• Sweden edition
 

Swedish Armed Forces rejects ad films criticism

Published: 15 Jun 2010 15:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jun 2010 15:20 GMT+02:00

The Swedish defence forces have spent a 25 million kronor on a new campaign of films featuring the challenge: "We are waiting for your opinion on our work, if you have what it takes to have one".

Fredrik Svahn at the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) told The Local on Tuesday that the films should not however be seen as a recruitment drive for a military career but should be seen more as a "discussion with the Swedish people".

"National service ends on June 30th and will be major major change with the first voluntary recruits admitted on August 15th. We want to open a discussion and invite opinions on the purpose of the Swedish Armed Forces," he said, while adding that the campaign website can also be used to apply for a job.

The three advertising films - for the army, navy and air force respectively - feature soldiers battling a forest fire, chasing Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, and pilots scrambling their jets to meet an incoming threat to Sweden's borders.

The films feature the typical dramatic fare served up by the UK and US armed forces to attract recruits, but in Sweden, with its 109-year history of compulsory national service and limited professionalism, they have come in for some criticism for romanticising the work of the military with comparisons made to the Die Hard films.

"They use Bruce Willis sequences to project an awesome operation and to tempt with employment. But this applies to young people's career choices for operations that may ultimately concern life or death. You should not use advertising gimmicks to address such serious issues," advertising expert Mats Ekdahl told the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

The air force film features a command centre and is dated "Ronneby 06:52", referring to the Swedish air force base in south-eastern Sweden, but like the other two films are in fact a backdrop filmed in South Africa, with local actors clad in Swedish military attire.

The depiction of a darkened room with radar screens and alarm bells sounding the alert is the stuff of fiction and the reality is far more mundane and perfunctory, the newspaper explains.

But Fredrik Svahn has rejected the accusations and argues that "these are commercials and not documentaries and we are under no obligation to present 100 percent reality."

Svahn said that logistical and budgetary concerns lay behind the decision to film the commercials in South Africa and he argued that they depict "a part of life as a soldier" although conceded that 90 percent of the military's work is done at home and is more routine.

"The films are based on the Armed Forces' description of operations and shows how extreme situations can look. The Gulf of Aden film for example shows exactly how we work," he said.

The Armed Forces has so far received 360,000 registered opinions in the ten days since the launch of the television and billboard campaign.

"We are happy with the response, which has both been positive and negative," Svahn said adding, "I think the criticism (of the campaign) is unjustified, it is not as if we have used humour."

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:17 June 15, 2010 by SouthAfrican_in_Sweden
Wonder why they are filming in South Africa...?
18:08 June 15, 2010 by voiceofreason
Many might be tempted to join the army just to earn a pay check or to prove a point i.e. feminists but the truth better be told. Life in the military commits you to defend the country with your life without any objection when such a time arises.
18:40 June 15, 2010 by Kevtravels
@voiceofreason, Well lucky for them Sweden is tightly safe in Northern Europe surrounded by NATO countries who more than likely would aid them in any fight.

What I wonder is why they did not feature ads with Swedish peacekeepers? I'm sure that would attract more than the idea of the army used to fight fires.
21:49 June 15, 2010 by Carbarrister
I think the "new" Swedish military needs to define its mission - which requires poitical input- and then fill its ranks with the kinds of recruits that will meet the needs, i.e., is it going to be essentially a uniformed civil service like the post office or will it engage in serious military missions and need to weed out recruits who can't meet the standards.
22:12 June 15, 2010 by DAVID T
when was the last time sweden had a war?
00:43 June 16, 2010 by Avidror
The last war fought by Sweden was the 1814 Swedish-Norwegian War. Read here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish-Norwegian_War_(1814)

There was a Swedish involvement in peacekeeping operations since there, but it didn't consist of total wars in its own territory.
00:48 June 16, 2010 by Avidror
By the way, Flygvapnet's film would attract much more people if it had shown the Gripens in action.
08:36 June 16, 2010 by norcalNisse
Uh... what does the message mean? Are they saying you can't have an opinion about them unless you're one of them? Really??
Today's headlines
Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

730
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se