Sweden Hands Off Its Twitter Account to Citizens, and Things Get Weird How much transparency is good for tourism?
The people of Sweden would like you to visit Sweden. It is, like most tourist destinations, a lovely place, filled with breathtaking natural landscapes and a rich cultural history. Unlike most tourist destinations, it's also home to a surprisingly candid national Twitter feed written by a lineup of surprisingly candid Swedes.
Since December, the government of the Scandinavian nation has handed the @Sweden account off to various citizens, letting them say more or less whatever they like—in the role of a pseudo-official national spokespeople. It's kind of like the voice of the nation, as The New York Times calls it in a story this week spotlighting interviews with a handful of the contributors, including an 18-year-old high-school student who tweeted that he was "Twittering while a photographer runs around trying to take a photo of how I look when I'm twittering." How meta! Maybe it's more like the id of a nation. The campaign, dreamed up by agency Volontaire, drew a fair amount of coverage back when it launched, including particular attention around the inaugural writer's masturbation straight-talk.
What are the rules? The organizers discourage the writers from doing anything criminal and from casting their own political views as blanket representations of the country (which seems pretty obvious). Also, the creative director begs them to handle it "with some dignity," according to the Times. Whether they heed that plea probably depends on your definition of dignity. One tweet yesterday, for example, offers a disturbing take on what a mashup of the horror flick Seven and fairy-tale movie Snow White might look like (definitely NSFW). Another draws a dark and bizarre connection between Hitler and dolphins (also probably NSFW). Both were written by Sonja Abrahamsson, the account's current handler, who describes herself on the campaign site as a "27-year-old womanlike human being from northern Sweden." She's also a "single and low educated mother," but is sure to point out "at least I don't do drugs and prostitution." She has a blog, where Hitler seems to be a theme—apparently part of some running joke we don't quite get. Maybe that's because our grasp of the language is limited to Google Translate, or maybe Hitler isn't ever all that funny.
In any event, those crazy Swedes were clearly trying to be, um, edgy, and they're clearly succeeding.
- ESPN Lays Off More Than 100 Employees
- ESPN's Cherie Cohen Headed to NBCUniversal to Focus on Cable
- Digital Dignitaries Debate Display's Death
- Cramer-Krasselt Beats the Odds to Keep Porsche
- Mayer Talks Tumblr Plans, Unveils New Flickr
- Spotify Launches Music Charts
- NBC Makes Bet on Fake Reality
- 67% of Smartphone Owners Would Rather See Ads Than Pay for Premium Content
- Nutella Thanks Its Biggest Fan, Founder of World Nutella Day, by Sending Her a Cease-and-Desist
- Ad of the Day: Nike
- The New York Times Reinvents the Boring Banner Ad
- Pinterest Adds Advertiser-Friendly Features
- Fast Chat: Jann Wenner
- Advertising Student Ships His Pants to Kmart's Agency, Lands Internship
- Introducing Beardvertising: Tiny Billboards That Clip on to Your Beard
- WPP Created One Big Digital Shop From 8 Smaller Ones
AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.