It's starting to appear as if talented Swedes can do little to resist the gravitational pull of McCann, especially now that the agency has announced the hiring of two more award-winning Swedish creatives, Robert Lund (right) and Adam Ulvegarde.
The former Forsman & Bodenfors team had worked on game changing-efforts for Ikea like the Cannes Titanium-winning Facebook Showroom, as well as the recent "Catch the Swedish Light" campaign that brought Sweden's Midsummer Eve celebration to Belgium. Ulvegarde also worked on the multi-awarded Vaggvissor, or Lullabies, campaign for the brand, which tapped modern day Swedish artists to cover classic lullabies, to promote Ikea mattresses.
At McCann New York, Lund and Ulvegarde will remain in familiar territory, leveraging their Ikea experience in their new roles as creative directors. They'll be working primarily on two juicy bits of global Ikea business that McCann nabbed over the last year: the 2012 catalog and the overhaul of Ikea's website. The pair can't take any credit for Ikea's new business at McCann. "McCann won the Ikea.com business before we joined," says Ulvegarde. "But we are very excited and proud of the fact that Ikea has trusted McCann with more business. It's a brand that gets everyone excited and the bar for Ikea work is set very high thanks to some of the wonderful work that has come out of the doors of Forsman & Bodenfors. And we are excited about continuing setting the bar high together with Ikea."
"It's going to be very interesting to implement our way of doing things, and the kind of communication flavor we like, on a larger scale," adds Lund. "And to be given the chance to come in and to that at McCann working with Linus [Karlsson, CCO] and Andreas [Dahlqvist, ECD] at an agency with that heritage is very inspiring."
Outside of Ikea, Ulvegarde and Lund were behind the Reebok Promise Keeper App, which employs a runner's friends, or big name athletes, to nag users into keeping their workout schedules, as well as a clever online effort for Sveriges Radio that bucked the URL-shortening trend to create ridiculously long web addresses. "We always try to find the real problem and then the most interesting way of solving that problem," explains Lund of the pair's approach. "Sometimes that is a TV-spot or an outdoor campaign, but most of the time the real solution is something else. Like a web address expander, or a running app that embarrasses you in front of your friends if you are lazy."
Lund, a copywriter, and Ulvegarde, an art director, are both Berghs grads and were recruited by McCann ECD Dahlqvist, another high profile Swedish hire and former ECD at DDB Stockholm, who helped steer VW's much celebrated "Fun Theory" campaign and joined the agency in May. Lund had first met Dahlqvist while the two were judging Sweden's Guldagget advertising awards show. "We quickly found that we have the same view on advertising and what it can be," says Lund. "After our first meeting in Cannes we had four to five more meetings before everything was settled."As for the pair's former shop, there will be a lot to miss. "It's important to note that we haven't been looking for an out from Forsman," says Ulvegrade. "Forsman is one the world's most inspiring agencies, but when we were approached by Andreas and Linus it was just impossible to dismiss. The very soul of the agency is the great people that work there. I've made a lot of lifelong friends at Forsman and it will definitely be them I miss the most."