WHEN FINNISH METAL MET TRAFFIC SAFETY: (A magical journey into Finnish media history)

December 19th, 2012
by EvilG

Promised Land Of Heavy Metal Presents Automania 1986: www.promisedlandofmetal.com/automania.html

A subversive series of traffic safety films intended to caution car-crazy Finns in their many forms, set to classic Finnish heavy metal! 12 unseen music videos online now!

Featuring: Sarcofagus (as Exciter), Tarot, Peer Günt, Outi Popp, Kim Lönnholm, Just Divorced, Jyrki Hämäläinen, Riki Sorsa, Arto Nyqvist, Jaakko Saariluoma and David Hasselhoff!

In the 1980s, Finland was rapidly changing – it was an era of economic prosperity, a growing youth culture and Finnish rock music. Liikenneturva, the central organisation for traffic safety in Finland, had an image problem, being seen as a stiff state bureau. Its “drive carefully” campaigns were not reaching young adults, who were buying their first mopeds and cars in growing numbers in the newly affluent country.

Enter Kimmo Kuusniemi, who had recently left his music career behind, as the founder and guitarist of Sarcofagus. Between 1986 to 1988, Kuusniemi made several informational film campaigns in co-operation with Traffic Safety, YLE TV and Finnkino.

The AUTOMANIA TV series set out to educate the car-obsessed Finns about the potential dangers of the road, but in a spiced up format featuring music videos, crazy sketches and celebrity interviews.Tracks by Tarot were played for the first time on Finnish TV as part of the Automania series, while other artists and bands featured were Outi Popp, Kim Lönnholm, Just Divorced and Peer Günt. Sarcofagus/Kuusniemi made seven tracks for the series, including the title track “Automania”, under the name of Exciter.

Amongst the celebrities interviewed were singer Riki Sorsa, editor of Suosikki magazine, Jyrki Hämäläinen and stunt driver Arto Nyqvist who had previously performed motorcycle stunts in James Bond films.

In 1987, Traffic Safety sent the filmmakers to interview David Hasselhoff, who was touring the world at the time with his KITT car and visiting Finland. The Knight Rider TV series had already been cancelled in the USA but was still popular in Finland, watched by every fifth Finn. ‘Hoff’ was feeling the responsibility of being an idol to his young fans. In his interviews to Finnish Traffic Safety, he candidly talks about road safety, the difference between reality and TV fantasy, and the burden of being a role model. In these two info spots, David Hasselhoff drives a rally car, rides a horse, a snow mobile and even a reindeer!

The following year, the “Homemade Hero” spot was produced for Traffic Safety, and was aired by both YLE and in Finnkino movie theatres. It gently mocked the [then] highly popular Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun”. The Finnish armed forces also co-operated. The spot also features the now-famous Finnish comic Jaakko Saariluoma! However, the information film “Drinking ‘n’ Driving” made for Traffic Safety was considered a step too far and so YLE shelved it. For the first time ever, this treasure from the archives can be seen here!

In hindsight, the co-operation between metal musicians and Finnish Traffic Safety campaigners is a unique insight into the history of Finnish films… And music… And traffic safety!

The 80s style is somewhat old-fashioned (oh, the hair!), but some of the stuff was radical and before its time. Nothing quite like it has been produced since. The message of Liikenneturva (Traffic Safety) hasn’t changed: “Remember, Respect, Think Ahead”. These values are still valid, and could be delivered in many guises.

WHEN FINNISH METAL MET TRAFFIC SAFETY
(A magical journey into Finnish media history)

Promised Land Of Heavy Metal Presents Automania 1986: www.promisedlandofmetal.com/automania.html
 
A subversive series of traffic safety films intended to caution car-crazy Finns in their many forms, set to classic Finnish heavy metal!

12 unseen music videos online now!

Featuring: Sarcofagus (as Exciter), Tarot, Peer Günt, Outi Popp, Kim Lönnholm, Just Divorced, Jyrki Hämäläinen, Riki Sorsa, Arto Nyqvist, Jaakko Saariluoma and David Hasselhoff!

In the 1980s, Finland was rapidly changing – it was an era of economic prosperity, a growing youth culture and Finnish rock music. Liikenneturva, the central organisation for traffic safety in Finland, had an image problem, being seen as a stiff state bureau. Its “drive carefully” campaigns were not reaching young adults, who were buying their first mopeds and cars in growing numbers in the newly affluent country. 

Enter Kimmo Kuusniemi, who had recently left his music career behind, as the founder and guitarist of Sarcofagus. Between 1986 to 1988, Kuusniemi made several informational film campaigns in co-operation with Traffic Safety, YLE TV and Finnkino.

The AUTOMANIA TV series set out to educate the car-obsessed Finns about the potential dangers of the road, but in a spiced up format featuring music videos, crazy sketches and celebrity interviews.Tracks by Tarot were played for the first time on Finnish TV as part of the Automania series, while other artists and bands featured were Outi Popp, Kim Lönnholm, Just Divorced and Peer Günt. Sarcofagus/Kuusniemi made seven tracks for the series, including the title track “Automania”, under the name of Exciter.

Amongst the celebrities interviewed were singer Riki Sorsa, editor of Suosikki magazine, Jyrki Hämäläinen and stunt driver Arto Nyqvist who had previously performed motorcycle stunts in James Bond films. 

In 1987, Traffic Safety sent the filmmakers to interview David Hasselhoff, who was touring the world at the time with his KITT car and visiting Finland. The Knight Rider TV series had already been cancelled in the USA but was still popular in Finland, watched by every fifth Finn. ‘Hoff’ was feeling the responsibility of being an idol to his young fans. In his interviews to Finnish Traffic Safety, he candidly talks about road safety, the difference between reality and TV fantasy, and the burden of being a role model. In these two info spots, David Hasselhoff drives a rally car, rides a horse, a snow mobile and even a reindeer!

The following year, the “Homemade Hero” spot was produced for Traffic Safety, and was aired by both YLE and in Finnkino movie theatres. It gently mocked the [then] highly popular Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun”. The Finnish armed forces also co-operated. The spot also features the now-famous Finnish comic Jaakko Saariluoma! However, the information film “Drinking ‘n’ Driving” made for Traffic Safety was considered a step too far and so YLE shelved it. For the first time ever, this treasure from the archives can be seen here!

In hindsight, the co-operation between metal musicians and Finnish Traffic Safety campaigners is a unique insight into the history of Finnish films… And music… And traffic safety! 

The 80s style is somewhat old-fashioned (oh, the hair!), but some of the stuff was radical and before its time. Nothing quite like it has been produced since. The message of Liikenneturva (Traffic Safety) hasn’t changed: “Remember, Respect, Think Ahead”. These values are still valid, and could be delivered in many guises.

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