Åkestam Holst Trolls Russian Navy with Gay Swedish Sailor

By Patrick Coffee 

Today in stories that you may not tie back to the advertising industry, a certain (virtual) gay Swedish sailor has been winning headlines for trolling the Russian navy with an underwater “sign” that repeatedly sends out a signal in Morse code:

“This way if you’re gay.”

The little stunt has earned all sorts of headlines and interviews for members of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society; Vladimir Putin is obviously not a fan.

Our readers may or may not be surprised to learn that there’s an ad agency behind this stunt: it’s Åkestam Holst, the same shop responsible for those odd “have your wedding at IKEA” ads.

First, here’s the video:

ICYMI, 1944 is the year Sweden “legalized” homosexuality, well ahead of the rest of the world (as usual).

From the press release:

“If there is a submarine down there beneath the Baltic waves and the crew should happen to see or hear the Singing Sailor they are welcome to join us in the Stockholm Pride Parade on the 1st of august. In times of unrest, love and peace across boundaries is more important than ever. We want to break-up with the violence. Our invitation is also extended to Swedish subs and military personnel and all others that want to join us, says Daniel Holking, Communications-and fundraising manager with the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.

The Singing Sailor is also a contribution to the debate that we all should shift military resources into development and rethinking security.”

We don’t have any comment from the agency itself, because the client’s explanation should suffice. We do have the credits, though…

Agency: Åkestam Holst

Client: The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society
Art director: Fredrik Josefsson
Copywriter: Adam Reuterskiöld
Creative Director: Andreas Ullenius
DOP/Editing: Eric Karlsson
Innovative producers: Johan Wahlberg, John Müllersdorf
Producer: Johan Eklund
Web Developer: Kalle Peterz