• Sweden edition
 
WILL FERRELL SWEDEN BEER ADS
'I couldn't stop laughing the whole day': director

'I couldn't stop laughing the whole day': director

Published: 23 Oct 2012 13:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Oct 2012 13:47 GMT+02:00

The five commercials, which promote Old Milwaukee beer featuring Ferrell in and around the Swedish capital, appeared mysteriously on YouTube three weeks ago and seem to have been broadcast on Sweden's TV3.

And according to the man responsible for uploading the commercials on YouTube, the rationale behind the ads, which feature a brand of beer not even available in Sweden, is simple.

"Humour," Philip Berger, a US-born filmmaker based in Stockholm, told The Local.

While Berger confirmed he had uploaded the commercials to YouTube, he was reluctant to release many details about the production of the Old Milwaukee ads.

"I was sort of involved in the production. I don't want to say more than that," he said.

He added that the circuitous route the ads took before grabbing the attention of media in the US and Sweden was somewhat intentional.

"The idea is that the ads would sort of enter the market organically, and go viral," said Berger.

However, he remains baffled at how a world-famous actor like Ferrell was able to spend a whole day shooting commercials in the Swedish capital without raising so much as an eyebrow.

"I really don't understand how no one seemed to notice," he said in reference to the filming which took place last summer.

"Maybe it has something to do with the Swedish attitude toward celebrities in that they aren't simply falling all over anyone who is famous."

Berger was also struck by the fact that the Swedish press only seemed to notice the ads after they'd been written about by US media outlets.

"These ads were filmed in Sweden, and they were broadcast here, but it wasn't until they became big in the US that people in Sweden seemed to take notice," he said.

A spokesperson for TV3 confirmed for The Local that the ads were aired in September in three regional markets: Uppsala, located about about 70 kilometres north of Stockholm, as well as Norrköping and Linköping, which lie 150 and 200 kilometres, respectively, southwest of the capital.

Berger admitted that only a "very small percentage" of Swedes were likely aware of the Swedish Old Milwaukee ads.

Over the past year, Ferrell has filmed several Old Milwaukee ads which were then broadcast in local markets in the US before going viral on YouTube.

Despite being filmed in Sweden, the ads featuring Ferrell's antics in Stockholm were meant for an audience half a world way, according to Berger, as part of an effort to revive a "legacy" US beer brand.

"I think they were really geared toward those in the US who were already aware of the previous Old Milwaukee ads," he said.

"Old Milwaukee was big in the 1950s and 1960s, but has sort of fallen out of favour since the 1980s."

Berger was unable to shed light on reports that Ferrell filmed all the Old Milwaukee commercials pro bono, but confirmed that he received payment himself for his services during filming.

What remains unclear is who was responsible for paying to have the ads broadcast on TV3 and aired in three mid-sized Swedish cities with a combined population of about 350,000 people.

Berger suspected Funny or Die, a video website co-founded by Ferrell, which features original and user-generated content.

"I'm pretty sure they had something to do with it," said Berger.

Funny or Die did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Local seeking comment.

Despite the continued secrecy surrounding the campaign, Berger said the day he spent filming commercials with Ferrell in Stockholm was enjoyable, and praised the US actor for is Swedish language skills.

"I couldn't stop laughing the whole day," he said.

"Will Ferrell is a really down to earth guy. He could talk about water and have people laughing out loud."

Will Ferrell on Swedish words

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:24 October 24, 2012 by EP
Swedes didn't notice Ferrell because they don't notice much in general. Either they're staring into their mobile phones, have headphones in their ears or are too "shy" to look at anyone but themselves ....
Today's headlines
Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'
Hillevi Engström and protesters against Uganda's anti-gay laws. Photos: Maja Suslin/Ben Curtis/TT

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'

Sweden has resumed sending development aid funds to Uganda, after suspending payouts back in March due to "anti-gay legislation". READ  

The Local List
Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm
Fanny feels at home at the Blå Lotus. Photo: Isabela Vrba

Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm

If you're wondering where to grab your next cappucino, then wonder no more. The Local talked to the locals in Stockholm and found out the best spots in town for the ultimate fika experience. READ  

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine
The Azov task force. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/TT

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine

Four Swedes are fighting with the Ukrainian task force Azov - a squad which flies a flag with Nazi symbols and, according to one Swedish soldier, fights for "a white Ukraine". READ  

Swedish elk get one-way ticket to Denmark
The elk in this picture are not the ones that will be sent to Denmark. Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Swedish elk get one-way ticket to Denmark

Up to a dozen elk will be transported from Sweden to Denmark in an effort to help maintain local marshlands. READ  

Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden

Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs

UPDATED: Swedish citizens are the most likely to be employed in the EU, but Sweden is among the very worst when it comes to getting non-EU citizens into work. READ  

Man arrested for burning partner's face
Photo: Linn Malmén/TT

Man arrested for burning partner's face

Police suspect that a man in western Sweden is responsible for the extreme burns on his partner's face. The man has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault - and potentially attempted murder. READ  

In Pictures: Conchita Wurst in Stockholm
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

In Pictures: Conchita Wurst in Stockholm

Eurovision winner and LGBTQ idol Conchita Wurst is in Stockholm this week for Stockholm Pride - and joined Swedes at Skansen for a colourful summer sing-along. READ  

Stockholm holds colour contest for new metro
Photo: Joel Bagon

Stockholm holds colour contest for new metro

Stockholm's new metro line is not set for preliminary construction until 2016, and will not be completed until 2022 - but Swedes already have the chance to vote for the new line's colour. READ  

Sweden's heat wave officially over
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden's heat wave officially over

The heat wave that swept over Sweden recently has finally passed, meteorologists reported on Wednesday, promising cooler and more autumnal temperatures around the corner. READ  

Ukraine rebels release kidnapped Swede
Rebel tanks on the road to Horlivka in June. Photo: TT

Ukraine rebels release kidnapped Swede

The Swede who was kidnapped by pro-Russian rebels has been released after nearly three weeks of being held hostage - although no one knows where he is now. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
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 »

 
 
 
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
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
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
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

745
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