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TV viewers terrified by Swedish supermodel

TV viewers terrified by Swedish supermodel

Published: 05 Aug 2009 11:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Aug 2009 11:27 GMT+02:00

The 30-second ad spot, set to the haunting tones of a Swedish folk song, depicts a close-up of a rather sullen and emaciated Fohlin standing in the snow, rain and sun. The clip ends with the tagline, “Apoliva – for Swedish conditions”.

Almost 100,000 Swedes, many of whom viewed the clip on YouTube, have joined a Facegroup group called “I am scared of the girl in the Apoliva commercial” (“Jag är rädd för tjejen i Apolivareklamen”) in reaction to the film. Several other related groups, both in favour of and against the ad, have popped up on the social media site as well.

The Facebook group was created by Swedish student Anders Hammas late one evening while he was studying. “That was when I saw this commercial that I thought was pretty horrible,” he told the Expressen newspaper.

The description of the Facebook group reads: “Those of us who have a TV and like to watch commercials/can't be bothered to reach for the remote are facing a problem. Apoliva has begun to run a commercial that is frightening. A woman singing a Nordic/Swedish folk song in freezing rain with lightning. I am creating this group for those of us who need somewhere to seek support and talk things out. It's only a matter of time before it creeps into our dreams and terrorises us in our sleep.”

“We definitely weren't prepared for this reaction,” Eva Fernvall, brand manager at Apoteket AB, told Expressen.

“It was never our intention to scare people,” she added.

Leif Sorte, project manager for the commercial at Forsman & Bodenfors, the advertising agency behind the film, said they always hope to draw attention, but the debate surrounding the commercial has been entirely unexpected. He remains positive despite the uproar. “We think it's fantastic that there have been so many reactions,” he told newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.

"We wanted to dare to do something different in the cosmetics genre where many things look the same, and highlight the Swedish weather and how it influences skin and hair," Sorte said.

Folhlin's agency, Mikas, told Expressen that the model hasn't taken the criticism personally and that she was just playing a role in a commercial.

Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:22 August 5, 2009 by AR Studio
"Those of us who have a TV and like to watch commercials/can't be bothered to reach for the remote..."

Well there's your problem right there.
12:26 August 5, 2009 by JadeJi
hahahaha..this really sounds interesting cuz i personally really do like the commercial very much. i thought that the song was beautiful and so was the tjejen in it. i really didnt see anything frightening there in the commercial at all. Instead, the commercial looked very natural and though the weather there in the commercial was quite extreme, but i still felt something quite clam and comfortable there in the end of the commercial. so it is really a big surprise for me to find out that a lot of people were frightened by watching it?!..:)
12:49 August 5, 2009 by rom4in
What a joke !
13:51 August 5, 2009 by mdeklyn
this is just a typical Swedish advert, weird and really most of them do not make any sense at all
13:53 August 5, 2009 by Dick Swinger
Is that because they are in Swedish?
13:58 August 5, 2009 by Streja
It does make sense to us Swedes. The girl is standing there in the different kinds of weather conditions you can get in Sweden. Then the girl sings an old fashioned song that speaks to Swedes and reminds them of Sweden, nature, melancholy and other things that are typically Swedish. The products are then said to cater to Swedish conditions, ie cold bad weather mixed with sun and rain. As every Swede knows, some creams made in let's say France, don't really work in the winter when it's minus 15.
14:03 August 5, 2009 by Dick Swinger
That would be icecream then.. You're right icecream doesnt work when its -15
14:05 August 5, 2009 by Streja
You can do better than that. That wasn't even funny! I'm surprised.

