What we can learn about the Danes from TV commercials

(Warning: Not to be taken entirely seriously!)

As mentioned before, I’ve been off from work for one and a half weeks now for medical reasons, and for the same reasons, I need to spend most of my days lying on the couch. I try to split my time between the computer, books and napping, but of course, I also watch TV - a lot! I’ve basically watched every first and second round game of the Madrid tennis tournament, and I’m not even that interested in tennis! Anyway, this extended exposure to Danish tv and especially commercials has given me the idea to write up a character study of the Danes, based on what is being advertised to them. So, what can we learn about the Danes from their TV commercials?

1) Danes like to gamble and bet on sports.

There are a multitude of gambling and sports betting websites (spillehallen, danskespil, oddset, bet365, …). Of course, ads vary between channels (there’s a women’s channel with series like Grey’s Anatomy, and a guy’s channel with shows like Top Gear), but there is no commercial break without at least two or three different ads for those sites. My favorite ones are are series of slightly sexist commercials for sports betting site, under the theme “there’s so much that women don’t understand”, which make fun of sports slang that is taken literally by confused women. The one below is about a guy really wanting to score a goal (“kasse”, which also means box), and he finally succeeds in making one.


2) Danes date online

Even though there are only about 5.5 million Danes, there are tons of online dating sites. I’m glad I already secured my Dane, because it seems like the Danish dating life is quite confusing and frustrating at times! There’s a funny column on the English news site CPH Post, written by a New Zealand expat, called Dating the Danes, which deals with all the problems she runs into in the Danish dating world. My favorite spot is by the dating site “Partner med Niveau” (snobby, right?!), I just love how creepy the guy smiles in the end (“I want to meet a woman who’s fun but who can also challenge me intellectually … AND THEN I WILL MURDER HER IN HER SLEEP”).


3) Danes are crazy about birthdays

I’ve mentioned in before in my post about flags, Danes love to put their “dannebrog” on everything, and what better opportunity to do so than a birthday? Birthdays are big, and a lot of stores have jumped on the bandwagon and use birthdays as a welcome occasion to throw out some discouts and special sales. Every week, some super market chain or bed specialist store (I’m looking at you, Jysk!) is celebrating their birthday. I swear, it’s more than once a year for each of them (still looking at you, Jysk!)!


4) Danes love their characters

Most commercials are actually small series, re-using the same characters and some even building a storyline. There’s Luffe and Jeanne from electronics leasing company L’easy, there’s Poul, who builds his own gambling hall in his garage, and his neighbor Torben, and the owner of aforementioned bedding company Jysk, who talks weird - not sure if that’s just a heavy jutlandish accent or already counts as a speech impediment?


How about you? What have you noticed about ads and tv spots in Denmark (or any other country, for that matter)?