your creations are stolen from other cultures, you are nothing.

Now tell me if the "the left" wouldn't have reacted negatively on this?
Either way, don't bring this bullshit American politics, that is a just a circus at this point.

ViKangz!'s picture

Imagine this, you come to live in a scandinavian country, because is safe, peaceful, full of oportunities, but sadly is being destroyed by their own people, politicians and lazy foreigners which came from shit hole, to become their new home a shit-hole...

A clear antiwhite campaign. hopefully this becomes a wake up call for, Norwegians, swedes and danes

Jaamal Jefferies's picture

This AD was a pile of woke PC horse shit.

Dabitch's picture

Update: Norwegian airlines responded to the SAS ad with a simple one of their own:

Dabitch's picture
Bjørn Å's picture

This is such an insulting ad.
If it was meant to entice me to visit Scandinavia, it fails, because I now have no interest in a copycat culture.
If was meant to tempt Scandinavians to travel, it fails again, because everything from abroad alrady exists at home.
What the hell was the strategy here?