Try again!
14:13 August 5, 2009 by manamann
The ad spot doesn't scare me at all, what scares me is they are calling that girl a super model, she looks like a dude, I have seen better looking women walking here in Stockholm then her.
14:25 August 5, 2009 by JadeJi
but she looks pretty unique,different and quite recongnizable. that is the advantage she has and i do think she looks quite pretty!
14:26 August 5, 2009 by Streja
Being a supermodel these days is about looking different and unique as you say Jade.
14:28 August 5, 2009 by JadeJi
by the way, look at those most famous models in the world, a lot of them dont look good at all compared to a lot of women in their own countries. but the thing is each of them is quite unique and recognizable and that is what really matters there i suppose.
14:36 August 5, 2009 by JadeJi
for example, i do think that a lot of you guys here know the Chinese actress Zhang zi yi from The Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Lucy Liu from Charlies Angels? if to just judge the appearances of those two with an usual Chinese vision standard, then absolutely most of the people will go for Zhang Zi Yi. but actually Lucy Liu really looks way much better than Zhang zi yi. because it is not only about the physcial appearance but also the inner charm, and that is what i actually got to see from this swedish model in the commercial!:)
14:40 August 5, 2009 by JadeJi
yes, in a way it is i suppose, at least when it comes to the appearance i think:)
15:59 August 5, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
She looks like a transvestite! That's what's scary...
16:25 August 5, 2009 by Marley420
operation gone horribly wrong, that's a she-man!!
16:36 August 5, 2009 by JadeJi
we all just have different opinons on her look i suppose... she is a swede which means that she should look nordic and that could definitely make her look kind of sharp or masculine, but honestly she really doesnt look like a man at all to me. though it wouldnt be that fair for me to pull this example here but, do you guys ever think that Cate Blanchett looks scary when she was in the movie "I am not there" since she was playing a role of a man? or do you guys ever think that Tilda Swinton looks scary when she was in the movie "Orlando"? and the mostly important, transexuals are not looking scary!(this is to Bender B Rodriquez)
16:36 August 5, 2009 by Mib
She does not look pretty or a super model in that advert. But if you search for her on google, she does have some better images of her. However, I judge a woman by how she looks when she's angry and she would definitely scare me when angry. So, the computer says "NO".
16:38 August 5, 2009 by Streja
Judge a woman for when she is agry???

LOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I judge a man from when he is smiling. So my one wins hands down!
16:46 August 5, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
I'm sorry to shatter your transvestite dreams, but transvestites look scary...
17:31 August 5, 2009 by Freotheric
I thought she was fey and pixyish and utterly charming. Pretty song, too.

If you want scary, check out "Swedish calendar men show the full monty"!

(Not that my wife agrees with me...)
17:52 August 5, 2009 by browneyes10
I like the swedish ad and I just view this ad now but it does not seems to me to be a scary ad. I dont know about the people who point this ad to be scared one, I dont know to them what the scare is ?

I also read many comments about the model in this ad. I am shocked when people who may have no idea (sorry to say) of art or beauty passes so many comments so easily for this model. Is this is not enough that she is a recognized model with a good look ? If any one think that she is not a good choice for this ad, then why they themself did not come forward to act in this ad ?
18:13 August 5, 2009 by Kaethar
Lol.

I don't find her scary at all. The ad is very beautiful in my opinion. And the model is striking in it.
18:27 August 5, 2009 by Ladybadone
Some people have way too much time on their hands. lol
18:53 August 5, 2009 by CaConi
Ladybadone

No, some people have a very good sense of humor!
18:59 August 5, 2009 by July77
hej, I agree with the people that find her scary and ugly, even look like a transvestite!...come on, look at latin beauty, swedish girls are only a pretty face.. but dont look down, not a single curv!, no boobies, straigh when thay are coming and when they leave...so boring. but I have to say that everybody talks about apoliva now, clever.
19:36 August 5, 2009 by workforthesoup
Hey, I dont see a problem with the ad. Its interesting, its done a bit differently. One needs to appreciate showing Swedish weather with a Swedish woman.
19:41 August 5, 2009 by BillyB
....meh
19:54 August 5, 2009 by glamelixir
I am actually thankful for getting the explanation for the commercial.

I saw it the first time in the movies, I didn't get it and it was hell creepy!
04:21 August 6, 2009 by redfish
In the next commercial, she should be riding a bear.
06:23 August 6, 2009 by Liv iCali
Explanation 1.

Whoever started that Facebook group was high.

Explanation 2.

A PR move by the company that created the commercial to draw attention to themselves and possibly the product.

06:36 August 6, 2009 by benomax
Give me a break please, the person that started the facebook group from my view is really idle and lonely, so that person just wants attention. I see nothing wrong with the advert, adverts are suppose to attract the attention of viewers so most times it has to be weird. The super model is beautiful and alot of ladies desire to be like her but they cannnot, some of them rather than seeing positive about someone doing good, they try to make a mess of someone, which is typical of the human nature. Grow up people.
06:38 August 6, 2009 by brøklyn_bjorn
Poor unflattering lighting design IMO.

