The Controversial Ad That Scandinavian Airlines Pulled After A Day

Filed Under: SAS, Videos

Scandinavian Airlines uploaded a new ad to YouTube on Monday, and just over a day later, the ad is no longer publicly listed, after the video got nearly 50x as many “thumbs down” reactions as “thumbs up” reactions.

SAS’ “What is truly Scandinavian?” ad

Here’s the 2min42sec SAS ad that has caused all the controversy:

The ad starts with the narrator saying:

“What is truly Scandinavian?”
“Absolutely nothing.”
“Everything is copied.”

The ad then lists many of the things that Scandinavia is known for, pointing out how it’s actually from somewhere else:

  • Credit for democracy goes to Greece
  • Credit for parental leave goes to Switzerland
  • The Scandinavian windmills were invented in Persia
  • German bicycles are a staple of Scandinavian cities

After listing off a bunch of things, the ad continues:

“We are no better than our viking ancestors. We take everything we like on our trips abroad, adjust it a little bit, and et viola. It’s a unique Scandinavian thing. Going out into the world inspires us to think big, even though we’re quite small.

In a way, Scandinavia was brought here, piece by piece, by everyday people who found the best of our home away from home. We can’t wait to see what wonderful things you’ll bring home next.”

This is a great ad for globalism, not so great ad for an airline

In general I love this ad. The visuals are incredible, and the commentary from the narrator is almost poetic.

Personally the message also resonates with me. The one thing I’ve learned from all my travels is that there’s no one place that’s best, that we can learn something from everywhere, and that we’re all more similar than some people try to have us believe.”

At the same time, this is a very unconventional ad for an airline. Usually airline ads try to promote how they’re unique to that country, rather than point out how the country isn’t unique.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand what they’re saying, and I really like the message. But at the moment we live in a time where there’s an increasing divide between people who believe in nationalism and people who believe in globalism.

If the ad is targeted at Scandinavians, then telling them “hey, we’re actually small and just copy stuff” isn’t going to resonate with people who don’t have that outlook.

What SAS says about this ad

It seems that SAS doesn’t actually believe that this ad was particularly unpopular, but rather that there was a coordinated effort to have a negative response.

Here’s how SAS describes the message behind the ad:

“SAS is a Scandinavian airline that flies travelers to, from and within Scandinavia. We stand behind the message in the movie that is about travel enriching us.

When we travel, we both influence and are influenced by others. The experiences we bring from our travels affect us as individuals but also our communities.

We at SAS are proud of our Scandinavian origins and the values ​​that characterize our open, equal and democratic societies.”

SAS also suggests that the ad has been “kidnapped,” and that some group has intentionally been trying to add negative reactions:

“When we look at the pattern and the number of reactions to our film, there is reason to suspect an attack and that our campaign has been kidnapped. We do not want to risk becoming a platform for someone else’s values, which we do not stand for. Therefore, we have currently removed the films from our channels and are now discussing the next step.”

As of the time of this post the video has 363 “thumbs up” and over 16,000 “thumbs down” reactions, so I do believe that there may have been some sort of a coordinated response here.

SAS is currently in tense negotiations with their pilots, so the head of SAS’ Swedish Pilot Association has taken this opportunity to attack the airline:

“The reactions from our customers to SAS’s latest commercials show that they appreciate and care about the Scandinavian brand. We share their view that with Irish aircraft, Spanish pilots and Baltic cabin crew, the Scandinavian feels increasingly distant.”

Bottom line

In this divisive time, perhaps a message of globalism wasn’t appropriate if they were hoping to have an overwhelmingly positive response. Personally I think the ad is bold, but I like the message.

But is this ad truly overwhelmingly getting a negative response, or is there some coordinated effort?

I do suspect that there was some sort of a coordinated “thumbs down” campaign here, because the ratio of “thumbs down” to “thumbs up” is unreal. It’s one thing if there were the same number of likes as dislikes (which would already be bad), but the ratio does suggest to me that something is going on.

Or perhaps we’ll find out in the comments section if this ad is disliked by 98% of people…

  1. I despise racism. This ad is erasing a culture, and it’s grotesquely racist.

    Imagine, if you will, an ad telling Kenyans they had “absolute no” culture. That everything they had and revered was invented by someone else.

    Or an Australian ad with a white person telling aboriginals about how that white person is the ‘ancestor’ to Australia. Not so cool anymore, is it?

    SAS needs to apologize for their racism. There’s no way around it. Instead, they’ve chosen to peddle a lie about being “under attack” (to garner sympathy and to avoid admitting to a +1.5M USD mistake, presumably). It’s just not how that works today.

    Say no to racism, no matter who it is directed against. There is no ‘, but’ to that.

  2. I watched this advertisement 3 times. I am American. If I were a native Scandinavian, my perception would be that the first 2 minutes were pretty demeaning. The viewer is made to feel a sense of loss of dignity and respect if they are Scandinavian. I don’t think you can convince a reasonable person otherwise. Look at the body language, facial expressions and other non-verbal cues from the actors in the piece. Just about every response is negative those first 2 minutes. I have no idea if there is a coordinated effort to rate this as negative, but as an outsider with no real opinion on Scandinavia or the people of the region, I think this ad is pretty damn negative.

  3. @Matt Fortini – this vacuous rhetorical dreck is the currency of ad agencies everywhere now. God forbid that anyone should think about what globalization has done to the planet and to indigenous cultures.

  4. Parental leave in Switzerland is absolutely crap and nothing like it is in Germany or the countries further north. Not sure what “credit” there is due here.

  5. Russian interference!

    I really enjoyed the ad though. I am in the minority that supports both patriotism and globalism. So perhaps I am an exception. My favorite adds are the ones that make you think and this one did just that. However, clearly this add was targeting Scandinavians and coming across as unpatriotic probably was not the best route for SAS to go. A bit of a slap in the face to Scandinavians, there is a lot to be said in having pride in the uniqueness of your nation and this took away from that.

  6. @Ben: I’m somewhat worried you’re happily engaging in this racism against Scandinavians:

    >”Personally I think the ad is bold, but I like the message.”

    I always enjoy your appreciation for other cultures, and you seem to genuinely be interested in taking part in local culture (if only by their gastronomical and hospitality culture 😉 ).

