• Sweden edition
 
'Average Sven' battles Jesus in kindness stakes
A scene from Unicef Sweden 2013 Christmas campaign. Photo: Forsman & Bodenfors

'Average Sven' battles Jesus in kindness stakes

Published: 17 Dec 2013 14:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Dec 2013 14:36 GMT+01:00

No need to be dead or iconic to be as kind as Jesus, Gandhi, or Mother Teresa? Not if Unicef Sweden's Christmas donation campaign is on to something in its new series of adverts.

For unclear reasons Jesus Christ adopts a half-baked Australian accent in a series of adverts hoping to get Swedes to part with their money for charity over the holiday season. The Christian prophet gets dragged into "thou areth holier than I" chat with Mother Theresa and Mohatma Gandhi, both considered iconic for their life work.

Sweden's representative - the 'new guy' who is granted an audience with the holy trio - is a rather confused-looking Average Sven, who admits he got to the table by clicking a banner ad for Unicef online.

"Unicef liked the idea right from the start. I don't think they were concerned really, but we worked together to make sure that we portrayed these icons in a good way," Agnes Stenberg-Schentz, Forsman & Bodenfors ad agency art director, told The Local.  
 
She said Unicef was courageous, as not everyone might react kindly to the three icons being dragged onto prime time in a trio of adverts.
 
"We are aware that people might react to these films in different ways. But Unicef is a bold client, and they are not afraid of doing something different or standing out."
 
Last year's Christmas campaign generated 23 million kronor ($3.5 milion) for Unicef.
 
"We hope to beat that this year," Stenberg-Schentz said. "So far, it looks really promising. The overall feedback on the films has been great, people really seem to like them."
 
Industry magazine Ad Week lauded the campaign masterminds for striking "just the right tone." 

Forsman & Bodenfors were also behind the epic splits Volvo commercial featuring Jean Claude Van Damne.

In the Unicef adverts Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and the random Swede share tales of giving and sacrifice while in one clip Christ gets a crash course in how to browse the internet. In a statement on the Forsman & Bodenfors website, the company said the campaign was motivated to show how four different characters could make a difference.

The campaign prompted Ad Week to quip: "It's a good thing Jesus is on board, since it usually takes a miracle to get folks to click on banner ads, even for a good cause."

Petra Hallebrant, Director of Communications for Unicef told The Local that Forsman & Bodenfors had worked "pro bono" and said that the campaign has been received "tremendously well" by the Swedish market. 
 
"The suggestion (to feature Christ, Gandhi and Mother Teresa) was in line with our previous campaigns and we thought it was a good idea.  We were active (in the process) along the way and the final advertisement did not come as a surprise, but we were indeed very pleased with the result ," she said. 
 
Hallebrant added: "The campaign has also gained international attention. But above all we are happy to see that the fundraising results are already better than last year and that the money will enhance children’s rights all over the world."
 
The campaign's slogan 'Doing good has never been easier' leads to an appeal for donations at the conclusion of the advert. 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

751
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