She does have a moderately masculine face however I'd happily get naked with her with zero hesitation. =]

http://media.picfor.me/0015D2/ru_glamour-Adina-Fohlin-by-Marcus-Ohlsson-Fashion-photo-Couple-Marcus-Ohlsson-a-sexy-sensual-amor_large.jpg
08:24 August 6, 2009 by Jamtjim
The advert which bothers me (mostly because of the people is aimed at) is the one for the telephone dating line with the girl singing while dodging giant telephone numbers.

In it she sings (please excuse the spelling):

Du gillar inte krogen

Och du fattar inte intenet

Du vill har en tjej

Du vill har en tjej

Or in english:

You dont like the pub

And you dont understand the internet

You want to have a girl

You want to have a girl

So this is aimed as guys who are both antisocial as well as stupid. No wonder they cant laid....
09:04 August 6, 2009 by Aussie Swede
I'm sorry, she's a model?
09:19 August 6, 2009 by BillyB
From her wikipedia page:

Adina Fohlin (born December 20, 1984) is a Swedish model. She was discovered while walking down the street in Stockholm, and Emmanuelle Alt, the fashion director of Vogue Paris approached her, having noticed her unusual features. Myriam Obadiah, creative director of Fohlin's agency, Next, described her as a girl who does not resemble a typical model

Two key points..unusual features and does not resemble a typical model.

So they hired her expecting something different and unusual which would spark debate and interest..

Guess the fashion director of Vogue was correct...

What is basically a bland and boring add is being talked about because of her "unusual features".

A successful add campaign.
09:35 August 6, 2009 by Rebel
Poor Swedes, can't even watch a commercial without wetting their pants? Should force them to watch any number of Goth-metal music videos which use the same sort of set...poor things would need counselling for years.
13:08 August 6, 2009 by Streja
Good lord! It's not like they're really scared!

Jesus Christ...you nutters...
14:29 August 6, 2009 by Name, Who Cares
You know what, she happens to be a SUPERMODEL

....... rofl....................
14:32 August 6, 2009 by hpunlimited
She is scary! She has a future in Hollywood horror movies!

I can't imagine her ever getting a boyfriend!!
20:25 August 6, 2009 by Miss Kitten
You don't have to be beautiful to be a model these days. You do have to be very tall and very thin...basically a walking coat hanger.

Although she doesn't look too bad in this photo:

[attachment=632:00000009...fullsize.jpg]
12:04 August 7, 2009 by Hedley
I do not like the last shot... I admit that I am not scare, there face lines are pretty marked.

White people tend to have less protection against UV rays and wrinkles are more prominent regarless their age. However make-up guys must do their job!
12:33 August 7, 2009 by su2904
Shes a supermodel????? omg, i always thought the add was a lttle freaky and the woman really ugly. My husband hates it and being swedish, understands exactly what its about. i think it looks like she is having the cream thrown at her in places. A very strange way of advertising cream. lol
13:11 August 7, 2009 by Lys
Clearly the facebook group is a joke, people are not actually scared.

But the thing I think is strange about the ad is that it isn't really apparent what it is trying to sell. I think I only noticed the actual product after seeing the ad 10 - 20 times. And I'm still not sure I know what it is... isn't it 'personal' lubricant???
13:38 August 7, 2009 by GeeGee
They are so used to stupid childish ads
14:18 August 7, 2009 by lel
So it's not just me!

When I saw this ad I felt revulsion. I felt "the last thing I would ever do is buy those products if they make you appear like this half-draculesque creature"

Now, I just hit thr remote whenever it comes on screen.
14:36 August 7, 2009 by Ron Pavellas
The problem it seems to me, is to treat anything seen on TV as important. Now that I gave allowed myself to view more carefully the ad in question, I see it as mildly pleasant and I am grateful that it doesn't stimulate me to buy anything.
18:32 August 7, 2009 by Svenska-Flicka
I am an American and the ad wasn't scary, The song has a mysterious tone to it, not speaking Swede I didn't understand it,lol

The woman in the ad looks like a lot of the super models I see in the world, flat, no meat on their bones, the ad is scary if it's saying women should look like her though, oh what a scary thought :(
19:10 August 7, 2009 by Streja
I thought she did have some fat, looking at the pic someone posted on here.
20:51 August 7, 2009 by DanC
Maybe the student in question should actually study when he is studying rather than making pointless groups on facebook. I mean how is this news exactly? My opinion? I thought it an interesting ad the first time I saw it, q moment of peace between all the other shouty ads and if you think its scary then you probably think the Cillit Bang! adverts are the peak of advertising creativity.
11:40 August 8, 2009 by ppk
I like it all ! The girl (gorgeous), the song, the filming, the pub.