    Why don’t you extend this appreciation to Scandinavians? Are they not worthy of having a culture, or what’s going on here?

  7. I would not call it a coordinated attack, but it got from what I understand a lot coverage on the Scandi versions of Fox to Breitbart like websites yesterday night when the ad went live.

    Basically they got a local right wing media storm and a lot very angry people commenting long before it was picked up by the larger local media organizations or international media, hence the loop sides likes ratio.

    And Lucky keep in mind that immigration skeptic parties like Sverigedemokraterna (Swedish Democrats) or Dansk Folkeparti (Danish Peopleparty) are close to 20% of the local parliaments in recent elections. That is a lot of angry people. In fact in polls from December 2019 the Swedish Democrats are the largest party in Sweden with over 25% of the votes.

  8. I’m from Denmark and I love this commercial. Yes, it may go against the Scandinavian self understanding but everything is true none the less and just shows how little we all know about our own history. It simply follows int he footstep of this HSBC advert from 2019:
    We all really need to accept we live in a global society where very little is truly our own culture anymore.
    And to everyone accusing Ben of racism, I do not not feel it, sorry…

  9. I really like this ad. As an airline company you should embrace globalism. As a country you should show tolerance to the people abroad. I am looking forward to visit this beautiful country and people now!

  10. It’s time for European nations & people to get their balls back.
    Globalist shilling like in this ad is absolutely ridiculous. But sadly it fits the current Swedish mindset. Sweden, like Belgium & Germany, is essentially a non-state nowadays. It’s just a globalist’s playground to try out their insane ideas & propaganda.
    At least with Denmark (and partly Norway) there is a little bit of hope left to maintain the individual superior cultural traits that have emerged over thousands of years.

  11. The advert was nicely produced and was nice to watch but I do think they made a big mistake with the way they conveyed their message.

    The message about globalism was good but they went on an all out attack on everything Scandinavian by saying their is NOTHING home-grown in their culture. Im not in marketing but I think if they had mentioned all these material things like danish, liquorice etc but still finished with a message that focussed on the people and personalities being unique to Scandinavia (things like story telling or whatever is in their culture) then they could have still got their message across and there wouldn’t have been such a big backlash.

    Instead they chose to purely focus on everything that was not truly Scandinavian.

  12. @Kim, I don’t think ethnic Danes in general feel they have ‘no’ culture. And Danes as I know them are incredibly open and warm. They take as their own adopted and immigrated, non-white Danes, and include them as Danish – as long as you come with a will to embrace the native culture.

    Danes are, I suppose, fully aware who the Vikings were – would you generally think the gentleman talking about his Viking ancestors does indeed represent people with Viking ancestry in a reasonable way?

  13. I would be offended if I was Swedish but not surprised by the political climate there. Part of the demise of pride of who you are is being eroded by people who would put together such a video. It’s no different than those that would preach that Americans, English, Germans, Japanese, etc. should be ashamed because we have too much freedom or wealth, or (fill in the blank).

  14. @ Ben (Lucky):
    …quote: Personally the message also resonates with me. The one thing I’ve learned from all my travels is that there’s no one place that’s best, that we can learn something from everywhere, and that we’re all more similar than some people try to have us believe.” end quote…
    The quotation marks at the end of this paragraph seem to signal the end of a quote which has no beginning (probably accidental, I don’t think you’re trying to quote yourself).

  15. If this was truly a coordinated attack, why are there only 500 likes given the publicity. Perhaps because it is demeaning and bad?

  16. The ad is blatant racism and trying to erase or downplay a culture in 2020. Imagine if the would have done an ad like this with a country in Africa or so.

  17. I’m from Sweden, living in Stockholm, but spending roughly 50% of my time overseas. Not a fan of the ad (or SAS in general). That said, I’m not offended by it.

  18. This ad embodies the suicide and self genocide of a people who have been conditioned by years and years of biased education and propaganda to hate themselves and deny everything good about themselves. This is why politicians and bureaucrats have allowed the country to open the floodgates with dangerous immigration that threatens the very genetic fabric of Nordic countries. No one calls for Japan to abandon its self concern and self interest. No one calls for mass migration into Japan, China, Saudi Arabia or Kenya. But if western countries show any signs of self love and self interest they are branded. The people who created this ad and allowed it to be shown for the airline should be fired and deemed anti white/anti Nordic/anti Scandinavian haters and bigots.

  19. “SAS needs to apologize for their racism”

    Racism to…themselves? It is nothing like the stupid example of white people talking down to Aboriginal Australians…

    “individual superior cultural traits”

    Now, speaking of racism…

    If anything, the offense part is they compared themselves to Apple or Facebook 😉

  20. a really stupd “woke” move… for a company that has been distressed and that has to deal with “klimatångest”… all their clients are pissed off, as they wanted to please people who aren´t their clients… marketing dpt should be fired

  21. Thumbs up for appreciating shared values and learning about the world thru travel.

    Amazing to me that others don’t see that.

    Thanks for archiving and sharing the ad, Ben.

  22. I absolutely loved the message they _tried_ to portray, but the problem if you ask me is that this message got lost somewhere in translation.

    As a German-Finn brought up in Sweden I felt an immense pride for being part of Scandinavia after watching it. The message, as I understood it, was that SAS is proud to have the honor of making us Scandinavians travel over the world, a legacy that goes back to the vikings. What we have mastered is travelling and, by doing that, taking back the best parts of the rest of the world, tweaking them, and then embracing them in order to make our little part of the world even better.

    But that is not what the rest of the world saw, apparently.

  23. @ Matt Fortini, @ Philipp Overmeir —

    Calling this ad “racist” strikes me as quite silly. It is produced by a Scandinavian airline. Would it be racist for an American airline to have an ad pointing out that the United States is a melting pot and all of our culture is imported from elsewhere (save for Native American culture)? Is your theory that any discussion of the characteristics of a nation/culture are necessarily racist?

    In any event, the point is not *literally* that Scandinavian countries have no culture. The ad is actually pointing out many things that Scandinavian countries are known for and proud of — and explaining that those aspects of Scandinavian culture were at least influenced by activity abroad. Basically they’re saying that all culture today is a sort of mash up. That’s true in the U.S. and equally true in Scandinavia. So by traveling you expose yourself to other cultures and can bring that back and integrate it into Scandinavian culture.

