Passengers meet their nemeses in Copenhagen Metro’s ads

Ads, Creativity

We’ve all been there: jumping onboard our city’s metro only to find ourselves stuck alongside a group of noisy, difficult, or occasionally infuriating passengers. Great Guns director Peter Harton captures the feeling perfectly in the latest campaign for Copenhagen’s new Metro line, promoting the fact that 85% of the city’s population will now be connected to the superfast circuit. Creatively devised by Hjaltelin Stahl and produced by Pegasus Productions, the hilarious new campaign celebrates the upcoming Cityringen line with two spots whilst also acknowledging the unavoidable encounters found on public transport.

The campaign captures two different scenarios that highlight the comedically diverse passengers found on the Metro line – and the benefits of the new Cityringen. The first ad, entitled ‘Morning Tremens’, sees one woman make the tiresome trip home after a long night of partying – still dressed in last night’s clothes and clutching her high heels. With smudged make-up and false eyelashes hanging off, she boards the train and manages to find a seat. She then discovers, however, she has sat amongst a group of enthusiastic cub scouts, joined by an equally animated leader who suggests the boys have a snack before their stop. Surrounded by boiled eggs, mackerel, and strong cheese, our traveller is then thrust in the midst of an intense singalong that threatens to push her already fragile state over the edge.

Metro – Morning Tremens from Peter Harton – Director on Vimeo.

The second spot, meanwhile, features two goths boarding the metro, only to find themselves in the same carriage as a group of joyous, pastel-clad acapella singers. As their discomfort grows, the singers only get louder, prompting some enthusiastic dance moves in the direction of the two uncomfortable men. Fortunately, as with the ending of ‘Morning Tremens,’ ‘Goth Life’ shows that the distressing journey will soon be over, thanks to the new Cityringen line.

Metro – Goth Life from Peter Harton – Director on Vimeo.

Great Guns director Peter Harton aimed to highlight these colourful encounters by making the contrasts between the groups as dramatic as possible, working with DOP Jens Maasbøl to make the spots also feel overwhelmingly claustrophobic. Speaking of ‘Goth Life’, he notes: “I wanted to put something black against something that’s extremely colourful. Acapella groups can be quite frightening – they are all about human contact and laughter and expressing themselves – so I thought it was nice to place the sympathy with the two goths. Jens and I worked primarily with wide-angle lenses, coming as close as possible to the passengers to ramp up the discomfort. We purposefully made the camera angles mismatched to accentuate how the different sets of characters have wildly differing POVs.”

He adds: “There’s so many universal situations that people can relate to and that’s why it communicates so well. You never know what you’re going to encounter on the Metro but you can rest assured you’ll never have the same journey – and your experience won’t last forever. Nobody wants to piss anybody else off – they’re all good people and we’re not trying to point fingers at anyone. These places make life more colourful. I had a blast with the shoot. I was surrounded by good people who are talented at what they do – it gives you the chance to work with your intuition and be more spontaneous. We just had loads of fun.”

Copywriter Kenneth Kaadtmann also needed to balance difficult experiences with the benefits of the Cityringen, adapting the premise to suggest there was no serious conflict between the groups, but simply very different events that occurred in the same carriage.

Speaking of this balance, Kenneth said: “That was definitely the hard part. We needed to go over the top to make sure make sure it was funny enough, but at the same time we didn’t want people to think that riding the metro is complete hell. That’s why we picked an acapella band as it is highly unlikely that would ever happen in real life. At the same time, we made sure that the contrast between the two parts were so far at each end of the spectrum, to make it obvious that it is only a pain if you’re a diehard goth.”

He adds: “There’s an underlying message about tolerance and acceptance in the films, yet it does go unsaid. But with the Danes having a thing for dark humour, we felt that it would be a perfect approach to get them to accept our message. Public transportation is hardly the highlight of anyone’s day, so by using comedy we created an opportunity for ourselves to be honest.”

Great Guns is an award-winning content and music video production hub, with a reputation for creativity and excellence. The carefully-selected roster includes international feature and TV directors, commercial directors, short film and music video directors and brilliant emerging talent. One of their key skill sets is to match talent to project, in any budget range.

Working across its global network, Great Guns produces high quality creative work for commercials, feature films, music videos, tv, digital, events, installations, photography, documentaries and branded content.

Great Guns continues to perform consistently well in international awards – garnering multiple awards including D&AD, One Show, Webbys, Berlin MVAs, Creative Circle, Shots, Cannes Lions, Cristal Kinsale, and The LIA Awards. It has also been awarded Epica Production Company of the Year and LIA Europe Production Company of the Year and in 2019 is shortlisted for SHOTS Production Company of the Year.


Creative Agency: Hjaltelin Stahl

  • Copywriter: Kenneth Kaadtmann
  • Art Director: Cecilie Öberg
  • Account Manager: Sandra Amalie Lacoppidan

Production Company: Pegasus Productions

  • Director: Peter Harton
  • Executive Producer: Cille Silverwood-Cope
  • 1st AD: Nikolaj Storgaard Mortensen
  • DOP: Jens Maasbøl
  • Stylist + Production Design: Jane Marshall Whittaker
  • Make-up: Tommy Hairwerk
  • Editor: Anders Jon
  • Sound Design: Ole Kristian Krogstad
  • Colourist: Lasse Marcussen
  • Production Manager: Sara Jürs Schmidt