Last Friday we posted a YouTube video of a Danish woman claiming to be looking for the father of her child. Goes the story: the pair met one balmy Danish evening in Copenhagen, had the sex, and 1.5 years later the mom (Karen, 27) said she just felt the father should know. We, like many others, recognized it was probably fake (and we noted it was possibly for Danish tourism) and then poof, word broke that that’s exactly what it was. It’s a project for Visit Denmark, apparently from Grey.
“‘It is the most successful viral advertising ever. We have cut through the media clutter. It has cost us the same as a 30 second commercial, aired a few times on TV2′ says Peter Helstrup from advertising agency Grey that has created the campaign.”
The video was pulled from YouTube some time over the weekend after numerous sources reported the video as fake. Some backlash came in the form of comments on the video and on a photo gallery site containing images of the woman and her child.
The video and accompanying site helped persuade would-be believers that the story is true. An exact number of views has been hard to determine, but one estimate puts it at nearly a million in just 3 days (it’s available here) making the viral attempt something of a success.
A Danish Web site, Politiken.DK, revealed that the story was for the Danish Tourism Board. Soon after the truth was revealed, the backlash began and the DTB was pushed back on its heels.
“‘We deeply apologise that the film has offended a lot of people — that certainly wasn’t the idea. The idea was to create a positive view of Denmark. In order not to continue offending people, we have removed the film from YouTube,’ says VisitDenmark CEO Dorte Kiilerich in a news release.”
Defending the concept of the video, Kiilerich went on,
“Karens story shows that Denmark is a free place with space for you to be who you want. The film is good exposure for Danish self sufficient and dignified women.”
Politiken went on to ask Kiilerich why the campaign seemed to promote casual, drunken sex, he said,
“That is not a story that I recognize. We’re telling a nice and sweet story about a modern responsible woman, that lives in a free society and takes responsibility for her choices. And she uses a modern and social media.”
It was clear from the beginning that this was a fake, but even we wanted the story to be true. As Adland points out, the video was very similar to another attempt called “are you the man in the jacket” in which a woman seeks a man she spent a short amount of time with and fell in love. But she never got his info, and well, that was a fake too.
A representative from Grey was not immediately available for comment.