Postnord's last ad campaign is like an old Swedish song
Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about Ulf Peder Olrog's song from the 40's.
The song title would translate to “Canned porridge” and is about some unserious men selling canned porridge made of whey and sawdust.
The song is still topical because it created the Swedish saying "Everything can be sold with enough advertising – buy canned porridge". The saying is used about smooth-talking sellers or frivolous marketers selling rubbish.
Click here to listen to the song at Youtube (Swedish).
The reason I started to think about the song is that during this spring, I noticed that Postnord had launched a charm offensive with "self-produced" editorial material on paid advertisement spaces in different media. The background is, of course, that they want to wash away the bad reputation the company has received after the hard criticism over recent years.
We have seen it before; government companies trying to eliminate negative publicity through large advertising campaigns funded with tax money. The difference now compared to earlier is that Postnord uses movies and articles that are easy to confuse with the true editorial material. I think it's ridiculous.
At the moment, Postnord has a campaign on Dagens Industri's website, di.se, with the vignette: "Content from Postnord". ADVERTISING, says a header that is confusingly similar to the appearance of the main newspaper’s other material.
Until now, they have bought advertising space on di.se for the following materials:
- Future deliveries
- Sustainability is the key to Scania
- Lindex's heavy demands on Logistics
- Sweden's first electric truck
- A postal market in constant change
This campaign has cost a lot of money, both in production and in the form of advertising space.
Which other Swedish companies working with logistics and transport could afford this?
Not many. But Postnord has tax money.
The reader who takes the time to get through all of the texts (read: propaganda) and gets to the end of the page, will notice a red button with Postnord written on it. If you click it, you will end up with the articles DI's own journalists have written. There you will find the truth in the form of headlines such as:
- Postnord plummets in confidence
- Profit decline for Postnord
- Bonunes worth millions to big shots at company in crisis
- Postnord requests five billion SEK in crisis support
- The government is working on a crisis plan for Postnord
These are the articles and content Postnord now wants us to forget about with their campaign.
Among some, it will probably work.
"Everything can be sold with enough advertising."