    While I understand some hard-core nationalists might down vote this video, presumably perceiving it as an attack on their national pride, I don’t see that as evidence the ad is racist.

    In general, I should note, calling a message “racist” is most often done these days as a rhetorical tool by people who want to delegitimize a message rather than do the work of trying to understand it and show through logic and analysis whether it’s right or wrong. Racism exists and is a serious phenomenon — we should not cheapen the label by throwing it around whenever we see a message we disagree with.

  24. The only thing that annoys me is the video imagery of the suffragettes (English) that they’ve used to demonstrate women’s rights in the US…

  25. @John

    What’s not Scandinavian: Globalist, (((owned))), advertising agencies in New York who produce a spot for a “Scandinavian” Airline.

  26. I get the message, but the execution was horrendous. Sure it has nifty cinematic. But the messages came out almost anti Scandinavian.

  27. And in regards to coordination for dislike, I call it bull. As you can clearly see many people didn’t agree with the ad, or at least there is some controversy. If the ad was great to most and there were many dislike, then maybe it was coordinated. But when it is controversial and many dislikes, then it most likely people didn’t like it.

  28. A lot of people don’t seem to understand the difference between “this aspect of our culture did not originate here” and “the fact that this aspect of (y)our culture did not originate here is bad/reflects poorly on us/etc.” This ad does not say the latter at all. Nothing about this ad “shames” Scandinavians for their culture – in fact, it acknowledges that Scandinavian culture is itself unique in terms of the entire picture that all of the various puzzle pieces it identifies come together to show.

    As for the commenters going on about race, I’m really not sure what they’re on about. To take an example used in the comments above, if Kenyans made a similar video about how aspects of Kenyan culture were developed elsewhere, I’m not sure how that would be racist? Unless you’re looking for race in this video, then I’m not really it makes any comments on that issue.

    What next, telling Scandinavians that drinkable coffee didn’t originate there either?!?

  29. Yea, I’d give it a thumbs down too. It’s saying there is nothing unique about an entire culture and everything they have is taken from another. Pretty racist…..

  30. Well-done ad, I like it. A new perspective too.

    I follow a few arch-conservatives on Twitter and it’s been circulating widely among them. I think there was a concerted campaign to down-vote it.

  31. @Matt Fortini, please see @John’s post. It explains it far better than I ever could. Scandinavia has lots of culture but very little recognition of that a lot of it is influenced by other cultures as we have always traveled, and always traveled far. Are SAS being a bit provocative? Of cause they are, but the reactions just shows how fearful people are of admitting that we all rub off on each other, whether we like it or not.

  32. This commercial proves what leftists would do when they go insane.
    Everything is good outside but nothing inside?
    They trash their own country to gain a little bit of pride and think they are better than other people in the same country.
    Stupider than morons.

  33. The ad is definitely racist. If you don’t think so, invert this ad and imagine it is about China, India or some other “brown-skinned” country. Then imagine your reaction. Is it different ? The inversion rule in your mind is a good principle to follow when you wish to judge something.

  34. Their intentions were good. It would have been better to perhaps mention all of the Scandinavian inventions/customs other cultures have adopted as well.

  35. @Rob & @John-great writing, agree 100%

    It’s a great ad and in fact improves my perception of SAS which became a hybrid legacy carrier with pricey tickets.
    I do not see any racism in it, I see values I share promoted by Scandinavians of 21st century.

    Happy to know I am not alone here 🙂

  36. The advert is disgusting anti-Scandinavian racism.
    It is occurring in the context of mass immigration removing the self-determination and future of European people.

    The equivalent would be running anti-Tibetan adverts to Tibetans through 1950-2020 in the context of losing their self-determination to encroaching Chinese.

    It is racist. It is genocidal. It is despicable.
    People defending it the same.

  37. LMAO a Black man talking about his “Viking ancestors” hahah What a pathetic joke.
    Political correctness at it is finest. Nothing to else to add. The Europe is going down the hill.

  38. This ad literally belittles three proud countries/cultures.

    I understand what they wanted their message to say and their good intention of highlighting the present day Scandinavian uniqueness forged in a bountiful history.
    And this could have been beautifully achieved by simply changing the wording (a little).

    Whoever created this ad – and sighed off! – sadly missed a positive opportunity.

  39. I think it’s quite hilarious that some people here who are NOT Scandinavian seems to have taken this way more personally than those actually ARE Scandinavian! You must be a blast at parties. I thought the ads message was on point but maybe a little poorly framed. And pretty much everything said could applied to a country like the US.

  40. Next time SAS should hire the guy who did “Swedish Smörgåsbord” as an interval act in Eurovision 2016, lol

    We gave you Carola and Waterloo
    And Diggi-Loo who all adored
    We’ll take you to heaven
    Euphoria too

    Come and join our party
    Come on up and chill
    There’s room for everybody
    Gravadlax and dill

    On our aquavit, crayfish
    Yucky salty liquorice
    Randy Scandinavian race
    With H&M and Ace of Base
    Our hurdy-gurdy, super-duper
    Fab-as-Abba, Super-Trouper

  41. This is so PC. It basically demeans all Scandinavians and mocks them for their accomplishments.

    Would be funny to see reactions of ya’ll if it was made by Ethiophian and said “Ethiophians have no culture”.

  42. “invert this ad and imagine it is about China, India or some other “brown-skinned” country”

    Well, if the ad was produced by a Chinese airline about China, or an Indian airline produced an ad about India, then no…it still would not be racist. Just like it isn’t racist here.

    “Stupider than morons.”

    The irony is strong here…

  43. #JeSuisMila

    This ad represents the nadir of beyond-disgusting globalist shilling as performed by RACIST, Marxist ((( cultural termites ))) . It is an attempt at a grotesque self-abnegation.

    The reaction to it is absolutely NOT any sort of coordinated campaign. It is an honest and spontaneous reaction of horror and disgust. “Our Viking ancestors” – as spoken by an African? Oh, FFS. Try to suspend your disbelief if JAL ever did an ad featuring the same actor speaking of “Our Samurai ancestors”. It is beyond risible.

    The Leftist globalist shills have done everything possible to disparage, denigrate, deny and tear down European civilisation and achievements. They are in fact the true racists. If they keep it up, a monstrous and bloody war will result. Those currently under the age of 21 are THE MOST red-pilled, identitarian and anti-globalist generation ever to come along. They will nto stand for this nonsense.


