This Subway Can’t Make Your Commute Less Annoying, But Promises to Make It Shorter

Copenhagen Metro has some fun highlighting its speed

When you've had a rough night, even a short train ride can feel like an eternity. Hjaltelin Stahl
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

Morning commutes can be notoriously bad. And riders of Copenhagen’s newest high-tech commuter line are not immune to the cast of characters that can make them genuinely cringeworthy. The good news? You’ll know exactly how long it will take to get off the train.

Exhibit No. 1: This morning-after party gal is like: “Bed, aspirin, now and please, for the love of god, everybody STFU, and what is that smell?”

It was an epic night out, and our hungover reveler has the smeared makeup, bare feet, mussed hair and queasy stomach to prove it. Time for the daylight commute home and, unluckily for her, the public transit experience proves less than ideal.

A scout troupe and its boisterous leader bust out a bunch of snacks that no one should eat in a confined space. Boiled eggs, ripe cheese and tuna fish are on the menu. They forgot the sauerkraut, but not the five-second rule about eating food off the ground.

Suppressing her gag reflex, the woman knows one life- and sanity-saving thing: It won’t take long to get where she’s going.

That’s the message from agency Hjaltelin Stahl and the Copenhagen Metro in the first campaign for a new subway line, the largest construction project in Denmark in 400 years (reported cost: north of $3 billion). 

The route, which connects the city center to its outlying neighborhoods, has 17 new high-tech stations. It doesn’t need an arrival-departure schedule, agency execs say, because it’s so speedy. “Most stations have only 1-2 minutes between them,” says creative lead Kenneth Kaadtmann.

That notable feature inspired the commercials from Danish director Peter Harton and the tagline, “Fortunately, you’ll be on your way soon.”

Because the circular-shaped line, eight years in the making, is expected to spur “million of new journeys,” agency execs say it will offer plenty of togetherness with strangers (and let’s be candid—people do not know how to behave) and chances for awkward encounters, like running into an ex-lover. 

Or, in another ad scenario, two dour goth guys could get stuck on the same car with a fresh-faced a cappella choir straight out of Up With People. Evoking those “oh-my-god-I’ve-been-there moments,” Kaadtmann says that ultimately, the campaign has “an underlying message about tolerance and giving room to others who aren’t like you.”

If only for a mercifully brief period.


Agency: Hjaltelin Stahl

Creative Lead: Kenneth Kaadtmann

Art Director: Cecilie Öberg
Art Director: Sune Overby
Copywriter: Nina Markholt

Copywriter: Kenneth Kaadtmann
AD Assistant: Anders Donde
Account Manager: Sandra Amalie Laccopidan
Design Director: Dennis Lynge

Digital Designer: Morten Bak McKenna

Production Agency: Pegasus Production
Director: Peter Harton

Executive Producer: Sille Silverweood-Cope
1st AD: Nikolaj Storgaard Mortensen
DOP: Jens Maasbøl

Editor: Anders Jon

Sound Design: Ole Kristian Krogstad
Media Agency: Wavemaker

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@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.