Denmark: the land of promiscuity

Denmark promotes promiscuity?! Well, that’s the accusation that caused the country’s tourism agency to yank an ad from YouTube. The country, which has a reputation for being a bit more open than we’re used to seeing in the United States, used a three-minute video clip to promote the destination, but featured a blond woman and an infant, claiming the latter came from an encounter with a foreign tourist.

I guess Denmark, if only briefly, became the land of opportunity.

The ad continues with the woman claiming to be looking for the kid’s father. She launches into a fairly involved story, claiming how she met this unknown stranger and uses it as a vehicle to talk about the other reason. The best part: she’s not looking for anything, implying that there are no strings attached. And, she speaks English, another perk.

Don’t get too excited; it’s all fiction. Denmark’s TV2 has confirmed this.

VisitDenmark scored a quick win with this concept, pulling in more than 800,000 views on YouTube. Though the ad has been pulled, it lives on through other YouTube accounts, so you can still enjoy the stunt.

Now, of course, everyone’s backpedalling. VisitDenmark manager Dorte Kiilerich told the Associated Press, “I regret that the film has offended so many people,” continuing that it was intended to convey “a nice and sweet story about a grown-up woman who lives in a free society and accepts the consequences of her actions.”

Economy Minister Lene Espersen says that the clip offers “a not very well-thought-out picture of the country.”

Perhaps the most critical reaction, though, comes from sociologist Karen Sjoerup, who claims that the ad suggests that “you can lure fast, blonde Danish women home without a condom.”

Isn’t that the point?

Check out the commercial after the jump.

Prudes take umbrage with Air New Zealand videos

Last month, we told you about Air New Zealand’s new in-flight safety video that features the flight crew in nothing but body paint. That, of course, came on the heels of their new ad campaign featuring their staff in – you guessed it – nothing but body paint. We thought the in-flight video and television commercial were innovative and quirky examples of an airline showing some actual personality. Sadly, not everyone has what we here at Gadling call “a sense of humor.” Some people are offended by the videos and they’re starting to speak up.
According to, many Kiwis who have flown national airline recently think that the risque videos are inappropriate. “Enough is enough, this is our national airline, not a strip joint! I for one won’t bother booking with you again,” one perturbed passenger said. Another Kiwi lodged a complaint with New Zealand’s advertising watchdog. The complaint stated, “All genital areas were hidden but they left nothing to the imagination and (it) conjured pictures that none of us needed.”

Air New Zealand is defending their campaign, which they say “highlights the transparency of the airline’s all-inclusive domestic airfares.”

I, for one, agree with the airline. Lighten up, people. It’s kitschy. It’s creative. It’s devoid of any “genital areas.” The television commercial is better than what most companies throw out there. And the in-flight video beats listening to a bored flight attendant phoning in the delivery of the safety spiel because she’s done it a million times before and just can’t muster up the energy to care anymore.

Just to stick it to the prudes who can’t seem to accept that life is too short to complain about everything, I’m slapping the in-flight safety video in this post. Watch it again for the first time.

Tourism Australia comes under fire from random retired American soldier

Tourism Australia nailed it. The struggle between work and life is reaching fever pitch. Those with jobs are working harder than ever, thanks to layoffs and a desperate play to look like top performers in case the axe comes down again. It’s a battle, sometimes, to take control of your life. This is the theme of Tourism Australia’s new campaign, “No Leave, No Life,” which drives home the fact that Australians are pissing away their vacation time and aren’t giving themselves the time away that they need.

So, the organization modeled a photo on the U.S. Marines (hey, Sydney Morning Herald, marines and soldiers aren’t the same thing) raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. You know the original picture. Everyone remembers it. Because everyone is familiar with this iconic photo, it’s easy for one to relate to it. That’s what makes Tourism Australia‘s picture of a family “raising” an umbrella particularly brilliant.

Well, there are a few people who would disagree, as you’ll see after the jump.

U.S. Army veteran (unless he’s really a marine – SMH can’t tell the different) Russell Wade wrote to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to complain. He’s pissed because it trivializes “an iconic picture of high significance to the American people.” Yet, he isn’t driven to anger by U.S. Marine commercials that equate fighting in a war to fantasy games in which fictional creatures are the enemy and are vanquished by knights with swords in a manner that implies death with what looks like a simple “zapping.”

Before we take Tourism Australia to task for its advertising decisions, let’s not forget that the Marines have had a few problems as well … occasionally seeming culturally tone-deaf.

Okay, back to the contested photos. Both photos were staged, so it really is a posed piece derived from a posed piece. And, it’s not like this is the worst instance of borrowing from military history and tradition to entertain, amuse or sell. Hell, where was Wade when Homer Simpson “trivialized” the U.S. Navy?

For that matter, where was he when the Village People did so? It looks like this guy has a shitload of letters to write.

The Village People can model entertainment on the U.S. military. The creators of The Simpsons can take it a step further (as they’ve done several times with the navy and the army, at this point). And, let’s face it. These go a lot deeper than modeling a photograph on a classic … mind you, a practice common in the arts.

I was a soldier for a while, and I have nothing but respect for those who served honorably. I just wish there could be a better sense of reality and an antidote for self-importance.

At Least One Country is Getting Tough on Hidden Airline Fees

Hidden fees are ta reality of air travel. Fuel surcharges have finally dropped, but not gone away. then there are airport taxes, insurance charges and administrative costs. The small nation of Singapore is trying to crack down on undisclosed costs by forcing advertising to include a full disclosure of costs and fees. Eleanor Wong, chairwoman of the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), said that a “media advisory” announced last year did not lead to the kind of full price disclosure that she had hoped. So more stringent measures had to be taken.

“The idea is that these are non-negotiable add-ons and should be treated as an integral part of the fare. With the practice of adding fuel and other surcharges becoming prevalent, we thought it would be useful to issue a specific clarification that would apply to the general principles of fair advertising specifically to the travel industry.”

To enforce this new law, ads that do not fully disclose prices will be suspended. For once, Singapore’s authoritarian bureaucracy might have actually done something useful.

[Via TTG Asia]

Beginning today: Boarding pass advertisements

Six of the legacy carriers carriers announced today that they’re participating in a new program to implement advertisements into their boarding passes. So now when you try to save time by checking in online you’ll be bombarded with a Carnivial Cruise ad that you have to print out and carry around with you while you’re at the airport.

Anything to make money, right? I’m kind of surprised that we don’t have ad space on the inside of aircraft — on the ceiling, walls and seat backs — US Airways already tried putting advertisements on the air sickness bags.

Today, Delta will be the first carrier to test drive the service, called Sojern, on its routes into Vegas, but the ads will quickly multiply around that route. Bacteria reproducing in a host body is a good way to think about that.

What I’m most curious about is whether the 3rd party ads will be custom tailored to the specific passenger. Will I, a young male be getting ads for Lane Bryant? Or will Sojern work with the airline to study my travel behavior, look at my past trips and send me a coupon for happy hour in New York?

Either way, you can kiss your old print-at-home boarding passes goodbye. Which is fine with me, as long as they don’t raise ticket prices.