Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oops, Stockmann

Originally uploaded by shuyipeace
Toby makes in his blog the revelation of the day regarding intercultural communication. Finnish department store Stockmann has decorated their most prominent window at the flagship department store around sports with the slogan: V for Victory. The window´s major photo illustrates the victory sign made famous amongst others by Winston Churchill (pic) and Richard Nixon.

Or - as Toby well points out - that is what they were supposed to do. In the picture at Stockmann the hand is turned the other way than Churchill´s - i.e. in the picture the palm faces the person showing the sign -, which translates in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and a number of other places as Up Yours or F--- You. I am just waiting to see the confused English couple on a holiday in Helsinki standing in front of the display.

Oops. Well, it´s not like they would be selling S/M-themed puzzles in the toy section or something. Oh sorry, that happened already.


Anonymous said...

That's on puprose. It is part of Nike's campaign:

However, Stockmann did not realize this.

Anonymous said...

Tommi Laitio said...

Actually reclaiming the sign is an excellent piece of advertising. But is it slightly too complex? As a message it is, however, rather positive and active.

But the fact that Stockmann apologises for it is humorous. Fascinating case of the complexity of carrying a design idea all through the process.

Well, this worked for me. It got my attention, I commented on it, watched the Nike ad and now got the positive vibe behind the campaign.

Unknown said...

told you

Tommi Laitio said...

I confess, here, publically, that you were right :-)
During World War II, Winston Churchill popularised its use as a "Victory" sign (for V as in victory) initially with palm inwards and later in the war palm outwards. In the United States, with the palm outwards, and more recently, occasionally inward as well, it is also used to mean "Peace", a meaning that became popular during the peace movement of the 1960s.