  44. I’d be willing to bet that many of the same people who are offended by this are also the sort of people who moan about ‘snowflakes’ getting offended by everything.

  45. Make this argument about any other minority culture and you will have hell to pay. I’m for inclusiveness but to me words matter and how this was horribly portrayed. Culture is not a meat ball or a bike, culture is an aggregation of norms. This is a divisive add that only serves to stir the pot.

  46. The rationally sensitive socially aware civility of a society that instinctively identifies anti-social behaviors / personalities and isolates its culture / families / children from these harmful forces will naturally incorporate The Best of Everything.

    Great commercial. Keep it alive.

  47. Self hate sells airline tickets?

    I did not know this. If only I had the wisdom others enjoy, by being from a different culture than mine.

  48. @Lucky or @Tiffany the comments seem absurd to me. You guys can see the IP address of everyone. Are we being bombarded by Scandinavian Wumao?

    As an aside, Japanese culture is famous for adopting foreign items, improving upon them , and making them their own. That’s not racist, it’s what makes Japan great. If the same could be said about Scandinavia, that’s indisputably NOT racist.

  49. Dear all,

    As an exaple of how multicultular Scandinavian countries are pls read this:

    Pls check bio of a Swedish beauty pageant miss, proud of herself and her ancestry. Would you not allow to her talking abt her Viking ancestors. BUT, PLS READ FIRST under “Personal” tab first b4 focusing on a color of her skin.

  50. Racism? Come on, don’t be so sensitive.

    It’s a manifesto of the open, inclusive and innovative Scandinavian way. Admitting the symbolic characters were learned from others is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. It means you are willing to take the nutritional elements from all of the human civilization. And that’s why the Scandinavian countries were among the best in the world.

    As a Chinese overseas scholar, I pay my salute to the proud Scandinavian civilization.

  51. @Yuandong Dou
    “open, inclusive and innovative Scandinavian way”
    aka the way of shuttering some of the most developed nations by importing lowest-IQ, alien, slave-like Somalians to break all social cohesion between the Native population.

  52. ” I do suspect that there was some sort of a coordinated “thumbs down” campaign here”
    Oh, a conspiracy, apparently the fact that the ad was disgusting is not an obvious reason for it to be disliked.
    What’s with germans and swedes? The amount of self-hate I see everywhere in their countries is outlandish, I have never seen such thing here in Argentina and I hope it never does.

  53. One thing I have noticed that Scandinavians are also world leaders in is self-congratulation. This ad is consistent with that.

  54. As a middle-aged white Scandinavian with social security numbers from three Nordic countries, I can only speak for myself: No need to get upset on my behalf. I’m pretty proud of my heritage, but I shall not lose a second of sleep over this ad.

  55. “I think it’s quite hilarious that some people here who are NOT Scandinavian seems to have taken this way more personally than those actually ARE Scandinavian!”
    That speaks volumes of what’s going on in Sweden. As an Argentine, if I saw an ad implying Argentina, its people and culture are worthless, I’d throw eggs at them.

  56. It’s such a strange hill to die on.
    The message of the video is just dumb. It’s like when you go abroad and discover that a meal you thought was unique to your country has a local variant pretty much everywhere else, only instead of learning to appreciate the cuisine of others because of your experience, you start to hate your own.
    There’s nothing endearing about it, it feels like it simply aims to put down Scandinavian countries for some reason that surely has nothing to do with flying airplanes.
    It was a bad choice and it’s an even worse choice to double down on it.

  57. I get what they are trying to say but the ad comes off as a put down. Like Scandinavians have never invented anything. That is completely false. The ad could have simply been framed in a way where travelers were adding to Scandinavian culture, instead of implying that Scandinavians had nothing on their own and got everything from other countries. Honestly surprised that nobody working on this ad could see the problem with it.

  58. I’d be thoroughly insulted by this ad if I were Scandinavian. I can’t imagine who the target audience is for this message. And worse yet, it doesn’t promote the airline. They need to fire their advertising agency.

  59. Terrible message! Trying to blame the unpopularity of this video on the extreme right is ridiculous. Maybe a good idea to have some diversity in the SAS marketing department, and not just employ woke idiots.

  60. @Yuandong Dou

    China and Taiwan have no culture. All of its art, values, music, and traditions are stolen from other nations. China and Taiwan are culturally worthless and bankrupt. Their has been no significant cultural contributions to the world.

  61. Loved the ad. I think the massive downvoting can be equally well explained by how the ad pushes a lot of ethno-nationalist buttons and therefore spreads on social media in those circles than by any intentional coordinated campaign.

    “ RACIST, Marxist ((( cultural termites )))”

    Wow, I knew there were a lot of pathetic reactionary conservatives on this blog, but I didn’t know there were actual neo-Nazis. That’s like a dog foghorn.

    I like that moderation is few and far between here, but I think when Ben writes a post that we all know will bring these losers out of the woodwork, he or Tiffany should be ready to do some more active moderation.

  62. The ad is very disingenuous. The ad is basically trying to tell Scandinavians that their culture is copied and not really theirs to claim. Yes, ideas have always been borrowed from other cultures, but you take those ideas and make it your own. Culture is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a group of people.

    Try taking that same ad but make it about some Middle East country or China, and see how far you get.

  63. There was nothing coordinated here, it’s just that people link to things on social media that they like or don’t like and then other people link, and so things get widely viewed by an unintended audience.

  64. The first bit was a little too demeaning and too long, a shorter amount of time would have sufficed, then finish with more build-up.

    While I am completely American I find that I relate more and better to my heritage. My Italian Grandparents. My English Great-Grandfather. My Swedish Great-Grandfather. I lived in Sweden for several years and count myself fortunate to have visited ancestral farms and churches. To have known and loved my Italian grandparents, who would caress my face, smile at me, and say my name with thick accent. I still relish what made America what it is, the faces of immigrants looking for a better life, for opportunity where little previously existed.

