This Luftansa Ad Campaign Convinced 42 People to Legally Change Their Name

There is something about the subjugation of self that makes me think this would not work with American audiences (not at all in fact) but it’s fun.

The German airline Lufthansa made an unconventional offer to Swedes: Legally change your name to Klaus-Heidi, tell us why you did it, and put yourself in the running to win “a new life” in Berlin.

What’s a new life?

A free one-way ticket to Berlin and a prepaid, furnished, 750 sq-ft, one bedroom with a balcony, a fully equipped kitchen, and a custom-painted bike with your (new) name on it.  Aforementioned life includes German lessons and two free flights to Frankfurt and Munich.

Strategic?  Yeah, I think so.  The goal was to get people to “talk about the dream of Berlin rather than the cheap Berlin” according to Magnus Engvall, the Lufthansa marketing specialist running the competition.

Why did Swedes take up the offer?  As The New York Times noted in 2011, Swedes are changing their names in ever-increasing numbers—both out of a desire to shed traditional Swedish surnames ending in “son” and as a result of a 1982 law that allowed anyone to change their name for pretty much any reason. The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported in 2010 that “no other people in the world changes their name as often as the Swedes.”

Here’s the  agency (DDB) storyboard.


Krampus. The Un-Santa. And pretty terrifying.


A participant dressed as Krampus walks the streets in search of delinquent children during Krampusnacht on November 30, 2013 in Neustift im Stubaital, Austria. Sixteen Krampus groups including over 200 Krampuses participated in the first annual Neustift event. Krampus, in Tyrol also called Tuifl, is a demon-like creature represented by a fearsome, hand-carved wooden mask with animal horns, a suit made from sheep or goat skin and large cow bells attached to the waist that the wearer rings by running or shaking his hips up and down. Krampus has been a part of Central European, alpine folklore going back at least a millennium, and since the 17th-century Krampus traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas and angels on the evening of December 5 to visit households to reward children that have been good while reprimanding those who have not.(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)