Most readers will by now have heard about the video commercial for SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) that has caused so much controversy, both at home and abroad. The company evidently had the bizarre notion that denying the existence of a distinct Scandinavian ethnicity and culture would somehow be a good strategy to attract more customers to fly on its planes.
In the midst of all the uproar, SAS pulled the video, but Vlad saved a copy of it. It is a vile piece of work, but before I discuss it further, everyone needs to watch the commercial, if you can stomach it:
Vlad tells me that SAS has since restored the video, but closed it to comments.
It’s telling that this commercial is in English. Yes, I know they couldn’t really make it in Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian, since that would be unfair to speakers of the two languages that would thereby be excluded. But why not in Bornholmsk? Or Faroese? A dialect that was not really part of the three big languages wouldn’t discriminate against any of them.
Obviously, the decision to make the video in English was a commercial one — the company wanted to sell tickets outside of Scandinavia. Speaking English also underlined the basic thesis of the piece, namely that nothing exists that is inherently Scandinavian.
So they use English to gain the widest possible reach for something that insults their own people — a practice the Aussies used to call “crying stinking fish in your own back yard”.
I assume that signaling their “wokeness” in this manner was considered by SAS to be a good business decision. If their executives and managers and writers all inhabit the same progressive bubble with the rest of the transnational literati, such sentiments would seem normal, humdrum, routine, unexceptional. That they would never dream of asserting the same thing about, say, the Japanese — who have borrowed at least as much cultural material as Scandinavians — highlights the deep racism that is an inherent part of the leftist mentality.
So they spend their money and hire their actors and send out the camera crews and produce the commercial. Then BAM! They run into the wall of ordinary Scandinavians, who take exception to the self-negating sentiments in the video. Not to mention millions of people outside of Scandinavia who are offended on behalf of Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes.
Below is an editorial about the SAS scandal from the Swedish dissident site Samhällsnytt. Many thanks to LN for the translation:
Concerning the art of kidnapping a country
The reputable airline was probably trolled by its Danish supplier when they accepted and published the now famous advertisement on their channels. One may wonder what thoughts entered the heads of the SAS advertising department. To miss even such obvious references as the dead twins in the horror movie The Shining who are heard saying, “There is no such thing” regarding whether there exists something Scandinavian.
The clip obviously purveys identity politics and should receive a prize for this year’s satire, but is hardly published as an advertisement for an airline. None of this apparently occurred to the empty heads at SAS. Instead of quietly burying the advertisement, it was proudly published on the SAS YouTube channel. It was a bit like when autistics do not understand what satire is, and need a long explanation. When embarking on a collision course with a large part of the Swedish population, one should not be surprised when it ends in a frontal crash. Which it also did.
Many Swedes saw the advertising as a mockery. After a fully logical and understandable storm of criticism, SAS finally decided that the clip will not enhance the company’s brand — rather the contrary — and removed the scandalous film. So far, everything is within the rules of democracy: a company makes a mistake and immediately receives a reprimand from the annoyed audience. The company reverses course — balance sheet restored. The story should have ended there. The only thing that would linger in the collective consciousness after it is perhaps some memes at its height.
But then the heavy artillery is rolled out. Aftonbladet’s leadership side decides to strike a blow in the debate. A stupid mistake by a near-sighted company earning the legitimate criticism of the audience suddenly becomes an attack on democracy. With a fanatical glow in the eyes (judging by the byline image), the writer Jenny Wennberg tells us that it is right-wing, influence-seeking, and Putin — and maybe a nuclear war will break out soon because you thoughtlessly shared that status on Facebook. As icing on the cake, it is linked to a censorship manual from the heavily compromised and corrupt Authority for Social Protection and Preparedness.
It’s possible to understand the panic of the establishment when the mob suddenly realized that it is actually able to affect anything at all — even something as small and insignificant as a commercial for SAS. “We have to maintain the boundary” — Jenny strikes the war drum. Not an ounce of power to the mob. The film has to be republished, she states.
And amazingly enough, SAS is republishing its advertising just hours after the call — now with over 40,000 disapproval markings. And that is exactly what they were trying to avoid when they — quite rightly — took down the movie. They have become a tool for other forces — for Jenny Wennberg and those behind her in a crusade against the people, democracy and freedom of speech.
If legitimate criticism of a failed commercial is now defined as an attack on democracy — what will be the next target for the many humorless, but powerful, idiots that Wennberg represents?
Should it be considered an attack on democracy to look miserable in public places? After all, there are no reasons to be unhappy in Wennberg’s Sweden — so Putin must also be involved. Is it perhaps an attack on democracy to cancel one’s subscription to DN [Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter]? It damages free journalism.
One should not be surprised at anything nowadays. With a corrupt, history-less and panicked establishment, everything is possible. And that’s probably what’s very disturbing — not the imaginary “Swedish actors running errands for a foreign power” according to Jenny Wennberg. Admittedly, one can discuss which is worse — when Putin’s troll possibly kidnaps an advertising campaign, or when idiots kidnap and hold hostage an entire country.
Related links from Fria Tider (in Swedish):
- SAS on criticism: “Worst attack against us ever”
- Speaking out now — consider themselves exposed to “very violent” political conspiracy. New version of the scandal movie is heavily cut.
- The Danish People’s Party demands that the government act against SAS: “They mock us.” Want to see “sharp reprimand” after the scandalous movie.
- SAS’s anti-Scandinavian commercials were taken down after the criticism
- Norwegian “trolls” SAS — with cheese grinder. The competitor mocks after the criticism of the commercial.
- Aftonbladet: Those who get angry at SAS are trolls who “run Putin’s affairs” Swedish media dismisses criticism of SAS as Russian / Nazi conspiracy.