Late last year, Lufthansa tried “to attract more Swedes to its flights” (and away from competitors’ flights) with a crazy marketing campaign.
What was so crazy about the campaign?
The name change contest.
The winner of the contest would get to live in Berlin for free for an entire year. He or she would get a flight to the city from Sweden, several more domestic flights within Germany (“so you can see all of your new homeland”), a fully furnished apartment, German language lessons, food vouchers, a bike, a Berlin WelcomeCard (for public transportation and entrance to museums), and more — all for free.
To enter the contest in the first place, though, this person would have to have changed his/her legal name to include the “very German” Klaus-Heidi.
Magnus Engvall, the Lufthansa marketing specialist running the competition, explains that it’s as if, translated for an American audience, Lufthansa was asking you to change your name to Jack-Barbara.
Proof of the name change, plus an essay, needed to be submitted to Lufthansa sometime between mid-October, when the contest began, and mid-November, when it ended.
Here’s the commercial Lufthansa used to introduce the “Are You Klaus-Heidi?” campaign:
Only a handful of entries were expected, but — thanks to Sweden’s notoriously liberal name-changing laws — dozens began pouring in. Lufthansa shut the contest down early, but not before 42 people entered, 9 on the very first day.
The 42 Swedes who changed their names to Klaus-Heidi ranged in age from 19 to 69. About 70% were male and 30% were female. Half were from Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm.
The winner of the contest, chosen because he’d creatively submitted a poem in place of an essay, was 24-year-old Michael Eric Klaus-Heidi Andersson (originally Michael Eric Andersson) from the village of Fjugesta. His “new life in Berlin” began in January of 2014.
The 41 other Klaus-Heidis didn’t walk away empty-handed, though. Each was awarded status in Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program and 60,000 free miles.
Now for the question of the day: If you were a Swede, would you have entered this contest?