The only think that scared me is the fool guy and his facebook's group.
16:12 August 8, 2009 by Nikki Lindqvist
I guess there's really nothing wrong with the commercial. BUT - it has given me the creeps ever since the first time I saw it. So whenever it comes on, I change the channel. It's as simple as that. Nothing against the pretty girl or the haunting melody. But some combination of the whole thing gives me the creeps. It wouldn't stop me from buying the product; it just stops me from wanting to ever watch it again.
09:49 August 9, 2009 by hereandthere
Guess I'm not the only one who found this commercial to be strange-But it's only a commercial, come on! In fact, I haven't even seen it lately anymore.
10:27 August 9, 2009 by kpryan
I would bet that the 'university' student who created the Facebook account commenting on her 'fear' of the woman in this silly commercial was in fact

paid

for starting the page and that all the free publicity gained by this

skin care business has made that payment well worthwhile.
12:18 August 10, 2009 by John Rettis
No fault of the model here. As a professional portrait photographer I would never light a person in this manner. Very unflattering to give a person deep shadows in the eye sockets and create heavy bags under the eyes. The lighting technician should be schooled better - especially in creative lighting of a model for a cosmetic commercial - with proper lighting this spot would have had no objections.
16:52 August 10, 2009 by Spicetrader
She's not scary. It's time to check your danger detector for malfunction.
18:09 August 10, 2009 by palmjerry
If this frightens you, you need professional help. Just looks like a stringy long haired skinny broad that forgot her coat and bobby pins.
21:14 August 10, 2009 by Random Guy
"I am creating this group for those of us who need somewhere to seek support and talk things out. It's only a matter of time before it creeps into our dreams and terrorises us in our sleep."

Oh. My. Gawd. Have any of them done anything worthwhile since the Vikings pillaged?
22:00 August 11, 2009 by DavidtheNorseman
As it stands the commercial is rather sweet...the wee lass is just the homely girl next door singing a sweet song happy that her makeup isn't running in the rain...

Now if they had added lightning, made her eyes glow red and moved the audio into Apocalyptica's version of "The Hall of the Mountain King"........
08:14 August 15, 2009 by thinkingforyou67
what a load of hype... we are turning into a nanny state where muppets read a pile of crap into a mildly intriging advert with a nice wee folk song sung by an interesting looking girl.... it's to sell bloody hair products and yes it would alert me to the product name so the ad works the way it was intended to in my boringly humble opinion... Oh goodness, i gotta get a life (;
12:29 August 15, 2009 by DidiE
Huh- the first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for birth control, and figured they needed to make sex look scary. Then I realised I was in Sweden, sex is already considered scary enough, and paid more attention the next time it came on.

I am not a big fan of haunting folk music in minor keys, so that alone is enough to convince me to never ever buy Apoliva.
19:05 October 27, 2009 by Nura Pagla
At first sight, I did not get scared seeing that advertisement but after reading bunch of comments and viewing this advertisement again n again, I started getting scared.
16:40 December 30, 2009 by raythewatchman
If Swedes are TERRIFIED by THAT, then I know why my ancestors fled the homeland for America. Sheeesh.
16:58 December 30, 2009 by MachineGunGirl
I haven't seen this on TV!!! I've seen another with a girl out in extreme conditions though and that one is great, I just don't remember if it was Nivea or what... my bad!

I loved the voice of the singer and the song!!! The idea of extreme weather conditions is ok. I have to agree that the model is not pretty and is not tipically swedish (blonde, blue eyes).

Maybe the whole lightning and a model looking like Marilyn Manson or Satyr from Satyricon could be a bit scary... although, not as scary as to start a group on FB... then again, nowadays, they start groups for less than that.

In my honest opinion, I don't think this "scary commercial" was really newspaper article material... but fun to discuss.
09:47 December 31, 2009 by Earandur Lissesul
Just seen this add, if nothing else it has the desired effect. People are viewing it and talking about it, good news for the product company. As for being scary, come on give me a break.
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