Swedish viral news veterans behind plan to ban Wham's Last Christmas

The Local Sweden
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Swedish viral news veterans behind plan to ban Wham's Last Christmas
Swedes Tomas Mazetti, left, and Hannah Frey, right, reach out for a teddybear on a parachute behind them as they pose for a photo in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Mazetti and Frey intruded Belarus' airspace with a Swedish light plane and dropped in hundreds of teddy bears decked out in parachutes and slogans supporting human rights. Photo: Gero Breloer/AP

Tomas and Hannah Mazetti, the "furious" Swedish couple who hate Wham's Last Christmas so much they want to buy it and pull it off the airwaves forever, have been behind a string of similar viral news stories which have gone around the world over the last decade. 


The campaign by the Gothenburg-based couple to raise enough money to buy the omnipresent Christmas hit and pull it forever off the airwaves got significant coverage over the Christmas period, with the UK's Daily Star, Sun, and Daily Mail, and the New York Post tabloids, and even Sweden's Expressen newspaper running versions of the story.  

Hannah was quoted in The Sun explaining how she had hated the 1980s Christmas hit ever since she worked in an Oxford cafe 13 years ago, where it was played on repeat. 


“The owner had a CD with a number of ‘hits’," she said. "He didn’t appreciate the agony the staff felt when Last Christmas played for the 111th time of the working day."

She said that the couple had this year "asked friends how much they would pay to never hear it again — quite a lot, it turned out." 

The couple claimed to have received pledges of $112,705 from 1,294 of their friends towards the estimated $15m-$25m needed to buy the rights from the song's owner Warner Chappell. 

A screenshot from the couple's campaign page/Christmas card.

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But Tomas, described as "a writer" in the New York Post, and Hannah are, or perhaps were, one of Sweden's most successful generators of viral sensation.

After The Local first published this story, Hannah tweeted, "I hope you like our joke" in response, posting a link to the couple's campaign, No More Last Christmas, which is described as their "yearly Christmas card".

Hope you like our joke :)

After this story was published, Tomas got in touch to say that the Last Christmas campaign had been intended as a Christmas card joke for the couple’s friends, and had never been intended to throw them back to their past as viral pranksters. 
“I’ve been really trying to keep quiet and to keep out of the media,” he said. “I haven’t tweeted in eight years and tried to have no social media presence.
"This was a Christmas card for friends. We made the website ourselves, and we sent it out to our friends, but it blew way out of hand. It’s seriously absurd that we spend half a day building a fun home page and it’s all over the New York Post.”

He said that he had not sent the link to the site to any media, and that one of his friends appeared to have tipped off a journalist in Wales.

Studio Total was in 2011 behind a viral story about a sex school launched in Vienna. The world’s first college of applied sexuality, AISOS, would, according to its website emphasize “hands-on” lessons in lovemaking, and was due to open in mid-December 2011. Mazetti fessed up to his involvement a month later. 


In 2012 Hannah got involved, and together with Tomas came up with the idea of "Teddybear Airdrop Minsk 2012", in which a plane piloted by Mazetti, and with Hannah on board, entered Belarusian airspace and dropped 1,000 teddy bears holding cards and banners with protest slogans. See images from Studio Total here

The operation triggered a major diplomatic incident, with Sweden's ambassador to Belarus expelled, a Belarusian border guard being jailed, and Belarus withdrawing its ambassador from Sweden for six years.  

Tomas said that the idea of targeting Belarus had actually come from his wife. 

After closing down Studio Total in 2014, Mazetti co-founded the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, which made crazy inventions, such as a magnet-powered flying carpet for dogs -- part of a campaign for the Swedish furniture company MiCasa, which was covered in Wired Magazine.
He then co-founded Wheelys Cafe, a real business based around chain of mobile cafés mounted on box bikes. The company was closed down in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mazetti said that for the past two years, he had now working on a novel. "I'm trying to try to dive within myself and do the slower thing," he said. "These things you spend half a day and it's all over the New York Post, and you spend two years writing a novel... I want to do something else with my life, but it seems like we're good at this! It's uncanny how things like this go global."


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