tisdag 23 december 2008

Happy Xmas from Finland

Nowadays organisations and companies compete in sending out the coolest and most upbeat digital season greetings.

Here comes two examples of how we in Finland deal with the digital greetings:

Finnish ad agency Hasan Partners sent me these two season screamers.

The cause they support is good and at least you don't fall asleep.

But, if you want more sober stuff I can recommend the digital season greeting from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It captures perfectly the Christmas Spirit of Finland. Check it out here.

There you have it, two v-e-e-e-e-e-e-ry different ways of saying Happy Christmas in Finnish.

onsdag 17 december 2008

Kudos to Bombay's Taj Mahal

I have once earlier commented on great advertisement copy in my favourite news magazine The Economist. Now it is time again.

This time because of the great ad that the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay paid for in last weeks The Economist.

Not only was the ad low-key, dignified and compassionate. It was also a statement for the spirit of India. A statement that felt genuine.

As a Finlander I do not know how Indian readers of The Economist felt when they saw the ad.

But I would feel very proud.

I would not only feel proud over India and the Taj Mahal. I would also be very proud over the copywriter that helped the hotel management formulate their message.

We copywriters work anonymously behind the scenes (while we sometimes dream of having the pleasure of signing our work). Therefore I have no clue who wrote this copy. But if you know, do let me know. Or at least pass on my kudos to her or him.

Well, here comes the ad:

(Click on me)

And a final comment, so that the hotel management will sigh of relief: Yes, as a reader I really want to visit the Taj Mahal after reading the advertisement. I bet you will get value for your money.

Good luck!

torsdag 11 december 2008

The Cat Kindergarten at Piss Avenue

It started with just one cat. Now there is a whole cat family living on our terrace and roof. But it's great fun and the perfect excuse for not working.

I mean, I have to feed the little buggers, don't I?

You can look at the whole photo album at Facebook.

måndag 8 december 2008

The Great Independence Day Party In Kathmandu

Smooth jazz! Sunny weather! Great food! Great people!

Wow, on Saturday Finland celebrated 91 year of independence. I must admit I was sceptical when my wife said we are going to the reception at the Finnish embassy here in Kathmandu.

I saw myself falling asleep at a stiff ceremony with long speeches and perhaps one glass bubbly during the whole afternoon.

I was so wrong.

The embassy team headed by ambassador Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä had put together a splendid afternoon party.

The Finnish snacks were great, hard rye bred with cheese and smoked reindeer meat. And every good Finnish party of course requires miniature Carelian pastries – these ones had nice cheese spread on top. Full points there.

When it was buffet time the chef team got our full attention with their splendid Nepali food. Full points there.

The jazz music was far away from your usual cocktail background stuff. The band included Norwegian piano guru Jan Fadnes and Spanish horn master Mariano E. Abello on saxophone. Both teach at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory and are legends among Nepal's jazz aficionados. Full points there.

Add to that the well-stocked bar and the smooth service by the smiling waiters and you have the perfect afternoon. Full points there.

And of course you had all the cool cats enjoying themselves. Nice people and no speeches. Can it get any better?

PR wise it was a smash hit for Finland. You should have heard all the nice things people said about Finland. Made me blush.

torsdag 4 december 2008

The Great Singaporean Hamburger Battle

Recently I visited Singapore for three days. My wife actually kicked me out of the house. You see, she was going to a conference for the whole week and said to me:

– You're sitting way too much here at the house, travel somewhere! Hey, why don't you go to Singapore?

Indeed, why hadn't I gone to Singapore before?

Perhaps because the bloody flight from Kathmandu costs 1000 USD. And a decent hotel charges you over 100 bux a night (at least my five minute research suggested that. I'm a very lazy and bad travel planner).

So off I went on the wings of Silk Air. And soon I ended up at... MacDonald's.

The Zombie Ad Man Cometh

You see, since there is no McDonald's in Nepal I've been a very good boy and just sticking to the local fast food. But in Singapore you find them all, from KFC to Subway. And even if I rarely stuff myself at McDonald's, I once in a while want to be Morgan "Supersize" Spurlock.

Add to that the fact that I as an ad man cannot resist a good advertisement. So when the McDonald's in Bugis Village ordered me to come in and taste their Mega Mac I had no choice. Like a zombie I walked up to the counter mumbling:

– Gimme a Mega Mac, Gimme a Mega Mac, Gimme a Mega Mac.....

(And apparently I also whispered under my breath "Chip in a double cheeseburger too, will ya!")

The Killer Burger From Outer Space

So there I sat happily looking at my burger box, rubbing my hands with joy. Enjoying that peaceful moment before the Great Hamburger Battle would break out.

I opened the box and my fellow customers jumped when they heard my frightened squeak.

The Mega Mac was indeed MEGA. And worst of all, it was aggressive. A real bully.

– Go ahead wimp! Do you have the guts to even touch me? You sorry sissy! Punk! Get out of here, bring me a REAL MAN!

That was it! I plunged for the Mega Mac with both hands.

– I'm from Finland and I´m a REAL MAN! I'm gonna kick your sorry little ass! I shouted while I tried to get the best possible grip around the Mega Mac.

I love the smell of burger grease in the morning

Ah, it was a beautiful morning showdown at Bugis Village. The double cheeseburger trembled in it's wrapper. The ice cubes in my Coke rattled. The restaurant fell completely silent. The air con went off.

And the Mega Mac got what it deserved.

It was a tough fight, but I won. I really showed that cocky bastard who was the boss.

The Strategy of The Millenium

Now, eating a Mega Mac requires solid strategic thinking. And luckily I'm packed with that stuff.

My strategy? Very simple (as all good strategies should be), it went like this:

"I will consider this as both my breakfast and lunch. That is why I will have no problem eating these two gigantic burgers."

(I don't even know if that is a strategy but who really cares? I got the job done.)

Whoops, this article was supposed to be about why Asians are getting fat. Well, we might get back to that some other time (and anyway it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that the Mega Mac might have something to do with it).

But now you know what my visit to Singapore was all about.

Please don't tell my wife.

(Go ahead, you know you wanna click me.)

onsdag 3 december 2008

Season greetings: 45 hour power-cut

The Nepal Electricity Authority announced today an increase in the power-cut hours. In September the dark hours went up to 31. Now the people in the Kathmandu valley are facing 45 hours a week without electricity. That means 4–7 hours per day.

Well, atleast the vendors of power inverters and gas heaters should be happy.

Here is the new schedule (courtesy of The Himalayan Times). Click the picture to get a bigger version).