    A good commercial for SAS…

  65. Am I really allowed to have an opinion here? Even if it is not the “correct” one? Of course not.

  66. It’s truly amazing that the folks at SAS thought that this cringe worthy, virtue-signaling, woke ad would actually be received positively. What do you know, talking down the heritage & culture of a bunch of nations & their good people doesn’t help sell airline tickets? Color me surprised. /S

    The cherry on the icing was the black guy talking about his… Viking ancestors. I am not a betting man, but if I was, and I had to bet on what this guy’s ancestors were doing in Viking times, I would put my money on… running from lions rather than raiding the British coastline.

  67. This ad pretty much says : Scandinavian are usless, worthless and have no souls.

    If you are in agreement of that, it means you support the above statement

  68. Obviously many comments here (and I’m sure on the original video) are made by bigots.

    That said, the ad literally starts asking what was invented by Scandinavians, and answering, literally, “nothing”. Of course that’s going to be controversial! The idea that travel allows for new connections and new ideas is a lovely one. The idea that your own people and ancestors only have what they took from others very clearly implies that non-Scandinavian ideas are better than Scandinavian ones. There is a great ad on the value of travel that does not make that implication, but it isn’t this one.

    And I agree “what was invented by Turks? Nothing” or “What was invented by Roma? Nothing” as the start of an ad would be seen as incredibly offensive by those groups…

  69. Back when I was a kid, everytime my father and uncles who work as a seamen in Europe send post card from Scandinivia, I always wonder how can such fairy tale looking land ever exist.
    it’s just wonderful and unearthly.

    I often compare how different Scandinavia from our hot, humid, tropical country where everything is corroding and rusting, tainted by molds and mildews

    Well I guess since Scandinivia is “nothing” it actually is just a fairy tale.

  70. Scandinavians have not yet learned to be multicultural. We here in SAS have to be the driving force in the eradication of strong and unified nation states and identities. For this we will be hated and opposed, but people of SAS can never truly be safe as long scandinavians exist as an ethnic group.

  71. This is an absolutely great advertisement for Scandinavia and its airline SAS. It reminds me of the unique ads that have come from SAAB and IKEA…

  72. “We do not want to risk becoming a platform for someone else’s values … ” The irony of this remark.

    Interesting that “nothing” can be attributed to Scandinavia. Nothing. In the millennia it has existed, not a single thing. Isn’t that funny?

    Wouldst thou be so quick to say “Nothing” when asked of the inventions and contributions of, say, the Africans? I think the answer is obvious.

  73. Politically-correct grandstanding is precisely why globalism should rightfully fail. Everybody has the right to be proud of who they are. If this had been an ad from Emirates or Singapore, the outrage would have been 100-fold.

  74. I applaud SAS for adhering to TRUTH IN ADVERTISING!

    Scandinavians are no different than Anglo, Franco or any other European colonial power: go out, grab what they can, improve it, call it their own. USA is no different (overthrow the Hawaiian kingdom, improve it by installing a military base, and market it as an American heritage).

  75. I like the ad, but perhaps that’s because I’m one-quarter Norwegian. The other 3/4 of me is from the UK and Thailand, so I’m definitely a globalist, and therefore biased!

  76. This advertisement is the airline equivalent to Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. Loved by the woke but destined to go down as a spectacular failure.

  77. The primary take away from this ad, is that it’s bad to disparage and attack ethnic culture unless they’re Europeans.

    The double standards for racism is being used by these corporations to attack and erase European history and people. This would never had been allowed to be released if they said this same message about a non white European culture.

  78. Idiotic to think its “coordinated” when its overwhelmingly down voted, do you suspect the same when its overwhelmingly positive?

  79. Fantastic advert, I would be very proud if that was a Qantas or British Airways advert, then again, I, and my family are totally colour blind and support global movement of all races and colours. Nationalism and patriotism are so 1930’s!

  80. Just to point out that one of the comments says

    “What’s not Scandinavian: Globalist, (((owned))), advertising agencies in New York who produce a spot for a “Scandinavian” Airline.”

    Just to let you know that the ((( ))) according to the Urban Dictionary says:
    “Commonly found on Twitter or other social networks, ((())), aka triple parentheses, are placed around the name of a Jew, person with Jewish ancestry, or any Jew-related entity and is often used in a derogatory manner: (((CNN))), (((Facebook))). “

    So you know exactly what you are dealing with.

    I think it was a great uplifting ad which is full of the meaning about why I travel.

    Thanks so much for posting it!

  81. The Danish Law of Jante, Scandinavians are living by:

    You’re not to think you are anything special.
    You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
    You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
    You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
    You’re not to think you know more than we do.
    You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
    You’re not to think you are good at anything.
    You’re not to laugh at us.
    You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
    You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

  82. Welp, imagine they made this advert about an african nation, everyone would be crying racism, but of course white nations are fair game to play down their national and cultural achievements. Please tell me i’m wrong, i need a good laugh.

  83. I can understand why people are upset. The ad basically says “nothing about your culture is original, everything you know you took and stole from someone else, but be happy that you can travel so you can steal more from other cultures to claim as your own”

  84. A coordinated effort, seriously?! You’re almost as bad as flat earthers…

    I agree with a recurrent point – it is wrong to denigrate national and cultural achievements.

  85. I loved the ad. Brilliant … but I guess only in my opinion. Since they yanked it.

    But more than the videos, I came for the comments. Didn’t disappoint. But I was surprised how quickly the racist card was thrown. I would have bet no earlier than the 7th or 8th post.

    Y’all snowflakes, wimps, insecure people, weaklings, wusses, micey men (I think most are men), crybabies (did I get enough adjectives without hurting feelings?) need to grow up! This upsets you?

  86. There is no “thumb down” campaign or coordinated effort. The commercial, regardless of its globalist message is an insult to Scandinavians and our heritage. The commercial reduces our rich history and heritage to the supposed invention of the paperclip in Norway; the Swedish meatballs; and the Danish pastry. And: “We are no better than the vikings ancestors. We take everything we like on our trips’ . Lets just cancel the vikings, SAS. No Way! I am proud of my Viking heritage! I see the writing on the wall for my country Norway and it breaks my heart. And there is nothing I can do, because it is too late. It does not take long for a country of 5 million where politicians support multi -culturalism and a steady stream of immigration, to lose its heritage. I predict Norwegians will be a minority in its own country in the future. And with attitudes like SAS’s – That We Are Nothing – I guess we get what we deserve.

