Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ash Lad's Underwear

The Norwegian underwear company DOVRE is starting a new campaign for their underwear this year called 'Enchanting Quality' and uses the popular Norwegian fairy tale character Ash Lad.

Ash Lad plays a similar role to our 'Jack'. He has multiple stories and fills the role of the successful underdog, the mischief maker who wins in the end, the ordinary guy who prevails in extreme circumstances by humor, creativity and wit. The main difference is that he usually has two elder brothers who are, at least initially, more competent and successful. He's also known as "Espen Askeladd", "Askeladden", or, originally, "Askefisen" (you should look up the Wikipedia entry on the name - especially regarding the translation of "Askefisen" - literally "ash-fart" - HERE).

In the tale shown above (read the story HERE) Ash Lad is challenging a giant troll to eat more than he can and in the picture he's about to slit his 'belly' (actually a knapsack, but the giant thinks it's Ash Lad's belly) to fit in more food. He then suggests the giant does the same. Needless to say, Ash Lad wins.

The image below has Ash Lad walking in an enchanted forest, (note the tree guy) talking to a bird. I'm guessing this is from a tale called "The Ash Lad and the Good Helpers" (you can read that story HERE).

What this all has to do with underwear I'm a little vague on (you can see the Dovre label peeking out the top of Ash Lad's pants when he's sitting and in the forest pic I think his shirt is actually an undershirt). Maybe the underwear is helping to 'enchant' the giant so he's duped and does as Ash Lad suggests? Or maybe the shirt is magically helping allowing Ash Lad to talk to the bird? I'm not sure. Not even the regular ad campaign people at Ads of the World or Super Punch visitors (where I first heard of this campaign) seem to know quite how these images are supposed to work.

Nice photos/mocks though. And always great to see different fairy tale characters used in advertising. Says a lot about how people view their fairy tales.

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