The Platinum Egg 2006: Lars Collin.

In 1941, Lasse Collin is born in Gothenburg. Twenty years later, he finds himself sitting on the steps of the Gothenburg Museum of Art with his girlfriend, wondering what to do with his future. “Advertising’s happening, right?” says the girlfriend. And it’s true, Swedish advertising is starting to take off. But not in Gothenburg. In a world of swings and roundabouts, Gothenburg has a lot more roundabouts.... Following a course at Hermods School, Lasse ends up at Stendahls agency, where he manages to write 18 ads for discount department store EPA in a single day. Here he lays the foundations for the iron will and tireless work ethic that make him Gothenburg’s creative pioneer. Together with Lars Öhjne, he forms the city’s first independent creative team in 1966. Their work catches the eye of Leon Nordin, who asks Lasse to open an Arbman branch in Sweden’s second city in 1972. The following year, they publish their classic ads for Kodak’s basic pocket camera. While at Arbman, Lasse meets young assistant AD Staffan Forsman. Together, they form the central core of what will become Gothenburg advertising history. Also close by are Lasse’s brother Clas and Christer Holmqvist. In 1978, because of the legendary turmoil at Arbman’s founding agency in Stockholm, they open Collin & Forsman. Here they refine their style to the point where a typical full-page ad is instantly identifiable as coming from them – combining clarity of design and messaging with a Gothenburgian twist, and commanding attention. Here they begin working with shoe king Rolf Nilsson, promoting the Ecco and Lejon brands, as well as on accounts for the Volvo 300, Renault, TT-Line and the Itera “perpetual motion bicycle” (whose short-lived motion was not as perpetual as the ad suggested). For his part, Lasse says, “My job is making sure people know about what’s what” – and he believes the ads took people’s desire to improve their lives seriously. Their collaboration with Rolf Nilson is a textbook example of the benefits of long-term brand-building. In ten years, annual sales of Rolf’s shoes grow from 60 million to a billion kronor. From 1986 until 2000, the work continues under the name Collin Annonsbyrå. Eventually Lasse retired to his beloved island cottage, where he amused himself with his clarinet and sax and his painting and writing. Lasse Collin passed away in 2022.