  87. It’s a stupid marketing piece and very downbeat. I can see why they pulled the ad. The end was pretty good as it was a good message but they must have some pretty hard core liberals there that like to self-flagellate their culture. I don’t see the need to self-abnegate to make the point. Not upbeat. Kind of like the burning cars in the Bennetton ads from the 90’s just before they went out of business.

  88. Gillette…. let’s piss off our customer base, ignore what we sell to virtue signal.
    Damn we lost 8 billion$

    SAS …. hey you know that Gillette add, can we out do ? Let’s piss off all our customer base, ignore our business model, this way we can create a world wide discussion.
    Marketing department … just awaiting the financial outcome mission accomplished.

  89. Anything can be dissected to it’s individual parts. Each part on its own is not unique to the whole. Is a steering wheel a car? No. But a steering wheel, wheels, doors and engine is a car.

    Is parental leave Scandinavian? No. But parental leave coupled with bicycles, smørrebrød, women’s rights and democracy is uniquely Scandinavian!

    I see what the agency was trying to do. However they placed too much emphasis on knocking down the constituent parts without ever really celebrating the collective identity at the end. That in itself is uniquely Scandinavian, seeing the negative and unwilling to take praise. Also the celebration of the Scandinavian identity at the end was also uniquely Scandinavian, overly humble, unassuming and reluctant.

    So in this respect the tone of spot is weirdly off. If I was Scandinavian I’d be bit miffed too.

  90. If someone makes similar ADs about Africa or Mideast countries, that would be great!!!
    How globalism and liberalism would be!!!

  91. The contrast between the reaction to this and the KLM incident is hilariously hypocritical. Implicitly barring only passengers from a specific country from entering a restroom? Anyone who calls it racism is LIBERALISM RUINING THE WORLD GONE WILD! But an ad implying that just like every other culture Scandinavian culture borrowed from the rest? (Albeit in a condescending way) HOW RACIST. THIS IS WORSE THAN THE N WORD.

  92. @BrewerSEA your response to silence dissenting opinions, obnoxious or not, is typical Leftist facism. Thanks!

    Otherwise, the ad was visually stunning but the message is tedious. And it doesn’t inspire much about airplanes, travel or airlines except the last few scenes at the airport. Can we all stop this mental masturbation about globalism? It’s tiring already.

  93. Face it: Globalist have an open mind and are more educated. Nationalist are closed minded, uneducated, and everything is an attack on them, yet not understanding nobody even wants them or their stupidity.

    The only thing wrong with the ad was they said nothing is Scandinavian rather than sliding into how Scandinavian culture is a mix of influence from the outside world. But Nationalists, as noted, can’t think past the first 30 seconds and see it as an attack and stupidly see racism.

  94. Appropriating ideas and inventions from other cultures is not specifically Scandinavian, it is HUMAN. Guess what? Apple pie wasn’t invented in America. This ad, parts of which made me teary, takes a beautiful message about the universality of the human family and the cross fertilization of ideas that travel enables and makes it sound like a slam against Scandinavian culture specifically as being derivative. They were going for “travel opens up your horizons” but that is not what came across. Seeing it as “racist” or self-hating is ridiculously hyperbolic but I understand why people didn’t like it.

  95. Good riddance to a divisive advert. As said already, who on earth thought it was a good idea to completely undermine a nations identity, equate it to ‘nothing’.

    Then theres the avoidance of responsibility, in implying that the campaign was ‘kidnapped’, and that all the down voters are *hint hint* just racists. Take accountability – the advert was rubbish, the message was rubbish and you get what you deserve.

  96. I adore how the author is unwilling to call this hateful, anti-Scandinavian commercial what it is. Instead, as an utterly cowed university graduate, he says that he loves the artistic quality and he loves the message. Then he hints that it appears the only reason that people don’t like it is due to having some kind of agenda. (Hint: Yes, that agenda is love of their country.)

    He also writes that nowhere in the world is better than anywhere else. Dude, do you know the best places in the world to live? The places with the highest level of immigration. Do you know the worst places? The places those immigrants are escaping from.

    The commercial is trash. The people who made the commercial are part of a Leftist cult who want to rob people of their history in the name of globalist world domination.

  97. For me the controversy is about the fundamental communication principle of message and meaning . How external messages are interpreted internally for meaning by the people receiving them, can be a minefield of unintended responses if not carefully, insightfully and intuitively assessed beforehand. As someone with Danish ancestry, I found the commercial to be a bold initiative, but I do understand the cultural and societal negativity it evoked. That is the risk and responsibly every advertising practitioner has to take very seriously, but as someone once said, the only people who have never made a mistake, are those who never made anything, and the biggest risk for any company, is taking no risk at all.

  98. Nothing with this ad is wrong, on the contrary: How can you claim things to be truly Scandinavian if they were invented elsewhere? – Credit where credit is due!

    A society that supports and expresses freedom of speech to the extent Scandinavians do (e.g. by controversial drawings of Muhammad + Chinese Flag in mainstream media) should not be offended by an entertaining, well-made airline commercial.

    What’s wrong with people these days?

  99. This is blog does not respect the freedom of speech and keep deleting comments if they do not match with the admin political\religious views !! 😀

  100. Good comments, Lucky.

    Many people on here clearly need to read up hard on the differences between racism, nationalism, and globalism. The ad is all about globalism – and has nothing to do with racism whatsoever. Of course nationalists these days have a hard time grappling with racism; they will easily accuse others while in fact many nationalists are deeply racist.

    The ad is in fact produced by a Danish agency – &co ( Not “some New York firm”.

    It is a demanding one, agreed, but it carries a strong, beautiful – and, in fact, very Scandinavian message. I am from Denmark, but don’t get offended at all. Sometimes it is healthy to have your self-perception challenged a bit. Calling out nationalism for what it is – full of paradoxes and false perceptions -, is a bold move, but the ad ties it all well together in the end.

    It does require viewers to watch the ad in its entirety, which most these days probably won’t get anywhere near to. The agency and SAS Marketing might have made a mistake there.

    Lots of respect to SAS for pushing something different – and not just the usual corporate mumbo jumbo. Shame on the highly-privileged SAS pilots that seek to take advantage of the situation – as always.

