The Platinum Egg 1975: Alf Mork.

Alf was born in 1926 on the shore of a Norwegian fjord. As teenagers, he and his brother stole petrol from the Germans’ depot in a nearby port and sold it to the Resistance. And thus things continued. All his life, Alf waged a resistance struggle against routines, mediocrity, rules and “the voice of experience”. After the war, he started at the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg. Winning a poster competition earned him a job at the Arbman Agency in Stockholm, and with that, the Swedish creative revolution began.... “We were called God, the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary at the agency – that is, Leon, me and Kerstin” [Leon Nordin and his secretary, Kerstin Orbert]. Alf pushed both himself and others hard in the quest for distinctiveness. Their big break came in 1965, with an ad for the Philishave electric shaver, shown along with a curious hedgehog. Alf understood the power of images, whether still or moving. He always worked closely with photographers and directors. Francois Gillet, Claës Lewenhaupt and Roy Andersson were recurring collaborators. A glittering string of advertising concepts resulted. TT – the youthful beer, Renault – the (wink, wink) luxury car, Expressen – the thoughtful evening paper, Flora – a series of classic spots with Järegård and Krook. A less well-known spot, but a classic example of Mork’s ruthlessly simple style, is one for the Moderate Party from 1976. Two crowds of demonstrators are marching. One dances joyfully to the strains of “In the Mood”. The other walks slowly backward to “The Internationale” – right down into a canal. “We’re always asking ourselves, will this shock people, will it move them? Will the message make them laugh or cry? We want to get to them, both in their mind and in their gut.” Late in Alf’s advertising career, he delivered his perhaps most shocking campaign: one for the National Board of Health and Welfare in which broken drug addicts line up in front of the camera, holding photos of themselves as children. Alf Mork reached for the most striking effects, but always grounded them in the product. He won two Grands Prix at Cannes (for SEB in 1973 and Expressen in 1975), and was quite rightly the first Platinum Egg winner in 1975.

After the Platinum Egg: Alf Mork left Arbman in 1977 to work for himself, primarily in film. In 1981, he wrote what may be the most entertaining book ever on agency life in the 70s, “Uppfinnaren” (The Inventor). Alf passed away in 2007.


More projects that Alf Mork contributed to.