The sign of the horns carries a Finnish heavy metal fan through a life lived loudly

358 Helsinki creates an ode to Finland's music obsession for a local radio station

Published On
Jan 10, 2019

Editor's Pick

A trio of friends gather to remember one of their own, a die-hard music fan who had heavy metal in his bones. As they thumb through photos of his life, his allegiance to the grinding squeal of electric guitars shows up in each one: he flashes the sign of the horns as a kid, as a teen, at his wedding, at the birth of his child, while embarrassing his own kid--even in utero.

Even the small shrine dedicated to his passing bears a skeletal hand (his own, perhaps?) in that familiar pose. Though the ceremony is somber and reflective, there's a fitting soundtrack--“King for a Day,” an ode to crooked politicians from Finnish metal band Battle Beast.

The 30-second ad is from agency 358 in Helsinki and promotes Radio Rock, a station in Finland that kicked off in 2007 by playing Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” Radio hosts Klaus Flaming, Kim Sainio and Harri Moisio play the mourners.

Finland’s obsession with heavy metal music was revealed to the world in 2006, when Lordi was the first Finnish band to win the Eurovision contest, with a theatrical performance of “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in full, monstrous costume. Even President Barack Obama acknowledged the country’s love affair at a conference in 2016. “I do want to point out that Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world, per capita," he said, "and also ranks high on good governance. I don't know if there's any correlation there."


Jan 10, 2019
358 Helsinki
Creative Director:
Ale Lauraeus
Art Director:
Antti Salminen
Antti Tahtinen
Production Company:
Lucy Loves Stories
Johannes Salonen
Director of Photography:
Hena Blomberg
Kari Ylitalo
Jenni Jauri
Sound Design:
Akseli Soini
Petri Falkenberg
Grade One
Annika Sorjonen
Still Photography:
Kari Ylitalo
Marketing Manager:
Laura Hyvärinen
Program Manager:
René Mäkinen
Marketing Planner:
Heli Annala
Radio Host:
Klaus Flaming
Radio Host:
Kim Sainio
Radio Host:
Harri Moisio
Marketing Manager:
Heini Häyrinen

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