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Suédois et bière08/02/2007 - par Mark Tungate
Last week, I was in Stockholm for the Epica Awards Ceremony. I never know what to make of that coolly elegant city : every time I go there it is covered in snow and nobody will look you in the eye until they've had a few drinks. As alcohol is expensive in Stockholm, that usually means you have to wait until Friday night to get into a conversation with someone. (A Swede once said that the definition of a Swedish extrovert is someone who stares at your shoes when they're talking to you, rather than staring at their own.) Luckily, at the Epica Awards - held in the majestic surroundings of the Café Opera -, there was plenty of free booze. Maybe a bit too much : the awards ceremony was almost drowned out by clinking glasses, empty bottles rolling across the floor, increasingly loud conversation and the occasional smashing sound. The party afterwards was open to non-Epica guests too ; by midnight it had become a combination of college disco and techno rave. Despite all this, I had a great time. At the bar next door - where I met some Finns. The winners of the Epica Grand Prix were those talented people from Wieden&Kennedy Amsterdam, with their animated spot Happiness Factory for Coca-Cola. Creative director Al Moseley revealed that Coke is so happy with the cartoon universe depicted in the spot that it may eventually become a full-length film. Branded content is here to stay. And when it's this good, I doubt anyone will complain.