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Company: Scandinavian Airlines System
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: SAS/Scandanavian Airlines
Ad Title: Journey
Business Category: Airlines
Media Outlets: Television
Country: Sweden
Region: Europe
Agency: Grey Worldwide
Year: 1997
Target: Mainstream



Sexual Predator/Practice

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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A young beatnik gets off the phone after speaking to his waifish girlfriend and sets off to see her, requiring him to cross the country.

It becomes an epic adventure, where he starts off hitchhiking. He rides in a motorcycle sidecar and then gets picked up by a car full of drunken women who pour beer into him and gleefully throw his clothes out the window.

As he wakes up in the abandoned car, he's naked and steals a white dress from a clothesline. He then tries to get a ride in a truck, occupied by two stereotyped gay men--one a leather daddy and the other a 1970s gay clone with mustache.

The leather daddy, who has the young man across his lap, firmly grabs his butt cheek and then high-fives the driver as they enter a tunnel (a cinematic symbol for sex and suggesting rape).

The youth is later picked up by bank robbers, then the police, as he's put into jail. He escapes the prison and finally makes it to his girlfriend months later, who is now with two children and married.

The tagline: "Don't waste your life." The commercial's meaning is to take a plane, since it will get you there faster.

The representation of gay men is limited to a predatory sexual realm where the man is clearly overpowered.


Stuart Carroll , Provincetown, Mass.
Well, the two truckers might have been stereotypical, but we didn't see the hitchhiker running frantically away from them... so he must have liked it better than he did the car full of women. I'd put this one in the neutral category. It may be saying that being picked up by horny gay truckers is a bad thing for a cute young guy, but equally or more so is being picked up by a bunch of horny straight women.

David , Cambridge, MA
It's a series of absurd mishaps. It's funny! Even if you don't think so, you might as well claim it's heterophobic and/or misogynist because the girlfriend proves to be faithless.

Marc Davis , Miami, FL
I see where the stereotypes are used for shock value and humor, but I've also noticed the worldwide trend to use gratuitous male nudity to sell everything from power bars to Kia autos to life insurance, and now... an airline service. To this I find the ad objectionable in that there is no reason to exploit male nudity. I'd like for someone to point out in any contemporary advertisement where female nudity is exploited similarly. Notice that women are shown scantily clad but never nude. There is a big difference. As far as this ad being "gay friendly," I don't see it.

John Cooke , Palm Springs, CA
I come from a generation and time when gay people were viewed as so detestable that decent folks didn't dare mention them in "polite society" in any form except the most extreme and ugly stereotype, so I find this commercial refreshing, and in its own right funny. Being able to laugh at ourselves without losing a sense of who we are is a mark of maturity. We have to lighten up. People are having more fun with us now. Let's enjoy that and not be so sensitive to benign stereotyping. And I agree that the hetero women were much more menacing than the gay truckers.


Campy Discos in Copenhagen, Hot Design in Stockholm
Company: Scandinavian Airlines System
Brand: SAS/Scandanavian Airlines
Country: Sweden
Region: North America
Year: 2005

Love Is In the Air
Company: Scandinavian Airlines System
Brand: SAS/Scandanavian Airlines
Country: Sweden
Region: Europe, US National
Year: 2010


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