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Steve Van Zandt Becomes a Chameleon for Telenor

Production Company
London, UK
Sopranos and Lillehammer star in campaign from Green Cave People and Blink

London creative agency Green Cave People is set to launch one the most ambitious integrated multi-channel communications ad campaigns ever in Norway for Telenor, the sixth biggest Telco in the world.

 Launching on Friday 7 February during the first ad break of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony -Norway’s equivalent of the Super Bowl - the first TV spot is two minutes long, a rare length in the Norwegian ad market.  Two further 60 second spots will quickly follow along with an unprecedented outdoor, digital and social media campaign.

 The campaign features star of the Sopranos and founder member of E-Street band Steve Van Zandt, a sensation in Norway due to his appearance as Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano in Lilyhammer, one of the country’s biggest shows.

Van Zandt plays ‘The Chameleon’, an undercover operative sent by ‘The Global Council’ to investigate suspicious behaviour by Norway’s citizens. Telenor have aroused concern internationally by putting rockets into space, opening a Myanmar base station which he misconstrues for a Martian base, using technology he mistakes for teleports to speed data connections and are investing in UFOs, Ultra-fast Fibre Optics.  The Chameleon suspects that all is not as it seems in the state of Norway and sends back a series of reports in the light-hearted campaign.

As the part of one of the most ambitious marketing campaigns that Norway has seen, PHD Oslo has launched a series of unbranded teasers across print, TV and social over a ten day period leading up to the big reveal on Friday, which is set to be watched by an estimated 1.2 million viewers.

The campaign has been directed by Andreas Nilsson, the director behind the John Claude Van Damme ‘The Epic Split’ ad, with photography by David Stewart, the renowned British photographer who has been shortlisted for the Photographic Portrait Prize. It also stars Isiah Whitlock Jnr of the Wire and Veep as chair of the Global Council.

Green Cave People’s brief was to show surprising facts in a surprising tone of voice in order to further improve the impression among the Norwegian public of Telenor as an innovator, and not as a heritage brand. To this end the ad will be in English to give a more international impression.

Malcolm Green of Green Cave People said, “We had to address the perception that Telenor is viewed as a heritage and somewhat staid company so we played on this to suggest that the Norwegian quirkiness must be a smokescreen, if people realised how advanced they were then they would know that they were aliens.”

Helen Docker, VP of Group Communications at Telenor said, “Telenor is a massively innovative company that is leading the way globally, we exist in 13 countries and are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, however the perception in Norway hasn’t fully caught up with the reality, we wanted to make this campaign to really show off what we do to everyone in Norway, not just our customers.”

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