‘Epic Split’ Creative Ringqvist Leaves 72andSunny

By Patrick Coffee 

Just over nine months after 72andSunny announced that it had hired Martin Ringqvist, the Forsman & Bodenfors copywriter who earned quite a bit of attention for the Volvo/Van Damme “Epic Split” spot, the Swede has left the agency.

Ringqvist began his gig as 72’s newest group creative director in January and lasted approximately eight months. In the original press release, he gave this quote:

“High pace, demanding clients and a total commitment to the task. Who would say no to that? And when it stood clear to me that the people at 72andSunny were just as amazing as their work, it was a no-brainer.”

72andSunny had no comment on Ringqvist, but sources close to the matter imply that the second item in the quote above was the reason for his departure. It wasn’t so much that he’d rather make Seventh Seal/Sound of Music mashups or organic food explainers than ads in which mushrooms pass for butt cheeks–it was more that Swedish agencies don’t spend as much time on the less colorful aspects of the industry like, say, dealing with clients and their ever-shifting needs. Like many creatives before him, Ringqvist apparently wanted to focus more exclusively on the work, the work, the work.

For context, Forsman partner Bjorn Engstrom gave this quote to Fast Company in a 2014 piece explaining the origins of “Epic Split”:

“Ours is an agency where there are no Creative Directors, or Executive Creative Directors—just a tight group of creative people who work hand in hand with planners and account managers. We have small, close-working teams working closely with clients on each account, and that’s how it was with Volvo Trucks…”

We may have found our explanation.

In another illustration of how the Swedish agency world differs from our own, Ringqvist spent his entire career with Forsman, where he was a partner, before leaving for Los Angeles last year. We have no information regarding his next move or 72andSunny’s plans to replace him. While his LinkedIn profile notes that he once “[drove] his parents to madness” by exploring careers as a “baker, jazz club owner, taxi driver, journalist and trumpet player,” something tells us that he will stay in the agency world. He may well follow Ogilvy’s Calle Sjoenell and return to Gothenburg.

In other news, Argentina is the new Brazil is the new Sweden.