Watching This Swedish CEO Plow Through Glass Using Heavy Machinery Is Oddly Satisfying

But it also proves that automation has come a long way

A smash, quite literally. Sandvik / Forsman & Bodenfors

The patron saint of Swedish Heavy Machinery is likely Jean-Claude Van Damme. The actor’s “Epic Split,” a 2014 gymnastic foray between two Volvo big rigs, is the standard bearer of demonstrating the precision of Swedish engineering—and the use of Enya’s music in advertising. The highly-awarded stunt, with a charming, entertaining follow up the next year, was an award show darling and created by Gothenburg-based Forsman & Bodenfors (F&B).

Now, the agency, freshly merged with KBS, is attempting another technological feat of derring-do with global engineering firm Sandvik. Focusing their efforts on the company’s mining and rock technology, F&B set up a maze made entirely of glass to demonstrate its automation chops. Sure, we hear a lot about self-driving cars, but what about a 38-ton mining machine?

Set in a vast warehouse, “The Glass Labyrinth” shows the mechanical behemoth making its way around walls glass panels with ease, turning around the sharpest of turns with nary a problem. Will this automated beast make it? Of course, it will. Ah, come on, this has to be a bunch of CGI, right?

Enter Sandvik Group’s CEO Björn Rosengren who says, with confidence: “Trust me. It is real. Let me show you.”

Rosengren then proceeds to do the industrial version of pulling a tablecloth off a fully set dinner table, gleefully smashing through the glass to show, indeed, this isn’t fake news … or marketing.

Admit it, you’d love a chance to ram a big piece of heavy machinery through a bunch of glass. But even watching Rosengren plow through it all is a fun, satisfying watch—and proves that for those of you in the mining and rock game, the first place you might think of now is Sandvik.

In addition to the entertaining film, F&B put together a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary to show how it all came together. It was no “Epic Split,” but indeed an impressive effort that now puts Rosengren in the pantheon of greats who showed what Swedish technology can do.


Client: Sandvik
Jessica Alm, EVP and Head of Group Communications
Magdalena Fahlén, VP Corporate Communications and Brand
Minna Rodling, Brand Manager
Marie Brodin, VP Marketing and Communications, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology

Title: The Glass Labyrinth (main film) and Mini-Documentary

Creative Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
Account Supervisor: Greger Andersson
Account Manager: Åsa Pedersen
Creative: Kim Cramer
Creative: Björn Engström
Creative: Stefan Thomson
PR Strategist: Bjarne Darwall
Digital Strategist: Peter Gaudiano
Designer: Magnus Almberg, Ingrid Arnsand Jonsson
Planner: Daniel Sjöstrand
Agency Producer: Cecilia Svärd
Media Agency: Oath
Director: Casper Balslev – Main film, Olivia Kastebring – Mini-documentary
Production Company: New Land
Executive Producer: Therese Engberg
Producer Main Film: Sophie Hedberg
Producer Mini-Documentary: Dea Saracevic
Service Production Company: Otto Film
Music: Jonas Quant
D.O.P: Niels Thastum – Main film, Andreas Almqvist – Mini-documentary
Post Production: New Land, Chimney
Editor: Peter Brandt – Main film, Alexander Peri – Mini-documentary, Vedran Rupic – SoMe versions
Sound: Martin Dirkov – Main film, Martin Mighetto – Mini-documentary
Colorist: Edward Negussie
Online: Wille Rising

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.