  101. The final paragraph of this article is so out of touch with reality. Of course 50x people disliked this — its an ad calling and denying the existence of Scandinavian culture and achievements. Do you really expect them to just roll over and take it for the sake of progression? Who in the world demean their own countries and culture for the sake of progression? Is it surprising that people get angry when you attack their culture like this? Unbelievable where the world has come to now. People erasing their own achievements and culture. I think this ad should have 100x times the dislikes. But looks like too many Scandinavians are infected with the Wokeness virus.

  102. @Melanie-I take it you completely let the point that the “achievements” weren’t Scandinavian at all. Please read, comprehend, then post.

  103. @Ghadir-did you read the posted comments? Please tell me you noted at a minimum didn’t agree with the author’s position yet were still posted. Please stop whining with your victim card, it is pathetic. Maybe your post didn’t meet the blog guidelines. Maybe there was a technical error. Why would your whine post? It too would be considered contrary to the author’s view.

  104. We stand on the shoulders of each other, learning and evolving, all of mankind was migrating from Africa some 150.000 years ago. Yet, not everybody consider their culture to be African. The message that “we learn from interacting” is undeniable, the “hinting” that there is no particular culture or regional/local difference is absurd. Aside the examples are, as one might expect from an advertisement company, wrong. From bread to bikes, but the licorice is indeed from China. The idea was good, the facts were mostly wrong, and most places have unique stories bound to them. Consider it an attempt to counter the image of airline Company Norwegian, with very strong focus on being Norwegian/Scandinavian.

  105. Would you make the same advertisement for a non white country? A simple question and everyone knows the answer. Would you have the nerve to tell Ethiopians that their culture was effectively nothing but borrowed concepts? I mean they haven’t built much themselves have they?
    You wouldn’t, so don’t for one minute put the response to this down to a “coordinated effort”. People are disgusted by the anti white sentiment in this. How the hell can a black guy have Scandinavian ancestors? Would you suggest a blond white guy could have Maori ancestors? No chance!!

  106. @John: since the ad has nothing to do about being white, you want to tie it into it with your idiotic attempt? That is so Fox it makes me puke. Please show me exactly where they made comments about a white country. If you can’t, take a hike to TPG.

  107. The Cultural Genocide of Europe has it’s own advertising now? I never saw anything coordinated against it but saw several people I know equally disgusted.

    Not only does it seem the Kalergi Plan is real but in full swing!

  108. “It was a, as Ian says; an utterly abysmal, insulting, perverted and stupid advert”. As a Norwegian I have no words to express my feelings when I saw the add. I wish my brother, also from Norway, didn’t send it to me. And I’ll say it again. It was not a coordinated effort! Everyone in Norway I know hates it. And if anyone wants to mention race, why is it okay to insult us Scandinavians in this PC obsessive world. Everybody in the comment section that didn’t like the add, is pretty much called a racist. We can’t even defend ourselves, or mention race because then we are racist.

  109. Stop legitimizing anti-racism by claiming it was racist. It is anti-racist in that on anti-racism is about destroying “whiteness.” They don’t want white people to have anything that is exclusionary theirs or to exclude minorities and to make the majority/native population not feel exclusive ownership or any ownership at all. They see white people as only a *threat* which needs to be controlled and curtailed. And minorities non-white/Europeans as something to protected/elevated, at all cost, and at the expense of the majority which they see as not having the right to dominate and think their society is specifically theirs. Which is why they’re trying to dismantle the identity and the dismantle the native majority’s assertive ownership of the society. By calling it racist, you not only legitimize them and their framework, but it doesn’t work. Calling anti-racist a racist doesn’t work. They don’t change or apologize. Because it’s their word; their weapon to bludgeon and you’re not going to win by using their word that they know they’re not what you accuse them. Because racism is meant for white people. Being a stupid reactionary anti-racist and believing that such ideas are applied equally (i.e. trying to entertain them “how bigoted it would be” if they did this to Chinese people with other minorities in China doesn’t work) is simply not true. Your appeal to reason with them by using egalitarian means will not work. Call them what they are: white hating anti-racist. Demand for heads to roll and the SAS company to be made an example of, to put such anti-racist on notice. The anti-racists (like the author) who push this narrative that creates stuff which eventually goes into company ads need to know there are ramifications for their ideas and need to start getting fired/lose their livelihoods like they’ve done for racist for years. Hopefully, the majority is starting to have enough. The author is trying to cope, believing it’s just a coordinated bunch of racists online, and not reflective of the entire society changing.. Here’s hoping he’s wrong and the native majority is not only getting self-respect but becoming assertive again. This is necessary before any change can happen. No self-respect and unwilling to tolerate such things, they will continue. They’ll continue till the society puts its feet down and says “enough.”

  110. Globalism is all about corporations having the best obedient workers. George Carlin was right about that. Barbara Lerner Spectre is proof that nationalists are right about what’s really going on in Europe. This was another anti-white ad. Diversity is being pushed into every industry that white people dominate. Nobody is trying to get the NFL or the NBA to be more diverse. Globalists fail to see the hypocrisy in society and the media.

  111. Why would I want to visit a culture that hates itself, and why would I want to fly on an airline that tries to advertise me with politics? I’ll stick with airlines that focus on good service and attention to detail and avoid airlines that try to shove faux-wokeness down my throat.

    It’s even worse that rather than recognizing their gaffe for what it is and trying to understand why the ad was a total flop, they’ve doubled down and blamed the negative reaction on “far right coordinated action.” Give me a break.

  112. @Mike, your comment was so out of whack, BLS pushes a completely Jewish position and is not accepting others so using her is absurd. Then to say “ Nobody is trying to get the NFL or the NBA to be more diverse. “ tells me you have never even been in the US. Every other day sports are being hammered for hiring more black or persons of color and gender in the management and coaching ranks, as well as ownership.

    This ad had nothing to do with shoving multi-racial positions. I guess you couldn’t understand through your white nationalism.

    Just nuts. Smh

  113. The ad mirrors what the prime minister of Sweden himself said. Except, he called Swedes “barbarians”, and credited everyone else with the culture and civilization.
    Swedes are apparently just Cavepeople..
    Crept out of their caves to bask in the glory of the civilization of everyone else.
    Apparently, it’s more just a regional landmass, really.

  114. Youre an idiot if you like this add. This has NOTHING to do with transportation!

    The only thing they forgot is the latest part showing blond Scandinavian people welcoming refugees. I think they spoke about it.. but dident dare.

