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Finlandia Packs 1,000 Years of Offbeat Inspiration Into One Crazy Ad


Finlandia is gunning hard for the title of most inspirational vodka commercial ever.

A new two-and-half-minute ad, "1,000 years of less ordinary wisdom," features offbeat heroes like a drag wrestler and reindeer racer offering tips on how to make it in the world, like "Be nobody's bitch but your own" and "You're only as fast as your reindeer." In other words, a lot of the advice is, in spirit, not really that different from standard motivational fare, even if it comes from unusual sources and their unconventional contexts (though fashion icon Iris Apfel is not exactly out of the spotlight these days).

As for the title, the 1,000 years refers to the sum of the ages of the people in the commercial. A number of them are long in the tooth, which is cool, because listening to one's elders is generally a good thing—they're often less boring and clueless than young people. But the spot also makes sure to feature more sprightly accomplished types, too, like a prima ballerina and volcanic scientist (because it can't really exclude representing the money demo, too).

Created by Wieden + Kennedy London, the spot relies heavily on a driving (mostly) instrumental version of the song "Undeniable," by Donnie Daydream featuring Richie Sosa. That strings together the disparate footage from director Siri Bunford (though it might be worth mentioning that Adidas also just used the record as a soundtrack for its own sports-themed montage-qua-anthem).

Game of Thrones fans might enjoy that, as Fast Company notes, the strong man—Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson—is also a actor on the show. (He's the latest in a string to play "The Mountain" Gregor Clegane, largely absent this season but for the occasional twitch from under a blanket on a laboratory table, the pseudo-zombie experiment of some sinister wizard. P.S.: If that's where drinking Finlandia leads, no thanks.)

In all seriousness, though, the concept is pretty moving—a nice snapshot of various walks of life, with some clever and charming moments. Overall, it might even be convincing, except what drinking vodka really makes people want to do is drink more vodka and then pass out hard and sleep in the next day—not a great way to tear through that bucket list.

Client: Finlandia
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Creative directors: Scott Dungate, Graeme Douglas
Copywriter: Paddy Treacy
Art director: Mark Shanley
Executive creative directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
Executive producer: Danielle Stewart
Group account director: Paulo Salomao
Account director: Matt Owen
Account manager: Sophie Lake
Head of planning: Beth Bentley
Planning director: Martin Beverley
TV producer: Michelle Brough
Production company: Knucklehead
Director: Siri Bunford
Executive producer: Matthew Brown
Director of photography: Ben Smithard
Editorial companies: Lucky Cat, Whitehouse Post
Editors: Xavier Perkins, Lucky Cat; Adam Marshall, Whitehouse Post
Post producer: Anandi Peiris
VFX company: MPC
VFX supervisor: Bill McNamara
Flame artist: Bill McNamara
VFX producer: Anandi Peiris
Grade: MPC
Colorist: Matthieu Toullet
Titles/graphics: Ryan Teixeira
Music/sound company: Factory
Sound designers: Anthony Moore, Phil Bollard
Song: Undeniable, Richie Sosa
Interactive producer: Dom Felton
Director of relations: Marta Bobic
PR manager: Charlotte Corbett

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