‘Loot and Pillage All You Want, But Wear a Helmet’: Denmark Invokes Vikings in Road Safety Ad


In the ad, a rough and tough Viking chief is convinced into wearing a helmet for his own good.

The Danish Road Safety Council has invoked the Scandinavian country’s Viking past to convince its countrymen to wear helmets while on the road.

A new ad by the council titled “A helmet has always been a bright idea” humorously melts together the Danes’ brutal historical past with their love of cycling, cleverly defusing some of the copouts people use to avoud wearing a helmet, including “I’m a careful cyclist”, “It doesn’t fit my style”, and “It ruins my hair”.

In the ad, stylised as a historical movie, the stalwart Viking chief Svend gives his men a pep talk ahead of their upcoming invasion of England, mounting his horse and waving his sword. As he rouses his men to their ships, his young son comes around with his helmet, which he stubbornly refuses to wear.

When challenged by his men, Svend resorts to fake excuses including “it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch”, “I’m a careful rider”, “What do I do when I get there? Run around in a silly helmet?”, and lastly, seemingly vexed, “It ruins my braids!”.

Only when his wife appears and in a peremptory manner declares: “You can loot and pillage all you want, Svend, but do wear a helmet”, Svend grudgingly obeys and puts on his shiny headpiece, to the tacit concent of his army and an odd laughter, which instantly dies down. One of his men says assuringly: “I bet the…

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