    Dislike the idea but Scandinavian countries still dont understand that this is part of the Kalergi plan, to erase the people who original live overthere. To overflow countries with trash. Unciveliced people who really have NOTHING to do here.

    If you love youre country you dispise this, its disguisting. If you embrace it you dislike youre country.

    People who love there country puke on this leftsided sort of indoctrination with help of the unchosen undemocratic dictorial eu.

    I am not right sided, surely not left sided… but puke on this sort of propaganda.
    Mainstream left side parties sell youre country for nothing!, this morning I saw on youtube a docu about Winston Churchill. He said: the fascism of the future are left sided parties… we see whats happening so I hope out of the ground of my heart

    that full Scandinavia wakes up and ends this nonsense and starts to love his own countries again and uses and keeps them like they were in the past!.

    What is original Scandinavian, that are the people who live there, and NOT the dictorial eu global idea!

  115. * Also, I I should clarify, that it was Sweden’s former Prime Minister Reinfeldt that said:
    “Ursvenskt är bara barbariet. Resten av utvecklingen har kommit utifrån.”
    “Translated roughly into English, he was claiming that Sweden’s indigenous culture was simple barbarism. Civilization had to come from outside.”

    There was no silver-lining of “World travelers, learning and bringing back good things” when he said it.
    He was speaking of the current population as if they were near sub-humans, and the future of the region now belonged to the newcomers.
    All those Nobel prizes and innovations for such a small country / population counted for nothing in his commentary. You can speak in favor of reasonable immigration, without p!ssing in the current population’s face. It is possible.
    This ad just sprinkles some sugar over it at the end.

  116. It’s just a stupid ad. “If you didn’t invent everything you use daily your culture and country doesn’t even exist. Don’t come to Scandinavia because we’re just recycled ideas from other places that also don’t exist.”.

  117. I am Scandinavian and I am truly offended by this commercial.
    It is an attempt to rewrite history once more for the Nordic people, the first attempt was made by the church and they did a fine job since the Scandinavian people didn’t have a written language. We were almost wiped out from history if not for a few monks who refused to erase history entirely.
    It has taken centuries to rebuild the history of this once great region. You can today even see that nordic people settled in America before AD 900.
    The Vikings settled Greenland at the same timeperiod as the Inuit which we today claim are the natives.
    The different migration periods when population grew to big in Scandinavia which trigged an exodus. This led to the founding of Kievrus which later became Russia. The founding of Normandy and normans, influenced the old french language and frankish which later became the english language.
    The democracy which the commercial refer to is wrong as well, we had a similar version which was called tinget. It was that each household had a vote, be it a man or woman.

    There will never be any globalism. It is impossible for a human mind to extrapolate itself to such a big concept. If we keep on placing groups against eachother in this way in order to blend everything, then we will end up with conflicts. People who feel lost and without belonging will strive to belong to a group, this will open up for groups who seek conflict and violence to recruit lost souls.
    I am afraid of the consequences which these social experiments create, it won’t be tolerated and it will have a blowback.

  118. Hi, I’m Duco from the Netherlands.
    I learned about the SAS ad from YouTube B. Andreas Bull Hanssens’ channel, he is a writer from Norway.

    I’m not dumm, not right wing or a such.
    Just a native Dutch middle aged man.

    I did not understand the ad!

    The message I felt was: white native european people and especially their culture are stupid.

    I’ve seen this kind of agenda more lately…
    – men = stupid
    – white men = more stupid
    – woman = good
    – black woman = better
    – diverse lhbti = best
    – western culture = bad
    – diverse culture = better

  119. The video with comments section was canceled very quickly as the comments where overwhelmingly negative
    I think this is an extremely bad advertising
    and Scandinavia has extremely bad problems due to the uncontrolled immigration of people that are unfit to a open society to say it very polite

  120. Jake, I am swedish and I have been proud of it all my life. Now over 70 and seeing ads like this that want to put some kind of globalism before our national heritage was disheartening. I am pleased, however, that so many Scandinavians shared my values by showing their disgust over the ad in public. Scandinavia is also home of HC Anderson (Denmark), who wrote the first ever novel denouncing political correctness/silence culture, over 100 years ago, yet today a major problem. SAS used to be a leading airline with innovations like instruments enabling them to fly acroos the North Pole before any one else long before satnav. But it was also the cradle of the inventors of both the propeller and the gas turbine, to only mention two out of dozens of inventions that went world wide. We are not better than others but we question everything including ourselves, which unfortunately sometimes go wrong, like in this ad. Scandinavians are the producers of both great inventions and awful mistakes. Cheers!
    As in love, we have to love ourselves to truly be able to give real love to another.

  121. Thank you Sten for your thoughtful comment. As a Norwegian and quarter Swede I found the ad disheartening beyond words. Both of our countries are so filled with rich heritage and culture, authors, producers, musicians, and painters; and as you say producers of great inventions (and awful mistakes). The ad mocks Swedish meatballs, the supposed paperclip invention from Norway, and the Danish pastry and I am perplexed at our countrymen (sorry for the non-pc term – but not sorry) that would make such and awful, insulting, degrading commercial depicting us as Nothing. I helplessly watch as all the Scandinavian countries – and identity – are losing ground – and it breaks my heart.

  122. Horrible and disgusting advert. missed the mark by a mile!
    hate it when these agencies and thinkers think they are being new and clever, just plain offensive… far worse than the horrible foreign tail designs put on the British Airways aircraft!
    ….taking away the identity from indigenous people is not a way forward for the sake of making immigrants feel good about themselves and accepted! stop shoving it down our throats no wonder there is division 50/50 with rubbish like this advert!

  123. The reason for the ultra-right will soon return to power if it is not soon for idiots like the one in the article who is so dumb to believe that this announcement is good.

  124. seems it is likes which are fake and ‘coordinated’ (objectively, too many of them)
    i think SAS ordered its whole staff to upvote this wretched ad

  125. Those that “like” this ad are the ones “loving” the anti-male Gillette ad or the lesbian Renault ad – “we’re important and moral, us” brigade. Defending the indefensible and patting themselves and each other on the back at how “moral” they are.
    In reality more hypocritical divisive and parasitic than any extreme right winger.
    And egos more inflated than air balloons.
    If I had a choice it wouldn’t be this airline

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